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Base Quests in four difficulty steps

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Re: Base Quests in four difficulty steps

Postby Anderas » Sunday August 16th, 2015 12:24pm

Ok, the remake of the Questbook finally reached Version 0.9

Download in my Dropbox

Preview (one map)
Image

Done:
* 14 Quests from the original Quest Book.
* almost all Graphics are vector graphics
* All Questnotes are done and functional

to be done
* I included Karlen's Circlet. I didn't think about just how much i would have to change in later quests in order to make it fitting in the system. I will remove it again in the next version.
* The "Gem of Mind Control" will become the "Living Broach" after the removal of Karlen's Circlet.
* The "Race against time" is one of the most uninspired quests in this Book. I want to make it a race against time, but at the moment i don't have an idea.
* The Witch Lord is somehow to normal for me. I mean, it is THE WITCH LORD! Why does he have the stats of an Ogre and 3, 4 spells, and that's it? In this Quest Book, Balur is really the nightmare of a Hero Group, but the Witch Lord is quite pale next to Balur.


* There are two new artifacts

Karlen is wearing this nice little toy:

Living Broach
The Broach of Mind Control is directly connected to some of the darkest Chaos energies.
Cast Action: Roll a white die. On anything but a black shield, you fully control the target for three rounds. On a black shield, you become a mindless Zombie.


Needless to say, it is up to the wizard to decide if he really wants to use it. :mrgreen:

Somewhere else, you can find this:

Sword of Fire
1 Hand, Metal

This Sword glows warmly in the hand of it's wearer.
Attack: 1 white and 2 green dice
Cast Action: Cast “Ball of Flames”
All of the damage counts as "fire damage"
Only for Wizards.


It's a variant of cornixt' and KK's Fireball Staff that I like more because I guess that "Rust" can be seen more often than "Living Wood".


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Re: Base Quests in four difficulty steps

Postby cynthialee » Sunday August 16th, 2015 2:17pm

Other than the Ball of Flame spell that sword kinda stinks. Green Dice have lower probability to inflict a hit than white dice. Something like that should roll the Black Dice or the Purple Dice.
So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.
If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.
If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.
~Sun Tsu The art of War~


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Re: Base Quests in four difficulty steps

Postby Anderas » Monday August 17th, 2015 9:18am

You're right, compared to some other equipment available for non-wizards, this sword is crap in close combat.

Compared to the wizard's normal fight strength of 2 white dice, this is better.
1 white 2 greens is more or less 2.33 white dice in average. But as these are three dice and not two, the result is a little bit more reliable close to the average, a thing that the wizard will appreciate.
This shall be a beginner's equipment for the Wizard. I am just thinking about weaken it's shooting capability to fire of wrath instead Ball of Flame, or to make the target defending on it's defense dice. IF i weaken the beginner's sword further, there might be another step inbetween with a Ball of Flame sword.

For later, I plan to have the Spirit Blade available for the Wizard.
That will be complemented by another sword that will have something around 3 white dice and an Icicle shooting ability. Difficult choice - do I use the one or the other sword for this quest? Similar to Zombicide, i want to have only 4 cards free transport capacity in regards to big things, so at some point he will have to decide. (potions/scrolls and such don't count)


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Re: Base Quests in four difficulty steps

Postby Count Mohawk » Monday August 17th, 2015 11:08am

I enjoyed reading through this. I would also like to know how you transformed the monster icons' colors in vector format so I can do the same thing, although I suspect it was a brute-force process.

Some thoughts...
    4. Prince Magnus' Gold: At first glance, it seems ideal to allow Gulthor to try to run away with the gold and thus allow the Heroes a chance to fail the Quest without dying. The problem with this scenario is that you only encounter him at the end of the dungeon, and the only way back out (in the original) is to go back the way you came. Alas, poor Gulthor!
    5. Melar's Maze: I really like what you did with the Necromancer in the Purple scenario. Melar's Maze is, as you have said, primarily a puzzle dungeon, a rarity in this world of high adventure and magic. Having to figure out how to get to the Necromancer through his wall of undead hits all the right notes.
    6. Legacy of the Orc Warlord: It is possible, although unlikely, for the Heroes to completely cut off the money-toting Orc from reaching the spiral stairway (if they reach the hallway outside Grak's room before him, for example). In these cases M/Z has two choices - either try to kill the blocking Hero, or turn around and start opening doors. You may want to consider mentioning this possibility in the notes.
    8. The Fire Mage: When a Monster casts Escape and is actually removed from the board, I often like to allow that figure to heal back to full Body Points. This may help with your "Wandering Wizard" scenario to allow Balur to show up more often without immediately being toasted if one or two Heroes still have a turn to take.
    Also, it should be noted that Balur should try to cast Firestorm as close to death as possible without going over, as it will toast almost all of his remaining minions. In particular, casting Summons Orcs and then Firestorm immediately after seems spectacularly dumb, since the spell will kill all Orcs in range outright.
    9. Race Against Time:Your note about the poison gas trap adding directly to the Quest's difficulty level seems off to me. Traps will only deal their full damage if the Heroes fail to Search for them, or are prohibited from doing so by the trap's placement. At the other extreme, if the Heroes were hyper-vigilant and Searched every room and let the Dwarf take his time to Disarm every trap, they would suffer only one-sixth of the total trap damage. Average trap damage should therefore probably lay somewhere between 17% and 100% - I'd go with about half myself, since the Heroes will not always be vigilant and the Dwarf will not always be available to bail the other Heroes out.
    11. Bastion of Chaos: 490 gold coins is surely a lot of money; I see that you toned down the bounty per kill for higher colors. Don't forget, however, that outside of the purple group, the Heroes can cycle the Treasure deck to generate some extra Wandering Fimirs if they finish the Quest with sufficiently high Body Points. There are 13 rooms in use, for a total of 52 searches - plenty enough to allow for some degenerate behavior.
    And you may want to consider using Chaos Warriors to beef up the red and purple difficulties for 14. Return to Barak Tor.
Anderas wrote:1 white 2 greens is more or less 2.33 white dice in average. But as these are three dice and not two, the result is a little bit more reliable close to the average, a thing that the wizard will appreciate.

'Reliability' is the wrong word, which can be quickly demonstrated by comparing your 1-white 2-green sword to a 1-white 1-black sword. The former misses more frequently, but hits harder in exchange. Higher variance tends to work out in the attacker's favor, though, so I would not argue for changing the melee aspect.

Since you mentioned making an ice sword, let me demonstrate a high-power staff from my AlterQuest series that might give you some ideas:
Image

This is meant to be a very late-game staff, actually, but the Heroes get a chance to use it for the latter half of Quest Pack 3 (out of 12). There is also a way to keep the staff and give the Wizard some serious fighting power even after QP3 concludes, but it involves killing the end-of-Quest-Pack boss without 'cheating', and he has 20+ BP...


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Re: Base Quests in four difficulty steps

Postby Anderas » Friday August 21st, 2015 12:05pm

Your first question:

The Heroscribe Symbols are eps.gz.
gz you unzip with unzip or 7zip or whatever
then you have .eps readable by the office package. Strangely they are not readable without problems in Inkscape and such. Maybe Heroscribe secretly changed something in the format?

After i wrote a cronjob in Excel & powerpoint vba to make them all white-grey instead white-black. That's necessary to have the color-change function in Powerpoint functioning in a way i like.
Powerpoint can save as .wmf or .emf which both is a mix of vector plus an alpha channel as pixel. First i had it made brute-force in all the colors i needed, so five full sets of symbols, but that was waste of time and disk space - because white/grey is all i need. If you open wmf or emf in Inkscape, the transparency is gone. :| In office, it is kept.

In Powerpoint i have the option to change colors with a click - i carefully prepared a green, a red, a yellow and a purple symbol and copied it with the "copy format" function to the whole bunch of symbols if needed.
The Heroscribe Map can be exported as .eps, so everything comes together in Powerpoint now.

--> I am working at the questbook again now. Include an enhanced version of the Witch Lord. :) Thanks for the many ideas.


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Re: Base Quests in four difficulty steps

Postby Anderas » Saturday August 22nd, 2015 6:07am

    4. Prince Magnus' Gold:
    I added a secret door in order to make the way back shorter. If Gulthor is using this, he has a chance. Alas, if he moves only 1d6 or let's rather say, half his normal speed, poor Gulthor indeed. I'll think about it.

    5. Melar's Maze: Thanks

    6. Legacy of the Orc Warlord: Added it

    8. The Fire Mage: Don't know if Belar get's too strong if he refills each time. Alas, it would fit with the magic system we're currently brainstorming elsewhere.

    9. Race Against Time: You're right. To keep it simple, i never added findeable traps to the Quest difficulty, only non-findeable traps. Here, i did something else than elsewhere. Changed the quest difficulty box to show 12 for all the colors.

    11. Bastion of Chaos: Changed the wandering Monster for Red and Purple to be a Gargoyle. That's not nice, but reds and purples just don't need the entire treasure deck full of money. 52 potential searches would generated around 20 potential Wandering Monsters for 30 gold each that makes 600 Gold. Plus or minus some Wandering Monsters according to your personal treasure deck preferences. Anyway, that's too much gold, so flipped the Fimir with a Gargoyle.
    Greens and Yellows have sufficient respect in front of a Fimir, they won't do it to that extend. And the little bit they can get out, they really need it if they are still (or again) green or yellow in quest 11.

    14. Return to Barak Tor Yeah, updated the witch lord. Now i like him. Still, the quest is somewhat boring, but the witch lord is cool now.

Still to be done:

* Make 9. Race Against Time interesting. It just isn't at the moment.
* Update the placing of original and Slev's Artifacts for the Wizard. To be done after my personal sorcery system is settled.
* Make some Cards.
* Add "the Maze" as Quest 0.
* Add frontpage, back page, Mentor's intro and Mentors outro.


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Re: Base Quests in four difficulty steps

Postby slev » Tuesday August 25th, 2015 5:13am

I made Race Agaisnt Time interesting. I can't remember how, but I do recall that it only needed a few tweaks.


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Re: Base Quests in four difficulty steps

Postby lucasdp » Monday November 30th, 2015 12:27pm

I wanted to report that I found a great use for these variable quests. This weekend we found ourselves with a fifth hero (and new HQ player!) when we got together to play Quest 4: Prince Magnus's Gold. I compared Anderas's version to the NA orginal; in this case, the NA original is Anderas's yellow level. I kicked it up to the red level to accommodate for the extra hero and, I must say, it came out a pretty well-balanced game. |_P
I also took the suggestion to beef up Gulthor by giving him Ulag's purple stats, with an addendum that, after losing an arbitrary number of body points, Gulthor will grab a chest, escape through Anderas's secret door and make a break for the stairway. (Additional note: I changed the reward to 240 GC for each chest retrieved)
Here's how it played out: The heroes surrounded Gulthor so that he could not run away and got him down to one BP (well beyond the arbitrary number I had previously decided) before he killed Frawd the Dwarf (our newest hero) and made his escape. With one hero down and one chest lost, that left a reward of 480 GC, or 120 each, which I think was a fair amount. It also led to further discussion after the game: Did the heroes really win, if one of them died and not all chests were retrieved?
So, it was a good, fun, well-balanced game. Having an extra hero, and bumping the quest up one level, seemed to even each other out. :D
This is a great tool, Anderas. |_P Thanks for making it, and please continue this treatment on the expansions (if you have the time/desire ;) ).


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Re: Base Quests in four difficulty steps

Postby Anderas » Monday November 30th, 2015 3:17pm

Thanks to have used it!
Yay!
Someone apart from me uses it! 8-)
In fact, i was using it just three days ago, and the same quest, and i killed the same hero. :D

At the moment, i am reworking some of the quests as, after re-reading, i regard them as half-done. I remove Karlen's Circlet, i shorten the way to Prince Magnus' Gold (one way is ok but both ways is horrible).... and i rethink the necromancer in Melar's Maze.
I find him quite hard. I'd like to use him for more difficulty steps, but i don't know how to adapt.


And yes.

Karlen is a full force mage now starting from yellow. His only fault is, he uses this artifact and nothing else until he becomes a Zombie. After his death, the Heroes find the Artifact and can use it if they want... :D :D

Image

The only thing I am now thinking about is how to limit this effect. Maybe i add a note that the third roll automatically fails. :)


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Re: Base Quests in four difficulty steps

Postby Count Mohawk » Monday November 30th, 2015 4:10pm

Anderas wrote:At the moment, i am reworking some of the quests as, after re-reading, i regard them as half-done. I remove Karlen's Circlet, i shorten the way to Prince Magnus' Gold (one way is ok but both ways is horrible).... and i rethink the necromancer in Melar's Maze.
I find him quite hard. I'd like to use him for more difficulty steps, but i don't know how to adapt.

The necromancer in Melar's Maze could be found in a different room on lower difficulties. Instead of him having already grabbed the Talisman, the Heroes find him a couple rooms away from the prize, which gives them more time to kill him. Of course, he'd need the ability to open doors (or teleport) or he'd be just another boss monster. Alternatively, he shows up while the Heroes are returning to the spiral stairway, with a couple doses of Command so he can force the Hero with the Talisman to just give it to him...?

I also remember you were looking for ways to make Race Against Time (the quest with the Elixir of Life) more of an actual race against time, and was reminded of a quest made by another Inn member in which the doors of the temple slowly shut over the course of the stage, creating a looming danger of being sealed within before returning to the entrance. Perhaps you can adapt a similar concept?


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