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Effect of Loud Noises caused by combats or other causes.

Discuss new Rules for HeroQuest.

Effect of Loud Noises caused by combats or other causes.

Postby HispaZargon » Saturday January 7th, 2023 11:02pm

Hi, I have searched a bit through the Inn and I have not found (surprisingly) any dedicated discussion about this topic, so I decided to open a new thread for it.

I recently shared on this post some vanilla homebrew rules for the most common firearms in Warhammer universe, trying to introduce them in the HeroQuest games if somebody wanted to, and another question arised: what happens with the loud noise caused by a firearm when fired inside a dungeon? Should it alert monsters from unexplored areas of the board, giving to Zargon player the chance to open closed doors, and sudden place new monsters in the board from such areas? Well... this led me to think about it and analyse if the loud noise caused by heroes (not only by firing a firearm, just entering in close combat with other monster would be enough to alert the rest, I think) could be homebrewed in some way, so here I will share my first conclussions.

Well, first of all I would like to say that of course I consider the next paragraphs a kind of Advanced Rule for HeroQuest. I know the oficial rules system was intentionally designed to be simple, not trying to cover any kind of realistic situations like the one I am talking on this post, BUT after thinking about it, I think could worth introducing some mechanics for it.

When I started thinking about how to homebrew this, the first approach that came to my mind was the first most obvious one: "if a loud noise is generated elsewhere in the board, for example caused by a combat beteen a Hero and a monster, monsters from any unexplored adjacent area (rooms or corridors) to the one where the noise happens could open any closed door and access where the Hero is fighting." Simple, right? Well... of course I guess no. I see that this kind of rule would be extremely breaking, none of the official quests were designed considering it and it will surely cause a lot of weird and unbalanced situations, especially for the heroes, which will see that they do not control the situation in any case. Once they start any combat in the board, will probably open most of the subsequents closed doors, appearing much more monsters at the same time as desired... so I think the rule should be limited in some way.

Then, a second approach came to my mind, to limit the effects of this breaking rule: "Zargon player may decide which closed doors will be opened when a loud noise is heard and which doors not"... a very vanilla solution, and probably a confortable one for many players, BUT... sorry, I don't like the rules which gives infinite powers to Zargon. HeroQuest is not a roleplaying game where the Dungeon Master can do and invent whatever they want, HeroQuest is a board game were I think a set of mostly clear rules should exist for all players, including the Zargon one, to ensure the feeling of fair play between players, even we know it is not a balanced game. Otherwise, the game would not look realistic, just a sequence of Zargon player decissions about the Heroes destiny, which is boring... so again, the heroes will probably think that they don't control the situation, which is not good for the gamming experience, so other solution should be designed also to limit the Zargon player powers, by defining some playing criterion for him.

I honestly had no idea about how to solve it but fortunatelly, the HeroQuest players Community is strong and legendary. I checked again one of our Inn's threads related to this titled "Can Monsters open doors if...?" and Inn's member mitchiemasha gave me on this post a GREAT interpretation of the quest maps, which would help me to solve this, here are his words:

mitchiemasha wrote:
lestodante wrote:basically, don't let monsters open doors but do some exceptions. The master can change rules but do not abuse... only change rules to make the quest more exciting, not to cheat and kill the heroes!

Yes and no... Can't go changing the game willy nilly, that's cheating. A few here agree to adding small minor changes mid game but others seriously frown upon it. If not playing it HeroQuest style EW vs Heroes mid game changes could be allowed but otherwise they'd all have to be prequest.

Monsters can open doors, it would be silly to think that they can't. BUT! That's not what the mechanic represents. People are often confused by this. "why would they wait there" " why wouldn't 1 monster alert all the others, opening the doors" etc! It's not that the doors are 'locked' to monsters, it's that the Quest book dictates an unfolding story, regardless to what ever that story is, the moment the Heroes confront said monsters, will always be in that room.

Upon entering a dungeon, 2 orcs in the 2nd room, could of been in the 4th, rushing towards the Heroes. The Goblin with them could of seen the Heroes enter and ran to alert them. Regardless to what the Heroes do, how long they take, they will always encounter the 2 Orcs and Goblin in the 2nd room. It's up to the players imagination to construct the fantasy around this or non at all.

The time line is replaced by a place line.

'Monsters can't open doors' is just an extremely simple and perfect way to handle the concept. Especially for kids.

Another one "surely the monsters in the next room would hear the heroes!" Who's to say they don't, awaiting an ambush? Who's to say they are even in there yet?


I think mitchiemasha's interpretation about what mean the monster icons in the quest maps is really obvious, but at the same time, very realistic and useful. If we accept that the monsters may not be always placed where the map icons say until they are discovered there by the heroes, this could explain for example why undiscovered monsters do not hear a loud noise generated just at the other side of a door placed in the room or corridor where their icons say they will appear. In other words, I concluded the following: if the monsters could potentially stay in other areas of the dungeon, separated by more than one closed door or wall corners, maybe they could be placed far away at the time the noise is caused, so they will not hear anything and Zargon player would not be able to open such door... then, here we could have the beginning of an objective criterion to establish when Zargon player can open a closed door due to loud noise generated by the Heroes and when not. In the following paragrahps I will explain how I would homebrew it.

So... when undiscovered monsters would be alerted by loud noise and when not?

Firstly, let's explain the meaning of some new concepts:

    - Area: A room or a full length straigth corridor.
    - Heavy Sound Barrier: Walls and Secret Doors. It is considered that they do not transmit sound between areas.
    - Light Sound Barrier: Closed Doors, Corners at Corridors Junctions and Corners at Opened Doors. It is considered that having two light sound barriers is the same as a heavy sound barrier, so it is enough to avoid transmiting sound between the areas connected by those two light barriers.

And now, here are the conditions (in bold) to allow Zargon opening a door by undiscovered monsters or deploying them from an unexplored corridor after hearing loud noise coming from an area (room or corridor):

    1.- The door is not a secret door. -> Secret doors are assumed to be well sealed or made of stone, so they can be considered as heavy sound barriers like any other wall.

    2.- The unexplored area (room or corridor) at the other side of the closed door must show at least one monster in the quest map. -> At least one monster is needed to open the door.

    3.- The unexplored area (room or corridor) at the other side of the light sound barrier cannot have more closed doors, including secret doors, than the one connected to the area where the loud noise is caused, nor any perpendiculary connected corridor. -> Otherwise, if more doors exist inside the unexplored area, the monsters could potentially being placed in a different area, than the one just placed at the other side of the door, at the time the loud noise is caused, so Zargon cannot ensure in any case that they heard the noise since they could be at an area with 2 light sound barriers.

    4.- If the unexplored area at the other side of the light sound barrier is a corridor, this corridor cannot be connected to any other perpendicular corridor at a corridor junction. -> Like closed doors, corner turns at corridors are assumed as light sound barriers, so if one or more corners should be turned through the unexplored corridor, the monsters could potentially being placed in a different corridor, than the one just placed at the other side of the door or corner, at the time the loud noise is caused, so Zargon cannot ensure in any case that they heard the noise since they could be at an area with 2 light sound barriers.

Please, notice that the previous conditions do not cover any other criteria about if the Heroes are being seen by monsters or not. This homebrew rule only consider the effect caused by the loud noise, which of course could be superposed with other official rules of the game.

In the following picture are shown eight examples of how to apply/interpretate this homebrew rule by Zargon player (detailed explanations below):

- Blue area: Where the loud noise is caused.
- Red areas: The monsters inside these areas hear the loud noise, so they may be placed on the board by Zargon, on his turn after the loud noise is caused.
- Yellow areas: The monsters inside these areas could have heard the loud noise, but they may NOT be placed on the board by Zargon because it is not sure that those monsters were there at the time the loud noise was caused, so it is not sure that they heard the noise.
- Green areas: The monsters inside these areas cannot hear the loud noise in any case because they are too far or exist too many sound barriers which reduces the noise volume.

Effects of Loud Noises caused by combats or other causes.jpg

In all the shown examples, a loud noise is caused by a hero in square X due to a fighting against an Orc. Here is their detailed explanations about how Zargon would know if new monsters should be placed on the board due to the noise or not:

EXAMPLE CASE 1:

    - Room A surely has one Orc inside at the time the noise is caused since that monster could not have potentially moved to any other area of the map, so Zargon may open door A during its turn since only one light sound barrier (door A) separates the Orc from the noise.

    - Orcs in room B could potentially have moved to room C before the time the noise is caused, so Zargon cannot guarantee that those Orcs heard the noise since they could be separated by more than one light sound barriers (2 closed doors). Then, Zargon cannot justify opening door B due to the noise.

EXAMPLE CASE 2:

    - Room A surely has one Orc inside at the time the noise is caused since that monster could not have potentially moved to any other area of the map, so Zargon may open door A during its turn since only one light sound barrier (door A) separates the Orc from the noise.

    - Room B surely has two Orcs inside at the time the noise is caused since those monsters could not have potentially moved to any other area of the map, so Zargon may open door B during its turn since only one light sound barrier (door B) separates the Orcs from the noise.

    - Room C surely has three Orcs inside at the time the noise is caused since those monsters could not have potentially moved to any other area of the map, so Zargon may open door C during its turn since only one light sound barrier (door C) separates the Orcs from the noise.

EXAMPLE CASE 3:

    - Orcs in room B could potentially have moved to rooms C or D before the time the noise is caused, so Zargon cannot guarantee that those Orcs heard the noise since they could be separated by more than one light sound barriers (2 or 3 closed doors). Then, Zargon cannot justify opening door B due to the noise.

    - The Orc in room A cannot hear the noise since it is sepparated by more than one light sound barriers (1 corner turn at the opened door and 1 closed door). Then, Zargon cannot justify opening door A due to the noise.

EXAMPLE CASE 4:

    - Orcs in room C could potentially have moved to corridor E before the time the noise is caused, so Zargon cannot guarantee that those Orcs heard the noise since they could be separated by more than one light sound barriers (2 closed doors). Then, Zargon cannot justify opening door C due to the noise.

    - Room B surely has three Orcs inside at the time the noise is caused since those monsters could not have potentially moved to any other area of the map, so Zargon may open door B during its turn since only one light sound barrier (door B) separates the Orcs from the noise.

    - The Orc in corridor A is surely placed there because it cannot move to any other area of the map, however, the Orc cannot hear the noise since it is sepparated by more than one light sound barriers (1 corner turn at the opened door and 1 corner turn at the corridors junction). Then, Zargon cannot justify placing Orc A on the board due to the noise.

EXAMPLE CASE 5:

    - Room A has surely two Orcs inside at the time the noise is caused since those monsters could not have potentially moved to any other area of the map, so Zargon may open door A during its turn since only one light sound barrier (door A) separates the Orcs from the noise.

    - Corridor section C surely has one Orc inside at the time the noise is caused since that monster could not have potentially moved to any other area of the map, so Zargon may place Orc C on the board during its turn since only one light sound barrier (the corner turn at the corridors junction) separates the Orc from the noise.

    - The Orcs in room B cannot hear the noise since they are sepparated by more than one light sound barriers (1 corner turn at the corridors junction and 1 closed door). Then, Zargon cannot justify opening door B due to the noise.

    - Orc in corridor section D could potentially have moved to corridors E, F, G or further ones before the time the noise is caused, so Zargon cannot guarantee that such Orc heard the noise since it could be separated by more than one light sound barriers (2 or more corner turns at corridor junctions). Then, Zargon cannot justify placing Orc A on the board due to the noise.

EXAMPLE CASE 6:

    - Room B surely has three Orcs inside at the time the noise is caused since those monsters could not have potentially moved to any other area of the map, so Zargon may open door B during its turn since only one light sound barrier (door B) separates the Orc from the noise.

    - Corridor section C surely has one Orc inside at the time the noise is caused since that monster could not have potentially moved to any other area of the map, so Zargon may place Orc C on the board during its turn since only one light sound barrier (the corner turn at the corridors junction) separates the Orc from the noise.

    - Orcs in corridor sections D and E could potentially have moved to corridors F, G or further ones before the time the noise is caused, so Zargon cannot guarantee that anyone of those Orcs heard the noise since they could be separated by more than one light sound barriers (2 or more corner turns at corridor junctions). Then, Zargon cannot justify placing on the board Orc D nor Orc E due to the noise.

    - The Orcs in room A cannot hear the noise since they are sepparated by more than one light sound barriers (1 corner turn at the corridors junction and 1 closed door). Then, Zargon cannot justify opening door A due to the noise.

EXAMPLE CASE 7:

    - Orc in corridor section A could potentially have moved to corridors B, C or further ones before the time the noise is caused, so Zargon cannot guarantee that such Orc heard the noise since it could be separated by more than one light sound barriers (2 or more corner turns at corridor junctions). Then, Zargon cannot justify placing Orc A on the board due to the noise.

    - Orc in room D could potentially have moved to room E before the time the noise is caused, so Zargon cannot guarantee that such Orc heard the noise since it could be separated by more than one light sound barriers (2 closed doors). Then, Zargon cannot justify opening door D due to the noise.

    - Room F surely has two Orcs inside at the time the noise is caused since those monsters could not have potentially moved to any other area of the map, so Zargon may open door F during its turn since only one light sound barrier (door F) separates the Orcs from the noise.

    - Corridor section G surely has one Orc inside at the time the noise is caused since that monster could not have potentially moved to any other area of the map, so Zargon may place Orc G on the board during its turn since only one light sound barrier (the corner turn at the corridors junction) separates the Orc from the noise.

EXAMPLE CASE 8:

    - Orc in corridor section A could potentially have moved to corridor section C or room D before the time the noise is caused, so Zargon cannot guarantee that such Orc heard the noise since it could be separated by more than one light sound barriers (2 corner turns at corridor junctions or those 2 corner turns and 1 closed door). Then, Zargon cannot justify placing Orc A on the board due to the noise.

    - The Orcs in room B cannot hear the noise since they are sepparated by more than one light sound barriers (1 corner turn at the corridors junction and 1 closed door). Then, Zargon cannot justify opening door B due to the noise.


My Final Comment:

Well, this objective homebrew rule to reduce the power of Zargon player by limiting the number of monsters that can be placed due to a loud noise, or the number of doors that can be opened, could look too complex, maybe yes... or maybe not because having clear how work the light sound barriers, I see the rule quite intuitive.

Nevertheless, the most important good thing I see with this rule, and the reason I think applying it could worth, is it is a rule that only Zargon player needs to learn it because he is the only one player who can look at the quest maps during the game. I think see this rule an interesting addon because players will have a new risk when fighting a monster by alerting others, but not too much difficult addition for them because the risk of alerting monsters will be reduced in many situations. Nevertheless, playtesting is needed of course, please consider this just a Beta approach.

Opinions? Thanks.
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Re: Effect of Loud Noises caused by combats or other causes

Postby Markus Darwath » Sunday January 8th, 2023 2:54am

If I understand this correctly, one could simplify the wording of rule 3. and 4. by saying the occupied room or corridor adjacent to the noise source must be a dead end. Otherwise, the monsters appearing there would simply be assumed to have arrived just before the heroes encounter them.
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Re: Effect of Loud Noises caused by combats or other causes

Postby HispaZargon » Sunday January 8th, 2023 8:46am

Yes, you understood well!

Pending to be tested, I think it could be a good balanced criterion to allow alerting monsters or not when the noise is generated.

Now, another question that came to my mind is... do the undead monsters "hear" or they only can "see" or none of them? mmmm....


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Re: Effect of Loud Noises caused by combats or other causes.

Postby Markus Darwath » Sunday January 8th, 2023 11:03pm

Wild conjecture: undead possess no physical senses. They detect and respond to living beings by tracking "life force". This tracking only works "line of sight" and not through solid objects. <introduce kludge here to explain how they maneuver around furniture. Maybe they bounce off it like a roomba.>
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