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Level of Difficulty of Quest 8: The forbidden Caverns

Discuss Quests, Cards, Monsters etc, from the Return of the Witch Lord Quest Pack.

Level of Difficulty of Quest 8: The forbidden Caverns

Postby Skulmar » Sunday April 18th, 2010 2:34am

I just played Quest 8 The Forbidden Caverns today with two of my friends for the first time! We started this quest at 11:00 AM and we learned that it is a very unique and difficult quest for the Heroes. The Quest took so long that we took 2 extended breaks, one for lunch, and one break to hit the batting cages to practice for my friends softball league. We ended up actually finishing the quest in the evening. I would give a rough estimate that we actually played the quest for at least 4 hours. Probaably the longest quest we have ever played.

If you have played this quest before I am sure you know why it takes so long and is very difficult for the heroes to pass. If you havent played this quest yet I am giving you the heads up to schedule plenty of time to play this quest if you expect to get the whole thing in. If you take a look at the Quest map you will notice that there are four X's on the Quest map. On each of Zargon's/Morcar's turn he may place any two skeletons, mummies, or zombies and place them on any two of the spaces marked with an X. This makes for an unlimited amount of monsters the heroe's must destroy to succesfully pass the quest. I am guessing that my friends had to destroy at least 60 undead monsters in this quest. This quest is extremely difficult for the heroes no matter how many items or weapons they have built up.

The way I played the quest today was that even at the beggining of the quest when it was my(zargon's) turn i placed two undead monsters on the spaces marked with an X. It didnt take long before the hallways were field with the undead. The heroes had to inch there way throught the quest one space at a time because there was a line full of monsters in almost every hallway. My friends became very frustrated and were defintely upset about how difficult this quest was.

Has anyone else encoutered the same problem when playing this quest.

Here is a list of a few rules you can use to either shorten the quest and or make it less diffucult.

A. Less difficult and shorter ideas for this quest.

1. Only allow monsters to appear on X's that have been revealed in the heroe's line of sight! (example: zargon can not put monsters on the space's marked with an X unless they have already revealed that portion of the gameboard.

2. Set a limit to how many undead monsters can be place on the quest during the quest. I would say anywhere between 10-16 would be a good idea.

B. If the heroes have stock piled potion of healing here is some rules and guidlines to follow if you want to knock some of the potions out of their stock to keep the quest very difficult and challenging. If you use any of these guidlines the quest will take several hours to play.

1. If heroes have more then 10 healing potions before the quest starts, Zargon can place infinite amount of undead monsters on the square's marked with an X. However if three squares marked with an X are occupied by a hero Zargon is not allowed to place new monsters onto the board because there isn't 2 spaces available marked with an X
2. If the heroes have between 5- 10 healing potions beofre the quest starts only 2 spaces marked with an X need to be occupied by heroes to nopt allow Zargon to place new monsters on the board
3. If the heroes have less then 5 healing potions between them before the quest starts only one square marked with an X must be occupied by a hero to not allow Zargon to place new monsters on the board on his turn.

Of course the heroes would have to figure this out on there own about occupying the X spaces on the gameboard.

C: The rulebook does say that Zargon may place two monsters on squares marked with an X on each of his turn. "May" doesn't mean you have to and there is always the aspect of the game that Zargon can ease up on the heroes so they have the chance of succesfully passing the quest.

Any of the rules or guidleines can be followed or combined when playing this quest. I used rule B1 abd C today when We played this quest. I am glad I finally cut into the heroes stock piled supply of healing potions!


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Re: Level of Difficulty of Quest 8: The forbidden Caverns

Postby drathe » Sunday April 18th, 2010 3:08am

I have several extra sets of the HeroQuest Game System, Kellar's Keep and Return of the Witch Lord, which makes for a vast pool of monsters. However, when playing Quests such as this (and Hall of the Dwarven Kings in Kellar's Keep), I stick to a single rule. The monster pool should only be as large as the GS plus any expansions played. For example, there are 8 Undead available in the GS and another 16 in WL making an Undead pool of 24 (6 Mummies, 6 Zombies and 12 Skeletons). The board cannot contain more than 24 Undead at a time, thus Zargon cannot place more Undead on the Xs if the board already contains the maximum number. Also, when playing this Quest, I ensure I have enough of each Monster from the pool set aside for the upcoming rooms.

The last time I played this Quest was the first time I've ever had a group of Heroes have difficulty with it. It took them far longer to discover that standing on the spawning squares would prevent an Undead from appearing there. Once they finally did however, the rest of the Quest wasn't as daunting for them.
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Re: Level of Difficulty of Quest 8: The forbidden Caverns

Postby Skulmar » Sunday April 18th, 2010 6:43pm

Reply: Yeah i only used the amount of udead that is in the game system plus witch lord quest pack. I also Have many extra monsters as well so i kept that in mind. I also made sure i had the right amount of undead for monsters that were in the actual rooms for that quest. The problem still occurs wehn you run out of undead monster because once the hero's kill the undead monsters you once again have the oppurtonity to put more undead monsters back on the board.


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Re: Level of Difficulty of Quest 8: The forbidden Caverns

Postby HeroQuestFrance » Tuesday June 22nd, 2010 5:05pm

I only put on this quest monsters on each X which are visible to the heroes or they have discovered behind them.
It's not so difficult, the band had this strategy : 2 heroes blocked the X themselves for covering their friends going forward then ran shooting with crossbow/bow ranged targets.


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Re: Level of Difficulty of Quest 8: The forbidden Caverns

Postby alyndavies » Monday July 6th, 2015 5:50am

Thanks for the tips, I think were on this quest next weekend. Assuming it's the one after the one where an entire army is in the center room and frozen. I managed to wipe out 2 of the kids and 1 of their friends yesterday, while only the oldest child with the dwarf and the female barbarian surviving. I got the Dwarf down to 1 body point but the female barbarian managed to get next to it in a corridor and heal the dwarf. :oops:
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Re: Level of Difficulty of Quest 8: The forbidden Caverns

Postby lucasdp » Friday May 6th, 2016 6:00pm

Tried this one with my group this week; it's a long one, for sure. I didn't spawn monsters until the heroes had revealed the X spaces, and my heroes did figure out they could stop the spawning by standing on those spaces. But even with all that, we still had to cut this one short after about three and a half hours. This is the first time we haven't finished a quest in one sitting. Further details on my Saturday Night Dungeon! thread here: viewtopic.php?f=161&t=3222&p=69812#p69812
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Re: Level of Difficulty of Quest 8: The forbidden Caverns

Postby kyrrahn » Monday November 13th, 2017 2:22am

How could you place the monsters on all the x's from the start without laying out the entire board? You would have to show features to explain the monsters movements... or am I missing something here. When I play I have the x's only become active when discovered. This at least gives the heroes have a chance to run the gauntlet in the quest. :skeleton: :zombie: :mummy:
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Re: Level of Difficulty of Quest 8: The forbidden Caverns

Postby Daedalus » Monday January 22nd, 2018 4:51pm

kyrrahn wrote:How could you place the monsters on all the x's from the start without laying out the entire board? You would have to show features to explain the monsters movements... or am I missing something here. When I play I have the x's only become active when discovered. This at least gives the heroes have a chance to run the gauntlet in the quest. :skeleton: :zombie: :mummy:

Laying out features--including monsters--normally only results during a Hero's turn when exploration and movement makes a monster visible. Your choice to only use X's that observe this precept is sound, and I wouldn't recommend otherwise. The complaint of the OP remains valid, however. The Quest text in question:

    At the beginning of each of your (Zargon's) turns, you may pick 2
    Skeletons, Zombies, or Mummies that are available and place them
    on any two of the spaces marked with an "X."
"At the beginning of each of your (Zargon's) turns . . ." is independent of the general exploration rule which occurs during a Hero's turn, so as a special rule it is free to function differently. The monsters may be placed ". . . on any two spaces marked with an 'X'", irrespective If being visible to the Heroes.

Similarly, other features needn't be laid out in those monsters' path as Hero exploration isn't called for. The only rule needed is the rule for moving monsters on Morcar's/Zargon's turn. That rule includes all monsters currently on the board, so visibility isn't an issue, nor is explaining their movement with features other than the squares they have actually moved on.

It's meant to be handled abstractly (if one chooses so), but to help explain the monster movements one could add the Heroes hear (or imagine hearing) the echo of clattering bones or the heavy tread of something worse from down the rumored corridors.
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