I love a good RPG. I love having to go on quests to save the princess, find a long lost ancient and powerful artifact, or to destroy a great evil. There is just something grand about quests. I also really love the improvement and progression aspects of your characters as they journey in pursuit of these quests. Whether it is finding new and more powerful weapons and armor, increasing your base statistics or gaining new and interesting special abilities. I love playing a good board game that incorporates these elements into gameplay. For this post, I didn’t include any RPGs, although I love Pathfinder and Dungeons & Dragons among many others, I wanted to focus on tabletop board games that do this element well. So, let’s take a look at my Best 3 Games with…Questing!
3. Tiny Epic Quest from Gamelyn Games
Fresh off Kickstarter, Tiny Epic Quest from Gamelyn Games is a simplified game about questing and developing your band of elf heroes by gaining Legendary Weapons, learning powerful spells, killing goblin raiders and completing quests.
Each round of the game is broken into two phases: day and night. During the day, players choose cards that allow for travel by foot, by horse, by raft, by boat and by Gryphon to traverse around the world which consists of different locations on cards. These locations include villages from which you can acquire quests, monuments where you learn powerful spells, mushroom groves to seek guidance and gain special abilities, and treacherous locations in search of artifacts! Acquiring artifacts empower the heroes with unique abilities which can improve movement or combat, or their ability to learn spells or mitigate harmful dice rolls.
One of the major goals of traveling around the world is to position your heroes to accomplish the requirements of various quest cards that are randomly drawn and can only be completed by one player. During the night phase, players will face the challenge of their quests, and decisions, by rolling custom dice. These dice will provide various symbols that will include scrolls or torches, that can be used to move along the path of various locations, damage that can be applied to marauding bands of goblins, or mushrooms that will help them to learn powerful magic spells. There is a press your luck element as well as you can decide to rest at any time during the night phase which ends your turn and allows you to state that you have met the requirements of various quests but you cannot get back into the action that time. So, if you badly want to complete a certain quest, because you need to gain some benefit, you have to stay in the phase and continue rolling dice but watch out for those goblins as they can do damage to your heroes killing them if you roll the goblin face dice. Oh those faces are so ugly!
The game will come to an end once the portal is closed (after 5 full rounds) or all the goblins have been eradicated. The player who has acquired the most victory points by slaying goblins, learning spells, and completing quests will be the winner! A great fun questing game that has a lot of surprisingly fun elements, such as actually equipping your various meeple heroes with little plastic pieces of equipment won from quests. See above pic showing my elven bowman who was able to kill goblins at range and took away a victory for me!
2. Lost Legends from Queen Games
One of my very favorite Questing games. The game starts with each player choosing a hero that has their own abilities and benefits. The players then have to draft cards each round over three rounds to build up that character so that they can get powerful enough to seek out and kill the various types of monsters found in the underground caves and dungeons. The draft cards consist of various types of equipment including both ranged, melee and magic weapons, armor for protection, powerful damage dealing spells and life giving potions. The right combination of cards will need to be drafted in order to kill the monsters arrayed against the players. The really great part about the game is that you draft these cards and then can either choose to use the equipment by equipping them on your player board or use the cards as skill points to increase your various abilities which will allow you to deal more damage, cast more powerful spells and take more damage. I really enjoy the card drafting aspect and the progressive improvement of your character. If you draft poorly, you will not be able to take down the most powerful, and therefore most valuable victory point producing monsters and will not be able to successfully complete quests to win the game. The Trophy Tokens are what players are questing for. These Tokens have conditions that must be met such as kill 2 Animal monsters to gain the Trophy. Each of these Tokens has an assigned point value. So, the first player to kill 2 Animal monsters and collect the Trophy Token will get 6 points at game’s end while the 2nd player to accomplish this quest will only receive 4 points. You might say that the questing element of Lost Legends is more akin to set collection, but you get the feel of questing as you try to prepare for the coming challenge of meeting the requirements for the Trophy Tokens. A great and fun questing game that has a lot of character development and customization options.
1. Above and Below from Red Raven Games
Above and Below from Red Raven Games is a little bit of an odd choice for this topic as it doesn’t quite seem like it fits with the other two choices. The game is more of a mix of village building and storytelling where players are in a competition to build the best village by buying cards that are located above the ground and below it in caves, hence the name Above and Below. The game is played out with players sending their various villagers, who have different skills and specialties, out into the world to perform jobs such as exploring the caves, harvesting resources, and building houses. Each player has their own personal village board, and you move the villager tiles around the board to areas to indicate that they’ve been given jobs to do. Each of the villagers have different icons (such as a hammer or feather pen) and also have a different die shown that they will succeed on. So, it is really a mix of which villagers to choose to send to do various tasks in order to accomplish a quest.
So the questing or story telling part of the games comes about when players send a group of villagers to explore the depths. One of the other players in the game then gets out the scenario booklet and reads a story and you get to choose which way to accomplish the challenge presented. The way you will react will depend on the makeup of your party and the skills of the villagers you brought along. I really like this aspect of the game, and in my opinion is the qualifying quest aspect, as the book that you read from has a ton of different choices. We have played several times and have only had a few repeats, which has kept the game fresh and interesting. The details of these stories are fantastic and really give the game a thematic feel as you have to make tough decisions such as “Do I help the tired old man in the cave find his ring?; or “Do I go off and look for it to keep for myself?”. If the quests are completed successfully, they will provide rewards such as money, goods, reputation won or lost or items that can be used to perform tasks more efficiently. In the end, the player with the highest scoring village will win the game, and generally if they quested well, they will have found the resources needed to buy the best cards.
When I write these Best 3 posts, it is very difficult to choose just three games for the chosen topic that day. There are many other Quest themed games that I have enjoyed immensely and honorable mentions could be given to Masmorra: Dungeons of Arcadia from CMON Games or Near and Far from Red Raven Games among others. Let me know what games you think are better at integrating the questing theme into gameplay than the three that I chose.