Witch Lord aversion to spells.

Discuss Quests, Cards, Monsters etc, from the Return of the Witch Lord Quest Pack.

Witch Lord aversion to spells.

Postby wallydubbs » Friday November 22nd, 2019 2:01pm

The Game System notes that the Witch Lord is unaffected by spells and that the only weapon that can harm him is the Spirit Blade.
However Return of the Witch Lord quest pack only says what can harm him. Ball of Flame and Fire of Wrath were among those, yet before they couldn't harm him. So clearly the laws governing him have changed... Genie can't harm him, that's fine. But could he be effected by Tempest and Sleep?
Or if using the WoM and MotM spell deck as well: Chains of Darkness, Cloak of Shadows, Dispell, Hypnotic Blaze and Slow; would any of these be of use against him?
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Re: Witch Lord aversion to spells.

Postby Count Mohawk » Friday November 22nd, 2019 7:20pm

After the Witch Lord's first defeat in the base set Game System, the text indicates he was "somehow able to survive" being cut down by the Spirit Blade, but the effort cost him grievously.
As a result, he gained a couple of new vulnerabilities to Fire spells (and Magic Throwing Daggers if playing the US version).
The text is fairly clear, however, that these things, and the Spirit Blade, are the only things that can do him any harm. The text is perhaps not perfectly clear on the definition of 'harm', but I think it would take a rather obtuse reading of the Quest Book to interpret his invulnerability as only protecting him from direct damage.

As an aside, I think the Witch Lord becoming weak to Fire at all is stupid, but that's what the book says.


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Re: Witch Lord aversion to spells.

Postby Pancho » Saturday November 23rd, 2019 4:11am

It’s a necessary game mechanic. In the game system the designers know that one of the Heroes will have the spirit blade in quest 14, as they just completed quest 13.
In RotWL it’s possible that the Hero party may have lost the Spirit Blade by quest 10, so the designers had to put in another way to harm the boss. Can you imagine how pissed your players would be if they battled through 10 quests only to be told in the last one that it was all for nothing?

I didn’t know that about the magic throwing daggers. That’s interesting, Possibly the US writers were going for another line of insurance that the pack was completeable?

The Witch Lord is immune to all other spells and attacks.


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Re: Witch Lord aversion to spells.

Postby lestodante » Saturday November 23rd, 2019 3:09pm

I think that recovering his strnghts caused his body to become more human than previously so that is why he is now harmed by magic fire too.


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Re: Witch Lord aversion to spells.

Postby wallydubbs » Saturday November 23rd, 2019 11:23pm

Pancho wrote:It’s a necessary game mechanic. In the game system the designers know that one of the Heroes will have the spirit blade in quest 14, as they just completed quest 13.
In RotWL it’s possible that the Hero party may have lost the Spirit Blade by quest 10, so the designers had to put in another way to harm the boss. Can you imagine how pissed your players would be if they battled through 10 quests only to be told in the last one that it was all for nothing?

I didn’t know that about the magic throwing daggers. That’s interesting, Possibly the US writers were going for another line of insurance that the pack was completeable?

Yeah, this is why I have the heroes lose the Spirit Blade (after being captured at the end of The Gate of Bellthor) and reclaim it in the Forbidden Caverns.
Even if the heroes have the fire spells there's no guarantee hit on the Witch Lord... and even though the heroes find 2 Magical Thowing Daggers in the Last Gate, there's still the possibility that they'll use them before they get to the Witch Lord.
And since the Witch Lord is immune to most spells, magic shouldn't have any effect on him, that should technically include Magical Throwing Daggers too; but much like the Fire Spells, it's an exception.

However, I think the actual reason for the game makers doing this was to give the Wizard a chance to land the killing blow. A lack of weapons can sometimes make the Wizard seem unimportant. As his spells only give him a "Supporting" roll.

lestodante wrote:I think that recovering his strnghts caused his body to become more human than previously so that is why he is now harmed by magic fire too.

I do see the point, though. It's reasonable that as he becomes more powerful, the Witch Lord also becomes more vulnerable. There's an eb and flow for the compensation.
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Re: Witch Lord aversion to spells.

Postby Pancho » Sunday November 24th, 2019 4:16am

wallydubbs wrote:However, I think the actual reason for the game makers doing this was to give the Wizard a chance to land the killing blow. A lack of weapons can sometimes make the Wizard seem unimportant. As his spells only give him a "Supporting" roll

Its a UK quest pack and in the first edition the Wizard can wield the Spirit Blade, so he has just as much chance to be the slayer of the Witch Lord as any other Hero.
I think it’s much more likely that the vulnerability to fire spells was put in as an insurance mechanism, in case none of them have the Blade. Witchy only had 1BP in the UK edition, so landing either Fire of Wrath or Ball of Flame would have done the job.


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Re: Witch Lord aversion to spells.

Postby Jalapenotrellis » Sunday November 24th, 2019 4:35am

Fly on the wall here because haven't played this quest pack yet. I don't know how anyone thinks giving the witch lord 1 bp is justice as a quest pack boss... He died in one hit in the game system with heroic brew and potion of strength. Did the UK version not have these two potions??
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Re: Witch Lord aversion to spells.

Postby Pancho » Sunday November 24th, 2019 9:03am

I’m not saying that’s how I do it, just that’s how it was written.

If you look over on General Heroquest discussion, Hendar has just put up a compendium of all the expansions in which he increased all the BP stats for bosses. Definitely worth a look.


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Re: Witch Lord aversion to spells.

Postby wallydubbs » Sunday November 24th, 2019 1:20pm

Jalapenotrellis wrote:Fly on the wall here because haven't played this quest pack yet. I don't know how anyone thinks giving the witch lord 1 bp is justice as a quest pack boss... He died in one hit in the game system with heroic brew and potion of strength. Did the UK version not have these two potions??

That's got to be European version. I never cared much for 1 BP. If the heroes are doing well I generally give the bosses a little more body points then the book asks for. Sometimes they'll get additional spells.
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