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Alternative EU quest maps - in case all Heroes die...

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Alternative EU quest maps - in case all Heroes die...

Postby Zenithfleet » Saturday December 29th, 2012 8:49am

G'day and slightly late season's greetings to you all :)

Inspired by joec's alternative Questbooks for the North American edition, I've created some new maps for the quests in the European base game. If your Heroes fail a quest and need to replay, hopefully these maps will provide a bit of variety.

I'll post the maps as PNGs in this thread. (I can also supply them as Heroscribe XML files.)

So far I've created new maps for all the Quests in the EU base game except for #1a (The Maze), #12 and #14 (the Barak Tor quests, which I'm frankly nervous about messing with), and #10 (Castle of Mystery, which doesn't need changing for obvious reasons).

You'll notice that the basic layout of each new map is quite similar to the official version - I explain why below.

I haven't playtested these yet, so please let me know if you spot any problems!

---
General notes about the alternative EU quest maps

These new maps are designed to work with the existing Quest Notes in the EU Questbook. They're designed for use when the Heroes fail to complete a Quest (e.g. because they all die) and must retry it.

I've assumed that the Heroes are re-entering the same dungeon they failed to complete a few days or weeks later - or a new band of Heroes is attempting to succeed where their more experienced fellows failed...

The monsters won't have had time to rebuild the whole dungeon, so most of the rooms, corridors and furniture will be in the same place. However, the creatures are likely to have done some hasty spring cleaning -- moving any treasure or prisoners to a new location in the dungeon, posting guards and patrols in different places, digging a few new secret tunnels, and so on.

Because of this, the rooms, corridors and furniture usually match the official EU quests, but the monster, trap and treasure/objective placements have changed.

I've tried to be a bit sneaky and use the players' prior knowledge of the dungeon against them. For instance, they might go looking for the treasure room they found last time, but instead walk into an ambush. Because of this, these maps probably aren't the best choice for the first time a Quest is played. I'd recommend letting players attempt the official Quests first, then using these new maps as 'backup' in case they need to retry.

Most of these Quests should be roughly on par with their official counterparts in terms of difficulty. They usually feature the same number of monsters and traps, just in different places. (The exception is Quest #9, Race Against Time, because I've always found it pretty dull and wanted to give it a bit of a kick up the pants.)

[jump to recovered images -edit]
Last edited by Daedalus on Wednesday March 7th, 2018 4:54pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Added links
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Re: Alternative EU quest maps - in case all Heroes die...

Postby Zenithfleet » Saturday December 29th, 2012 9:01am

Alternative map for Quest 1 - The Trial
Image

Same basic layout, but different monster and treasure placement. Notice that Verag has left his throne room to go worship at the altar of his dark gods. Probably to complain that the last bunch of Heroes were too feeble to be any challenge, and could he please be sent some tougher ones. He may be about to get his wish...
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Re: Alternative EU quest maps - in case all Heroes die...

Postby Zenithfleet » Saturday December 29th, 2012 9:09am

Alt map for Quest 2 - The Rescue of Sir Ragnar
Image

Quick ladz, let's dig out a new cell in which ta stash da puny 'ooman so da next lot of stoopid adventurers won't find 'im... Hey, dat gives me an idea. Oi, Snagitz! Grab dem leftovers from dinner last night an' put 'em in the old cell. 'S gone stale anyhow. Don't worry ladz, fresh meat's on the way. Hur hur hur...
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Re: Alternative EU quest maps - in case all Heroes die...

Postby Zenithfleet » Saturday December 29th, 2012 9:12am

Alt map for Quest 3 - Lair of the Orc Warlord

Image

I've always really liked the compact layout of this one, so didn't try anything fancy. Ulag seems to have become a bit paranoid and barricaded himself in the broom cupboard though...
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Re: Alternative EU quest maps - in case all Heroes die...

Postby Zenithfleet » Saturday December 29th, 2012 9:17am

Alt map for Quest 4 - Prince Magnus' Gold

Image

Never much liked this one - just a lot of empty rooms and doorways, plus a pointless 'outlaw' penalty. I've tried to knock it up a notch with a blast from my spice weasel. (BAM!) Hopefully there's at least a chance that the Heroes will pick up the chests while there are still monsters on the board, so that the one-die-for-movement rule actually gets used. Meanwhile, Gulthor is clearly following Ulag's sterling example, having retreated with the treasure to a more secure location.
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Re: Alternative EU quest maps - in case all Heroes die...

Postby Zenithfleet » Saturday December 29th, 2012 9:25am

Alt map for Quest 5 - Melar's Maze

Image

Oh boy oh boy oh boy. Oh no oh no oh no. Mucking around with Melar's Maze is like redecorating a church with spraypaint. (Well, maybe not quite.) I love love love this Quest, and it was nerve-wracking to figure out how to revamp it. The throne puzzle, for instance, is clever the first time, when people aren't yet used to searching, but tedious the second time when you know what to do.

The solution I hit upon was to assume that the Heroes made it a fair way into the Maze on their previous try. (There's not much to hurt them early on, after all). Because of this, some of the tricks and traps have already been set off - the falling block has fallen, and the throne has moved to reveal a door. Of course, the Maze has a few other tricks up its metaphorical sleeve... For instance, will the Heroes work out that they can make the throne move again? (And where did that fireplace come from? The Maze moves in mysterious ways!)
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Re: Alternative EU quest maps - in case all Heroes die...

Postby Zenithfleet » Saturday December 29th, 2012 9:35am

Alt map for Quest 6 - Legacy of the Orc Warlord

Image

This one assumes that the Heroes tried to escape once, failed, and were thrown back in their cell - under heavier guard this time. Busting out through the door will be tough - better to take the long way round.

Meanwhile, Grak is over in the 'guest chamber' busy rummaging through his collection of, ahem, 'hospitality facilitation implements'. If only he could remember where he put that swirly metal thing with the clockwork spikes...

More tomorrow - must go do that sleep thing now.
Last edited by Zenithfleet on Sunday December 30th, 2012 12:43am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Alternative EU quest maps - in case all Heroes die...

Postby TMU » Saturday December 29th, 2012 11:00am

As we have been playing, our players haven't died on these first quests, have you done like this to expansions?
"There is no greater danger than playing it safe."


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Re: Alternative EU quest maps - in case all Heroes die...

Postby Zenithfleet » Sunday December 30th, 2012 12:10am

TMU wrote:As we have been playing, our players haven't died on these first quests, have you done like this to expansions?


Not yet... give me time ;)

Anyway, I thought it was traditional for first-time HeroQuest players to be slaughtered the first time they play The Trial. :twisted:

By the way, you could also use these alternative maps if the players ever need to go back to a dungeon they completed earlier. For instance, when we started playing through Return of the Witch Lord, everybody died in the Spirit Rider quest and lost all their equipment - including the Spirit Blade, which is kind of important in that quest pack. :roll: We decided that the Blade would magically return to the ruined temple where we originally found it, so we took a break from RotWL and replayed the 'Quest for the Spirit Blade' (base game quest #13). This also gave us a chance to gain some gold for equipment before continuing RotWL.

Luckily it had been years since any of us played that Quest so we couldn't remember where the Blade was. If I'd had an alternative map available at the time, though, I'd definitely have used it then.

Anyway, on with the maps! Here's Quest 7 - The Stone Hunter:

Image

Sadly, this alternative map still provides no explanation for who the Stone Hunter actually is. :?
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Re: Alternative EU quest maps - in case all Heroes die...

Postby Zenithfleet » Sunday December 30th, 2012 12:23am

Alt map for Quest 8 - The Fire Mage:

Image

Again, this map assumes the Heroes have already met Balur in the first room in their previous attempt. (Note that the XX square is where Balur starts and the X square is where he's placed after he runs through the wall.)
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