Monster's defend dice

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Monster's defend dice

Postby sajungzak » Monday February 1st, 2016 10:19pm

I've often thought about how HeroQuest can be too easy sometimes. This is an attempt to fix that without changing anything. Well, hardly. Just the primary mechanic of The Game itself.

How many of you have tried playing monsters defending with white shields? How did it go?

I figured it wouldn't be that different. Go from one out of six to two out of six, or, one out of three per die. I play tested it by myself and the difference was barely noticeable, except when there is three or more defend dice.

Then the big baddies are a bit harder and tend to last longer. I played with these rules with some family over the holidays. I showed them the Skull :skull: for a hit, the Shield :whiteshield: for a block, and the Walrus :blackshield: which means nothing. I didn't tell them it was a house rule. They only get to play once a year and always need a refresher... One hero who had played before, part way through, asked, "Really? Fimir defends on White shields?"

We all had fun, and nobody complained about it being too easy. Or too hard. What do you think? It's like having beginner and advanced versions, no?
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Re: Monster's defend dice

Postby clmckay » Monday February 1st, 2016 11:45pm

I've used the Blue Dice (2 Black Shield, 1 White Shield) in that capacity on occasion. It's been awhile since we played the Game System or KK/RotWL, but I don't remember doing that there. However, I use that tactic much more frequently in custom quests. Definitely ramps up the challenge quite a bit. For an extra challenge use the Doomguards ability (defends all on Single Black Shield) with the Blue Dice (or on a White Shield if you don't have them). That really increases the challenge level for boss enemies.

The Heroes generally seem to enjoy a solid challenge over a cake walk, do I certainly applaud doing that to keep a quest from being so easy it's boring.


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Re: Monster's defend dice

Postby Anderas » Tuesday February 2nd, 2016 1:34am

It basically makes the game longer.
For difficulty, you can achieve the same by giving the Monsters more BP or more gang members. More BP is preferred from a balancing point of view, as it reduces surprises. More gang members changes the least of the rules.


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Re: Monster's defend dice

Postby Count Mohawk » Tuesday February 2nd, 2016 2:11am

clmckay wrote:For an extra challenge use the Doomguards ability (defends all on Single Black Shield) with the Blue Dice (or on a White Shield if you don't have them). That really increases the challenge level for boss enemies.

I try to be circumspect about who gets that combination of abilities. Even if the boss has only 4 dice, he still has an 80% chance of completely blocking any given attack. And with 6 dice the odds climb to 91%! Pretty much the only way to kill enemies like those in a timely manner is with Fire spells and other direct-damage abilities.


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Re: Monster's defend dice

Postby The Admiral » Tuesday February 2nd, 2016 5:05am

It's a balancing mechanic that will definitely work if you think it is necessary, but in large quests with many powerful monsters, where there will be lots of monster defence dice rolled it will have a massive impact. You are getting twice as many body points defended, so in a small quest the monsters might get to roll say 60 defence and will save 10 hits with black shields. That 20 hits saved with white shields. Only 10 extra. But in a big quest 360 gives 120 instead of 60. That's 60 extra! And because those powerful monsters are defending more, they are sticking around longer and getting even greater benefit from their improved defence dice.
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Re: Monster's defend dice

Postby Anderas » Tuesday February 2nd, 2016 7:56am

No, the white shield defense / the blue die defense is a nice option for some advanced monsters and to have some alternatives that look interesting when you encounter them the first time;
or to keep the low level monsters longer in the game when the Heroes already have good equipment.

But to blindly exchange the defense by another, without looking at the consequences, would be a failure for sure! I advertise for Mohawk's Questimator. That's a tool where you can combine all the options into a new quest:
Some Monsters with blue dice, some with more BP than normal, some rooms with more monsters than normal... and you have it 100% under control.


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Re: Monster's defend dice

Postby mitchiemasha » Tuesday February 2nd, 2016 10:23am

Has the potential to lock the game in certain points, with all attacks simply been defended.

If you're playing American stat monsters I wouldn't say it was too easy. Unless your group simply milk the mechanics to advantage, which as they're irregular I doubt. A lot of my mods make it harder for a group who play that way. Like Chaos Tokens from advanced HeroQuest.


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Re: Monster's defend dice

Postby clmckay » Tuesday February 2nd, 2016 10:29am

mitchiemasha wrote:Has the potential to lock the game in certain points, with all attacks simply been defended.

If you're playing American stat monsters I wouldn't say it was too easy. Unless your group simply milk the mechanics to advantage, which as they're irregular I doubt. A lot of my mods make it harder for a group who play that way. Like Chaos Tokens from advanced HeroQuest.



It really only has the potential to lock the game if you're crazy as a GM.

For certain Boss Monsters. Giving them an artifact that needs to be recovered that grants them this ability, it a decent storytelling mechanic. If you give them 3 Defend Dice and 3 Body points, it adds challenge but has never locked the game. At least for me.


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Re: Monster's defend dice

Postby cynthialee » Tuesday February 2nd, 2016 11:04am

I do it all the time. Makes the quest a bit harder. I'd say it increases the chance for a wipe substantially. I win about 40% of the time and the heroes win about 60%.
Now some quests are nigh impossible if you use this mechanic and number of monsters will need to be pared down a tad.
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: Monster's defend dice

Postby mitchiemasha » Tuesday February 2nd, 2016 11:18am

clmckay wrote:
For certain Boss Monsters. Giving them an artifact that needs to be recovered that grants them this ability, it a decent storytelling mechanic. If you give them 3 Defend Dice and 3 Body points, it adds challenge but has never locked the game. At least for me.


That is exactly what I'd do over giving all monsters defends on shields. My comment was my opinion on the OP.

The defends on white shields is great as a special shield a monster has or an EW spell etc.


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