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How do you handle Fear vs Courage

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

Re: How do you handle Fear vs Courage

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Wednesday January 4th, 2023 5:48am

"Common Sense" - I'm not convinced that there is such a thing as sense that is common to all, the fact that this debate has been ongoing for several years kind of demonstrates that quite neatly :)

Even if magic and mundane physics are fundamentally different, that doesn't necessarily help if both are being applied to the same 'stat'.

I agree no solution is perfect, but I'm not aiming for perfection, we have a problem and I'm just trying to identify the better solution out of the possible options as per the original post and it's good news that we have several options as that is better than none! So, taking a step back, lets clarify the problem and the solution options and make sure that we all agree on what we are trying to solve and how

Problem: It isn't clear from the rules / card text how in a situation where both Fear and Courage are in play the two interact

(Chaos Spell) Fear - This spell causes any one hero to become so fearful that his attacks are reduced to one combat die. The spell can be broken by the hero on a future turn by rolling one red die for each of his mind points. If a 6 is rolled, the spell is broken.


(Hero Spell) Courage - This spell may be cast on any one hero, including yourself. The next time that hero attacks, he may roll two extra combat dice. The spell is broken the moment a hero can no longer "see" a monster.


Couple of examples to clarify

Example 1:

1. On Barbarian's turn: Barbarian wielding Battle Axe (4AD) boots open door to room revealing a few Skeletons and a Dread Sorcerer and decides to stay put
2. On Wizard's turn: Wizard casts Courage spell on Barbarian (4AD+2AD=6AD)
3. On Zargon's turn: Dread Sorcerer casts Fear spell on Barbarian
4. On Barbarian's turn: he attacks Skeleton, how many AD does he roll?

Example 2:

1. On Barbarian's turn: Barbarian wielding Battle Axe (4AD) boots open door to room revealing a few Skeletons and a Dread Sorcerer and decides to stay put
2. On Zargon's turn: Dread Sorcerer casts Fear spell on Barbarian
3. On Wizard's turn: Wizard casts Courage spell on Barbarian
4. On Barbarian's turn: he attacks Skeleton, how many AD does he roll?

Two possible solutions identified so far:

Solution A - some general rule of precedence logic is applied that means that the sequence in which the actions happen is used to determine the combined effect (possible involving differences based on temporary/permanent effects and/or magic/mundane effects) - I'll let supporters of this option better define this rule but I think it was KK that first stated it as follows:

A spell is cast and takes effect as per its wording, then another is cast and takes effect as per its wording.


That is to say that it is the order in which they were cast that matters.

In example 1: that would result in the Barbarian rolling 1 AD
In example 2: that would result in the Barbarian rolling 3 AD

Solution B - modify the Fear spell card so that it reads "his weapon-based attack dice are reduced to one" instead of current "his attacks are reduced to one combat die"

That is to say that Fear reduces your number of combat dice rolled in attack due to your weapon to 1 but Courage gives you a +2 on top of your weapon attack strength (so the above suggested card text modification clarifies that)

The sequence doesn't matter so the outcome of both examples would be the same

In example 1 and 2: that would result in the Barbarian rolling 3 AD

Solution C - modify the Fear spell card so that it reads "his attacks are reduced by two combat dice" instead of current "his attacks are reduced to one combat die"

That is to say that the effects of Fear and Courage are opposites, Fear -2AD, Courage +2AD

The sequence doesn't matter so the outcome of both examples would be the same

In example 1 and 2: that would result in the Barbarian rolling 4 AD

Once we are happy with the above then we can see how the three options play out in other examples than the ones already provided that might be relevant
:skull: = white skull, one "hit"
:blackshield: = black skull, one "hit"
:whiteshield: = shield, cancels out one "hit"

Editions: 1989 Original First Edition [FE] and Second Edition [SE], 1990 Remake [US], 2021 Remake [21]

HeroQuest Gold new edition based on Original 1989 HeroQuest, holes patched, dents hammered out, buffed to a shiny finish with ~50 common issues fixed for a smoother experience.

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Re: How do you handle Fear vs Courage

Postby Markus Darwath » Thursday January 5th, 2023 4:33am

Agreed, but would add...

Solution D - conflicting spell/potion effects simultaneously applied to the same hero/monster simply cancel each other out and both cease to be in play.

I, personally, lean toward either A or D simply because B and C require modifying the card and I don't possess the resources to readily produce replacement cards of comparable quality to the commercial game components. (yes, I can be a touch perfectionistic about some things. In the original releases the fact that certain expansions provided odd-sized artifact cards and thin-stock tiles was somewhat irritating.)
In actual play, and again this is just my personal gaming style, I would tend to look for group consensus whether to go with solution A or D. I view them both as equally viable, but one is clearly more complex, thus I would defer to my players' tolerance for tracking conditions.
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Re: How do you handle Fear vs Courage

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Thursday January 5th, 2023 1:55pm

:D

Amusingly enough I would probably go for solution C.

Whilst I agree with you about modifying cards, I get around that by having the latest version of the card text printed off in hardcopy, in much the same way that some editions have Equipment Cards and some have The Armoury, I have Spell Cards and the Grimoire, Treasure Cards and the Treasury. The cards are used for the purposes of physically tracking which spells you have remaining or drawing a Treasure Card, but the actual reference text used is the one in the corresponding A4 hard copy. It isn't perfect, but my players are experienced so generally know the card text without checking (apart from the odd occasion) and one day I would like to print out a whole load of new cards but I can't see that happening any time soon.

The reason that I prefer making 'local' modification, for example changing the text on the Fear spell, is that the alternative, creating a new 'global' rule and including in the rulebook has a much wider impact that makes unintentional consequences that take a lot of effort to fix (as each 'global' fix itself has the potential to have more knock-on effects)

As an example "A spell is cast and takes effect as per its wording, then another is cast and takes effect as per its wording" may sound fine in the context of this discussion but as soon as you add that to a rulebook, you have to consider every situation in which a spell is cast, and then another spell is cast on top of it, and how that actually plays out in practice. Then you need to consider that a spell cast on top of a potion (or the other way around) is a very similar circumstance, do you then need to consider all those combinations and expand your rule to cover those, what about potions on potions and so on.

Personally I always try and keep it 'local', the only exceptions that I have made to that for HeroQuest is for a handful of areas like "search" when there are so many problems to be fix by modifications it actually becomes easier to do a complete rewrite of the whole chunk, and manage that, than it does to make a dozen tweaks.

I guess we'll have to wait for others to wade in and see how it pans out.

That said on your solution D you mention 'simultaneously applied' which I don't think is what we are talking about here (otherwise the order in which they were applied rule doesn't make a lot of sense), you mention spell/potion that doesn't match the other solution options as presented - they refer to spells only, and does a +1AD spell/potion and a -2AD spell/potion just cancel out?
:skull: = white skull, one "hit"
:blackshield: = black skull, one "hit"
:whiteshield: = shield, cancels out one "hit"

Editions: 1989 Original First Edition [FE] and Second Edition [SE], 1990 Remake [US], 2021 Remake [21]

HeroQuest Gold new edition based on Original 1989 HeroQuest, holes patched, dents hammered out, buffed to a shiny finish with ~50 common issues fixed for a smoother experience.

HQ Common Notification System to identify squares on the board
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Re: How do you handle Fear vs Courage

Postby Markus Darwath » Friday January 6th, 2023 10:03am

Bareheaded Warrior wrote:That said on your solution D you mention 'simultaneously applied' which I don't think is what we are talking about here (otherwise the order in which they were applied rule doesn't make a lot of sense), you mention spell/potion that doesn't match the other solution options as presented - they refer to spells only, and does a +1AD spell/potion and a -2AD spell/potion just cancel out?


Wrong choice of words on my part. Should have maybe been "simultaneously affecting"? And yes, I would tend to lump spells and potions together as magical effects. Also yes, the +xAD and -xAD effects would simply neutralize each other rather than working the math. Likewise a magic effect that increases a hero's speed would simply cancel out with a magic effect that slows them, etc. Again, the purpose behind this potential solution is speed and simplicity. Hero is amped up with Courage, Zargon decides to knock it down with Fear (or vice-versa); the hero is simply returned to normal AD. This not only alleviates having to figure out how the numbers interact, but eliminates the need to continue rolling spell breaks and keeping track of the presence of monsters in line of sight. In most cases, neither effect was likely to last more than 2 or 3 rounds anyway.
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Re: How do you handle Fear vs Courage

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Sunday January 8th, 2023 7:13am

Markus Darwath wrote:eliminates the need to continue rolling spell breaks and keeping track of the presence of monsters in line of sight. In most cases, neither effect was likely to last more than 2 or 3 rounds anyway.


True but it only does this in instances where Fear and Courage are "combined" which is likely to be a quite small sub-set of the occasions where Fear or Courage are used and it doesn't help at all for any other spell with a 'lingering effect' like Sleep and others.

For me, to 'fix' Courage in that respect - there is a topic on this elsewhere - so I'll just touch on it here briefly - I have just amended the text to make it clear that you check once, at the start of each turn, for someone under the effects of Courage, whether they can see any Monsters, if so then the effects continue for a turn, if not they end.

In terms of 'continuing to roll spell breaks' I have retro-fitted a spell mechanism introduced in one of the later expansion packs, AToH or Frozen Horror (can't remember which pack or spell(s) off the top of my head), where you use the combat mechanism for mind combat, so the 'roll a number of combat dice equal to your Mind Points in attack, defender rolls number of combat dice equal to their mind points' and the number of hits (excess skulls, not blocked by shields) gives you the number of turns that the spell effect lingers on for. This removes the need for those awkward spell breaks. Also these lingering effects end instantly on the death of the spell caster.
:skull: = white skull, one "hit"
:blackshield: = black skull, one "hit"
:whiteshield: = shield, cancels out one "hit"

Editions: 1989 Original First Edition [FE] and Second Edition [SE], 1990 Remake [US], 2021 Remake [21]

HeroQuest Gold new edition based on Original 1989 HeroQuest, holes patched, dents hammered out, buffed to a shiny finish with ~50 common issues fixed for a smoother experience.

HQ Common Notification System to identify squares on the board
User avatar
Bareheaded Warrior

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Evil Sorcerer: Morcar
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