There and Back Again: When do YOU end the Quest?

Discuss the Rules of HeroQuest as set out by Milton Bradley Game Systems and Quest Packs.

There and Back Again: When do YOU end the Quest?

Postby GimmeYerGold » Saturday December 5th, 2015 3:09pm

Question 1: What is your opinion of the "return to the stairs to end the Quest" rule?

For Quests with only one way in/ and one way out, (usually the spiral stairs) the system rules indicate that the Quest is not over until all the surviving Heroes have returned to the starting point. Of course, in most cases, the dungeon will be cleared of all monsters, hidden traps are revealed-- this would make for a very uneventful trip back for both the evil wizard and the heroes!

Many players forgo this trip back, and house rule that they may end the Quest successfully as soon as the objective is met.

Here at the Inn, we've come up for many solutions of what Morcar/Zargon can do to challenge the Heroes when no monsters are on the board, whether this is by the addition of The Evil Wizard deck: http://english.yeoldeinn.com/downloads/ ... wizard.pdf or a random events table: http://yeoldeinn-heroquest.blogspot.com ... earer.html Does this make a return trip worthwhile to play though?

Question 2: If you houserule that the Heroes may end the quest as soon as the objective is met, does the addition of random events/an evil wizard deck, etc. change your opinion of a return trip to the stairs?

If the Heroes must strategize their survival not just to complete the objective, but to return alive after navigating challenges on the return trip, it could make for some exciting tension, and put less emphasis on the quest objective to serve as the climax, so that if the boss battle is not as epic as you would have hoped, the return trip could be what is remembered as a greater challenge for the Heroes!

I've played through some quests with the solo tool Game Master, http://aginsinn.yeoldeinn.com/gamemaster/index.html adhering to the "return to the stairs rule" and using some of my own Evil Wizard cards to create events/wandering monsters etc. during those turns when no monsters are on the board. I found this created utility for certain underused spells like veil of mist, and pass through rock to allow some exciting moments when a Hero needed to sneak past monsters to reach the exit, or critically-wounded Heroes would exit early, while others stayed behind to help others. Sometimes, a hero might die on the way out, and others would have to hang back to collect their belongings, or lose them forever! A hero might even make a noble sacrifice to save another, knowing that their lost life will do more to help the others escape alive. After all, the player can create a new hero, and even utilize the recovered equipment, and a cool story comes out of it!

I argue that playing by the return-to-the-stairs-rule can give you more "bang for your buck," instead of relying on a sprawling dungeon, or putting all your hopes on special monsters to offer up a challenge, the return trip back can offer its own variety of hazards, and memorable moments. I felt like this is how the Quest designers and rule makers intended the game to be played, as certain mechanics are underutilized when a return trip is skipped, however, the return trip could use help in boosting its "fun factor." :2cents:
Anyway, what do you think?


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Re: There and Back Again: When do YOU end the Quest?

Postby Goblin-King » Saturday December 5th, 2015 3:35pm

We play that the heroes must return to the stairs as per the rules.
to be honest I don't think its a problem at all. If everything is cleared it shouldn't take more than a quick session of power rolling to run for the stairs.
Also there might be an undiscovered trap lurking on the return trip. I hope somebody steps into it. This won't happen if I allow them to teleport out of the dungeon.

This is also my opinion in regard to the many suggestions for "run" rules.
I just don't think it's necessary. If the discovered dungeon is cleared and they have to backtrack to the other end, it's not more than a couple of minutes of quickly rolling dice and moving.
Sure it's not the most exciting part of the game, but it does add that sense of being lost in maze-like catacombs, and it's quickly over anyways.

In addition there are a lot of things you can do in custom quests to avoid this problem without adding new rules.
* You can add a different exit like in KK with the entry and exit doors.
* You can block off the way the heroes came and force them to discover another route back.
* Trigger some event when the objective is complete. The immortal iron golem comes alive and chases the heroes.


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Re: There and Back Again: When do YOU end the Quest?

Postby Anderas » Saturday December 5th, 2015 4:35pm

If there is actually something to do on the way back, I would play it. If it is my own quest, i'd rather invent something than letting them roll five times in a row.

The temple is breaking down.
The lava, water, Zombies are flooding the rooms.
Something scripted and tested has to happen, however, if it is hunting the heroes in the lava style, it has to have a speed of maximum 6, better 5 or less so they can outrun it with normal chances.

I am not at all a fan of using random dicing tables to generate additional monsters. They have to be taken into account during the quest design phase or they shall not be there. Imagine you generate and calculate and test a quest until it is just perfect, hard, but not a autokill... and then there are some unplanned monsters appearing. Anticlimax. Total Group Wipe. No way.

So, to conclude, I wouldn't generate random events on the way out, but to have something interesting planned for the way back: I am all for it!

In this regard I think Barak Torr is a very good quest, and the rescue of Sir Ragnar. KK is also good as it mostly has the exit somewhere else than the entry.

If there is nothing, I would skip it, too.


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Re: There and Back Again: When do YOU end the Quest?

Postby Goblin-King » Saturday December 5th, 2015 5:05pm

Anderas wrote:I am not at all a fan of using random dicing tables to generate additional monsters. They have to be taken into account during the quest design phase or they shall not be there. Imagine you generate and calculate and test a quest until it is just perfect, hard, but not a autokill... and then there are some unplanned monsters appearing. Anticlimax. Total Group Wipe. No way.

So, to conclude, I wouldn't generate random events on the way out, but to have something interesting planned for the way back: I am all for it!

I agree very much with this |_P

But the thing about letting them skip back to the stairs if there is nothing left, is that it ruins the surprise when there ARE. If they are rold they can NOT teleport out, they know something is up.
The players should NEVER ask "are we done"? Idunno! Go back to the stairs and see for yourself.
Maybe it's a boring walk, maybe its a zombie invasion? You'll never know.


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Re: There and Back Again: When do YOU end the Quest?

Postby Redav » Saturday December 5th, 2015 5:24pm

I finish the quest when it's been completed and there's nothing left to reveal because it's essentially a waste of time for them to roll their way back to the start. They usually do all their searching on the way and go everywhere so it's not as though there's a chance of wandering monsters appearing.
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Re: There and Back Again: When do YOU end the Quest?

Postby GimmeYerGold » Saturday December 5th, 2015 5:34pm

Goblin-King wrote:
Anderas wrote:I am not at all a fan of using random dicing tables to generate additional monsters. They have to be taken into account during the quest design phase or they shall not be there. Imagine you generate and calculate and test a quest until it is just perfect, hard, but not a autokill... and then there are some unplanned monsters appearing. Anticlimax. Total Group Wipe. No way.

So, to conclude, I wouldn't generate random events on the way out, but to have something interesting planned for the way back: I am all for it!

I agree very much with this |_P

But the thing about letting them skip back to the stairs if there is nothing left, is that it ruins the surprise when there ARE. If they are rold they can NOT teleport out, they know something is up.
The players should NEVER ask "are we done"? Idunno! Go back to the stairs and see for yourself.
Maybe it's a boring walk, maybe its a zombie invasion? You'll never know.


The Evil Wizard player, when the Heroes have accomplished the Quest objective and decide to search for more treasure, and open unexplored rooms on their way back to the exit:

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Re: There and Back Again: When do YOU end the Quest?

Postby knightkrawler » Saturday December 5th, 2015 7:26pm

There might be something happening on the way back.
As I'm introducing Morcar cards next time I'm having cards printed, I'm gonna have more options and random events to surprise the *fragglers*.
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Re: There and Back Again: When do YOU end the Quest?

Postby Count Mohawk » Sunday December 6th, 2015 12:38am

I have been writing most of my Quests such that the last objective of the Quest tends to be near an exit door, which neatly sidesteps the backtracking issue. For those that don't have such a convenient method of escape, however, I usually allow for a quick escape back to the entrance door. If I want something to happen after the boss dies or whatever, I'll make sure it's in the Quest Notes so the Heroes find out about it before they try to teleport away.

A more moderate method, rather than instantaneous escape, would be to allow the Heroes to "take 12" when backtracking - but only if no Monsters are on the board, of course.


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Re: There and Back Again: When do YOU end the Quest?

Postby Maike05 » Sunday December 6th, 2015 7:41am

I don't play the going back to stairs part. I think it's a waste of time. I prefer the désigne of the Kellar's keep quests where you actually have to find the way to the next level.


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Re: There and Back Again: When do YOU end the Quest?

Postby cynthialee » Sunday December 6th, 2015 1:17pm

It depends on the quest, the players and the events of the dungeon.
Most of the time when the quest objective is accomplished and it is pretty clear there will be no real resistance I call it and we wrap it up.
But if there are complications to getting out of the dungeon or just 1 or 2 survivors I will make them battle their way out of the dungeon.
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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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