Traps on the other side of the door

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

Re: Traps on the other side of the door

Postby Pancho » Monday April 16th, 2018 4:57pm

Some of the very best quests I've been involved in were when the heroes got seperated by falling block traps.
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Re: Traps on the other side of the door

Postby Daedalus » Thursday May 3rd, 2018 5:47pm

Maurice76 wrote:As I was browsing through the various quest books, I noticed how especially the Elf Pack seemed to feature traps directly behind doors - including Falling Block Traps, sometimes even at a door to a room that has no other exits.

According to the official rules, you can only search for traps in the same room or hallway as the character doing the search. I've searched the forums, but couldn't find much about this specific topic. As it is, with the official rules, traps behind doors are pretty much sure-fire traps. The Falling Block Traps are especially deadly in this respect, if there is no other exit and the Hero decides to jump sideways instead of backwards through the door he came into the room (a backwards move which by the EU rules is actually forbidden). In my opinion, this seems to make those traps more dangerous than elsewhere on the board.

Also, it seems a bit ... weird that a Hero wouldn't be able to search a tile directly on the other side of the threshold, while at the same time if a Hero stands on one corner of the long hallway at the outer edge of the board and there's a trap all the way in the other far corner, that the Hero would be able to detect it by searching just fine.

Thoughts? Or if I am late to that party, where has this particular issue been discussed before?


I'm considering a house rule during play to allow Heroes to check tiles directly behind a door - but that doesn't remedy the situation if there are monsters on the other side, as that prevents searches of any kind.

You bring up some good points. I'll take a stab at some.

    "According to the official rules, you can only search for traps in the same room or hallway as the character doing the search. I've searched the forums, but couldn't find much about this specific topic."
You're right as far as the EU rules handle searches. You're also justified in surmising the same for the NA rules, but the actual wording on p.18 under How A Hero Searches For Traps is problematic:

    You must first verbally declare your search. Do so by saying, “I am searching for traps.” Zargon will then tell you which squares, if any, have traps. He will NOT, however, put any trap tiles out on the board. At this time, they are concealed and unsprung.
Unlike a search for secret doors that specifies ". . . located in the room or corridor . . .," the limits of a search for traps is left open for interpretation. (A search for traps also doesn't state not to move your Hero figure when you search.) As worded, it's possible to simultaneously search two corridors for traps from the square(s) where they intersect. It's also possible to search for traps through an open door into a corridor. However, a search into a room is specifically prohibited by a note in the next paragraph:

    Warning: There are some traps in a room that have been placed directly on the other side of a door. Beware! The first Hero to enter the room through that door will encounter the traps and suffer damage! Note: As a Hero, you cannot search for these traps by looking through the door. You must be in the room to search for any traps in it.
In my opinion, it's a clear fail to only prohibit a search through a doorway in one direction but not the other with no logical support or game need backing it up. KISS would indicate a better interpretation that parallels a search for secret doors: searching for traps is limited to the room or corridor the Hero is in. This also would require a Hero at intersecting corridors to declare which of the two corridors he was searching.

Some (like yourself) prefer a trap beyond a door to be found by dropping the last note section. That small distinction is reasonable, in my opinion. Secret doors are found on walls and are thus are naturally accessed from the room or corridor the Hero is in. I believe a trap, on the other hand, would likely be found from an adjacent space (often through assumed movement.) There's no strong logic supporting why that square space can't be located in an adjacent room or corridor.

As you may be aware, others have houseruled a search for traps beyond a door requires the searching figure to be adjacent to the trap at the door. You had mentioned earlier in this thread that you preferred the EU rules for searching and planned to use them. That would allow searching with monsters present in the trapped room, as the searcher was outside. Another restriction you could try with this EU possibility is to deny movement when searching through a door. That would leave a searcher vulnerable to attack if he insisted on this tactic while exposed to a monster threat.

    ". . . traps behind doors are pretty much sure-fire traps. . . ."
Pass Through Rock and a Potion of Vision had been mentioned as preventative measures, but there are a couple of other options provided in the EQP to counter those doorway traps and allow the Elf to shine. The Elven Cloak is a three-use Treasure Card that works like Pass Through Rock and will often be available. Forsight is available as an Elf spell and allows any Hero (even a front-line Barbarian or Dwarf) to replay his entire turn. Also, the Air Walk potion Treasure Card, used in conjunction with a Potion of Vision, allows a Hero to pass a floor trap behind a door without springing it.

    ". . . (a backwards move which by the EU rules is actually forbidden)".
Only the EU first edition contains this rule. The EU second edition doesn't prohibit moving into the same square twice on the same turn. Apart from that, I agree with mitchiemasha and The Admiral that the compulsory move from a falling block trap within a doorway would also allow movement back out of the room.

    "Also, it seems a bit ... weird that a Hero wouldn't be able to search a tile directly on the other side of the threshold, while at the same time if a Hero stands on one corner of the long hallway at the outer edge of the board and there's a trap all the way in the other far corner, that the Hero would be able to detect it by searching just fine.

    Thoughts? Or if I am late to that party, where has this particular issue been discussed before?"
Something related was discussed years back by Infje, found in the second quoted block of this post and the response.
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Re: Traps on the other side of the door

Postby Daedalus » Thursday May 3rd, 2018 6:26pm

Maurice76 wrote:I understand what you mean, but it steps over the possibility of monsters standing in the hallway that branches off of that long one. In fact, any T-split in the hallway could lead to this issue: traps discovered in the second part, beyond the T-split, without triggering monsters in the side hallway seems weird.

I also discussed traps-way-down-the-corridor issue as a response to a Goblin-King quote in this post. Later in the same topic at this post I worked up a houserule that could also apply to your dilemma:

    Any trap or secret door in a room or
    corridor may be searched for and
    found if no monster is visible and
    able to reach the Hero on its turn,
    and moving to the trap or secret
    door wouldn't make such a monster
    visible.
Maurice76 wrote:. . . Personally I would prefer "fun" over being a sadistic, evil Evil Wizard, so I guess I will have to wing it on some of these situations. I can imagine my friends don't really enjoy unavoidable traps, anyway.

One thing that I didn't stop to consider yet, is that traps directly behind a door might be designed to stop the first Hero who enters in his tracks, easing up the damage potential against the monsters in that room. The EW gets a bit more firepower to bring to bear against the players that way in his first turn after that trap is triggered.

That's why I'd favor allowing an adjacent search for a trap inside a doorway over striking the trap out of the Quest entirely. The Dwarf or another Hero with a tool kit still needs to move onto the trapped square in order to disarm it. That's gotta hurt if monsters are in the room. Jumping a found trap is an option that hurts if you fail, ending your turn early. Either way, a defensive door-guarding action is prevented.
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Re: Traps on the other side of the door

Postby Maurice76 » Friday May 4th, 2018 4:49am

Thanks for your thoughts and links, Daedalus. They prove insightful.

However, your house rule doesn't really deal with the situations of finding traps and secret doors that are beyond an intersection - an intersection which could have monsters around the corner. Suppose a Hero stands in the lower left corner and the player calls a trap search in the long corridor, while there are as of yet hidden monsters around the corner, I can't really tell the player he can't detect stuff in the far half of the long corridor because of those monsters. It'd be meta-gaming, giving the player information that the Hero wouldn't be able to know. Or, if there aren't any monsters and I detail the situation on the far half of the long corridor, I would inadvertently tell the player that there aren't any monsters in the side corridor.

As such, I do like your idea of cutting the four outer corridors in half each, where the Heroes can only search in any of those given sections and not in the entire corridor. The only tiles then getting covered in two searches would be the tiles at the four corners and the ones at the intersections. I am fine with that, as it makes logical sense.

With regards to my original question, I think I will wing it in such a way that the falling block traps specifically can be detected by inspecting the door (i.e. searching for traps in the room or corridor on the other side of that door will reveal there's something fishy about the door), while I will leave any other traps "as is", according to the rules.

Edit: As an aside, I plan to use Slev's advanced HQ rules, I just don't fully know them by heart ;). One thing I do plan to modify is treasure searches. It has always irked me how those searches work in corridors, given how flexible they can be modified with wall tiles. The group I am going to play with is likely going to stick together most of the time, so I am going to disallow searches in halls and corridors, but allow them to search each room like the NA rules state: each Hero can search each room once. The consideration here is that the Heroes, as a group, simultaneously search a room after it has been cleared of enemies. I'll need to evaluate what this means in terms of total number of treasure searches in a given dungeon, though, starting with the base games' missions.
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Re: Traps on the other side of the door

Postby Daedalus » Friday May 4th, 2018 5:59pm

I actually plan to use sectioned corridors, but the houserule in my last post is probationary; maybe it will be more trouble than it's worth. Both rules may be used together or separately.

If the latter houserule is to be used alone, Zargon should only disclose any traps (or secret doors) in the near half of the corridor before the unrevealed monsters, leaving the Heroes to assume the entire corridor has been searched. After a Hero "looks" down the double corridor, the hidden monsters are revealed and only then are the Heroes told that the remainder of the outer corridor requires a further search. After they learn how the houserule operates, they should no longer be cued for the additional search.
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