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Base Quests in four difficulty steps

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Re: Base Quests in four difficulty steps

Postby Daedalus » Thursday May 19th, 2016 6:08pm

You have some great ideas for improving the Quests of the Main Game System! The rating system is very handy and I like the alternate win-conditions. A couple of areas were of special interest to me and got me thinking:

Anderas wrote:I was brooding about "Legacy of the Orc Warlord" today. In fact, i won't change anything. The Heroes are reset to beginner's level and don't get their equipment back reliably. So it may be they fight the way to the exit just to find they didn't yet have their equipment. So no yellow, red, purple level for this quest. It is just good as it is. :)

As a suggestion to more tightly tailor the difficulty, you could work out the difficulty levels and add a note: Initially while the Heroes lack equipment, use only green icons when revealing monsters. After the Heroes find their equipment, use the appropriately colored icons as usual.

Anderas wrote:Still to be done:

    * Make 9. Race Against Time interesting. It just isn't at the moment.....

Count Mohawk wrote:I also remember you were looking for ways to make Race Against Time (the quest with the Elixir of Life) more of an actual race against time, and was reminded of a quest made by another Inn member in which the doors of the temple slowly shut over the course of the stage, creating a looming danger of being sealed within before returning to the entrance. Perhaps you can adapt a similar concept?

That was likely Goblin-King's Quest (The Road Warrior also did this.). Here's a variation for Race Against Time you could include at the beginning of the Quest Notes:

    Roll a combat die every Morcar turn. When a black shield is rolled, tell the Heroes they hear rumbling as the false guide attempts to collapse the entrance! Set the spiral stairway next to the gameboard and place a rubble marker on it. Place another marker each time you again roll a black shield. If all 4 spaces are filled, swap in a blocked-square marker instead. When you reveal the exit, place the tile with any markers on it. Treat any rubble markers as found falling-block traps that may be exited.

If the Heroes press on in haste, they all should have a good chance of escape after likely facing 4 falling-block traps. Falling-block traps may be jumped per the normal game rules, but each triggered trap adds another blocked-square tile. This may result in Hero death if the exit becomes completely blocked, which is more likely the more the Heroes delay. Stone blocked-squares may only be passed with a spell. If a Hero dies exiting a falling-block tile, his equipment will be looted by the false guide if no other Hero has exited by M/Z's turn.
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Re: Base Quests in four difficulty steps

Postby Sotiris » Friday May 20th, 2016 3:41am

Daedalus wrote:Here's a variation for Race Against Time you could include at the beginning of the Quest Notes:

Every Morcar turn, roll a combat die. When a black shield is rolled, tell the Heroes they hear rumbling as the false guide attempts to collapse the entrance! Set the spiral stairway next to the gameboard and place a rubble marker on it. Place another marker each time you again roll a black shield. If all 4 spaces are filled, swap in a blocked-square marker instead. When you reveal the exit, place the tile with any markers on it. Treat a rubble marker as a found falling-block trap that may be exited, while stone blocked-squares may not be passed without a spell. Stop rolling after the first Hero exits, as the guide flees.

If the Heroes press on in haste, they all should have a good chance of escape after likely facing 4 falling-block traps. Falling-block traps may be jumped per the normal game rules, but each triggered trap adds another blocked-square tile. This may result in Hero death if the exit becomes completely blocked, which is more likely the more the Heroes delay. If a Hero dies exiting a falling-block tile, his equipment will be looted by the false guide if he hasn't yet fleed.

This is a nice concept! I like it.
Also Pass Through Rock will be prove very usefull there. If things go worse and the exit blocks, heroes may pass all of their equipment to the caster who'll escape.


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Re: Base Quests in four difficulty steps

Postby Daedalus » Friday May 20th, 2016 1:04pm

Exactly. If bad luck was to blame, Morcar should allow the other trapped Heroes to be dug out and keep their names--new Heroes would have the same gear anyway. Maybe 50 gold coins per Hero would cover the hiring fee for miners.
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Re: Base Quests in four difficulty steps

Postby benvoliothefirst » Tuesday November 13th, 2018 4:31pm

Anderas, thanks for bringing up your quest book in my thread. I'm definitely going to give this a go since I've got a rotating cast of players on any given Sunday. I'm happy that we came to the same conclusion in Wardoz/Karlen's quest... four chaos warriors is two too many!
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Re: Base Quests in four difficulty steps

Postby Anderas » Wednesday November 14th, 2018 4:06am

No, I have to thank you currently: Thanks to you, I was re-reading this thread, re-discovering open work and have a plan now. Sadly, I have only 25 hobby days left this year and my wife will eat half of them for HER projects. :lol:

I remember this quest book, i was getting up at 4 in the morning to have a chance for working on it. :D

MS Office was cancelling their support for eps files in the meanwhile, so if I restart working on this, I will have to regenerate the maps again and then find a way to integrate it with the quest texts. :shock:
Maybe it is time to learn LaTeX, after all... :o :roll:

Or I use my self-written eps export function to generate 300 dpi pictures from the original quest eps exports and then make a pixelated version instead of a vectorized. Would be sad, though. Lots and lots of Megabytes extra and less quality at the same time.


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Re: Base Quests in four difficulty steps

Postby benvoliothefirst » Friday November 16th, 2018 10:19am

Are you not using HeroScribe? Or does that program not generate EPS files? I've found it to be a very intuitive program. Ah... but maybe it doesn't support the colors you're using.

I would also like to sincerely thank you for putting the "designer's notes" in after the quests. Sure, I might be able to figure out some of the insights you've included through running the quests, but having that info able to be read beforehand makes everything so much easier and EWP-friendly. Brilliant work.
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Re: Base Quests in four difficulty steps

Postby Anderas » Friday November 16th, 2018 10:24am

Yes, during my too-much-time this year I made an update for Heroscribe. Now you can use those symbols directly in Heroscribe if you want. That variant of Heroscribe is downloadable in Stratos' signature. Just copy and paste it over the original heroscribe and it works.

Back in the day, I had not so much time with a challenging 10h-job, so I did the second best, which was using Heroscribe symbols in Powerpoint.


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Re: Base Quests in four difficulty steps

Postby Weltenlaeufer » Tuesday August 6th, 2019 6:15am

Wow, this thread is great! I gotta keep coming back to this. :)


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Re: Base Quests in four difficulty steps

Postby Oftkilted » Saturday November 14th, 2020 9:16pm

Anderas wrote:For comparison: The original "Trial" has a difficulty of 29 for a green group, and 8 for a red group.
The rescue of Sir Ragnar has a solid 8 for a beginner's Group.


Did you use your “questimator” tool to handle the calculations? Or are you calculating them in a different way?

For example, if one was trying to do this same level of effort for other (non-core) quests? What would a good process to use?

The “difficulty” for each of the groups, none of them hit 20, when would one make a “hard” quest? IE would doing a matrix comparing running a quest at a higher level than heroes are at standard, how do they compare? (A green group running a yellow, or a yellow running a red?)
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Re: Base Quests in four difficulty steps

Postby Anderas » Sunday November 15th, 2020 1:58am

Lots of questions!

Since I made this quest book, I continued to develop the Questimator. The first excel version of Mohawk is not existing anymore. The current version calculates the same quest some ten or twenty times with different Hero Groups.

Yes I use the Questimator tool to calculate the fights of a quest. Including special monsters - I've not encountered a monster that was not calculable.
Then, for Balur or other special wizard characters, special quest rules and so on, I do some manual calculation on top. For the spell "Summon Undead" for example I would calculate three times with the three outcomes of the spell and then use the average. I also try to imagine how I would play this figure and let it act accordingly in the estimation. If the heroes can find healings in the quest, I substract them from the total BP loss. I normally don't subtract the wizard's healing spells from the total, not sure if I should as he often needs them himself. Normally I calculate 3 wandering monsters, if the WM is a hard one, I calculate two. I take a minute for every room and try to estimate how many monsters and heroes can fight here in parallel. That's done by hand and has a huge influence on the result. That's where the "estimation" comes in, side by side with the math.
Finally there are traps you can find, and I don't calculate them, and traps you can't find, and I add those to the result 100%.

Then I publish.

The Trial with different groups looks like that. "Your Group" is a group that is given in the input excel table, the other groups are generics I use every time.
The number is the BP the group would lose.
The "2D" group is below beginner level because the Barbarian starts with 3 Dice right away.
You can see that there is a world of difference between the different equipment levels.

In these numbers, the heroes all go into a room - they could be better sometimes if they play door blocking.
On the other hand, the variance is like 8 BP up or down. That means, if a group "normally" loses 13 BP, with one or two bad dice rolls they can lose quickly more than 20 BP. Or with lucky dice, they can have a walk in the park.
Normally I'd say a quest with 14 BP loss is well balanced, with 18 BP it's "hard".


So this would be the result for "The Trial", american monster BP.
Hero Group - Hero BP loss - Total Group BP loss (including Mercenaries) - Total Party Kill Probability

4 Dice + 5 Helbardiers ....2.6 ....10.6 ....0.0
4 Dice + 3 Swords ....3.5 ....5.5 ....0.0
4 Dice + 2 Swords ....3.8 ....5.8 ....0.0
4 Dice + 3 Helbardiers ....3.9 ....9.9 ....0.0
4 Dice + 4 Helbardiers ....4.3 ....10.3 ....0.0
4 Dice + 1 Sword ....4.4 ....6.4 ....0.0
Group 5D ....4.9 ....4.9 ....0.0
4 Dice + 2 Helbardiers ....5.5 ....9.5 ....0.0
Group 4D ....7.5 ....7.5 ....0.0
Your Group ....7.5 ....7.5 ....0.0
Group 3D ....13.0 ....13.0 ....0.0
Beginners ....21.4 ....21.4 ....13.0
Group 2D ....25.9 ....25.9 ....60.0
Group 1D ....70.9 ....70.9 ....100.0



For example, if one was trying to do this same level of effort for other (non-core) quests? What would a good process to use?


* Preparing a table containing some core information per room: How many Heroes can fight each turn, how many monsters can fight each turn, how many heroes might fight the first turn (this is often different), which monsters are in this room.
* Questimating.
* Adapting the table for green, for yellow, for red, for violet
* making a quest map with those colored monsters on it.


The “difficulty” for each of the groups, none of them hit 20, when would one make a “hard” quest? IE would doing a matrix comparing running a quest at a higher level than heroes are at standard, how do they compare? (A green group running a yellow, or a yellow running a red?)


See my example for "the Trial" above. Most people say "the Trial" is frustratingly hard for a beginners group. For three dice, however, it comes out quite average - Base Game Quests are all around 12-14. Most people say it's too easy when the result is around 8 to 10.

So, playing a quest with one equipment step less for everyone is "hard" already, playing it with one equipment step more is "boring" already.

I've made also calculations for one Hero less and for two heroes less. Other than the normal calculations, those reduced hero groups consist only of dwarfes. :D
Basically, it's like stepping down one on the Equipment ladder, with a big BUT: But you have less BP to spend. So where a 4-Hero-Group might go out with 19 BP and say "That was hard", a 2-Hero-Group coming out with 19 BP loss is just 2 Heroes in coffins. See that Total Party Kill Probability in the last column.
On the other hand, if your Heroes are overequipped (At least 2 Potions of Healing, or one Equipment step too high, or 2-3 Mercenaries), it might be interesting to have one or two heroes less.

Those tables get very long already.

Hero Group - Hero BP loss - Total Group BP loss (including Mercenaries) - Total Party Kill Probability
Group 5D ....4.9 ....4.9 ....0.0
2 heroes 4D and 1 Sword ....5.3 ....7.3 ....0.0
Group 4D ....7.5 ....7.5 ....0.0
Your Group ....7.5 ....7.5 ....0.0
2 heroes 4D and a Halberd ....7.9 ....9.9 ....0.0
2 heroes 4D and 1 Scout ....8.0 ....10.0 ....0.0
4 dice 3 heroes ....8.6 ....8.6 ....0.0
2 heroes 3D and 1 Sword ....9.2 ....11.2 ....2.0
2 heroes 4D ....10.3 ....10.3 ....4.0
Group 3D ....13.0 ....13.0 ....0.0
2 heroes 3D and 1 Halberd ....13.1 ....15.1 ....37.0
2 heroes 3D and 1 Scout ....14.4 ....16.4 ....55.0
3 dice 3 heroes ....15.1 ....15.1 ....14.0
2 heroes 2D and 1 Sword ....16.2 ....18.2 ....77.0
2 heroes 3D ....19.7 ....19.7 ....96.0
2 heroes 2D and 1 Halberd ....22.8 ....24.8 ....99.0
Group 2D ....25.9 ....25.9 ....60.0
2 heroes 2D and 1 Scout ....27.2 ....29.2 ....100.0
2 dice 3 heroes ....31.6 ....31.6 ....100.0
2 heroes 2D ....43.2 ....43.2 ....100.0
Group 1D ....70.9 ....70.9 ....100.0



You can nicely see here that, after everything is said and done, if the mercenaries have the same dice like the heroes, they just add their BP to the group in most cases without further effect.


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