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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 The Admiral » Monday March 13th, 2023 8:20am

I have been playing HQ since 1990 and I have never allowed treasure searches in corridors. Don't know/care what the rules say, it just never felt right to me. I am the Evil Wizard and all must bow down before me! :twisted:


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Re: Search – The Binding Topic

Postby Zenithfleet » Monday March 13th, 2023 2:04pm

Bareheaded Warrior wrote: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.


OK, fair enough. I don't really see an issue with limiting treasure searches to rooms, and to only one search per room. And as you say, there are enough ambiguities that you could read it that way (or get the impression) easily enough even if it wasn't intended.

(I've had my own 'instant and never-changing assumption' since first playing HQ about the falling block trap rules, which is that the Dwarf isn't supposed to be able to remove them from the board once they've fallen--only pit traps. But that's me pretty much putting my hands over my ears and singing 'la la la I can't hear you' because the rules as written seem daft to me. Unlike you, I can't claim that as a matter of interpretation. :oops: :lol: )

One other possible argument that the designers didn't intend to limit searches is that '1 search per room' requires some kind of book-keeping. You need to track which rooms have been searched and which haven't. The general EU design philosophy seems to have been to avoid book-keeping as much as possible (e.g. 1 BP monsters), limiting it to players' character sheets. If 'once per room' was the intention, I feel like the game would have included a token or marker of some kind to place in each room once it had been searched.

I don't have 1st ed wandering monster cards either, but the EU 2nd ed wandering monster card doesn't say anything about either rooms or passages, just that the monster is placed next to you. However, there is one treasure card with flavour text that assumes you're in a room: Holy Water. All the others are generic.

RAW aside, I reckon your 'once per room' rule has its gameplay advantages in the EU game--it adds some risk/reward. If you know you'll only get one chance to draw a card in any room--by being the first to search--then you'll be tempted to do that instead of searching for traps first. Sproing ... whoops ... ouch. (Though most traps in the EU quest notes are set off by moving onto the wrong square or opening chests, not by searching for treasure.)

Bareheaded Warrior wrote: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.


Fair point - I hadn't thought about the first room, where you can just hop back on the stairs if you get into trouble. For some reason it never occurred to any of us kids back in the day to do this. Probably because anyone trying it would get walloped over the head with a cricket bat. :?

It may also have something to do with the fact that I started with the 2nd ed EU. I'm not even sure if the 1st edition was released here in Australia. In the 2nd ed, you're supposed to play your first game (The Trial) without using or even knowing the search or magic rules. That meant searching was something mysterious and 'advanced' that we only gradually learned to do in later quests. By then we were well hooked and had to go explore the dungeon once we were in it. :)

As is often the case, the NA rule tried to clear things up but actually introduced more issues. There are maps that put treasure chests in corridors, found by secret doors. The NA edition has to declare these areas 'special rooms' just so you can search them. They were often added to the NA maps, but if they existed in the EU quests they wouldn't cause any problems whatsoever, because you can just walk over to chests and open them instead of searching. :roll:

EDIT: I've written a ginormous screed about how treasure chests work in the EU version of the game. You can find it here (it's far too long to copy and paste into this thread):
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6417
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Re: Search – The Binding Topic

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Wednesday March 15th, 2023 5:44am

SE Rules of Play p10 wrote: Any Equipment or gold the eliminated character had may be picked up by another character, who searches for treasure in the room or passage in which the character was eliminated.


Emphasis added, so more evidence (if it was needed) that you were correct about searching for treasure in passage(way)s in SE!
: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 Zenithfleet » Wednesday March 15th, 2023 9:24am

Bareheaded Warrior wrote:
SE Rules of Play p10 wrote: Any Equipment or gold the eliminated character had may be picked up by another character, who searches for treasure in the room or passage in which the character was eliminated.


Emphasis added, so more evidence (if it was needed) that you were correct about searching for treasure in passage(way)s in SE!


Whoa, I missed that one! Ta. :D

Though I suppose you could declare that a special case, only allowed when a character has died (because everyone already knows there is a 'special treasure' to find there now).

Or you can be strict with your interpretation, only allow searching for treasure in rooms, and doom the gear of any hero killed in a passageway to instant evaporation. #TheFloorIsLava :twisted:
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Re: Search – The Binding Topic

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Sunday April 2nd, 2023 4:22am

So, in summary, it appears that treasure searching under SE rules IS allowed in both rooms and passageways and if you are not already convinced of this fact from the thread so far then essentially it boils down to asking yourself 2 questions.

1. Where in the SE rulebook does it state that you cannot search for treasure in a passageway?

And if you try and dodge that one by claiming (not without good grounds) that the lack of a rule explicitly stating something in HQ doesn't mean that the rule doesn't exist, you just have to work it out from hints...

2. If treasure searching is NOT allowed in passageways then how do you explain the following snippets from the rules

SE Rules of Play p10 wrote:Any Equipment or gold the eliminated character had may be picked up by another character, who searches for treasure in the room or passage in which the character was eliminated.


SE Rules of Play p14 wrote:
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."
: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 Shark » Sunday April 2nd, 2023 8:40am

Still think reading EU rules you search only rooms.

If you go with the argument it does not say you cant then … it does not say you cant resell equipment or search monsters for example.

Sorry added this bit - Hero Quest rules are like German grammar- every rule has at least one exception!
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Re: Search – The Binding Topic

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Sunday April 2nd, 2023 10:21am

I refer the gentleman to my previous answer (I always wanted the opportunity to drop that into conversation) specifically part 2 of my previous answer.
: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 Shark » Sunday April 2nd, 2023 4:17pm

Ditto! - Hero Quest rules are like German grammar- every rule has at least one exception!
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Re: Search – The Binding Topic

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Monday April 3rd, 2023 4:20am

Either way for the purposes of Polishing the Second Edition I'm looking to clarify this aspect of the rules, resulting in searches for treasure in passageways definitely not being allowed so we all end up in the same place, even if some of us were there already!

New problem raised, any objections to the proposed changes?

Bareheaded Warrior wrote:#14 Search for Treasure in passageways

Problem statement: It isn't clear in the original rulebook whether searching for treasure is allowed in passageways or only rooms.

Proposed changes:

1. Add the following text to the Book of Searching - "Searching for Treasure is only allowed in rooms. Searching for Secret Doors and Traps is allowed in both rooms and passageways"

2. Amend text in Book of Searching by removing the bit in italics - "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."

3. Amend the text in the Book of Combat to remove the bit in italics - "Any Equipment or gold the eliminated character had may be picked up by another character, who searches for treasure in the room or passage in which the character was eliminated."

4. Add the following text to the Book of Exploration - "Any dropped items can be picked up automatically by a character moving onto the appropriate square."

Discussion link: Search – The Binding Topic

Additional Material:

Agreed changes: Under discussion
: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 Shark » Monday April 3rd, 2023 7:38am

So I get the general one search in a room, but what if it has furniture? I know in some quests for cupboards and bookshelf’s the quest notes will generally say something, but what if it does not. Is it assumed empty, you get another draw on the treasure deck or something for that item of furniture?

For example - Table roll 1d6 1=empty; 2=trap; 3=food (if you eat it - roll 1d5 1-3 gain 1BP; 4-6 lose 1BP), 4= 1d6*5gc; 5=wandering monster; 6=draw treasure card
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