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Split Path

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

Split Path

Postby Redav » Tuesday January 21st, 2014 5:17pm

When exiting from The Easter Passage quest in the UK print, you have two options being The East Gate and Belorn's Mine. Logically speaking, they both headed to Grin's Crag so you play one or the other but I was wondering whether anyone plays Belorn's Maze after The Eastern Passage? It seems in the NA version the door to the East Gate Mine cannot be opened (or have I misread / missed something?).
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Re: Split Path

Postby Sjeng » Wednesday January 22nd, 2014 5:15am

We just played em both in the book's order. Why waste a good quest?

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Re: Split Path

Postby Daedalus » Sunday March 2nd, 2014 5:00am

Speaking as an NA rules player, I can see why the dual exit option was dropped. Like you point out using precedence, logically speaking an exit should progress to the next Quest. However, dual exits presents a new problem. I read contradictory direction from the Parchment text of the Eastern Passage if Belorn's Mine is chosen as a route to Grin's Crag instead:

    "The East Gate marks the end of the Halls of Belorn. But to get there you must first negotiate the Eastern passage. The foe will be many, so you must fight your way through to the East Gate. You must enter through the south door. The last part of Grin's stone map is to be found here."

It appears to me that there are two objectives to complete: find the last part of Grin's stone map and fight through to the East Gate.

Furthermore, the Parchment text of the East Gate mentions: "The East Gate must now be passed if you are to reach Grin's Crag and rescue the King." Belorn's Mine mentions nothing of the Quest goal, but rather appears as an aside for monster-killing treasure hunters. This leads me to the conclusion that it is preferable to treat Belorn's Mine as a side Quest rather than a back door that progresses to Grin's Crag. If Belorn's Mine is instead used as a route to Grin's Crag, it is possible for the Heroes to exit the Great Citadel and reach Grin's Crag with as little as five Goblins, an Orc, a Skeleton, and a couple traps to stop them. The top-left, outer-corridor exit path of Belorn's Mine is too easy and too possible.

The odd point of my interpretation is what to do with the exit of Belorn's Mine. Fluff-wise, the Great Citadel implies a large area which could include a one-way shaft from Belorn's Mine. I'd say have the exit of Belorn's Mine connect back to the beginning of The Eastern Passage through this loop. This insures the second Quest goal of the Eastern Passage is fufilled, and avoids the Belorn's Mine cake walk. Like Sjeng said, why waste a good Quest?

Regarding the NA version of the East Gate, a failure doesn't prevent a Hero from making a new attempt to pass the gate on his following turn. That insures all Heroes will eventually succeed. To avoid a lame roll-fest with inevitable results (my group was forced to do that--very anti-climatic), just have the first success open the door for all Heroes.
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Re: Split Path

Postby Zenithfleet » Friday October 30th, 2020 10:18am

I'm a bit puzzled by the responses here. (he says six years later :oops: )

In the EU version of Kellar's Keep, Belorn's Mine is clearly a bonus Quest or side mission. It's not a fork in the path--just a brief detour. They don't both lead to Grin's Crag. I'm not sure why anyone would think that.

Unless otherwise specified, when you finish a Quest, you always move on to the next Quest in the booklet. And the Quests are arranged like so:

7 - The Eastern Passage
8 - Belorn's Mine
9 - The East Gate
10 - Grin's Crag

So it goes like this:

You play 'The Eastern Passage'. The parchment text says you're going to the East Gate. You get there via the SOUTH door (i.e. the door in the lower right corner of the map). Making sure to pick up Grin's map piece along the way. And indeed, if you take the south door, the Quest Notes tell you to play 'The East Gate'--which is Quest 9. You skip Quest 8, which is Belorn's Mine. But the Quests aren't numbered in the book, so there's no tip-off that you've skipped something (unless you're Morcar).

At no point is Belorn's Mine even mentioned or hinted at. It's pretty clear the Heroes aren't supposed to know it exists.

However, you can, if you wish, ignore Mentor's directions and take the mysterious NORTH door instead (top left of the map). Why? Because it's HeroQuest and exploring is what Heroes do best. If you do, surprise! The Notes say your next Quest is 8, Belorn's Mine. "Wait, we found a gold mine?!" And indeed it has a pretty impressive treasure haul.

And when you complete Belorn's Mine, there's nothing about skipping ahead to Grin's Crag (Quest 10). Therefore you just play the next Quest in the book. Which is... Quest 9, 'The East Gate'. The same one you would have done if you'd taken the south door. Belorn's Mine even makes a point of steering you to the south again (the exit is at the bottom of the board). That way, whichever door you chose in Quest 7, you end up entering 'The East Gate' at the top of the board, because you're going south.

You don't get an easy shortcut to Grin's Crag. In fact, it's a long-cut. Uh... you know what I mean. You could have done the Quest Pack in nine Quests. But now it takes ten. You've delayed the journey for a sidequest in order to pick up some sweet loot. Which you had no way of knowing was there. Because you took the time to explore.

So in the EU version, Kellar's Keep 'officially' consists of nine Quests plus an optional bonus (Belorn's Mine) that some players might never find out about. The evil wizard player doesn't have to tell them. I reckon that's more interesting than forcing the players through all ten Quests.

For one thing, KK can be a slog to get through. Being able to limit it to nine adventures instead of ten helps.

For another, KK is sometimes criticised for being a bit dull compared to Return of the Witch Lord. And it's often true. But does Return of the Witch Lord have an optional bonus level hidden away in there? No it does not.

But most of all... one of the big appeals of HeroQuest is exploration. It's what sets it apart from so many other dungeon crawls that just turn into endless linear monster-bashes, even today. And for exploration to work, you have to have odd things off the beaten path that not everyone is guaranteed to find. Kellar's Keep has the biggest one of all: an entire Quest that you can miss if you don't explore. It's the biggest secret reward in all of EU HeroQuest. And they took that out for the NA version? Madness. Madness, I tell you! :x

by the way, Belorn's Mine is (as far as I recall) the only Quest to use the two trapdoor tiles. I wonder if that was deliberate, as a tantalising hint to players who missed Belorn's Mine that there was something else in Karak Varn they didn't see? "Hey, what are these things for? I don't remember them in any quests... aw man, what did we miss? Stop smirking, Mr Morcar!"
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Re: Split Path

Postby Oftkilted » Friday October 30th, 2020 1:01pm

Does the fact that there’s a HeroQuest errata for the European Version of HeroQuest over on BGG address the oddity?
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Re: Split Path

Postby Zenithfleet » Saturday October 31st, 2020 3:46am

Oftkilted wrote:Does the fact that there’s a HeroQuest errata for the European Version of HeroQuest over on BGG address the oddity?


Which oddity do you mean?

There's plenty of oddities in the EU version, but how Belorn's Mine works isn't one of them...
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