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Running the Japanese Quests (and others)

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Re: Running the Japanese Quests (and others)

Postby Blackthorn » Monday January 6th, 2014 3:33pm

I haven't visited this thread in a while, but after reading though it from where I left off I can't help but wonder if the constant deviation from the original rules had anything with the original group losing interest in the game. It's a consistent factor right from the beginning. I know I must seem like a luddite since I keep harping on this, but it's just a thought that stuck with me after reading though bastianbux's well written narratives.
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Re: Running the Japanese Quests (and others)

Postby bastianbux » Monday January 6th, 2014 4:29pm

Blackthorn wrote:I haven't visited this thread in a while, but after reading though it from where I left off I can't help but wonder if the constant deviation from the original rules had anything with the original group losing interest in the game. It's a consistent factor right from the beginning. I know I must seem like a luddite since I keep harping on this, but it's just a thought that stuck with me after reading though bastianbux's well written narratives.


That's a fair point... but I'm not sure; there really wasn't that much deviation from the rules apart from the additional classes. It may very well be right that simply allowing them to play a Cleric removed the exciting factor of nearly dying--unfortunately they were basically invincible because of the Cleric. And the absence of a Wizard meant they had a slightly more difficult time taking down the more difficult enemies in a more dynamic and quick fashion. I can see how that could definitely cause them to interest.

I can't really think of any other rule changes... maybe I'm forgetting something?

Really, what I think happened, was that with four VERY different (and VERY busy) schedules, it became next to impossible to consistently play. And three of us from that same group had another more important commitment: we do Let's Plays on my YouTube channel of old school video games... so that would take precedence when our schedules would magically align. :( But I COULD tell their interest was waning when Keller's Keep started, for whatever reason, so I think that played a contributing factor in them not making an effort to force those schedules to align. :D


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Re: Running the Japanese Quests (and others)

Postby drathe » Monday January 6th, 2014 4:42pm

bastianbux wrote:But I COULD tell their interest was waning when Keller's Keep started, for whatever reason, so I think that played a contributing factor in them not making an effort to force those schedules to align. :D


Every group I've play with finds KK very lacking in fun and interesting ideas. Nearly every quest in WL has something new, or unique about it. The majority of KK is going from one door to the next fighting the same old orcs and goblins and finding the map pieces that don't actually have a real function once completed. The only memorable moments that stand out to them are the roller bolder trap, and the quest where the hordes of Chaos come through the entrance and chase them.
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Re: Running the Japanese Quests (and others)

Postby bastianbux » Monday January 6th, 2014 4:54pm

knightkrawler wrote:This battle report makes me wanna play the quest pack instead of The Gathering Storm with a group starting anew. It seems well weighed with ideas from the original incorporated and improved upon.

I have to say I'm much more excited about running it. The only issue is that the US/EU Artifacts are nowhere to be found in the JP quests. I WOULD find places to hand those out during this quest pack if I knew that group was never going to play the regular Game System, but I'm not sure yet. Since there are so many quests that have so many similarities to the US/EU ones, I might do a "summery version" of the US Game System for them afterwards (the Orc "trilogy" and the Witch King "trilogy" and such) and will want to hand out the US artifacts during those. So maybe I'll just hand out a couple weapons and armor from the armory.

But where are THE LEGS?

Hahah. We're playing in a different house with a different kind of table, so no legs. And, in fact, no female this time.

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Absolutely. That's my current "free time" project right now: going through each of the quests and making little edits here and there; about half way done now. The thing is, when I did those EU versions, I had tidied up some of the writing as a matter of course... so now I'm basically redoing the US versions to sound as good as the EU versions and making additional edits on top of that. I bet I'll have it done by the end of the week... or I'd like to so that I can print out that new version in time for the next gaming session. But I suspect that I'll run into stuff only in the course of playing the game so there may be a version 3 later on, haha.


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Re: Running the Japanese Quests (and others)

Postby chaoticprime » Monday January 6th, 2014 5:14pm

The Jp Quests require massive numbers of additional enemies. Its practically a contest to see who can even kill something normally.


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Re: Running the Japanese Quests (and others)

Postby bastianbux » Monday January 6th, 2014 5:47pm

chaoticprime wrote:The Jp Quests require massive numbers of additional enemies. Its practically a contest to see who can even kill something normally.

Er... am I missing something? I didn't notice that myself when looking at the Quests...?


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Re: Running the Japanese Quests (and others)

Postby bastianbux » Monday January 13th, 2014 3:25pm

Well, this past Saturday was interesting. You see, on the previous Saturday the gaming session (not just HeroQuest, but two other board games as well) took place at the house of the guy who ended up playing the Elf. And we ended up having an extra player who simply watched (I was trying to keep this run of the Japanese quests as "pure" as possible, so I asked the extra guy to sit it out last week). This week, I was hosting the game day, but we already knew going into it that the guy playing the Dwarf wasn't going to be able to make it, so I asked the "extra guy" from last week if he'd like to play a Dwarf... he indicated he was much more interested in playing a Wizard... so this week we had two Wizards. :P And then also the Barbarian couldn't show up at the last minute... so we ended up with two Wizards and an Elf. :P

The "extra Wizard" took the setting to heart and named his Wizard a Japanese name--I had suggested that the Lord of Nifon might have asked one of his court wizards to accompany the Heroes in search for his daughter. I kept getting the "extra Wizard's" name wrong throughout the three quests we played.

Yup, three quests, because the Barbarian is the one who has all the other board games and since he couldn't make it, we filled in the other two board game slots with more HeroQuest! Woooo!

Quest 2: Fortress of Digos
The quest went fairly normally; I didn't bother beefing up the monsters--which I tend to think the Japanese quests need a bit of, especially if they are played with Heroes who have already completed the Game System. They played it much more carefully than the last session, where they divided up quite a bit. Sticking together really helped. However, one of the Wizards did end up dying after being cornered in one of the tiny rooms by two Orcs.

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Of course, as he had Heal Body still left to use, he was able to revive himself.

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The players (being advanced RPG/D&D players) brought up a great point: how the heck did Princess Miku get from her cell (the room adjacent to the stairway room) pass the stairway without seeing it, and run all the way through the fortress, through a secret door, and then to the room she ended up getting caught in? The quest design makes no sense whatsoever. Ah well. :D

Quest 3: Fortress of Pain
This quest went fairly normal as well. And just like last time, one of the Wizards died (the "extra" one this time) but was able to be revived. Also, the Elf was very close to death, but was able to use a Potion of Healing to save himself just in time.

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The one bit of poor strategy on their part was that with the turn order being: Wizard 1, Elf, Wizard 2 and then Wizard 2 doing a lot of opening doors but not being able to fell the one or two monsters within, this often allowed the monsters to really wreak havoc much more so than they would usually be able to. Such as the image above: Wizard2 opened the door, saw there were two orcs, and then moved to the side. Morcar's turn was next, so the monsters came out into the hall and divided Wizard2 away from his party, nearly killing him.

My comment on this quest's design is that just like "Rescue of Sir Ragnar", this quest's "once the princess is found, an alarm sounds and all doors/rooms/monsters are revealed and all doors are opened" mechanic failed. It is meant to provide a challenge for the Heroes to make it back to the stairway with the monsters attacking and trying to prevent them from doing so... but the Heroes had already followed the most logical path and cleared out the dungeon before discovering her, so once she was discovered, the quest was over. Which is fine, but it's not very exciting and it would have been better had there been some sort of secret door housing a monster hoard near the stairs to provide a challenge to actually getting her to safety.

Also, the quest has a single goblin guarding her cell? I beefed that up to a Chaos Warrior on the fly. Which they still took down quite quickly with double Wizard spells. :P

Quest 4: Ruins of Way
The Heroes devised a new strategy: scout out all possible corridors, leaving the doors closed, and then taking on the doors one by one. Strangely, by chance they managed to choose the door that led to quest's goal: a scroll on how to defeat the Chaos God (more on my issues with that later) so when the quest was basically done, they then retraced their steps and explored the other possible doors, finding only a little bit of gold.

Humorously, after clearing out the whole board they finally chose to open the door closest to the stairs... which was just one of the small rooms with nothing in it but a monster. They dispatched said monster, but then searched for treasure... revealing a wandering monster. :P

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My issue with the scroll is that (for those not familiar) it is a lengthy bit of text which must be read to the Heroes and then they are expected to remember the vital information, which is necessary to know in the final quest. (The scroll tells them that the only way to defeat Grimdead is "Fire, then Water, then Silver". If this is a scroll, surely they can take it with them. And if they can take it with them, why is this not something I can hand out to them? Wouldn't it make more sense for this to be an Artifact card that is simply handed over with the text on it, rather than having Mentor/Morcar reading it from the quest book? What do you guys think? Shall I do a revision, changing that to an Artifact card? I'm not sure if that is keeping in with the "rules" set up by quest packs. I can't remember any Artifact cards just imparting information and having no actual use, so I'm a bit iffy on whether it would be in keeping with the spirit.

Anyway, interesting, Wizard1 and the Elf cannot make it next week, so if we do have a session next week, it will likely be the missing Barbarian and Dwarf and then the "extra" Wizard? Thank goodness HeroQuest is primarily a board game so I don't have to explain that circumstance away. :P


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Re: Running the Japanese Quests (and others)

Postby gootchute » Monday January 13th, 2014 9:01pm

I think if you REALLY stress the "Fire, then Water then Silver" text they will remember it. Then say the scroll crumbles to dust, no card needed. If they did not take notes then allow them to take a mind test (like resisting a spell) to remember it for the final battle, maybe it takes an action because their memories are being blocked by the Chaos God's evil influence?
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Re: Running the Japanese Quests (and others)

Postby bastianbux » Tuesday January 14th, 2014 2:09pm

gootchute wrote:I think if you REALLY stress the "Fire, then Water then Silver" text they will remember it. Then say the scroll crumbles to dust, no card needed. If they did not take notes then allow them to take a mind test (like resisting a spell) to remember it for the final battle, maybe it takes an action because their memories are being blocked by the Chaos God's evil influence?

Those are some really great ideas, but they're a bit more "houserules-y" than I personally aim for (I'm like a 90% purist, haha). I think I'll just whip up an Artifact card for it, which is the feedback I've been getting in the other thread.

I forgot to mention: I swapped some treasures around in one of the quests. There was a room with a Weapons Rack and a Treasure Chest, and searching for treasure revealed something like 100 gold coins in the chest. Instead, I moved the treasure chest to an empty room and gave out a Magical Throwing Dagger. I've been feeling bad for the Wizard in these quests; at least in the NA/EU base game quests they make up for the fact that the Wizard cannot buy much of anything by doling out plenty of Wizard-only Artifacts... since those are all absent from the Japanese quests... I felt like I had to throw the Wizard a bone since it was clear he was going to be the one searching for treasure in that room. :P


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Re: Running the Japanese Quests (and others)

Postby bastianbux » Tuesday January 28th, 2014 3:55pm

Quest 5: Castle of Dread

We ended up cancelling HeroQuest/boardgame day the previous week because so few people would be able to make it, but we were back in full swing this past weekend. We only played one HeroQuest quest, but that's because he had some Letters from Whitechappel to play as well.

This quest turned out to be fairly interesting. For those who are not familiar, it is almost identical to the NA/EU quest "Quest 12: Barak Tor - Barrow of the Witch Lord" with only a few minor changes. I worried that the Dwarf and Wizard (well, one of two wizards, but we'll get to that later) would remember playing that NA/EU version and would find this quest too much of a rehash, but, thankfully, the decade and a half of time since then was enough for them both to have completely forgotten about it.

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The "challenge" this quest presented for me was that we had a fifth Hero... the additional Wizard from last time. I didn't want to be a jerk and say he couldn't play, nor did I want to force him to choose a different Hero type, so I just let him play, but made a point of swapping out goblins to orcs and such.

My second "challenge" was that I'd forgotten to place a door early on in the game, which leads them through one room and then into another, and in this second room there is a secret door. This secret door is uber important because otherwise the Heroes discover that the other two regular doors down at the far end of the corridor are "magically sealed and cannot be opened". What I opted to do instead was place a regular door around on the other side of that second room that contains the secret door. Not a big deal, but not as well "designed" as the original design.

Now we arrive at those "sealed doors". Wizard #2 decided to make use of his Pass Through Rock spell and (now that you've all convinced me to lay out furniture and enemies as the Wizard continues his movement) I felt obligated to show him what was in the room... even though the quest map doesn't show anything. I tried to surreptitiously flip to Quest 14 without them noticing so I could set up those two rooms as he passed through them. His original intent was just to use the rest of his movement to head right back out of those two rooms when it was clear they held nothing more interesting than monsters... but for whatever reason he chose to head back into the one inhabited by the undead.

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And so began an absurd battle. Round after round he chose to not use spells and instead attack with his staff always resulting in 0 skulls. On Zargon's turn, I would roll no skulls against him as well. This repeated for at least four turns, but eventually he used some spells on them and was victorious.

Meanwhile...

The Heroes were becoming wise to the usefulness of searching for traps and were able to locate three traps. The Dwarf disarmed one, but the Barbarian chose to trigger one anyway, falling into the pit. On the Dwarf's next turn, he attempted to jump the pit trap, but fell in, resulting in the absurd rule that somehow both Heroes can share the same square. Ah well.

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Eventually the Heroes (minus Wizard #2 who was still busy with his Undead ordeal) found their way to the tomb of the dead Chaos God, who--just like the Witch Lord--explains that their weapons are useless against him and they must run. Instead, the Heroes scrutinized the "Ancient Scroll" artifact and decided to try casting fire (Fire of Wrath), then water (Healing Water), then attack it with a weapon (long sword). When this didn't work, the Elf decided that perhaps there was something silver within the room that could help him. The other Heroes felt this was too convoluted and couldn't possibly be the solution, but the Elf persisted, and while the rest of the Heroes were running away, he decided to lure the Chaos God out of that room and then made a mad dash back inside room to search it for treasure. Frustrated to find nothing, he joined his comrades on their dash back to the stairs.

But what of Wizard #2? Well, after slaying the two undead, he decided to use Genie to open the door. Now... I wasn't sure how to proceed. I was tempted to say, "Sorry, Genie doesn't work, and since you're trapped in that room, you remain there forever"... but then I thought that maybe Genie was sufficiently powerful enough to open the door? Had it been something more important (the location of the boss, or a treasure they shouldn't have access to yet) I would have said that the walls were magically impenetrable to Pass Through Rock, and I wouldn't have allowed Genie either... but since it wasn't that big of a deal, I allowed it.

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All in all, it was a fun quest. I enjoyed watching them try out their ideas on the Chaos God and I enjoyed trying to figure out what to do with Wizard #2's Genie/Pass Through Rock situations.

Unfortunately, their regularly scheduled D&D sessions return from hiatus next week, so it might be two or three weeks before we get a chance to play more HeroQuest (I guess they play two weeks and then take one week off).


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