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One-shot kill on Sinestra

Discuss Quests, Cards, Monsters etc, from the Elf Quest Pack: The Mage of the Mirror.

One-shot kill on Sinestra

Postby Pancho » Thursday July 18th, 2019 6:17am

I've not yet had the pleasure of playing the US expansions but I'm gearing up to it. I'm wondering if any of you have had experience of Heroes using the Bow of Vindication to take out Sinestra in one shot?

I really like this artefact but I'm concerned that the Elf will just shoot the main baddie as soon as he enters her lair. Seems like a waste of a good villain with some nice spells after all that build up, with no real chance to defend. Unless I'm missing something, why wouldn't the Elf just shoot her dead? I mean he gets the artefact in the same quest, so its unlikely that he would have used all four arrows before he gets to the final room.

I had the thought to let the Elf keep the Bow beyond this quest pack if he still has arrows left ("For crying out loud I just saved the life of your only child and heir to the throne, jUsT lEt Me KeEp ThE dAm BoW!"), but that could just make the problem worse, i.e. one arrow for Sinestra, one for the Frozen Horror, one for Morcar himself etc...

Any thoughts/experiences with this?


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Re: One-shot kill on Sinestra

Postby sekundes » Friday July 19th, 2019 11:27am

I own Mage of the Mirror but have never played through it. I had forgotten what the Bow of Vindication does and just now read that it instantly kills the target unless they roll a black shield on one dice. Brutal, as if you need a clearer indication that both this and the Barbarian quest pack weren't play tested (barbarian quest 1 is a solo quest where you can get hugged by a yeti and instantly lose).

A possible solution would be to house rule it that she has to take ALL 4 shots from the bow in order to be killed at all? Sort of like how you NEED the spirit blade to do any damage to the Witch Lord. It would make her a much greater threat if she couldn't be damaged unless you were using the bow, and would make the final quest harder overall if you couldn't use it to insta-kill some of the harder enemies. You'd have to change the flavor text to ensure the player doesn't waste any shots before encountering her.
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Re: One-shot kill on Sinestra

Postby Pancho » Friday July 19th, 2019 11:37am

Wow, that’s a really cool idea (about the four arrows being needed). It would help keep that fight going as long as I want it to. I would probably need to offer another method of harming her, as there is a decent chance that the Bow isn’t found before the big showdown. Maybe she is affected by Spells too(elemental, the ones from WOM, and Elf).


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Re: One-shot kill on Sinestra

Postby sekundes » Friday July 19th, 2019 11:56am

"as there is a decent chance that the Bow isn’t found before the big showdown"

Well, that's where some creative use of flavor text can help assist the heroes in finding the solution to her fight. Attacking her by any means other than the bow could result in some text informing the players that Sinestra seems to be protected by a magical barrier. Or better yet when rescuing Millandriell she can tell the heroes that nearby is an ancient bow with the power to break through Sinestra's magical barrier. There are ways you can point the heroes in the right direction while keeping the fight itself thematic and tense. Either way you go about it, house rules and a little roleplaying are the way to go to fix any faults with the game system that you find.
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Re: One-shot kill on Sinestra

Postby mitchiemasha » Saturday July 20th, 2019 12:29pm

sekundes wrote:...


Yes. The heroes should already know about special weapons after the full SPIRIT BLADE ordeal, it shouldn't need much hinting at, just the "normal weapons or magic is useless" in whatever flavour the creator decides to use.


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Re: One-shot kill on Sinestra

Postby Pancho » Saturday July 20th, 2019 5:57pm

sekundes wrote:"as there is a decent chance that the Bow isn’t found before the big showdown"

Well, that's where some creative use of flavor text can help assist the heroes in finding the solution to her fight. Attacking her by any means other than the bow could result in some text informing the players that Sinestra seems to be protected by a magical barrier. Or better yet when rescuing Millandriell she can tell the heroes that nearby is an ancient bow with the power to break through Sinestra's magical barrier. There are ways you can point the heroes in the right direction while keeping the fight itself thematic and tense. Either way you go about it, house rules and a little roleplaying are the way to go to fix any faults with the game system that you find.

Even with clues there’s still a chance that the Heroes find the room with Sinestra in it before they find the room with the Bow in it. Unless you have Millandriell give really heavy clues like which direction to go next, which would ruin the fun in my opinion.
For this reason I think I’ll have Sinestra vulnerable to the Bow of Vindication, AND some other means. There is precedent for this with the Witch Lord being vulnerable to another attack type, which the designers put in to prevent the chance of a dud encounter. I think spell damage is the way to go, especially considering that Sinestra has mirror magic that allows her to counter spell, adding in a bit more difficulty to this boss.


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Re: One-shot kill on Sinestra

Postby wallydubbs » Saturday July 20th, 2019 9:33pm

I would think the Elven Bow of Vindication is just like Magical Throwing Daggers except that you get 4 arrows. I would imagine the hero weilding it is only allowed 1 arrow per turn. This would result in taking out Sinestra in 4 turns.
The EBoV does show up rather late in this quest pack, and if you're playing by the 1 arrow per turn rule the hero won't necessarily bother to use it, thinking a strong melee attack of 3 or 4 attack dice has the possibility to do more damage then an automatic 1 hit. Since most of the monsters have multiple body points.
Saving it for Sinestra is a problem either way, killing her in 1 turn or 4 turns (depending how you play it), she's only going to get a possible 6 out 8 spells off (Mirror Magic and Dispell can be cast on a heroes turn). Choas spells make it more challenging and fun, so I'd like to see her get them all off (Even though it would be pointless to cast Reanimation since there are no undead in the room).
I think the Elven Bow should come at some point earlier in the game to give the heroes scenarios to use it.
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Re: One-shot kill on Sinestra

Postby Pancho » Sunday July 21st, 2019 2:34am

Wallydubs the card text for the Bow states that an arrow instantly KILLS the target (unless they can roll a black shield on one combat die per turn). It really is a wonder weapon, which is probably why the Hero only gets 4 chances to use it and then has to give it back.

I agree it’s only one arrow per turn. The implications of all this being that a sensible Hero will probably use three of the arrows on 10-body point ogres, and save the last one to destroy Sinestra herself (in one turn!!!!).

It’s probably asking a bit much that Sinestra gets off ALL her Chaos spells (Morcar will have to prioritise) but it’s not right either that the Heroes bust open the door and just kill her instantly.

I’m going to use Sekundes suggestion that Sinestra has a powerful magical barrier around her. The Bow of Vindication is the only weapon that can pierce it, causing an automatic 1BP loss unless she rolls a black shield. This is Queen Terellia’s main contribution to defeating her evil sister.
The only other way to get through Sinestra’s magical barrier is with spells (and spell scrolls), so she can be harmed with Genie, 2x Fire Spells, Arrows of the Night, as well as being affected by Tempest, Sleep, Chains of Darkness, Slow, Deep Sleep and Twist Wood.


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Re: One-shot kill on Sinestra

Postby Pancho » Sunday July 21st, 2019 2:59am

Sinestra has four body points, so it fits with the four arrows.
In case Sinestra saves against an arrow, or some arrows are used before the fight, or the Bow isn’t found at all, she can also be harmed by spells.
Sounds good to me but I’d like to know what you guys think?


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