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Yeti in soloquest = instadeath

Discuss Quests, Cards, Monsters etc, from the Barbarian Quest Pack: The Frozen Horror.

Yeti in soloquest = instadeath

Postby Daedalus » Tuesday January 31st, 2012 7:37pm

Someone once made a mention of this before (can't recall who), I figure this is the best place to rant about it. From the introductory pages of the Quest Book:

The first three Quests are solo adventures, designed for play by a
Barbarian alone. These can be used as an introduction to Hero Quest
for a new player or as fun Quests to play when only two players are
available. Also, if a new Barbarian is to join a party of experienced
characters, these three Quests will enable the Barbarian to catch up
with the other Heroes by gaining gold, equipment and magical items.


So, the premise is a Barbarian with nothing but a Broadsword, 2 Defend dice and 8 Body Points goes in. Unless he is lucky in his exploration rout, he probably is doomed. Another Barbarian will be needed because of the Yeti waiting for him in the Quest 1...

With 5 Body Points and 3 Defend dice, the Barbarian's 3 Attack dice should chop it down in about five turns. In the four turns before that happens, the Yeti's 3 Attack dice will likely score 1 Body Point of undefended damage to the Barbarian on three seperate turns.

Just one occurence of undefended damage will trigger the Yeti's "hug" ability which will subsequently cause 2 automatic Body Points of damage the the Barbarian until someone intervenes. Whoops! The Barbarian is in this Quest alone, and as no actions are allowed to the Barbarian while being hugged by the cuddliest-looking monster in the game, he can do nothing but whimper as he dies.

A player going into this Quest Pack for the first time doesn't possess knowledge of the "hug" ability, so scratch one Barbarian. Is the point of this futile encounter to demonstrate the brutal, life-is-unfair nature of the Barbarian's world, or was this Quest Pack not playtested?

In take two, the Barbarian's cousin goes in for vengeance. Probably the player will cleverly avoid this room, but Zargon is encouraged to change the Quest. Maybe another Yeti is waiting- hopefully not. Assume the new Barbarian survives the rest of the Quest.

He'd better hire a mercenary before the next Quest (can't! see note below), because there is a 50/50 chance of choosing the route to another Yeti in need of a hug. Out-running it or successfully runnin' and gunnin' with the Crossbow is unlikely as it has a speed of 8. The Shield should cancel another Body Point of damage, but the 2 Body Points likely to get through still result in another case of dead Barbarian.

Quest 3 offers the best chance of avoiding the resident Yeti as a lucky Barbarian can make it back to the stairway to simply escape. Of course, Zargon has the option of simply relocating Mr. Abominable in the Quest for act II. I know there are evil Zargons on this board. :twisted:

As there was a Yeti placed in each of the three solo Quests, it seems at least one deadly encounter was intended. Only great luck can avoid it. That being the case, I feel the Frozen Horror introductory passage cited above is flawed in three ways:
  • First, new players shouldn't be practically forced to 'lose' (they may be discouraged and quit the game entirely).
  • Second, if only two players can play, it ain't much fun at least one time if one is likely to die without a chance to recognize the threat and properly deal with it .
  • Third, it isn't very likely a Barbarian can catch up with an experienced party of Heroes if he repeatedly loses all his equipment upon death with nobody to claim his lost items and treasure for him. (Those mercenaries better not die.)
I haven't yet played this Quest Pack, so I'm not speaking from experience. Am I off-base here?

EDIT: It gets worse! The introductory pages forbid the Barbarian from hiring Mercenaries in the first 3 solo Quests. D'oh! :smack:
Last edited by Daedalus on Saturday June 9th, 2012 8:14pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Yeti in soloquest = instadeath

Postby cynthialee » Tuesday January 31st, 2012 10:05pm

I have never played this one so I have no hands on experiance.

Looks like you have found a design flaw.

Looseing the hug ability or giving the Barbarian a dice roll bassed on Body points to break the grip would probably balance it out.
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.
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Re: Yeti in soloquest = instadeath

Postby drathe » Tuesday January 31st, 2012 11:48pm

A Yeti in a solo quest is one point of proof that FH was never play tested. I've never played it with a beginning Barbarian. Only one who had been through the GS, KK, OH and WM. They've always had a crossbow and played strategically. Once I tried to be a bastiferous Zargon and have an Ice Gremlin steal the crossbow, but it wasn't able to make its escape. Since then, I've felt it best to let them keep their crossbows during solo the FH solo quests. Living Heroes play more quests. ;)
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Re: Yeti in soloquest = instadeath

Postby sadkitchen » Wednesday February 1st, 2012 11:22am

For further proof of the un-playtested-ness of the quest pack, look at the wandering monsters. The 2 Polar Warbears that pop up each time in the final quest is the best. I also have never played the pack but two 8 dice attacks sounds playable to me.

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Re: Yeti in soloquest = instadeath

Postby Daedalus » Sunday February 5th, 2012 1:15pm

cynthialee wrote:I have never played this one so I have no hands on experiance.

Looks like you have found a design flaw.

Looseing the hug ability or giving the Barbarian a dice roll bassed on Body points to break the grip would probably balance it out.

Someone else pointed this out before, I merely detailed the crime.
If the hug ability was nixxed, then I wonder what to replace it with? Abominable breath? :P
I think rolling combat dice based on Body Points works fine, and I'd probably go with that. Or just switch out the Yeti altogether for the solo Quests.
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Re: Yeti in soloquest = instadeath

Postby Nerrad72 » Monday March 5th, 2012 8:39am

Intriguing,

Haven't played the solo quests either. I expect a well-experienced, perhaps wealthy, barbarian with numerous potions would be able to complete the quests. Even with the misfortune of meeting the the yeti each time.

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Re: Yeti in soloquest = instadeath

Postby Daedalus » Monday March 5th, 2012 4:03pm

Makes me wonder if Heroes should be allowed 2 attacks in high-difficulty Quest Packs like the Warbears. I'd make 'em pay for it, of course.
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Re: Yeti in soloquest = instadeath

Postby mako-heart » Monday March 5th, 2012 5:22pm

you are right in the sense that the hug is a broke ability but a good GM always can play around it it can be broken in my games buy rolling your attack dice with two skulls or more but that does not count as damage just you are free from the hug. the FH and Mage of the Mirror I belive were not play tested at all the yeti has a meager 5 bp but the Ogre in the Elf pack has 10bp and 6 atk; The giant wolf has 6 atk and 5bp but i guess the elf has some hope with hypnotic blaze or slow...
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Re: Yeti in soloquest = instadeath

Postby Thrawn » Wednesday April 11th, 2012 11:18am

drathe wrote:A Yeti in a solo quest is one point of proof that FH was never play tested. I've never played it with a beginning Barbarian. Only one who had been through the GS, KK, OH and WM. They've always had a crossbow and played strategically. Once I tried to be a bastiferous Zargon and have an Ice Gremlin steal the crossbow, but it wasn't able to make its escape. Since then, I've felt it best to let them keep their crossbows during solo the FH solo quests. Living Heroes play more quests. ;)


Playing through the solo quests with a Barbarian who was a verteran of the initial quests, KK, and RotWL, I still killed the barbarian in quest 2 with a hug. We decided not to count the solo quests for anything and to just play through. Quest 1 and 3 were survived due to good rolling by the barb when fighting the yeti. Yetis were a constant source of issues throughout the campagin though. As Zargon, I decided to use yetis to kill mercs whenever possible, in order to avoid killing players.


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Re: Yeti in soloquest = instadeath

Postby Jewels! » Friday June 14th, 2013 5:04am

Ran into this problem today too. I hadn't run this quest in several years but I seem to recall the same thing happened back then.

Was this module really not playtested? Because I can absolutely believe that it wasn't. The monsters in this one are hideously overpowered, next to impossible without amazing luck and foreknowledge on a solo quest, and it instantly ruined the fun for both of us.


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