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Kellar's Keep... so hard to get through...

Discuss Quests, Cards, Monsters etc from the Kellar's Keep Quest Pack.

Re: Kellar's Keep... so hard to get through...

Postby Thrawn » Friday March 16th, 2012 1:14pm

To me the issue that really hurts Kellar's Keep is not introducing additional monsters. RotWL has the same issue to some extent, but it had two things going for it that helped make up for it. (It had a big villain that players were looking forward to taking down the whole quest pack, and it introduced enough new elements each quest to keep things interesting in spite of repetitive monsters.) By the time all the players had 3-4 attack dice and 5-6 defense dice (with the exception of the wizard), the original monster set really didn't challenge the characters anymore. It really became a question of how many people were wounded, not how many flirted with death. At the end of the original quest pack, the party should have around 4000 gold in addition to a full set of artifacts, giving every character just about any equipment mix they want, so characters don't develop from the beginning of KK to the end of KK, and no creature in KK poses a real threat, so they don't need the development.


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Re: Kellar's Keep... so hard to get through...

Postby cynthialee » Friday March 16th, 2012 1:49pm

Goblin-King wrote:I'm inclined to disagree with you on that one cynthialee.
in my opinion the worst kind of quest is "collect the keys". You fought your way through the dungeon and finally find the exit door. Then have to backtrack to find keys.

:twisted:

Well after the first level or two they will get the clue...
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Re: Kellar's Keep... so hard to get through...

Postby Thrawn » Friday March 16th, 2012 2:00pm

Goblin-King wrote:I'm inclined to disagree with you on that one cynthialee.
in my opinion the worst kind of quest is "collect the keys". You fought your way through the dungeon and finally find the exit door. Then have to backtrack to find keys.


I will say that typically for this style of quest, you don't have to fight your way through the dungeon to reach the exit. You make the exit easy, and give the heroes the false sense of security about how easy it was to find the exit. Then they find out they have to do something else to open the door. At least this is how I've written this kind of quest in the past. (I usually didn't actually use keys though. There was usually some other trick to opening the door.)

As far as this changing the game, it wouldn't do anything for players I've played with in the past. Players I played with were sure to search every room and kill every monster for fear they would miss out on something. Every player would always do the maximum number of treasure searches, especially since they were never scared of a wandering monster in KK, where they were far superior to the enemies. As a matter of fact, one group I played with actually made sure to spring every pit trap so that it could also be searched for treasure as a separate room. So trying to require keys to be found wouldn't have helped my groups at all through these quests.


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Re: Kellar's Keep... so hard to get through...

Postby Daedalus » Saturday June 23rd, 2012 7:03pm

I agree with HeroQuestFrance and Big Bene. Kellar's Keep is intended to be run as consecutive Quests with no trips to the Armory or Alchemist's Shop between. drathe's take is certainly playable, as well. Due to some circumstantial wording, my group had to pause and discuss things in order work-out our own interpretation. Following are some reasons we hit upon:

First, some governing rules of the NA Instruction Booklet from p.23--What Happens Between Quests--tell that the Heroes' BPs, MPs, and spells are restored after they have successfully completed the Quest and have returned safely to the stairway. Finally, Heroes may now visit the Armory. Is there sufficient reason to not allow this in KK?

We found two gameplay differences that we felt disallowed return trips within Playing Kellar's Keep, p.3: The first difference is that "The Heroes do not start their adventures on the spiral stairway tiles used in the Game System. Instead, they enter through an iron door at the edge of the gameboard." The second difference is that "Players may leave the gameboard only by locating the wooden exit door (italics mine) on the edge of the board, or by finding the spiral stairway that exists in one of the Quests."

The only exit from a Quest of the Game System Quest Booklet was also the entrance. KK split them so that the only exit from a Quest was now the exit door and not the entrance door. The result of such a change is that the Heroes are required to follow the Quests in a linked series, always descending deeper and never backtracking to the Armory and Alchemist's Shop.

Or should they be allowed to backtrack? The exit door wording doesn't stipulate that Players may only exit by passing through the exit, but rather they must locate it. This is what drathe's point is founded on, I believe. Judging by the stated rules, he is justified in saying visits to the Armory and Alchemist's Shop are allowed after successful Quests.

However, my group felt other thematic elements suggested that KK is a one-way trip down a dwarven interstate with no rest stops or exit ramps. The first is at the end of the introductory narrative passage, A Message from Mentor: "I shall take you to the Great Gate, but from there you shall be on your own." I believe that from there you shall be on your own implies not only no returning to Mentor is allowed, but also Armory and Alchemist's Shop visits are out.

The Quests themselves sometimes also provide wording that thematically supports a no-way-back interpretation. Parchment Text from both Quests 5, 6, and 7 state that the Heroes must "escape through the wooden exit door."

More importantly, I think, some of the monster placements before the wooden exit door also make more sense if the Heroes are required to pass through the exit to end a Quest. Otherwise, it is possible to just spot the exit and end the Quest, rather than first defeat the guarding monster(s) to get through the door. This is especially apparent in Quest 6, where 12 monsters that guard the exit can be simply ignored. Even the Guardian of Grin's Crag can be avoided in this way. [Though this would be odd, as the Guardian must be destroyed to pass the final door and end the Quest Pack. -edit] In my mind, this makes it clear that the Heroes should locate and pass through the wooden exit door in order to end a Quest successfully.

Upon re-reading my post it occurs to me that the Heroes could locate and pass through a wooden exit door and then return all the way back through the previous Quests in order to return to the Armory and Alchemist's Shop. This would be the way to do it while not breaking things with monster avoidance tactics before the exit door. So it's anybody's choice: Just follow the rules as drathe suggests, but modify them by requiring Heroes to pass through the wooden exit door, or follow theme and require the Heroes to play the Quests without return trips.

My group's interpretation certainly restricted our Heroes' progression, but we felt that was the point. Back when we played KK we didn't get resupplied with all those fancy potions and improved equipment...and we liked it! :dwarf:
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Re: Kellar's Keep... so hard to get through...

Postby Zenithfleet » Sunday December 30th, 2012 8:24pm

Once, when we played through Kellar's Keep, we included a few 'bonus level quests' to break it up.

The Morcar player would hide the trapdoor tile in some out-of-the-way part of the dungeon (but only accessible once the Heroes had almost reached the actual exit). If the Heroes found and entered it, they'd finish the Quest and start a homebrew Quest chosen at random from the pile of old hand-drawn maps in the bottom of our HQ set. :)

We usually put a bounty on all the monsters in the 'breather' Quest (a la Bastion of Chaos) so it felt more like a bonus.

Regarding shopping during KK and RotWL: How about a 'goblin shop' or 'zombie shop'? Some RPG video games include monsters running shops deep in dungeons, to compensate for the fact that the players can't easily get back to town. In Kellar's Keep, you could say that an enterprising Goblin keeps popping up after each Quest, when all the fighting has died down, and offers to sell the Heroes stuff as long as they don't kill him.

Of course, some of it probably turns out to be shoddy quality... roll a die after your purchase and on a black shield it turns out to be useless? ;)

In RotWL, you could have a Zombie shopkeeper still lurching about in the ruins of his ancient store, mindlessly going through the buy-and-sell routine he followed every day of his life. Put some coins in his hand and he'll go fetch a weapon for you. Just try to ignore the occasional mutterings of 'braaains...'

You could even set up the shop on the board after each Quest. Maybe use the centre room, with a table in the middle and a cupboard. Goblin or Zombie on one side, Heroes on the other. They could choose to attack the monster shopkeeper and steal all his wares... but then he'd never appear again for the rest of the Quest Pack.

Bonus points if you have the shop lit by a blue torch and ask the players "What're ya buyin'?" and "Not enuff cash!... stranger." :D
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Re: Kellar's Keep... so hard to get through...

Postby Fullork345 » Sunday January 6th, 2013 12:30am

I've noticed that the first quest to this is horribly easy. We played through it a few days ago and it went nice and quick, and we were geared up, but I remembered the game being alot harder.

Perhaps years ago we should have done this before witch lord.

THe only thing with using the ogre hordes way of not spending your gold till the quests are done with these, is with witch lord you end up losing all your gold after gaining a whole bunch the quest before. I dont' think they were made with that intended.
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Re: Kellar's Keep... so hard to get through...

Postby bastianbux » Tuesday May 21st, 2013 2:20pm

Interesting. So what I'm hearing is that the general consensus is that the quests should be played as if the exit door at the end of Quest 1 is the entrance door to Quest 2, thus the Heroes have no option to rest (no recovered BP) and no option to buy things at the Shops?

However... what as the point of the developers creating and inserting the Alchemists Shop, then? Just when were the Heroes expected to make use of it?

I do like this idea... it might actually make KK challenging if they cannot restore BP and spells between quests, they'll have to strategize more carefully. But what to do about the shops? I would like my Heroes to be able to spend their gold on stuff. I suppose I could just choose a room in each quest to be set up as a shop and use the Alchemist Bench and Weapons Rack to represent that.
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Re: Kellar's Keep... so hard to get through...

Postby TMU » Tuesday May 21st, 2013 2:35pm

You do recover the lost BP between quests, it would be impossible to clear the expansion without that.

And what comes to the alchemist shop room, I love the idea, in an invidual quest/questpac though :)
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Re: Kellar's Keep... so hard to get through...

Postby Goblin-King » Tuesday May 21st, 2013 4:02pm

No BP recovery between quests!!! My hat just went into orbit!

I think it's safe to say that the consensus is that you recover BP and spells.
If you play door to door you just wouldn't be allowed to buy and sell.
The point of the alchemist shop would be to stock up on potions with the gold earned from the game system - before you enter the first quest.

But honestly I don't think it's very fun to go through that many quests without being able to shop. A small campaign would be cool though.


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Re: Kellar's Keep... so hard to get through...

Postby bastianbux » Tuesday May 21st, 2013 5:05pm

Ahh, stocking up on potions BEFORE starting the Quest Pack. That makes sense. We never played it that way when I was a kid, but it makes sense.

It also makes sense that they players would have to be able to recover BP and spells between quests (even though it makes no logical sense... how are they getting a chance to rest?). I was thinking that one of the potions sold in the Alchemist Shop was Potion of Healing, so the quest pack expected them to purchase potions between quests to heal. Nope, haha.

Because my current group was going to be 6 Heroes when we started, I had to create a Ranger and a Cleric. The Ranger and the Wizard and Dwarf have dropped out (well, the Dwarf never actually even started, but that's another story) so with the Cleric... it might be possible for the Heroes to make it through the ten quests without recovering BP. The Cleric has three different healing spells, and I suppose I could let him recover his spells between quests, and also give them the option of buying Potions of Healing along with the other potions in Alchemist Shops which I could locate ever few quests or so. What do you guys think? I kind of like the idea of them doing the whole pack without innately recovering HP between quests. Plus it will give them something to spend their crazy amounts of gold on. We are only on quest 12 in the base game though, so I have a bit of time to figure it out.
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