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Healing: How A Hero Escapes Death

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

Re: Healing: How A Hero Escapes Death

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Thursday March 9th, 2023 12:48pm

Yes, I agree that this is probably the type of scenario that they were thinking of covering. However the logic you applied in this scenario was along the lines below:

It is the Wizard's turn, she has moved but hasn't taken an action, she triggers a trap (not an action)

The trap takes effect, the block falls, she takes damage, BP drops to zero, and she relocated to an adjacent square...(*)

But, as it is still her turn (and it has to be for this rule to kick in, as if it is someone else turn then it is too late), and she is a spell caster and has a healing spell and hasn't taken an action on her turn, she can use her action to save herself by casting the healing spell on her turn

All good except at this point (*) the rules state that triggering a falling block (and other traps apart from Spear traps), causes the trap effect; block to fall, damage to be dealt, the hero to be moved AND THEN THIS ENDS THEIR TURN

Perhaps scrapping it is a little hasty on my part, maybe a rewrite...

Modify the existing rule around traps ending your turn, so that they end your movement, but if you have an action remaining then you can use it.

Modify the ‘saving yourself from death text’ (the part relating to spells) to state: If you are reduced to zero BP but have not yet taken your action on your turn, and you are a spell caster with a healing spell then you can use your action to cast it on yourself at once, saving yourself from death. However is this special case the spell will only restore 1 Body point rather than the usual amount.
Last edited by Bareheaded Warrior on Friday March 10th, 2023 5:36am, edited 2 times in total.
: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]

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Re: Healing: How A Hero Escapes Death

Postby The Admiral » Thursday March 9th, 2023 1:03pm

It was always my interpretation, and how I have played it, that if the Wizard did not perform an action on his/her turn i.e. move only, then they would be able to save themselves on Zargon's turn by using a spell.


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Re: Healing: How A Hero Escapes Death

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Friday March 10th, 2023 12:52pm

That, my lord admiral, is a common alternative interpretation of this rule text. The fact that there are at least two distinct interpretations is exactly my problem with it. I favour the interpretation that wallydubbs has highlighted for a number of reasons, one of which is because it can be smoothed out in the rulebook with a couple of minor modifications (tweaks) and doesn’t set any precedents.

Your interpretation (appreciate you are not alone) presents a couple of issues for me. The first is practical, once you have moved off from someone’s turn and gone through a number of other turns and potentially multiple monster turns within the GM turn, it then becomes challenging to remember whether a particular hero did or did not use their action, which when you are discussing life or death can become contentious

The second is that I see it as an 'ugly exception' as it sets a precedent because it allows characters to ‘save their action’ for use on another player’s turn, even the GM’s turn. If a spell caster can save their action from their turn to use on the GM’s turn if needed, then why only a healing spell, why only on themselves, why can’t they use a healing spell on another hero, or another spell entirely, why only spells or use on another turn heroes (in particular circumstances) to cast a spell on another players turn, if I can save an action then why only cast spells, can I save my attack until the GMs turn, if not why not, why is it against the rules when cast spell action isn’t, if actions then why not movement too.
: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: Healing: How A Hero Escapes Death

Postby Kurgan » Tuesday July 11th, 2023 12:42pm

To me it's all about presenting the feeling of being the "hero" from action movies and adventure stories. You seem to get out of jams easier than the poor regular joe. You get extra chances and you feel powerful, taking on lots of bad guys at once, with realism taking a backseat to "cool." But you're not unstoppable so sometimes a second chance is warranted...

From a recent conversation with HispaZargon, I can imagine the NA writers "probably" intended for the Elixir of Life to just be a special way to instantly revive a hero who died within the same quest (without any gear) no matter how he died. As a nod to the players, a generous Zargon might allow use of the Elixir between quests to bring back the dead hero with his "old name" preserved, rather than requiring a brand new hero with a new name be substituted.

Since most quests are assumed to have 4 heroes, you always get a new Barbarian, Elf, Wizard or Dwarf to replace the one that died. I would say though if such a hero gets revived but lost his gear, the other heroes will have to decide how to divide things up or lend him gold to buy new equipment.

That said, regardless of intentions, play the Elixir of Life however you think best when you are Zargon.

I would take the "Healing Spell on Zargon's turn" to be a simple fiat exception. No, it doesn't mean you can use it to heal another dead hero who died in some other turn. The point is that you're healing yourself. It's not you healing another hero. The argument that it will be "too late" once you pass to the next hero's turn to heal you, but we are talking about you instantly using the spell right now, because Zargon just killed you. If you don't allow this, you are just forcing them (since they won't likely have the Elixir of Life this quest) to wait until the next quest to bring back a near-identical hero. People who don't like death saves have a perfect ally in the EU rules which feature no death saves at all (except for that one in Dark Company that brings you back with 1 BP left). The EU edition is a bit easier in other aspects, so making death's of individual heroes more unforgiving to me isn't a bad compromise.


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Re: Healing: How A Hero Escapes Death

Postby Zenithfleet » Tuesday January 30th, 2024 2:50am

Just to throw another idea into the ring for those who like being able to save themselves at the instant of death by drinking a potion, but also want to retain some tension instead of players always having a safety net:

If you're reduced to 0 BP and you have a healing potion, you may immediately drink it, but you must roll a combat die. If you roll a skull, you die before the potion can take effect. Otherwise you recover the usual amount of BP.

This represents the dying hero slumped against the wall trying to lift the potion to their lips and chug it before they lose all strength and go "urrgh".

Therefore you have to decide whether to drink your potion when you're low on BP (3 or below), or save it for when you're actually reduced to 0 BP. If you drink it early you might waste some of it. If you drink it only when you're dying there's a 50% chance you'll fail and die.

No idea if this would work in practice. Just a thought.
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Re: Healing: How A Hero Escapes Death

Postby Markus Darwath » Tuesday January 30th, 2024 11:32am

One could also go with black shield for the failure chance. It's less of a risk, but a one in six chance to die because of waiting is still incentive to heal up before the last minute.
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