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He is trapped forever! (or is he?)

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

He is trapped forever! (or is he?)

Postby Kurgan » Saturday September 7th, 2019 1:21pm

So this isn't much of a mystery but I was thinking the other day about the "Pass Through Rock" spell... which in my "de-magificified" alchemy rule variation is the "Hyrax Cage" skill.

Anyway, so it says explicitly that if you end your movement inside solid rock, you are trapped forever (ie: dead, can't be revived by the Elixir of Life, etc). There's no way to dig somebody out, there's no explosive device to blow open a tunnel. Even another Hero with a Pass Through Rock ability can't also carry your body out after passing through it.

But then what about those rules lawyers? Is it possible that "Trapped Forever" only refers to those "shaded areas on the quest map designating solid rock" and not say, a piece of furniture or a blocked/double blocked/sprung falling block trap square?

Is it possible that the "Elven Cloak of Passage" would actually allow you an attempt (or two) to escape from this predicament?

I was thinking that in my playing of the game the answer to all this would be "no." Zargon can warn the Hero that he's inside solid rock or another obstruction and give him an opportunity to finish his movement along another path, but that's it. If he ends up, he is declared trapped and his character is effectively dead and out of the Quest. He can start over with another person. A very contrived quest in which they find and dig him out and revive him could be attempted if they really wanted to...


It's magic of course, but in my mind it's like this... "Pass through Rock" either makes the Hero transparent, like he can pass through solid objects (but not the floor, or he'd fall right through the earth) but it won't let him pass monsters like Veil of Mist (unless the two were combined somehow, I guess you could easily with Dust of Disappearance). If the spell effect" ends" while he's inside a wall, then he is suddenly trapped and dies of suffocation inside the rock, or worse... merges with the rock and becomes a statue. Maybe the spell makes the walls like liquid to him and he walks through easily that way, but once the spell is over it solidifies over him and seals his fate (literally).

In my variant, I imagine the Hyrax Cage releases this semi-mythical version of a badger (the world's fastest digger, he don't care). It digs the path and you follow and the wall collapses in behind you. Once you stop moving, the wall would then collapse on top of your head, and you're still dead.

Originally for the Elven Cloak of Passage I was going to re-word the card so that it let you escape if you had another use of the cloak left (in the alchemy alternative it holds three wild hyraxes). But I thought better of it after contemplating the above. It's a game, you can do what you want, but I was trying to stay true to the original intention of the ability as best I could discern.

Any other interpretations of this trapping phenomenon?
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Re: He is trapped forever! (or is he?)

Postby wallydubbs » Monday September 9th, 2019 12:52pm

I would be in agreement except for the Elven Cloak of Passage. If I remember correctly, this item works 3 times before being rendered useless. So if the Elf is wearing it, runs into a room that is nothing but stone, ends his turn (he is not allowed to Search for Treasure), he may move out on his next turn.

Pass Through Rock spell will not make the hero completely incorporeal, he will magically vibrate on a frequency beyond stone for a short duration of time. If he stops moving while in stone he will become fused with the stone. His body would form into the rock, he wouldn't just suffocate, he would be part stone and have stone lodged into various areas in his body. Definitely dead. However the Elven Cloak of Passage would have a lasting effect because it's not just a 1 turn thing.
If the hero ends his turn on in falling block trap or a stone wall tile, he again is fused into the stone.
If he ends Pass Through Rock on some type of furniture, I might be generous and let him start his next turn coming out of the cupboard, but in the case of bookshelves or a Torture Rack, I'm sorry, he's fused into the future.
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Re: He is trapped forever! (or is he?)

Postby lestodante » Monday September 9th, 2019 4:28pm

I am not sure he could pass through furtnitures too, as they are not rock but usually wood and metal. Except the fireplace.


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Re: He is trapped forever! (or is he?)

Postby wallydubbs » Tuesday September 10th, 2019 9:00am

I do see your point. If he's allowed to pass through rock but not monsters (that's Veil of Mist's specialty), it suggests he's not completely incorporeal. So if he can pass through stone and not monsters the spell must therefore be specifically bound to stone. Wood and steel may not vibrate on the same frequency as stone.

However the 4 elements (Earth, Water, Air and Fire) are merely symbolic of the 4 states of matter (Solid, Liquid, Gas and Plasma); categorically speaking, stone, steel and wood are all solids.

It is disheartening that there's no way to pass through furniture, but I totally feel there should be. I think someone suggested either Veil of Mist or Pass Through Rock should encapsulate this ability. Maybe both should.
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Re: He is trapped forever! (or is he?)

Postby Maurice76 » Tuesday September 10th, 2019 9:05am

Who said anything about being incorporeal?

I always assumed that because of the magic surrounding the character, Earth would mold and shape around that character as if fully liquid, only to reassume its solid state immediately after the passage of the Hero. In that sense, there's no sort of freak teleporter stuff like in Star Trek with objects materialising within eachother :P. However, if a character ends his turn in a solid wall, the magic will dissipate and he will get trapped in a rocksolid environment.

Since only earth responds to this magic, other materials like iron and wood do not. At least, that's the way I see it.


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Re: He is trapped forever! (or is he?)

Postby lestodante » Tuesday September 10th, 2019 3:55pm

Maurice76 wrote:Who said anything about being incorporeal?
I always assumed that because of the magic surrounding the character, Earth would mold and shape around that character as if fully liquid, only to reassume its solid state immediately after the passage of the Hero.


Agree, that's my favourite interpretation for this spell.
But eventually I will allow someone to jump over a table and pass its adiacent wall... who need special skills for this?


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Re: He is trapped forever! (or is he?)

Postby Kurgan » Friday September 13th, 2019 6:14pm

And if you wanted to pass through a Mimic?
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