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Search – The Binding Topic

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

Re: Search – The Binding Topic

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Monday February 13th, 2023 8:25am

Let’s consider ‘searching’ through this lens of plausibility, consistency with in-game logic, and smooth and simple ‘mechanisms of play’ to minimise risks of breaking a players immersion.

Searching for Treasure

So it clearly involves movement, but we don’t roll the dice to move as usual, movement is assumed, ok a bit different but still plausible. It involves looking, ok I’m already familiar with that concept in the game, it has already been introduced, we use it to reveal what is in a new room or corridor, as part of movement. However treasure isn’t revealed by just looking, if a pile of gold coins were just sat in the middle of an otherwise empty room, then they would have been laid out when I first looked into the room, clearly here we are looking at treasure that is hidden, out of sight, located inside furniture, in cupboards, chests, desk drawers or in other items within the room, like piles of old clothing, the toe of an old boot, within a flask hung on the wall or on a shelf, hidden in plain sight, so we are not just talking about standard movement and looking, we are talking about something extra, rummaging through stuff, opening drawers and cupboards, popping open flasks and bottle and having a sniff. This all makes perfect sense and explains why this has a different name ‘searching’ (for treasure) rather than just moving or looking.

The only inconsistency that I can see within the search (for treasure) action is that whilst in involves movement and in a large room with plenty of furniture, quite a lot of movement, I don’t need to cover every inch of a 6x5 room, but still a proportion of 30 squares is significant when compared to my usual upper limit of 12 squares, and yet I can combine this action with the ability to take my movement as usual all within the same turn. This problem is easily resolved, and I think we are all agreed on this – search is a whole turn action – on your turn you may ‘search’ or move and take an action. So far so good.

Searching for Traps

Now we turn to ‘searching for traps’ and immediately hit problems. Traps like treasure are not put out on the board when I look into a new room or corridor, they are hidden, so I can’t see them by just looking, fine we are on familiar ground here, but I can still spot them, how? Maybe I get the chance of seeing them whilst I’m moving and looking as standard but only when I get really close to them, after all they are deliberately concealed. That would make sense. But no in HeroQuest I have to carry out a distinct explicit action “searching for traps”. This involves movement and looking as we would expect but presumably something extra (otherwise it would just be standard movement and looking but we already have those). What is the something extra, well whilst moving and looking as usual I’m also paying particular attention to anything that might indicate a trap is present. Surely in a poorly lit unfamiliar and dangerous environment filled with monsters trying to kill me, hidden monster waiting to ambush me, potentially lethal traps and hazards, I would be moving cautiously and keeping my eyes peeled as standard, wandering around such as environment with my eyes closed or day dreaming would be a guaranteed way of ensuring that my Hero never survived passed his first Quest.
Bearing in mind that nothing about a room or corridor indicates the possibility of a trap, then as a Hero you must assume that either I am always on the look out for them or that I am never on the look out for them, the idea that sometimes I keep an eye out for them (perform a search for traps action) and at other times I just wander round oblivious doesn't make sense.

Searching for Secret Doors

Equally ‘search for secret doors’ contains a pretty much identical set of circumstances and problems, in the UK editions a secret door was found in an open state whereas this was modified in the US edition so that secret doors were found in a closed state (even though no closed secret door tile was provided).

I understand the issue here, being able to find a secret door 20 squares (~100ft) away from you and having that placed in an open state potentially leading to monsters spewing out of this revealed room with no one close enough to do anything about it, but I also understand the logic that finding a secret door, opens it, after all you may suspect that you have found a secret door many times in a Quest but it turns out that it isn’t, the only way that you can know for sure is to pull the lever, push the sticking out brick, tug the book in the bookcase or whatever and confirm that you indeed discovered a secret door by opening it.

‘Fixing’ this issue by making the secret door ‘closed’ on discovery is, for me akin to a situation where you take your car to a mechanic and explain that you have a problem because the suspension is broken so when you hit a bump in the road at speed the impact causes your front bumper (fender) to fall off. The mechanic ‘fixes’ it by removing your front bumper. Technically you could argue that the problem you were complaining about is now fixed, it certainly won’t happen again, but I don’t think in that situation it would be unreasonable to expect the mechanic to fix your broken suspension.

In the same way I would expect the real issue of the rules allowing my Hero being able to find a secret door, that is concealed from sight (‘looking’), 100ft away from him down a poorly lit corridor, when he can only move up to 12 squares ~60ft in that turn (thus breaking the game's internal consistency around movement). Just making a modification so that secret door is closed when found doesn’t really cut it for me!

Pausing this line of thinking for a moment and turning to how searching for (and disarming) traps actually works in Hero Quest and we discover the following:

UK First Edition

In UK FE a Hero states that he is using his action to ‘search for traps’ and then something, possibly magical and certainly odd, happens. He scans the entire room he is in, or corridor, or if he is on a junction that overlaps then both corridors, in its entirety, not only revealing the location and type of every trap contained within, but also springing these traps (yes in UK FE and SE, searching for traps also sprung those traps – causing spear trap to no longer exists, pits and falling block/blocked square tiles to be placed). This ability common to all Heroes that can be done on every turn of the game if desired sounds more like some Predator like scanning device (and it would be plausible to have an artefact with this ability in HQ, but our Heroes haven’t got one, or one each) or astral projection ‘magic’ and again it would be plausible within HQ to have a spell with this effect, but then a spell could not be cast by all Heroes and could not be cast every turn, so even that option breaks the in-game magic logic.

Disarming traps, or more specifically the pit and fallen block, in UK FE Hero Quest wasn’t what we would think of as a ‘disarm’ it was more of a mining activity, the Dwarf or a Hero with the Toolkit (the Toolkit presumably being a pick and shovel and the Dwarf had a built-in one) could simply fill in the pit or dig out the fallen block removing them from play as if they had never existed. This piece seems fairly plausible but then the Dwarf was able to do this for any pit or fallen block in the same room or corridor (flying remote controlled pick and shovel?). The tool kit equipped Hero was able to use the toolkit to remove a pit or fallen block but needed to roll a combat die roll, skull and the trap went off and he lost a BP (which was curious as the trap had already gone off at this point anyway and if it was a fallen block trap then it should have done 3DD rather than losing just 1BP), otherwise the trap that had already gone off, didn’t go off again and whatever he rolled the pit/block was removed. No indication within the rules where he had to be located to do this, so maybe the toolkit - pick and shovel were also remote-controlled flying versions?

UK Second Edition

In UK SE the rules were pretty much the same, but they did modify them to state that the Dwarf or Toolkit armed Hero had to be adjacent to the pit or block to ‘disarm’ it, so I guess they found the remote-controlled flying pick and shovel to be a little too far fetched even in a fantasy game.
Falling Block trap was upgraded from causing 1 BP to rolling 3 CD with no defence, which also introduced a distinction between the Falling Block and the Pit Trap. I agree with this modification but personally would take it one step further and ‘upgrade’ the Pit Trap to be a 2CD damage with no defence
Introduced ability to jump a pit, so that if disarming wasn’t an option, then you could at least tackle it another way, again I think an improvement.
In neither version does it state that disarming is an action, but SE did state the Dwarf could only remove 1 trap per turn so it may not have been an action but at least it behaved like one, although there was no such restriction on the toolkit equipped Hero.

US Edition

Turning now to the US edition.

• In the earlier versions traps were either ‘hidden’ so they appeared on the Quest Notes but not on the board, no marker required, logically makes sense, or they were in a sprung status (arguably no traps at this point, but I’ll leave that alone) in which case they appeared on the board with a marker to indicate type and location (aside from a spear trap that once sprung, has no lasting effects). Two states simple and clear. The US Edition introduced a 3rd state – ‘hidden’, ‘sprung’ and now ‘found but unsprung’ in which the location and type of trap were revealed but no markers existed to record that information. Whilst the concept of a 3rd state adds complexity, I don’t think it was necessarily a bad idea it just wasn’t implemented very well

• Disarm was called out as a specific action and changed so that it is no longer a digging or shovelling activity as per the earlier version but now applies only to the new 3rd state of found but unsprung traps, which makes sense to me.

• Separate tiles introduced for fallen blocks and blocked squares (presumably so that you could tell the difference between the two, which is required in the earlier editions where there is no distinction between the tiles, as you CAN remove a fallen block but not a blocked square, but amusingly the distinction ISN’T required in the US Edition as you cannot now remove either type, in-game they are identical so no distinction required but they introduced one anyway)

• Introduces a new rule to make an exception to the one figure per square rule by allowing square sharing in pits and the spiral stairway (although there is no reason for allowing sharing squares on the spiral staircase, and there are simpler ways to resolve the situation of trying to jump a pit with a Hero already in it – you can’t!) and unforgivably introduced the ability to search for treasure within pits (why oh why)

• Splits search for secret doors and traps into two distinct actions – why, does the Predator-like scanner/astral projection have two different modes, one for traps and one for secret doors?

• Allows multiple searches in rooms, four different Heroes can search a room once each, but no hero can search it more than once. Questionable logic here, if a Hero can search a room but not find everything (if he did then there would be no point in someone else searching) they why can’t he search it again on his next turn? Also, the handling around rooms indicated as empty in the Quest Notes wasn’t made clear whether that meant no Heroes would find anything, although that does seem logical.

• Jump expanded to cover jumping over unsprung traps, although no markers provided to indicate their location so there is a danger here that you end up jumping the wrong square and onto rather than over a trap, no rules provided for jumping unsprung traps in corners, or for jumping unsprung traps where the only landing squares are occupied by monsters (presumably you just have to voluntarily walk onto the trap and trigger it)

• Secret doors found are now found closed and must be opened when adjacent even though no closed secret door tile was provided
I have a background in business process improvement and one thing that I have learned is that before you start to work on improving a process you really must ensure that the process adds value to the operation, there is absolutely no point wasting time and effort improving a process that achieves nothing, just scrap it.

I get the problems with ‘searching for traps’ and ‘searching for secret doors’ as do many, many others and the urge to modify and improve it, but back to where we left of a long, long time ago, this ‘search for traps functionality’ adds no value to the game, the locating and disarming of traps (and the locating of secret doors and their opening) can be handled entirely within the movement or search (for treasure with its assumed movement) actions that already exist.
: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: Search – The Binding Topic

Postby Markus Darwath » Monday February 13th, 2023 11:53am

We are fully in agreement that 1) there's no need for three separate search actions and 2) it is confounding as to how one can search a large area, beyond the amount of distance they can even move.

For the moment, I need to place-hold this post and return to it later. I have things to do today, and my brain isn't fully engaged in rules and writing mode right now. I will say that I think both of our approaches to this subject are viable, but may or may not need some tweaking. The differences as to what one chooses to adopt will come down to one's desired style of play.
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Re: Search – The Binding Topic

Postby Stig » Wednesday February 15th, 2023 1:47am

Great stuff Bareheaded Warrior! So I’m nearly at the end of Kellar’s Keep with a new party using my WD+D6 mechanic and its working out much better than expected, fixing many of the above problems. Link below, but in essence you just “search” and find the number of things shown by the D6 within your MP distance. So if you have 2MP, you’ll find two traps and nothing else, perhaps missing the secret door for example. A :blackshield: means a wandering monster jumps out and you find nothing. This leaves the possibility of undiscovered traps, causes the heroes to speed through the dungeon and not meticulously over-search; and uses your treasure chests idea!

viewtopic.php?f=38&t=5743


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Re: Search – The Binding Topic

Postby Zenithfleet » Tuesday March 7th, 2023 1:17am

Reading this thread, I feel like an apprentice wizard in a roomful of masters ... but for what it's worth, I have an "if it ain't broke don't fix it" attitude to the search rules.

And I reckon the search rules work pretty well in the original EU ruleset. They're not realistic in the slightest, but in terms of gameplay they function quite well. (Except for one or two things like placing trap tiles onto the board.) If it's real-world logic and simulationism you're after, then they make no sense. However, in pure abstract game design terms, they do fit together in a way that seems quite clean.

The NA ruleset seems to have introduced a number of problems in an attempt to be more realistic and RPG-like. It was starting from a very boardgamey EU ruleset, so it struggled.

As Bareheaded Warrior points out, the EU game doesn't really treat a search as realistically representing your character scampering around the room or up and down passages checking each square. Instead, it treats searching as a kind of 'scan the area' or 'magical detection effect'.

While this makes no logical sense in terms of HQ's worldbuilding, it works as a boardgame rule.

The original EU game was made with the mass market in mind, and aimed to be playable with kids slightly younger than the later NA edition. Most of the time, in HQ, as in other mass-market games, when you move you actually move--your piece goes from one square to another. But searching is an abstract concept. When searching you don't move your miniature. That meant that young players (well, us at least) were inclined to assume that you literally don't move, and you're 'detecting' dangers ahead somehow. I remember having a lot of trouble with the concept of 'searching for treasure' in a room without actually moving your model back in the day.

It might not be a coincidence that the search rules in the EU game behave pretty much as if you're standing still and detecting things from a distance. To a child, that's what it looks like you're doing on the board ... and it just so happens that's how the rules actually work.

Treasure chests (and probably cupboards too) are governed by a similar principle. They work the way a young child would expect them to work. In the EU game you don't get treasure from chests by searching. You might arguably be TOLD what's in the chest if you do a search ... but if you actually want the contents, you move over to chests and open them, like doors. It's not actually spelled out in the rules, so I'd have to do a whole post about it to prove this, but it's heavily implied.

In the case of both searching for traps and opening treasure chests, the EU rules tend to go along with how a kid would assume things work. If you're not moving your actual model then you must surely be standing still and 'detecting' things far away, right? "If I'm running up and down the passage while searching then how come I'm not moving my Elf?" Meanwhile, if you're getting treasure from a chest then you obviously would have to walk over there and open the thing. "What do you mean, I just stand over here and say 'search for treasure' and the money comes out of the closed chest over there? That doesn't make sense."

One other aspect of gameplay that I don't think has been discussed is competition between players. The original EU ruleset was made with competition in mind. Players could try to get gold before their brother or sister, attack each other, rush off on their own and still stand a fair chance of surviving against the monsters, and so on. Stephen Baker has commented that in practice he found players tended to cooperate and stick together, which led to 'The Maze' being replaced with 'The Trial', and it may well have encouraged the NA edition's rules (which pretty much enforce cooperation and have to increase the difficulty of the monsters as a result). But in the EU 2nd edition, despite adding 'The Trial', the rest of the game was left mostly the same: geared toward competitive each-man-for-himself play, at least in the base game quests.

The searching for traps and secret doors mechanic was arguably designed with the expectation that players will take reckless risks to one-up each other. Cautious, careful players will always search and will never set off traps. But greedy competitive players aren't cautious or careful. If they want to open that treasure chest before their 8-year-old cousin does, they'd better go for it ASAP and hope there's no trap there, rather than waste an action searching.

It's also a good reason for treasure searches to be separate from trap/secret searches. You can only do one or the other on your turn, so you have to weigh up whether to selflessly sacrifice your chance at treasure by doing a trap sweep (helping the players after you), or grab your opportunity to search for treasure instead and get that equipment card off the weapons rack or whatever.

Besides which, most original HQ players were kids, and kids forget to search. The search mechanic itself can be 100% accurate and always find traps because the original game design expects the players to accidentally or deliberately forego searching for traps fairly often.

Of course, once everyone starts cooperating like a tight-knit team, this doesn't work as well. (Or when one player is controlling all the heroes.) So I can see why adult players, who are always cooperating and proceeding cautiously, might want to revamp the search rules or replace them with something entirely new. But the rules weren't broken or messed up originally. They were reasonably fit for purpose.

Now for the list of problems in the original post.

At the risk of stating the obvious, it seems that most of the problems listed in the OP boil down to "how can we make HQ more realistic?" rather than "how can we make HQ play better?" Since, arguably, many of these problems appeared in the North American edition precisely because they were trying to make HQ more realistic, trying to make it even more realistic might be self-defeating ... :p

This isn't to say "don't change the rules!" or anything like that. For experienced adult players, the search rules are probably begging for a revision. I'm just arguing that they were pretty well designed for the context of the original EU game, playable by young kids and families.

(Bareheaded, it's clear that you're aware of most if not all of the things I point out already. I'm just being pedantic for the benefit of other readers who might only have played the North American / current Hasbro edition.)

Bareheaded Warrior wrote:
The Problems

1. Traps in a row flaw
You can search in a single square width corridor and find (without having to handle) numerous traps, even though it would logically be impossible to get to the subsequent trap squares without having dealt with the first one in some way – this could be resolved by stating that your search ends with the nearest trap found within your search area, this logic is used in certain Quest notes but perhaps should be a standard rule rather than an exception


This is a 'gamey' sort of thing but it's never bothered me much. It's one of those things where Heroquest goes "to heck with realism, this is a boardgame!"

Bareheaded Warrior wrote:2. Poorly defined/inconsistent search area flaw
Search area isn’t really defined (aside from the searching for traps in a room bit, i.e. you have to be in a room to search for and locate a trap in a room), it isn’t clear whether you can be in a room – in the doorway for example – and perform a trap search and locate a trap on the (adjacent to you) first square in a corridor which is inconsistent but not prohibited expressly as far as I can tell and the search area in a corridor isn’t well defined but I assume it is a single ‘straight stretch of any length’ but there is no information around standing on a corner or other intersection between two corridors and searching both simultaneously


The EU 2nd ed rules say "When a player searches he searches the whole room or passage in which he is standing." So no searching for traps through doorways. This seems straightforward and clear enough. Unfortunately it doesn't explain what to do about passages (corridors) that go round 90 degree corners or have intersections. We always assumed you used line of sight in those cases, but I don't think that's in the rules.

(The 1st edition was less clear. It said "A whole room or all visible squares of a passage may be searched in one turn", which could be interpreted as letting you search visible squares in a passage outside a doorway.)

Bareheaded Warrior wrote:3. Assumed movement ignores movement limits flaw
The assumed movement inherent in a trap search can be up to 25 squares long despite your basic maximum movement being 12 this is made even worst by the fact that you could, at a junction, use your action to ‘search for traps' with your assumed movement covering 25 squares in one direction and then roll and move up to 12 squares in another direction, your figure covering a total of 37 squares of movement (assumed and actual) in a single turn.


This is another 'gamey' thing that seems to work fine in practice, even though it makes no sense if you're thinking in terms of realism. The game treats a search like a kind of magical detection scan of the area, rather than a physical search where you run up and down the passage. If you limit the number of squares you can search, it would certainly be more realistic, but I feel that it would just slow the game down with everyone moving cautiously and constantly counting squares. Quicker just to reveal all the traps along the whole passage. (Ideally, of course, the map will have a monster down the end so you can't do this until it's dead.)

Bareheaded Warrior wrote:4. Unrevealed Monsters flaw
The assumed movement could cross a T-junction and beyond where there are unrevealed monsters along the other arm of the T. You can discover traps located past the junction without revealing the monsters (as the movement is assumed) but paradox warning - if you then moved down the corridor to disarm a found trap you would discover the presence of the monsters and their presence should have prevented you from searching for the traps that you have already found.


Again, this issue is mostly an issue of how realistic you want the game to be. If you're happy to think of searches as a kind of magical 'scan' that you do without moving, rather than actually scampering down the passage to check every square, there isn't any actual gameplay problem, just a 'this wouldn't work in the real world' problem.

However, it does cause a bit of a snafu with the rules as written in the EU 2nd edition, because you search 'the whole passage' in which you're standing. This wasn't the wording in the 1st edition (there it was all visible squares of the passage). So I think that intersections and corners were intended to be ignored in the original EU design, i.e. line of sight was used in passages when searching. The maps and monster placement are still the same in the 2nd edition apart from The Trial (I think), so the original intent persisted. But according to the letter of the rules, in clarifying one thing in the 2nd edition (no searching through doors), they caused this other thing to go out of whack.

Bareheaded Warrior wrote:5.Inconsistent search conditions flaw
There are discrepancies between the descriptions of the conditions in which you can perform the three different searches in the original which make no sense. Search for treasure can be done when there are no monsters in the room, whereas searching for traps and searching for secret doors can only be done if there are no monsters visible to you, so if you are in a room with no monsters in that room but one stood in the doorway outside the room in the corridor then you would be able to search for treasure in that room but would not be able to search for secret doors or search for traps. In addition, only the “Search for Treasure” has the potential to spawn a Wandering monster outcome but neither of the other two search actions which again is inconsistent.


I'm confused by the first sentence - there are only two types of search in the original (the EU rules), not three. Secret doors and traps are a single combined search. By 'original' do you mean 'classic NA rather than new Hasbro'?

In any case, in the EU rules, you can't search if there is a monster a) standing next to you or b) in the same room or passage as you. So you can't search if there is a monster on the other side of the doorway (you're busy fighting it!), but you can search if you can see a monster through a doorway with at least one vacant square between you. There's no difference for the conditions whether it's treasure or SD&T. Again, straightforward and consistent.

Bareheaded Warrior wrote:6. Traps behind the door flaw
In the official rules, there is a strange situation that occurs when a trap has been placed on the first square of a room on the Quest Map. As, under the official rules, you cannot search for a trap in a room without being in the room, and stepping into the room, will activate the trap, these become undetectable. For me, the issue with the “Traps on the other side of the door” logic isn’t that it feels unfair (although that is true), it is more that it feels unintended. I don’t get the feeling that the designers of the game set out with the intention of creating this situation, they simply wrote the searching for traps rules, and this surfaced through play as an unintended consequence that they highlighted in the rulebook so that players would have some guidance on how to handle the situation when they inevitably uncovered it.


This is just as much a problem in the EU rules as the NA rules. :cry:

Bareheaded Warrior wrote:7. Volume of searches flaw
In the US rules a room can be searched for treasure once by every Hero (although in the original UK/EU rules it was search once per room not once per Hero). This results in a volume of treasure found that leads the Heroes to max out on equipment in a brief period, causing advancement to stagnate. It also offers a considerable number of potential searches during the game, four treasure searches per room, plus a secret door search and a trap search – 6 search actions per room plus two additional searches for every corridor with a typical quest featuring maybe 8 rooms and a similar number of corridors that is a potential of over 60 searches, starts to feel like the game should have been named “Hero Search” and you have to keep track of them all!


Hang on--that first sentence isn't correct. In the original EU rules, there is no limit on searches whatsoever (unless I've missed something somewhere). No need to keep track of who's searched what.

Players are discouraged from abusing multiple treasure-deck searches by two things.

Firstly, the EU treasure deck appears to be deadlier than the NA one, although it's been a while since I compared them. Wandering monsters in particular are arguably scarier in the EU rules--because in that ruleset, if you reach 0 BP you instantly die with no (official) time to drink a potion. A sudden monster attack out of nowhere can be very dangerous if you're at 3 BP or below. Monsters found normally through exploration are less dangerous, because you can move up and kill them before they can strike back. I was petrified of wandering monsters as a kid and hesitated to search for treasure as a result. The deck is of course going to get more deadly the more searches you do too.

Secondly, by the letter of the EU rules, you can't keep things you find on Treasure cards for the next quest. Only gold values are written down on your character sheet. The other things (potions etc) stay on cards and are handed back to be reshuffled at the end of the quest. This means that players can't stock up on dozens of healing potions over successive quests--they have to find new potions each time. (Of course, in practice a lot of us wrote them down too, taking our cue from the ones you find in quest notes ... but strictly speaking you shouldn't do that.)[/quote]


Bareheaded Warrior wrote:8. Handling Chests and Furniture flaw
In some official quests the layout of traps and chests implies that a Hero needs to be adjacent to a chest to open it, whereas in the official rules chests are a purely decorative indicator that it might be worth searching in this room - Separating chests out of the main search rules and putting them into a separate action resolves this issue.


See above - in the original EU rules, both 1st and 2nd edition, chests (and cupboards) were treated as things you had to be next to open, like doors. The NA introduced a problem that didn't exist in the original design.


Bareheaded Warrior wrote:9. Memorizing suspect trap locations
This mechanism is weird, it encourages frustration and conflict. When a hero searches for traps, Zargon only points to the board which squares have a trap. Players may try to disarm or avoid 'suspect' squares only to find out it was not the right square, or may fall into a trap whilst moving to the square they thought was trapped. This is frustrating and often leads to conflict, "but that was the square you pointed at...", "no it wasn't, it was that square", "that one?", "no that one", "so can I climb out of this pit now and reset it so that I can try and disarm the correct square"?


The EU rules for found traps are even worse than that! :lol: (As you've already said, Bareheaded.)

If you find a pit trap, you put the open pit onto the board there and then--and somehow the Dwarf or tool kit can remove the open pit.

Even more serious, if you find a falling block trap with a search, the rock is placed on the board, blocking the path. This can be a real problem in several quests because the EU blocks are meant to fall on an adjacent square to the trigger square, separating the party, rather than landing on your head. If you find the trap by diligent searching, you will actually mess up the intended progression of the quest.

Of course this problem is counteracted by the Dwarf's ability as written, which lets him remove fallen blocks and pits (somehow). But this has the opposite effect of making the falling block traps fairly pointless at their intended function, which is to cut players off and separate the group. If they can just be removed after they fall then it defeats the point.

We also have the inconsistency of the Dwarf's rule on his card vs the 2nd ed rulebook. (We always used the 2nd ed rulebook, so he had to be adjacent, not just in the same room or passage.)

Because of this, we have a simple houserule: When you find a pit or falling block trap with a search, you put the tile onto the board as instructed by the rules... but you put it there upside down. This shows where the trap is, but it hasn't been sprung yet. You can then disarm it with the Dwarf or tool kit. If it's actually set off by someone moving onto it, flip it over to show the pit or the fallen block, and assume it can't be disarmed now (it's a big hole in the ground or pile of rubble)!

I generally prefer the EU rules over the NA as I think the former is a much cleaner design, but this is one area where the EU got it wrong and the NA improves on it somewhat.


Bareheaded Warrior wrote:10. Searching inside a pit flaw
Again this is inconsistent, you can search for treasure and secret doors “as though it was a distinct room in its own right” but if "it was a distinct room in its own right" then you would be able to search for traps. Why can’t you search for traps – because that makes no sense - how and why would anyone ever build a trap inside a pit, how would you mark it on the board and handle it, but that logic is equally true for secret doors in a pit, how and why would anyone ever locate a secret door inside a pit, fall in and risk death every time they want to use the door, have to avoid the stakes and reset the trap every time they exit the other way. If there is treasure in the pit then put it in the Quest Notes and you find it when you fall in.


I don't think this comes up in the EU game, because there's no such rule, and it never occurred to anyone I ever played with to try searching in a pit. It's just a hole in the ground after all ...

---

Overall, the most striking thing now that I sit down and go through this stuff is how few rules issues the EU search mechanics throw up compared to the NA rules. Only the issue of placing discovered traps on the board (plus the Dwarf's partially fixed ability) is a real flaw, and perhaps the old 'trap behind the door' dirty trick. Most of the other stuff is more of a gameplay vs realism thing. It seems that the NA edition introduced a lot of problems when it tried to make searches more realistic and RPG-ish.

However, if I've missed some obvious issues with the EU search rules then please set me straight. ;)

Also, the automatically opening secret doors in the EU rules seem like a feature rather than a bug. Not only does it save time, it makes secret doors rather more ambiguous and potentially trap-like. An unwary search could pop open several rooms full of monsters at once.
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Re: Search – The Binding Topic

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Tuesday March 7th, 2023 6:45am

Thank you for a comprehensive response, now I know how other people feel when they are on the receiving end of one of my essays :D

It turns out that whilst I can spew copiously, I’ll have to process and respond in bite-sized chunks (that sentence ended up more gross than anticipated), so first response of many to follow…

I get the principle of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” but for me that just automatically raises the follow-up question “is it broke”?

The function of my car is to get me from A to B, if it does that but pours out black smoke throughout the journey then is it broke? Functionally it still performs, but the quality is not as desired.

For me the quality of the rules is important as higher quality rules, maintain the immersion of the players in the game, rules that are not smooth, seamless and internally consistent, shift the focus of the players from where it should be, the in-game level (what is my hero doing, what are their options, what are the monsters doing, what are the other heroes doing) to a level above that, the ‘how’ level, how as a player do I attack, how as a player do I disarm a trap, how as a player do I search for a trap).

It isn’t about “realism” it is about not breaking immersion.

Obviously for fresh players, you expect a period of time where the “how” is the focus, but for good quality rules that period of time should be short. How short depends on the maturity of the individual player (by maturity I don’t just mean age, a 12 year old who has been playing a variety of board games for their whole lives might well have a higher maturity then their parents whose experience of board games is the odd game of monopoly once a decade).

The aim must be to minimise the number of times that players need to switch their focus from the in-game “what” level to the “how” level, or to put it another way, reduce the number of opportunities for “how come” type questions, like:

How come I can…
• Find a trap 100ft down a passageway in a single action but then it takes me three turns of movement to get to it
• Find a trap 100ft down a dimly lit passageway but then when I think I have moved to the right square to disarm I waste my action because it is actually located two squares further along from where I thought it was, because the GM pointed out the square on the previous turn and a lot has happened since?
• Find a trap 100ft down a dimly lit passageway but can’t locate one in the square next to me? Because the square next to you is in a room, but you are technically stood in the passageway not the room. But from where I’m standing, I can see everything is the room, can’t I? Why else have you just laid out all the contents? Surely, I must at least be able to see the square through the open door directly next to where I’m standing?
• Find a second trap behind the first along a single square width passageway, but then there is no way that I can move passed the first trap, as I don’t have a toolkit and I’m not the Dwarf, without having to jump it? I didn’t have the jump it last time to find the second trap behind it?
• I can get jumped by a wandering monster whilst I’m preoccupied with searching for treasure, but monster presumably can sneak less whilst I’m searching exactly the same room for traps and secret doors
• I can search a room and empty the contents of a treasure chest in a corner, but if I move over to the chest, I’ll spring one of a number of spear traps that completely surround the chest
• I can search every nook and cranny of a room to determine that there are no secret doors present, but then I step one square and fall into a pit trap (NA Edition)
• Characters can’t share squares, fine I’m used to that, it is now second nature, so how come that is suddenly allowed if the square has a pit on it, are we all stacked on top of each other’s heads, will the Orc underneath me who is presumably stood on the Dwarf’s head attack him or me on his turn?

You make a good point that the game system was originally designed for a market of 12-year old boys so these are not really flaws in that context, but I still want to increase the quality where possible, so that the game can still be enjoyed both by 12-year old boys and grown men who still enjoy the activities that they did when they were 12 year old boys (careful!)
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Re: Search – The Binding Topic

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Tuesday March 7th, 2023 10:03am

In the EU game you don't get treasure from chests by searching. You might arguably be TOLD what's in the chest if you do a search ... but if you actually want the contents, you move over to chests and open them, like doors. It's not actually spelled out in the rules, so I'd have to do a whole post about it to prove this, but it's heavily implied.


I agree, both that it is not stated but is implied, so my suggested modifications make this explicit through the use of a new distinct Loot action that means you have to be adjacent to a chest to retrieve the contents.

One other aspect of gameplay that I don't think has been discussed is competition between players. The original EU ruleset was made with competition in mind. Players could try to get gold before their brother or sister, attack each other, rush off on their own and still stand a fair chance of surviving against the monsters, and so on. Stephen Baker has commented that in practice he found players tended to cooperate and stick together, which led to 'The Maze' being replaced with 'The Trial', and it may well have encouraged the NA edition's rules (which pretty much enforce cooperation and have to increase the difficulty of the monsters as a result). But in the EU 2nd edition, despite adding 'The Trial', the rest of the game was left mostly the same: geared toward competitive each-man-for-himself play, at least in the base game quests.


Yes, another change that occurred during the westward migration and you are right, an interesting one. The EU (or EA) ruleset was described as semi-cooperative, players had the freedom to be as competitive or cooperative as they chose, but as the difficulty of the Quests ramped up (at least in theory, in practise that didn’t work as well as intended) they would presumably learn that they needed to co-operate more in order to achieve their objectives (a good life lesson there). NA edition, enforcing cooperation, “thou shalt cooperate” I found less appealing.

It's also a good reason for treasure searches to be separate from trap/secret searches. You can only do one or the other on your turn, so you have to weigh up whether to selflessly sacrifice your chance at treasure by doing a trap sweep (helping the players after you) or grab your opportunity to search for treasure instead and get that equipment card off the weapons rack or whatever.


The rush to grab the treasure first and risk traps is very much a consideration, both from the point of view of parents (mainly in my experience mums) searching for traps in a room to give their little ones the opportunity to grab the treasure, but also from the point of view of brothers making it a point of principle to grab all treasure before anyone else can. Under my suggested modifications that ‘motivation’ is still present, the first to search will much of the time get the loot, but occasionally will fall foul of a trap, (and will get the chance of disarming it or suffering the effects but either ends their turn) leaving the way clear for the follow up player to grab the treasure (gloating face is mandatory), without the need for separation between searches types.

Besides which, most original HQ players were kids, and kids forget to search. The search mechanic itself can be 100% accurate and always find traps because the original game design expects the players to accidentally or deliberately forego searching for traps fairly often.


Yes, but it is interesting that the trap search mechanism relies on players forgetting to search for traps in order to retain the element of surprise, but some of the quests rely on those same players NOT forgetting to search for secret doors for the Quest to work as intended!
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Re: Search – The Binding Topic

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Wednesday March 8th, 2023 5:25am

Last chunk

In general, I agree with many of the comments you have made that the official rules may have been fit for purpose for their intended audience, so perhaps ‘flawed’ is a little strong, but I still don’t see that as a reason not to improve them, but if you are only ever playing with the intended audience then they might well be fine as they are, at a stretch.

2. I don’t use the search rules as written (obviously) but I would agree that EU Second Edition just needs a statement to clarify that in a passageway, you choose the direction of your search, and it covers the portion of the passageway in a straight line in that direction only

By 'original' do you mean 'classic NA rather than new Hasbro’?


5. Yes, I did, apologies that issue is a NA one only

Hang on--that first sentence isn't correct. In the original EU rules, there is no limit on searches whatsoever (unless I've missed something somewhere). No need to keep track of who's searched what.


7. In the EU/EA second edition rules searching for treasure in a room (and you can’t search for treasure in a passageway) only returns a result once so there is no reason why you would ever do it more than once. This implies that you need a way to mark off a room as searched (but not be whom) as GM, otherwise how would you know whether a hero’s search for treasure in a room should return a treasure card or nothing (as it has already been searched). Searching for traps and secret doors is not limited, but as all secret doors and traps are revealed by a search in a specific area, again there would be no reason to search the same area again. Effectively this means 1 search per room (for treasure) and 1 per room/passageway (for traps and secret doors) as a maximum.

So, assuming a typical Quest has 8 rooms and 8 passageways…

Under EU/EA second edition rules that would be a maximum of 24 searches (8 room for treasure, 8 rooms for traps & secret doors, 8 passageways for traps & secret doors)

Under the NA rules that would be 8 room searches for treasure per hero so 32 searches (although you may have picked the treasure deck clean before that), then a search for traps for every room and corridor 16 and a search for secret doors for every room and corridor = 16, so a maximum of 64 searches.

When, a decade ago, I first discovered this site and the NA edition rules I was converted by the big ticket items that the NA rules introduced, multiple BP monsters and Dread spells mainly, so I eagerly switched to using them as my starting position. Much play later I have discovered whilst those big ticket items are definitely an improvement, the rest of the NA rules are less great.

Some issues in the EU/EA have been fixed, in full or in part, others have not been touched. Those that have been ‘fixed’ often the correct issue was identified but the fix was poorly thought out, worded or implemented, sometimes causing more issues than it fixed.

Some of the additional rules introduced I’m not keen on from a principles point of view (like the ones mentioned above to ‘force’ cooperation) and some seem pointless – searching inside a pit (why?), or are so badly worded that it isn’t whether it is even possible to get yourself into a situation when the rule could even apply – saving yourself from death through a healing spell.

Much of the text has been rewritten but in such a way that it is more ambiguous than it was before.

I’m currently working on a new edition of my HeroQuest Gold rules that is basically converting from using the NA as my base to EA/EU edition, and whilst the conversion takes effort, the finished product will be closer to the EA/EU edition then it ever was to the NA edition.

Also, the automatically opening secret doors in the EU rules seem like a feature rather than a bug. Not only does it save time, it makes secret doors rather more ambiguous and potentially trap-like. An unwary search could pop open several rooms full of monsters at once.


To be clear I have no issue with found secret doors defaulting to an open state (I have kept that as is in my own version). The problem is that finding a secret door, automatically opens it AND you can find a secret door whilst you are miles away from it. This combination of results isn’t great, the NA version ‘fixes’ this by making a found secret door stay closed, but I think that is the wrong fix, the problem isn’t with found secret doors being automatically opened, that in my opinion is correct, the problem is that you can find a secret door whilst you are in a galaxy far far away.

Picture this...

Hero wandering through dungeon, “This protruding piece of rock looks conveniently placed and suspiciously shaped, I’ll push it and see what happens, might be nothing”. Grinding of stone on stone, opens/reveals a secret door, with a bunch of monsters on the other side. Finding hero shouts a warning to the other heroes, they tell him to stay in position and try and block the monsters from getting out of the room, whilst they rush to his aid. He points out that he can’t do this as he is actually 100ft away from the secret door that he found, and worse he is actually behind the other heroes, they are closer to the secret door that he found than he is, so blocking whilst tactically sound is mind-bendingly impossible.
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Re: Search – The Binding Topic

Postby Zenithfleet » Wednesday March 8th, 2023 1:58pm

Bareheaded Warrior wrote:Thank you for a comprehensive response, now I know how other people feel when they are on the receiving end of one of my essays :D


Haha. I may have had a slow day yesterday waiting for someone who was hours late ... :oops: :D

Bareheaded Warrior wrote:It turns out that whilst I can spew copiously, I’ll have to process and respond in bite-sized chunks (that sentence ended up more gross than anticipated), so first response of many to follow…


I should stress that nothing I've said is meant to be a complaint about your own efforts to fix the problems you see. I'm sort of talking at a tangent to this thread, directing my gigantic essay of doom at people who only know the North American edition (now the worldwide edition, grr), so that they're aware of the EU differences in the search rules.

Bareheaded Warrior wrote:It isn’t about “realism” it is about not breaking immersion.


This raises the interesting point of what breaks immersion for each person. We all seem to have different thresholds. I couldn't cope with those silly bomber spaceships in The Last Jedi movie, but other people were fine with them. I remember reading about a geologist who couldn't stand old Western movies, because they'd ride up a rise and look down into a valley, and he'd shout at the screen, "THE VALLEY HAS TO BE AT LEAST SIX MILES FROM THE RISE!" :smack: :lol:

In the case of HQ, most of the abstract search stuff (like finding traps 30 metres down the passageway but not on the other side of a door) doesn't bother me. But the idea that the Dwarf could clear away a pit or a fallen block really annoyed me even as a 10-year-old. That broke the sense of immersion instantly. Clearing fallen blocks was quickly houseruled away, and removing pits followed a while later.

Yet for other people, digging through rubble or filling in a pit probably seems much more plausible than finding a trap at the far end of the board. :ugeek:

(I still remain stubbornly convinced that the Dwarf was never meant to be able to remove fallen blocks, and that 'trap tiles' only referred to pits. Otherwise some of the quest effects wouldn't work as intended because he'd just press the undo button. But that's not how it was written, so oh well.)

Bareheaded Warrior wrote:Yes, another change that occurred during the westward migration and you are right, an interesting one. The EU (or EA) ruleset was described as semi-cooperative, players had the freedom to be as competitive or cooperative as they chose, but as the difficulty of the Quests ramped up (at least in theory, in practise that didn’t work as well as intended) they would presumably learn that they needed to co-operate more in order to achieve their objectives (a good life lesson there). NA edition, enforcing cooperation, “thou shalt cooperate” I found less appealing.


You're right--there's a kind of 'emergent' cooperation that should happen naturally in the EU game as it goes on, simply because it gets harder to stay alive if you don't cooperate.

I remember a real-life example of this learning process between my young cousins many years ago, when first introduced to Heroquest. They used to compete for gold and play dirty tricks on each other (e.g. an opportunistic Sleep spell to knock one out so the other could get to a chest first), and regularly riled each other up, as siblings do. Matters came to a head in 'Bastion of Chaos', which is when the base game quests finally toughen up. Midway into the quest, the two of them got into some sort of disagreement and the younger brother playfully attacked the older sister's character, costing her a body point. Things escalated quickly. Within minutes one of them was dead and the other was on 1-2 BP. Cue a monster coming round the corner to finish the survivor off and steal all their stuff. After that debacle, they grudgingly decided that maybe cooperating in future would be a better idea ... :lol:

I wonder too if the NA edition had a more 'heroic' view of the heroes in general. The EU rules seem to take a more lowbrow sword 'n' sorcery attitude where the characters are in it for the gold and the glory, and might not be entirely trustworthy. I like the way they (theoretically at least) learn to work together, naturally through extended play, and eventually become real heroes who save the Empire.

The flipside is that if you play the EU game with players who insist on cooperating from the start, or only one player is controlling all the heroes, the base game is far too easy.

Bareheaded Warrior wrote:
Hang on--that first sentence isn't correct. In the original EU rules, there is no limit on searches whatsoever (unless I've missed something somewhere). No need to keep track of who's searched what.


7. In the EU/EA second edition rules searching for treasure in a room (and you can’t search for treasure in a passageway) only returns a result once so there is no reason why you would ever do it more than once. This implies that you need a way to mark off a room as searched (but not be whom) as GM, otherwise how would you know whether a hero’s search for treasure in a room should return a treasure card or nothing (as it has already been searched). Searching for traps and secret doors is not limited, but as all secret doors and traps are revealed by a search in a specific area, again there would be no reason to search the same area again. Effectively this means 1 search per room (for treasure) and 1 per room/passageway (for traps and secret doors) as a maximum.


Okay, you're going to have to explain this one to me ... :?: :?: :?:

Firstly, I can't find any rule in the EU saying you can't search for treasure in a passageway. It's never going to get you anything but a Treasure card but you can still do it.

Secondly, why do you say that searching for treasure in a room only returns a result once? Why can't you just search again and get another Treasure card? I see nothing in the rules prohibiting multiple searches.

Let's see ...

In the 2nd ed EU rules, 'Searching' on p11 explains the rules for both kinds of search by talking about both rooms and passages. No distinction saying treasure searches are only allowed in rooms.

p13 under 'Treasure' explains what to do if a specific treasure is hidden in 'the appropriate room'. And I don't think a specific treasure is ever found in a passage. But the text doesn't actually say you can't search passages.

However on p13 it does say: "If there is no specific treasure listed for that room then the character player must take the top Treasure card." I suppose this could be taken to mean that you only take a card if you search in a room. But I've always read it as just a consequence of the way the paragraph explains things. It starts off talking about what to do about specific noted treasures. Those are always in rooms, so the rest of the paragraph assumes you're in a room.

It also doesn't say that you only return a result once. If you search the same room again, wouldn't you just do the loop again? Check Quest Notes a second time - still no specific treasure listed there - draw another Treasure card.
(Barbarian finds something under the table and stops happily to count his gold. Then Elf finds a potion in an alcove. Then Wizard gets jumped by the wandering monster who's been sneaking up on them the whole time ...)

The counterpoint indicating that you can get Treasure cards by searching in passages is on p14 under 'Wandering monsters':
"If there is no vacant space adjacent to the character who drew the card, the evil wizard player may place the wandering monster in any vacant square in the same room or passage." (Emphasis added.)

That clearly indicates that you can draw a Treasure card in a passage (to get a wandering monster). Ergo, you can search for treasure in passages in the EU game.

Doesn't it? What have I missed? :?:


Bareheaded Warrior wrote:When, a decade ago, I first discovered this site and the NA edition rules I was converted by the big ticket items that the NA rules introduced, multiple BP monsters and Dread spells mainly, so I eagerly switched to using them as my starting position. Much play later I have discovered whilst those big ticket items are definitely an improvement, the rest of the NA rules are less great.

Some issues in the EU/EA have been fixed, in full or in part, others have not been touched. Those that have been ‘fixed’ often the correct issue was identified but the fix was poorly thought out, worded or implemented, sometimes causing more issues than it fixed.

Some of the additional rules introduced I’m not keen on from a principles point of view (like the ones mentioned above to ‘force’ cooperation) and some seem pointless – searching inside a pit (why?), or are so badly worded that it isn’t whether it is even possible to get yourself into a situation when the rule could even apply – saving yourself from death through a healing spell.

Much of the text has been rewritten but in such a way that it is more ambiguous than it was before.


I had a similar experience. At first the NA edition seemed clearly superior with its Chaos Spells and multiple Body points for monsters. I played for a while with NA rules, or at least a kind of hybrid. But more and more things about the NA rules started to irk me, and the cleaner design of the EU game called me back again. Even multiple BPs for monsters ends up just making combat a tedious slow grind once you hit the larger hordes in the expansions. (Except for boss monsters, which really needed them. Even the EU designers agreed, and eventually added the points track to the bosses in Ogre Horde and Wizards of Morcar. It probably just took them a while to think of a way to do it within the 'no enemy book-keeping' design principle they had set themselves.)

Things like searching in a pit seem like part of the general American effort to make NA HQ into 'D&D lite'. Extra fiddly details added because they would be the sort of thing you'd find in a proper RPG. Sometimes to good effect, sometimes to pointless or annoying effect. It's understandable, as even original HQ was trying to be D&D disguised as a family boardgame--sort of the equivalent of the Nintendo Entertainment System, meant to look like it was Definitely Not A Videogame Console to avoid scaring off toy retailers burned by the Atari crash.

Bareheaded Warrior wrote:To be clear I have no issue with found secret doors defaulting to an open state (I have kept that as is in my own version). The problem is that finding a secret door, automatically opens it AND you can find a secret door whilst you are miles away from it. This combination of results isn’t great, the NA version ‘fixes’ this by making a found secret door stay closed, but I think that is the wrong fix, the problem isn’t with found secret doors being automatically opened, that in my opinion is correct, the problem is that you can find a secret door whilst you are in a galaxy far far away.

Picture this...

Hero wandering through dungeon, “This protruding piece of rock looks conveniently placed and suspiciously shaped, I’ll push it and see what happens, might be nothing”. Grinding of stone on stone, opens/reveals a secret door, with a bunch of monsters on the other side. Finding hero shouts a warning to the other heroes, they tell him to stay in position and try and block the monsters from getting out of the room, whilst they rush to his aid. He points out that he can’t do this as he is actually 100ft away from the secret door that he found, and worse he is actually behind the other heroes, they are closer to the secret door that he found than he is, so blocking whilst tactically sound is mind-bendingly impossible.


Well, see, that doesn't break immersion at all for me. It's far less weird than it is for distant traps. He didn't necessarily find the switch next to the door. The protruding piece of rock or trick flagstone might be right there at his end of the corridor, while the door opens way down the other end. That's how you keep the entrance a secret! ;)

Reminds me of all those Doom levels where you flick a switch and have no idea where in the level the door opened ... :evil: :twisted:

Of course, if you're assuming that placing the room's contents on the board means he must be able to see into the room he just opened, then I can see how it makes no sense to be a long way away. But there are other rooms in the game that open spontaneously and their contents are laid out before the Heroes are close enough to see everything in them, like the ambush at the start of Kellar's Keep. It's necessary because the Morcar/Zargon player can't move a monster that isn't on the board yet.
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Re: Search – The Binding Topic

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Thursday March 9th, 2023 8:23am

I should stress that nothing I've said is meant to be a complaint about your own efforts to fix the problems you see.


It wasn’t taken that way, my quip about chunks was just a reflection of my own tendency to post really long essays, but then when I get a similar length one in response, I have to take it away, slowly break it down, process it, then respond piecemeal, one baby step at a time!

In the case of HQ, most of the abstract search stuff doesn't bother me. But the idea that the Dwarf could clear away a pit or a fallen block really annoyed me even as a 10-year-old. That broke the sense of immersion instantly. Clearing fallen blocks was quickly houseruled away, and removing pits followed a while later. Yet for other people, digging through rubble or filling in a pit probably seems much more plausible than finding a trap at the far end of the board.

(I still remain stubbornly convinced that the Dwarf was never meant to be able to remove fallen blocks, and that 'trap tiles' only referred to pits. Otherwise some of the quest effects wouldn't work as intended because he'd just press the undo button. But that's not how it was written, so oh well.)


Funnily enough both the abstract search stuff and the Dwarf as a miner bothered me even when I was a minor. It wasn’t so much that I couldn’t picture the Dwarf with a head lantern, pick and shovel, filling in holes and removing rubble, that works for me (although as you point out that idea does break some of the quests as written, which suggests some sort of disconnect between the ‘rule’ building process and the ‘scenario’ building process – maybe down to timings and revisions) it was more because the “Dwarf as a miner” concept was referred to in the rules as ‘Disarming traps’.

If my job was to turn up at a site after a bomb had gone off to flatten/remove piles of rubble and fill in any holes, then I wouldn’t describe myself as engaging in the activity of disarming bombs. Filling in pits and removing blocked squares, are activities that take place AFTER a trap has failed to be disarmed.

I wonder too if the NA edition had a more 'heroic' view of the heroes in general. The EU rules seem to take a more lowbrow sword 'n' sorcery attitude where the characters are in it for the gold and the glory, and might not be entirely trustworthy. I like the way they (theoretically at least) learn to work together, naturally through extended play, and eventually become real heroes who save the Empire.

The flipside is that if you play the EU game with players who insist on cooperating from the start, or only one player is controlling all the heroes, the base game is far too easy.


Agreed, I prefer lowbrow, dark, grim, worlds of grey, swords and sorcery personally but I do try and tend a little more towards heroic, black and white, goodies and baddies, high fantasy for the purposes of HeroQuest due to the target audience, but it is a tricky balance sometimes. My changes to the function of the combat dice symbols is probably my biggest change (aside from stuff lifted out of NA edition like multiple BP monsters) to ramp up the difficulty of the game across the board by a notch (but that is a separate topic for a separate thread)

Of course, if you're assuming that placing the room's contents on the board means he must be able to see into the room he just opened, then I can see how it makes no sense to be a long way away. But there are other rooms in the game that open spontaneously and their contents are laid out before the Heroes are close enough to see everything in them, like the ambush at the start of Kellar's Keep. It's necessary because the Morcar/Zargon player can't move a monster that isn't on the board yet.


Indeed, but those exceptions that you mention are exceptions for the reasons that you mention, that is they are necessary for the purposes of the activation of monsters in those specific circumstances but not in general. So, in general, the contents are placed because you can now see them.
In terms of the searching for gold in rooms and/or passages, multiple searches and so on, I’ll post that response later as it is worth a dedicated post all to itself.
: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: Search – The Binding Topic

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Monday March 13th, 2023 6:30am

Finally returning to your main point

Okay, you're going to have to explain this one to me ...?

Firstly, I can't find any rule in the EU saying you can't search for treasure in a passageway. It's never going to get you anything but a Treasure card, but you can still do it.

Secondly, why do you say that searching for treasure in a room only returns a result once? Why can't you just search again and get another Treasure card? I see nothing in the rules prohibiting multiple searches.

Let's see ...

In the 2nd ed EU rules, 'Searching' on p11 explains the rules for both kinds of search by talking about both rooms and passages. No distinction saying treasure searches are only allowed in rooms.

p13 under 'Treasure' explains what to do if a specific treasure is hidden in 'the appropriate room'. And I don't think a specific treasure is ever found in a passage. But the text doesn't actually say you can't search passages.

However, on p13 it does say: "If there is no specific treasure listed for that room then the character player must take the top Treasure card." I suppose this could be taken to mean that you only take a card if you search in a room. But I've always read it as just a consequence of the way the paragraph explains things. It starts off talking about what to do about specific noted treasures. Those are always in rooms, so the rest of the paragraph assumes you're in a room.
It also doesn't say that you only return a result once. If you search the same room again, wouldn't you just do the loop again? Check Quest Notes a second time - still no specific treasure listed there - draw another Treasure card.

(Barbarian finds something under the table and stops happily to count his gold. Then Elf finds a potion in an alcove. Then Wizard gets jumped by the wandering monster who's been sneaking up on them the whole time ...)

The counterpoint indicating that you can get Treasure cards by searching in passages is on p14 under 'Wandering monsters':
"If there is no vacant space adjacent to the character who drew the card, the evil wizard player may place the wandering monster in any vacant square in the same room or passage." (Emphasis added.)

That clearly indicates that you can draw a Treasure card in a passage (to get a wandering monster). Ergo, you can search for treasure in passages in the EU game.

Doesn't it? What have I missed?


I don't think you have missed anything, I think we are back to a question of interpretation, as always.

My interpretation/assumption/misunderstanding was that the EA First Edition allowed searching for treasure in both rooms and passageways and didn't explicitly specify a one treasure search per room or passageway limit, but I assumed that you could only search a room/passageway once, as otherwise heroes could just repeatedly search the first room they are placed in, rinse the deck for everything that was worthwhile and then exit the dungeon and spend all the gold on equipment, then re-enter the same dungeon, the first room again, and then rinse and repeat until they were fully kitted up before ever leaving the first room of the first quest.

My interpretation/assumption/misunderstanding was that the EA Second Edition, whilst not explicitly stating that only rooms and not passageways could be searched for treasure, did have that restriction based on the fact that the first section of the search rules covers both treasure and trap & secret doors searches generically, mentioning both rooms and passageways, the second section was around the specifics of the search for secret doors and trap action and mentions both rooms and passageways and the third section covered searching for treasure specifically and mentioned only rooms (but this may well have been an example of selection bias or motivated perception on my part)

However you make a good point that the Wandering Monster text implies they can be found in passageways does seem to indicate that searching for treasure was permitted under EA SE rules, I always thought that was a remnant that was missed from the FE wandering monsters cards, but that may well be incorrect (and I don't have them to refer to)

My interpretation/assumption/misunderstanding was further reinforced by the NA edition that did state (or maybe re-iterate...) that searching for treasure was room-only and only once per room (although that was once per hero per room) which I took as confirmation of my take on the EA SE rules and part of the suite of changes, previously discussed around forcing fair play and sharing at crossbow-point in the NA edition, by removing the restriction of one search per room, so that kiddies didn't get upset by any hint of competition (and we all know how much kids hate winning at stuff, it is the taking part that matters to them - yeah, if you are a loser!)

All that said I'll be sticking to my interpretation, for HQ Gold Edition possibly through stubbornness, but also because it makes for a better balance for the gold-acquisition and spending on upgrades, advancement system, that otherwise in all the editions, is to a greater or lesser extent, imbalanced, leading heroes to advance too quickly, meaning that they run out of upgrades and are too powerful too early making the difficulty ramping not effective.
More on that on the advancement thread…I did once sit down and work it all out, I’ll see if I can find and post that data for the EA First Edition, Second Edition (both variants), NA edition and Gold Edition.
: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


Rewards:
Wrote an article for the Blog.
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