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Cloak of Shadows; Overpowered?

Discuss Quests, Cards, Monsters etc, from the Wizards of Morcar Quest Pack.

Cloak of Shadows; Overpowered?

Postby Vokills » Friday April 17th, 2009 11:09am

Last night, my game group and I played a pick-up game of HQ, and I let one player use the Wizard spells from WoM. I admit, I hadn't read over them, but I figured they were on about the same scale as the core game's spells.

Holy crap.

That spell seems ridiculously overpowered. It's pretty much an insta-kill. Does anyone else think this spell is problematic? Maybe I'm just used to having players have a tougher time with adventuring, it just seems out of place with the other spells.
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Re: Cloak of Shadows; Overpowered?

Postby drathe » Friday April 17th, 2009 4:41pm

When referencing the card, I took a look at my North American localization and noticed a grammatical error, so thanks for bringing up this topic. I'll have to fix the Spells of Darkness set either tonight or tomorrow.

I don't believe the card is overpowered at all. It pretty much creates a 'safe zone' where anything inside the two-by-three square shadow cannot attack, be attacked, or cast spells. It works to the benefit of both Heroes and Monsters who are in the shadows. They become immune while in there, but can't harm anyone either. Those in the Shadows would have to come out some time. Heroes can't finish a quest without returning to the stairs, or finding the exit to move on. The only thing that would really suck is if the spell was cast in a Quest in which the Heroes needed to kill a boss monster of some sort. The boss could technically hide in the shadows free from harm for eternity.

Speaking of technicality, the card states that those in the shadows cannot be attacked. One could rule that mean only physically. They may have spells cast upon them. But that would be the sole ruling of the Game Master.
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Re: Cloak of Shadows; Overpowered?

Postby HeroQuestFrance » Tuesday December 22nd, 2009 6:46am

No no no :lol:
no spell no ranged attack no attack at all since they can't see into this darkness area.
They can use potions, they cannot search too inside.(of course they can't see)

The boss could technically hide in the shadows free from harm for eternity.

mmm it's not fair for the heroes, the goal is to fight against them not to hide.
Second, let me check what I've done in my rules when I reworked this spell :

The cloak of shadows cannot appear on a square with a trap or a monster.
It disappears when the spell launcher dies.
You can only move inside.

(other of my note rules say someone inside can use 1 movement point to level 2, 2 at level 3. [to do tiny actions like opening a door, taking a potion etc])


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Re: Cloak of Shadows; Overpowered?

Postby Phoenix » Tuesday December 22nd, 2009 12:09pm

It seems to me that it would simply preventing the inclusive figure from being targeted; i.e. by melee or ranged weapon. However, I don't see why an area effect spell couldn't still affect them; i.e. Firestorm, etc.
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Re: Cloak of Shadows; Overpowered?

Postby HeroQuestFrance » Monday January 11th, 2010 9:54am

Let's say it is a magic spell that protect monsters/heroes inside and also do not make possible a line of sight.


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Re: Cloak of Shadows; Overpowered?

Postby torilen » Friday June 11th, 2010 2:37pm

i'd have to go back and look at that artifact to really make an informed comment here - but, just making a guess as to
what the cloak does, I would say this:
If you look at nearly all artifacts in HQ - they have a one time use, or a limited time use, or some other such restriction.
I would think this cloak has some sort of restriction like that, correct? If not - perhaps you could make one for your group -
maybe make it last only a certain number of turns or something - or like (phoenix?) said, use an area spell on the target
wearing the cloak - since your not really targeting that individual, only the area in which they're standing, it should work.


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Re: Cloak of Shadows; Overpowered?

Postby drathe » Friday June 11th, 2010 3:24pm

It's actually a spell card from Wizards of Morcar usable by the Elf, or Wizard.

Cloak of Shadows:
This spell summons a shroud of darkness. Place the Cloak of Shadows tile on the game board. Any figure in the shadows may not attack, be attacked or cast spells while they are there. The Cloak of Shadows may not be moved and lasts until the end of the Quest. Place this card beside the game board for reference.
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Re: Cloak of Shadows; Overpowered?

Postby Sotiris » Sunday December 7th, 2014 3:21pm

I believe it's not overpowered but very dangerous.
HeroQuestFrance wrote:It disappears when the spell launcher dies.

This is the only addition i did in my spell card to fix some problems.


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Re: Cloak of Shadows; Overpowered?

Postby mitchiemasha » Sunday December 7th, 2014 6:14pm

You can only move inside might be taken wrongly to mean you can only move into it and then would be seen as pointless.

How about 'Inside the cloak of shadows the only action you can take is move' this still has the problem of preventing healing spells and drinking potions so I still wouldn't use that wording. As for Drathes rewrite, what about healing spells???


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Re: Cloak of Shadows; Overpowered?

Postby Daedalus » Friday December 26th, 2014 11:06pm

drathe didn't rewrite the spell, he only fixed some errors in his localization that didn't agree with the original. In the past, I've puzzled over why the OP saw this spell as overpowered. I think I finally get what he meant--as spells affecting a target are cast at the target(s) rather than the area they are in, he must have figured the effect can't be separated from said target(s). Since movement is prevented beyond the limited bounds of the Cloak of Shadows tile while both attacking and spell casting are prevented within, the target can basically be considered neutralized by this "insta-kill." Of course, the spell is summoned on an area and not cast upon a target, thus the confusion. While drathe's explanation of the effects of the spell clears things up well, I think there are a couple of points worth revisiting.

1. The first issue is the technical problem of a Quest-objective end boss hiding indefinitely inside the spell, which would prevent the possibility of achieving the Quest objective. This is predicated on the notion that the duration of a Quest has but one of two endings--it's goals achievement or permanent abandonment by the Heroes. However, there is another way of understanding the meaning of the end of a Quest that better accommodates the Cloak of Shadows spell. To find a clue, the EU rules that originally framed this spell on p.14 under Completing a Quest need to be referenced:

    The character players complete a Quest successfully if they achieve the objectives
    described in the parchment text which the evil wizard player reads aloud at the
    beginning of the game. If they fail to do so, or if they are all players (and/or new
    ones) can always attempt the same Quest again,
    but the evil wizard player always
    starts a Quest with a full complement of monsters....
The blue text is a case of bad editing on MB's part, so the waters are a bit muddied. Still, "complete a Quest successfully" can be taken to mean a Quest can be completed unsuccessfully, then "they...can always attempt the same Quest again,...." Viewing the rules this way, a third type of Quest ending exists--an unsuccessful one that leads to a new attempt. This kind of ending is further indicated by the continuing text: "but the evil wizard player always starts a Quest with a full complement of monsters...." A first start must be finished with an ending before a new start is possible.

Such rationalization of individual, unsuccessful endings is made simply to accommodate the wording in the Cloak of Shadows spell, so as to avoid the problem mentioned by drathe of a monster hiding in a Cloak of Shadows for eternity. I'd say the interpretation is worthwhile, as it better explains the reality of the game world. No self-respecting boss would forever limit it's existence by hiding in a spell effect. Like drathe said, it is a technical problem.

The NA rules are more explicit on p.14 under Ending The Quest:

    ...A Quest may be ended early by the players voluntarily returning to the stairway before completing the Quest, or by all 4 Heroes dying in their attempt to complet the Quest.
A Cloak of Shadows clearly only lasts for one Quest attempt using these rules, so a hiding end boss could later be killed in a second Quest attempt and the Quest successfully achieved.

2. The second issue with the spell is what spells can work within it. Phoenix already mentioned an area of effect spell such as Firestorm could affect figures within the spell tile. While this is true of a spell cast within a part of a room not in the Cloak of Shadows tile, a room entirely filled by the spell won't allow this.

Other spells further define the limits of Cloak of Shadows. Lightning Bolt could reach into such a small room completely filled by the spell effect as it is cast in a direction, not at a target. Hypnotic Blaze is area of effect, but it wouldn't extend into a Cloak of Shadows, as the illusion would be nullified by the lack of visibility. Summoning spells and Reanimation could also allow M/Z to place/affect monsters within the tile, though they still are prevented from attacking within. Movement spells such as Veil of Mist also function within a Cloak of Shadows if they are first cast from outside of the Cloak of Shadows.

When figuring spells that may be cast on himself by a spell caster within a Cloak of Shadows, ie. healing spells, precedence of rules must be applied. The EU rules state that a spell caster may always cast a spell on himself, but the Cloak of Shadows spell prohibits casting spells while figures are within the shadows. When such conflicts exist in games, specific overrules general. In this case, the specific prohibition of spell casting within Cloak of Shadows prevents casting a healing spell. The NA rules restrict casting to visible targets, so no healing spells with those rules, either.

Drinking any potion is still allowed, so it is still possible to benefit from a Potion of Healing. However, a healing spell scroll can't be used, as scrolls are used just like spell cards from the Game System.
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