A Brief Word on Actions
I think Magic Realm was the first game to come up with the idea of Actions equalling the number of wounds your hero had remaining. Thus, with an ingeniously simple mechanic, an injured hero is able to perform far less capably than an able-bodied hero. This design element has been repeated in a number of different games, and I make no qualms about employing the same idea in Fantasy Quest. Magic Realm is far more epic scale and, as anyone who has tried to tackle the rulebook will be acutely aware, very complex for what it is. The narrative of a game can be easily lost if you’re busy consulting charts and looking up rules half the time, so I’m constantly trying to strip back the FQ (say it quick!) rules but maintain the cooler elements of the choices and thematic effects that semi-complex rulesets can provide.
To that end, there are currently 13 actions a Hero can choose from to perform in a turn, and he can perform as many actions as he has hit points remaining. All the heroes in FQ begin with 4 Hit Points, so they begin their quest on even footing - although that number can change during the game through various effects.
The following is a brief breakdown of the kind of the activities that your hero can get up to in the world of Fantasy Quest...
1. BUY/SELL 1 Item
Usually you can only do this in Sprawl City, although certain people and creatures you meet or Places you might visit will occasionally offer to trade with you too. You can also sell an Item for half price (rounded down) if you find yourself overloaded with loot!
2. CAST a Spell (requires STUDY check)
Although all heroes have the potential to accumulate Spells, some are far more suited to casting them than others. A successful spell check will allow you to caste a spell from one of the four main groups of spells: Action, Aid, Combat and Healing.
3. EXPLORE 1 Place (requires SNEAK check)
This is a dangerous world, and most Places you visit will require you to explore them thoroughly before being able to take advantage of what they have to offer. Often you will need to perform a Sneak check to successfully scout a location, and failure may result in dangerous events, such as an ambush or trap.
4. Fight 1 Enemy (requires FIGHT check)
When all else fails, you may find yourself backed into a corner and unable to escape, or perhaps you need to conquer an enemy to complete a Quest, or you may just be a bully, throwing your weight around on a band of hapless Goblins. In any of these situations you’ll be using your Fight stat to get yourself through it unscathed. Or scathed.
5. HIDE – enables Surprise Attacks (requires SNEAK check)
Hiding will be an integral part of your adventure, and something that no hero should be afraid of! Not only will it allow you to get the edge on any enemies you might be facing by prepping a Surprise Attack, it may save your life when said enemy proves to be powerful for you to take on. Yet...
6. INFLUENCE 1 Stranger (requires INFLUENCE check)
As your character grows in influence people across the land will become more and more inclined to come round to your way of thinking. Although, the path you choose and the choices you make may mean that certain characters will not only be unwilling to talk to you, they may just attack you on sight!
7. Move to 1 adjacent tile (not diagonally)
This is simply how you move around the map. Obviously the more you Move, the less other interactive actions you’ll be able to perform.
8. Quest (requires STUDY check)
Often you will be tasked with a Quest to perform to aid you in your journey. Usually this will require intelligence and therefore careful ‘Study’ of the best method by which you can overcome the given Quest. Although, sometimes you will just need to beat something or someone up!
9. Rest in a SAFE tile (recover 1 Hit Point)
Initially, only Sprawl City will be a Safe place for your hero to recover from their wounds, but skills and other abilities may allow you to recuperate in other locations that may otherwise be considered dangerous.
10. REWARD – play a card from your Pack/Hand that matches your current tile’s terrain
When you best an Enemy and take its loot, or plunder a Location, or even enlist the services of an Ally, you will usually have to travel to a different location to source the benefit of your new treasure. The ally may offer to come with you, for example, but only if he can go home to say farewell to his family first. Or the map you’ve found may chart the position of the powerful Gilded Sword, so now you have to go and collect it. In game terms, this usually means that you take the reward card from your encounter into your hand. Then, once you’re in the required location, you may spend an Action to play the Ally or Item or Spell card from your hand and put it into play.
11. SHELTER – move Indoors by flipping your Outside token to the Indoors side
Shelter sometimes allows you to Hide from your enemies, but most often you will seek Shelter to avoid the adverse effects of events that occur within the kingdom. These may range from terrible storms to searching winged demons.
12. TRADE Items/Gold with another hero in your location
In the multiplayer game, whether playing cooperatively or competitively, you will be able to Trade with other players in your location by spending an Action on your turn, or you may be the recipient of a Trade Action if they spend an Action on their turn.
13. TRAIN up a new SKILL (spend GOLD)
Training is how you will develop your character from humble adventurer to renowned Hero. There are forty skills available to choose from, ten for each character Class. But more on that another time...