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Is "see" the same thing as "line of sight?"

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

Re: Is "see" the same thing as "line of sight?"

Postby j_dean80 » Saturday November 7th, 2020 11:36am

I’d find it tough to spot a trip wire or loose stone from down the corridor. Eagle eyes apparently. I get it’s what the rule states, but from a more realistic standpoint...

If you wanted to make it realistic you’d need to roll to jump a trap to find one on the other side of it.
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Re: Is "see" the same thing as "line of sight?"

Postby The Admiral » Saturday November 7th, 2020 12:04pm

Oftkilted wrote:
The Admiral wrote:I do think it is an abstraction and is simulating walking around searching as your action. Its realism is limited, but it sort of works.
This is an abstraction that resolves ‘finding things’ without requiring movement rolls and additional turns to do so.


So we are in agreement then.


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Re: Is "see" the same thing as "line of sight?"

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Saturday March 20th, 2021 4:48am

EU 2e

Spells can be cast at monsters or character provided they are visible to the spellcaster.

Miniatures in the same room are always visible.

Miniatures in passages or in different rooms are only visible if you can trace an unobstructed straight line between the miniatures. If the line passes through a wall or a closed door or another miniature then the miniature is not visible.

Missile fire - Your opponent must be visible, as with casting a spell.


We have always played with the rules above that line of sight (for ranged combat - thrown, shot or similar spells - ball of flame) outside of your current room is blocked by the presence of another figure (even the Dwarf as according to Warhammer - I know this may or may not be HQ canon but a tall Dwarf can be taller than a short Human and I don't want to be accused of speciesism) or full height object (closed doors, cupboards and bookcases) - under my house rules you can also have partial LOS where you can see the target but not all of it which is where low height furniture, shields etc count but I digress.

However something cropped up in a game recently, that I thought I would share for other people's input

Dwarf Hero armed with crossbow used his movement to move to the square behind the Barbarian - couldn't move further as he only had one square left and couldn't share with the Barbarian - then decided to use his action to take a shot with his crossbow at a Goblin down the far end of the passage (six squares away passed the Barbarian). I said no, Barbarian blocks line of sight however he asked, as you can move passed another hero, presumably with a request / gentle push (or shove - Barbarian) to move him up against the side wall, then can you push them to one side whilst you take a shot at a distant monster?

Strictly speaking you can't but it was an interesting question, would you allow it as it has the potential to make supporting characters such as the Elf or Wizard more useful in a second position taking pot-shots from behind a human shield?
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Re: Is "see" the same thing as "line of sight?"

Postby Oftkilted » Saturday March 20th, 2021 8:26am

If you’re going to allow it with the heroes, then you would need to allow it with the minions of the evil Wizard. So, chaos Wizard hiding behind goblins. Or Dark Warrior shooting from behind Doomguard. All 4 or 5 of them. 4 orcs with bows in hall ... shooting at the first hero in visibility. As the EW... that’s nice.
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Re: Is "see" the same thing as "line of sight?"

Postby iKarith » Saturday March 20th, 2021 11:02am

My take on it is that there's two different kinds of "seeing" here. A couple years ago, Guerrilla Miniature Games on YouTube got a group together to play HQ. They had some issues with rules they didn't follow quite properly in their first few games, particularly related to this topic—you open the door and there's a monster inside! After you kill it, oh, there's also this chest which I didn't place into the room because your line of sight was blocked. The rules indicate that these things become visible when you open the door and are always visible if you're in the room. But … the rules then go on to describe a specific rule for line of sight for combat, and that's what I've used for combat in or out of rooms. To do otherwise suggests you can have the following:

:goblin: :chaoswarrior: :barbarian: :dwarf:

… all in a straight line, exactly as they appear above, and the dwarf can crossbow the goblin because they're in a room together. That's not how things work! And even if the rules could be read to allow it, everyone at the table should take one look at a line of four minis and arguing the last can shoot the first with a crossbow through the other two standing in between and agree that no, that's orc crap, and you can't expect to get away with trying to do it. :lol:

There's a difference in my opinion between "can I tell it's there?", and "can I shoot it in the flippin' face?" That's the difference I between seeing (observing) something and having line of sight on it.

Does that make sense?
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Re: Is "see" the same thing as "line of sight?"

Postby Kurgan » Saturday March 20th, 2021 11:30am

Door opens and everything is revealed inside, but you can only "see" (in order to target it with a spell or ranged weapon like the crossbow) if you can draw an unobstructed straight line from your figure to the target victim (open doors don't obstruct the line).

HeroQuest works differently than "real life" and is different from video games that have "fog of war." Once you pass into the area, it gets revealed (unless it requires a search to reveal), but you can't actually hit it (or get hit by it) if you can't draw the line. Yes, you can move through your team, but you can't shoot through them.

If you think of it like that (in the NA rules anyway, EU rules are different) then it works. To minimize confusion, as Zargon I will explain to my Heroes that "visible" means "on the board" (akin to "exists" for gameplay purposes; not counting "detected" for things that requiring "searching") and "you can see" means stuff you are able to hit with your ranged attack/magic.

The "shooting over the dwarf's/goblin's head" thing is (slightly comical) house rule, I realize. If it's more confusing, I just wouldn't allow it. Yes, maybe this Dwarf is above average height and so are the goblins so "don't worry about it guys."

When we first played (NA) Hero Quest as little kids we were totally confused about what "looking" meant, and we had our guys blundering into rooms and getting knocked back because they were standing on top of furniture, monsters, etc. Really funny, but clearly not what the game designers intended. Once we realized this "seeing" was automatic, it made things a lot simpler.
Last edited by Kurgan on Saturday March 27th, 2021 2:40pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is "see" the same thing as "line of sight?"

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Saturday March 27th, 2021 2:03pm

Oftkilted - I agree the 'shoot passed adjacent characters rule' would have to be a universal house rule for Heroes & Monsters but the more I think about it the more I like it and I can't see any downside (prepares for torrent of comments on stuff that I haven't considered)

iKarith & Kurgan

What you are suggesting around separating the 'visible' rules and the 'LOS' rules (what you can target) makes perfect sense to me. The EU 2e rules do split these already in the sense of putting them in different sections of the rulebook as below

What can be seen?
Deciding what can be seen by a player character is very important in determining what should be placed onto the board. Miniatures in the same room are always visible. Miniatures in passages or in different rooms are only visible if you can trace an unobstructed straight line between the two miniatures. If the line passes through a wall or a closed door then the miniature is not visible.


Casting a Spell
Spells can be cast at monsters or characters provided they are visible to the spell-caster. Miniatures in the same room are always visible. Miniatures in passages or in different rooms are only visible if you can trace an unobstructed straight line between the two miniatures. If the line passes through a wall or a closed door or another miniature, then the miniature is not visible.

Missile Fire
Your opponent must be visible, as with casting a spell. There is no maximum range for firing the crossbow or throwing a weapon. However, you may not use the crossbow or throw a weapon if you are adjacent to your opponent.


So are we suggesting that instead we would propose something like the below for the LOS rules

Casting a Spell
Spells can be cast at monsters or characters provided the spell-caster has line of sight to the target. The spell caster has line of sight if you can trace an unobstructed straight line between the two miniatures. If the line passes through a wall or a closed door or another miniature, then there is no line of sight.

Missile Fire
You must have line of sight to the target, as with casting a spell. There is no maximum range for firing the crossbow or throwing a weapon. However, you may not use the crossbow or throw a weapon if you are adjacent to an opponent.


Which is fine but the problem that I have with the seeing rule is that pretty much everyone that I know who plays HeroQuest, plays it with the 'you open the door and everything in the room is revealed' (except traps and secret doors etc obviously) method but when you actually read what the seeing rule below says and bear in mind at that point the player character is outside the room, he hasn't yet entered the room, just opened the door then the seeing rule above doesn't appear to support that!

Maybe we could make an amendment

What can be seen?
Deciding what can be seen by a player character is very important in determining what should be placed onto the board. If you are in a room or passage or in a square adjacent to a room or passage then miniatures in that room or passage are always visible to you. Miniatures in different passages or in different rooms that you are not in or adjacent to are only visible if you can trace an unobstructed straight line between the two miniatures. If the line passes through a wall or a closed door then the miniature is not visible.
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As a general principle* I use EU 2e rules but where they are not clear or otherwise problematic then I look to other versions for clarity / improvement before resorting to house rules

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Re: Is "see" the same thing as "line of sight?"

Postby Kurgan » Saturday March 27th, 2021 2:51pm

Well the other way you could interpret it is this (assuming NA rules here)... let's say you open a door. Okay, you open it, but you are not REQUIRED to step inside. However if you open it but do not step inside, you would only see that is LOS for you through the door opening. So if you see the edge of a table, then the table is placed. If you see a monster, that monster is placed. This gives the hero a chance to decide if he wants to go in. It's like he's only "peeking" inside. But then as soon as he steps 1 square inside, everything is revealed (barring hidden traps/secret doors of course).

However the problem I see with this way of interpreting the rules is that opening the door means you got a glimpse of everything, and once the door is open the monsters should be able to see what's going on. It's like otherwise the other monsters in the room (who are just out of sight) don't exist until you step inside, even if you just slaughtered a few of their comrades through the doorway with your ranged weapons/spells. I guess they could be hiding out, but still I think it would put them all on alert once you open the door, whether you step in or not.

What good is "looking through the doorway"? Well it's for targeting purposes, both for the monsters and for you. A monster with a ranged attack/spell can shoot you through the doorway if they have LOS. You can do the same to them. The "target anywhere" rule of the EU editions seems cool but it seems like its actually harder to tell sometimes where you can hit, makes it way easier of course and starts to get really ridiculous. So standing in front of a piece of furniture, but there's a monster on the other side of it in the same room? You can hit him. Monster on the other side of the door and you're on the far side the adjoining room around a corner? You can hit him. I think the straight line rule is just more logical and easier to follow, but that's me. Maybe you could say magic is auto-targeting, but ranged weapons too? Ricochet arrows off of candlesticks to headshot orcs, yo... (???)

"Looking through a doorway" is just for targeting purposes in my interpretation. Door open means room revealed, regardless if you step inside. If you're going to refuse to enter because you see a monster, might as well give all the monsters in the room time to arrange themselves for battle.

Yes, I'm sure part of it is familiarity, but I'm open to being convinced the designers didn't intend my interpretation in this version.
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Re: Is "see" the same thing as "line of sight?"

Postby iKarith » Saturday March 27th, 2021 7:36pm

Bareheaded Warrior wrote:Which is fine but the problem that I have with the seeing rule is that pretty much everyone that I know who plays HeroQuest, plays it with the 'you open the door and everything in the room is revealed' (except traps and secret doors etc obviously) method but when you actually read what the seeing rule below says and bear in mind at that point the player character is outside the room, he hasn't yet entered the room, just opened the door then the seeing rule above doesn't appear to support that!

Maybe we could make an amendment


Do we need to?

As soon as a door is opened, the evil wizard player must place any pieces shown for that room or passage on the map in the Quest book (apart from traps and secret doors). Once opened, a door remains open for the rest of the game. The evil wizard player should remove the closed door piece and replace it with an open door.


That seems pretty clear-cut. Things are placed as they are seen by the heroes. That's clear all the way back to UK 1st edition. That's why you have to round a corner in corridors to see what's down them, but can see ALL THE WAY down them once you do, unless obstructed, not mattering if that's 26 or 28 squares (up to 140 feet) away in poor dungeon lighting conditions. But nobody says you can shoot something that far away through other monsters. In fact, the rules explicitly state that you cannot, because line of sight is blocked. Even by the dwarf or a goblin.
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Re: Is "see" the same thing as "line of sight?"

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Sunday March 28th, 2021 8:33am

I think there are three things that we are discussing here

1. I was asking for feedback on my suggested rule change for LOS to ignore adjacent friendlies

2. I was suggesting an amendment to the existing EU v2 rules on LOS to remove the “Miniatures in the same room are always visible” piece so that the LOS rules are consistent throughout the dungeon by removing an exception so simplifying the rules and it would be good to hear thoughts on that suggestion (although I think we were agreeing on that one)

3. Discussion around what a character is visually aware of i.e. ‘can see’ and needs to be placed by the EWP (distinct from LOS rules around what can targeted)

With regards to that last point I agree that the quoted rule below is clear cut, clear all the way back to first edition, it is the way that I have always played it, I suspect that it is what the original game designer(s) meant by that rule, so I’m not suggesting that we change this at all.

As soon as a door is opened, the evil wizard player must place any pieces shown for that room or passage on the map in the Quest book (apart from traps and secret doors). Once opened, a door remains open for the rest of the game. The evil wizard player should remove the closed door piece and replace it with an open door.


My point was that in the rule above it states that everything in a room is visible as soon as the door is opened at which point the opening Hero is outside of the room (happy with that!) but the rule below states that “Miniatures in passages or in different rooms are only visible if you can trace an unobstructed straight line between the two miniatures” at the point you open the door you are stood in a different room or passage so according to the rule below you should only be able to see (i.e. the Evil Wizard Player should only place) miniatures (and presumably furniture) that you can trace an unobstructed straight line to.

That I don’t agree with as I think it contradicts the rule above which is beautifully clear and works.

What can be seen?
Deciding what can be seen by a player character is very important in determining what should be placed onto the board. Miniatures in the same room are always visible. Miniatures in passages or in different rooms are only visible if you can trace an unobstructed straight line between the two miniatures. If the line passes through a wall or a closed door then the miniature is not visible.
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Other Activities; Polishing my own full House Rules and working on creating my first Quest!
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As a general principle* I use EU 2e rules but where they are not clear or otherwise problematic then I look to other versions for clarity / improvement before resorting to house rules

*By general principle I mean I ignore it when it suits me
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