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Dead End Falling Block Traps

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

Dead End Falling Block Traps

Postby Davane » Thursday April 15th, 2021 4:20am

I was wondering, when is the first official use of the dead end Falling Block Trap in HQ?

In the UK rules, Falling Block Traps can be disarmed, even after they fall. However, in the US version, Falling Block Traps can only be disarmed BEFORE they are spring, making the dead end Falling Block Trap extremely lethal under US rules. As such, I was wondering if the US expansions have the dead end Falling Block Traps, knowing they are deadly, or if they only occured in any of the earlier expansions, especially the UK-only EPs such as ATOH and WOM, where such a combination isn't anywhere as deadly as long as the Heroes have a tool kit or a Dwarf handy...
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Re: Dead End Falling Block Traps

Postby Kurgan » Thursday April 15th, 2021 10:53am

The ability to "fix" a fallen block trap after the fact is something I forgot about. It exists in the official PC game which is loosely based on the EU rules.

The rooms where you can get trapped in ATOH aren't so bad if you have that ability, but when they are converted to NA rules, that does make it "broken" in a sense. Hence the fixes like moving the location of the trap (or changing the TYPE of trap), putting in a secret door, or a spell scroll (pass through rock), or what I did (just forcing the player back out of the room he'd get trapped in with his 1 square movement).

So chalk it up to a conversion glitch with ATOH, I guess.

Checked (Phoenix's versions) and it doesn't seem to be an issue for GS (quest 13 the block traps don't actually block squares), KK, ROTWL, BQP... EQP quest 4 seems like it's possible to get trapped. Maybe double check the original version to see if it exists, but if you go the wrong way you can get stuck if you don't have a pass through rock/elven cloak of passage. EQP quest 10 you can get trapped but I think it would be dumb luck, while in the previous example it would be a lot easier.
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Re: Dead End Falling Block Traps

Postby iKarith » Thursday April 15th, 2021 3:37pm

I haven't noticed the problem with US-only expansions. I think it really is the result of a rules conversion glitch. If those quests had been localized, even a little playtesting would cause them to modify the quests slightly to avoid a "softlock" situation where you're alive but stuck. Those aren't intended to be instant death either, so there'd have been modifications made.
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Re: Dead End Falling Block Traps

Postby Kurgan » Thursday April 15th, 2021 9:18pm

So I just checked the original versions of Mage of the Mirror Quest #4 (the Elven Prospector) and Quest #10 Hidden Realms (part 2) and the glitches are in the original. It's possible to get hit by the falling block trap and NOT get stuck, but if you move the wrong direction, you will be stuck (Quest 4 its worse because there are two ways to get caught, while Quest 10 you have to fulfill a very specific set of circumstances). By default you can't search for treasure in corridors, so unless you had Pass Through Rock spell or the Elven Cloak of Passage (from a treasure search) you're out of luck.

Then again if you had hung onto the Pass Through Rock Spell Scroll from playing Return of the Witch Lord earlier, you could do it, but there's no guarantee that the Hero who gets trapped will have these things. I suppose you could also allow multiple instances of the Cloak (is the card held until used up, or returned to the deck in the next quest and kept written down on the character sheet of the one who found it?). A Hero could be carrying two cloaks, and pass through the wall to give one to the other Hero (and expend two uses on his and one on the spare for the one he's rescuing).

Using house rules you could allow a treasure search in the corridor/room and happen to have that on the top of the deck so he would have something to get himself out. Random spell scroll draws from the treasure deck are another house rule, again if combined with searching in corridors.

The ATOH dead end issues, like you pointed out, would only exist in the NA conversion, and NA conversions also mean you get access to spell scrolls (if you saved them from an earlier quest or use a custom treasure deck that allows them to crop up randomly), but there's no saying you will have one handy in the right situation.

BUT let's be fair to the player. Even without any coaching from Zargon or peeking at the map in advance, the Quest 4 Hero who gets hit by the falling block trap will nevertheless "see" the entire corridor(s) he's in while he's making his "choice" what direction to move away from the fallen block, and unless he's gambling that there's a secret door to let him escape (there isn't), he'd be foolish not to go back into the room. He could "see" there is nothing of value there worth risking being trapped forever. In Quest 10 it's a little less clear. He'd have to use a pure blind leap to take him through the (presumably already opened) secret door into the next room (and be trapped forever inside it, unless he has a pass through item or spell). So if the player is still thinking (not being so flustered after blundering into the trap), he probably will not get trapped.

In the same way, the ATOH traps, I think only one of them doesn't give you a chance to see that it's PROBABLY going to trap you forever, and so you can save yourself with the one square movement. Perhaps Zargon could simply, when revealing the room/corridor you see as the block falls say that "there will be no escape once you choose to move this direction..." if the young hero doesn't get the hint.

I haven't checked the other published quests... so the problem isn't quite as bad as I thought.

Without some deus ex machina on Zargon's (merciful) part, the trapped Hero would have to be left behind and is considered dead. Maybe remix the quest where the remaining Heroes have to go rescue him, armed with their cloaks/scrolls (and maybe a healing potion since he's so weakened from starvation).

Does the Elixir of Life teleport the dead body out of its stone tomb in order to revive it? It's Zargon's call... Speaking of teleporting, it's unlikely you'd still have the Ring of Return in hand, but that could be another way to escape.

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Re: Dead End Falling Block Traps

Postby j_dean80 » Friday April 16th, 2021 7:48am

I like the idea of a Quest to rescue their friend. Perhaps take along the Prospector to dig him out.
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Re: Dead End Falling Block Traps

Postby Kurgan » Sunday April 18th, 2021 6:51pm

j_dean80 wrote:I like the idea of a Quest to rescue their friend. Perhaps take along the Prospector to dig him out.



I love it. A little bit of gold may convinced him... :lol:
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