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First quest: The Maze or The Trial?

Discuss Quests, Cards, Monsters etc, from HeroQuest Game Systems.

Re: First quest: The Maze or The Trial?

Postby Kurgan » Saturday February 1st, 2020 2:23pm

We lost a lot of Heroes back in the day playing "the Trial" so now it's a rite of passage, but I agree, it is a tough one to start with, even with the small consolation of "no traps" (I have had players balk when they draw a "hazard" card... like it was misleading, that's a trap!!). It was the first and last experience of Hero Quest for a lot of players, I agree. So looking back, probably the Maze (or some other homebrew like "the Arena") would be better as their first ever play.

But how well does the Trial hold up for Veteran players?

It's not pretty, but I beefed up the NA version a bit with some extras from the EU editions. Yes, I used 5 treasure chests, doesn't everybody have extras by now? (you can always say the Treasure is inside another piece of furniture if you run out) :2cents:
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Last edited by Kurgan on Wednesday November 4th, 2020 12:35am, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: First quest: The Maze or The Trial?

Postby Anderas » Saturday February 1st, 2020 2:53pm

As a Veteran I would enjoy the Trial! As a Veteran I know I have no problem with dying heroes when they are brand new. As a Veteran I just don't do those beginners errors.

The Trial is survivable. In average the group loses 21 BP. So each hero should come out with one BP, only, we have two healing spells in the group. As a Wizard I would keep the Barbarian functioning as long as possible, so there is someone with 3 AT.
As a Wizard, once the Barbarian is gone, I would convince the dwarf to pick up the sword and be our meatshield from that point on.
I mean.
They have 2 and 3 MP, respectively. The morality is not so different from killing a cow for food, right?

Once they are definitely dead, the Elf can wield the Broadsword. Also, if those two take the damage, more BP stay for the Elf and the Wizard.

Yes. I think like that since I started to calculate all those quests. "Hm if that one takes the damage, this one will last longer..." :mrgreen: :lol:


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Re: First quest: The Maze or The Trial?

Postby Kurgan » Saturday February 29th, 2020 4:18pm

Here's a quick PDF rendering of "The Trial" version 2 from the Heroscribe page, done EU style... (all credit to them).
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Re: First quest: The Maze or The Trial?

Postby Kurgan » Saturday February 29th, 2020 4:19pm

And here's my "Champion Edition" of the Trial done in EU style (but without notes for the extra chest contents, that one is up to Zargon...!). See attachment... and feel free to use/modify to your liking in your own packs. ;)
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Re: First quest: The Maze or The Trial?

Postby Once was Mortimer » Sunday March 1st, 2020 2:48am

Hmm, I rewrote the Maze once, wonder if thats still knocking around anywhere.
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Re: First quest: The Maze or The Trial?

Postby Pancho » Sunday March 1st, 2020 3:41am

Once was Mortimer wrote:Hmm, I rewrote the Maze once, wonder if thats still knocking around anywhere.

I remember that, it was great. I saw it on Old Scratch’s but if you get a chance to post (or re-post) it here, you really should.


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Re: First quest: The Maze or The Trial?

Postby Pancho » Sunday March 1st, 2020 5:26am

Anderas wrote:As a Wizard I would keep the Barbarian functioning as long as possible, so there is someone with 3 AT.
As a Wizard, once the Barbarian is gone, I would convince the dwarf to pick up the sword and be our meatshield from that point on.
I mean.
They have 2 and 3 MP, respectively. The morality is not so different from killing a cow for food, right?
:lol:

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


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Re: First quest: The Maze or The Trial?

Postby Zenithfleet » Tuesday November 3rd, 2020 11:14pm

I love The Trial.

(EU player here.)

Most of the complaints about it aren't bugs, they're features.

The Trial is like an attract mode. A demo running on an arcade machine.

It's not really meant as the first adventure of a campaign (that would be Sir Ragnar). No, The Trial is for showing off HeroQuest.

It's what you play when it's 1990 and you're ten and you visit a friend's house and in the hour between swims in the pool or taking turns playing Super Mario Bros on NES you find this amazing-looking boardgame in their room and want to play it... but you've only got an hour and you won't be visiting them again for weeks at best so you won't have time to play more than one adventure and you want to use ALL OF THE THINGS.

Or when your family gathers around to try this latest complicated-looking boardgame. Because with boardgames in those days, everyone knows that you play one game and then pack it up. You don't play a 'campaign'. What's a campaign? What do you mean, we don't get to fight anything but Orcs for three games? This is boring. Let's play something else.

So of course The Trial has to be hard. And players can die. Because it's like an entire HeroQuest campaign packed into a single Quest. Exploration (two different routes at the start). Treasure and false leads. A tomb you don't have to find, but there's gold in there if you do. The option to cooperate or compete--you learn on the job. Easy monsters, medium monsters and hard monsters. Constant risk of death. And a boss monster to defeat.

It uses all the monsters because it's showing off everything HeroQuest can do in big flashing lights.

It uses all the furniture because it's a bit ridiculous to ask your seven-year-old brother and nine-year-old cousin to wait three hours until they get to see a bookshelf on the board, when they can see it right there in the box just waiting to be used can't we please put it on the board it would look so cool.

But it doesn't have any secret doors or traps, and the rulebook even tells you not to use the spellcasting rules, because it's meant to be a very gentle introduction to HQ's 'weird and nerdy and complicated' (by family game standards) rules. Most family boardgames of the era had rules on a single folded sheet of paper. This has a whole FIFTEEN PAGES! My poor brain! And the first adventure is the most likely to be the one that the whole family tries. I remember playing The Trial with mum and dad at the table. I think even grandma was involved.

And at the same time, it's an exciting nailbiter of a game due to the difficulty and variety.

It lets you get all that childish excitement at the cool furniture and the cool monsters out of the way up front.

Then, in later adventures, you're slowly introduced to the REALLY cool stuff that isn't as impressive to a kid at first glance. Like falling blocks that separate your group, or the various sneaky tricks in Melar's Maze.

I love The Trial.

But it does make people hate the Wizard if they follow the manual and don't use the spell rules.

And it's true--the EU version has no actual victory condition. Not that that matters to ten-year-old boys. KILL THE BIGGEST MONSTER! Why? What do you mean, why?

The other odd thing about The Trial is that I'm pretty sure it's the only official Quest in which a Gargoyle is treated like an intelligent leader of other monsters. He has a name and everything. And a throne! The only other named Gargoyle I recall is Bellthor from Return of the Witch Lord, but he's more like a special 'monster pet', like the Rancor in Jabba's Palace.

Most other Gargoyles are statues waiting for you to open the wrong chest, or just monsters thrown into random rooms. Despite having Mind 4, the way the official Quests use them implies that they're more like obedient guardians who happen to be resistant to magic. (This is more or less how Gargoyles in old-school D&D worked, too.) And since that kind of Gargoyle was scattered throughout the base game Quests in 1st edition, before The Trial was added for 2nd edition, Verag feels like an aberration from a parallel universe.

Maybe the marketing team and the design team had an argument.

"We need a better intro adventure to hook players. Let's make the Gargoyle the big baddie."

"But Gargoyles don't command troops! They're just statues brought to life! We should use the Chaos Sorcerer instead."

"Not impressive enough. The Gargoyle is the biggest monster. Therefore he's the boss."

"Oh, come on. And the Rebels won when they blew up the second Death Star, despite the Empire's thousands of remaining ships?"

"Exactly."

"Sigh."
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Re: First quest: The Maze or The Trial?

Postby Davane » Sunday November 15th, 2020 2:04pm

I am currently running a campaign on Roll20 for a friend. We haven't played HQ in a very long time, and I grew up with the first edition EU rulebook which included the Way of the Warrior, Way of the Wizard, and Way of the Scout, which I used as mini quests. I also have Jacob Busby's The Arena and Carlos' Starter Pack. Add in Rogar's Hall, and the intro to the campaign went something like this:

The Way of the Warrior
The Way of the Wizard
The Arena
The Maze
Rogar's Hall
The Trial

The Arena, The Maze, and Rogar's Hall are all good opportunities to have heroes gain a little extra gold, and get a boost on equipment.

Rogar's Hall is a little easier for my game, as I combine both the EU and US Treasure Decks, providing a grand total of FIVE Healing Potions for Mentor to dish out. This extra boost is enough to increase the chances of completing Rogar's Hall, but still keeps it challenging.

The Trial is the first true quest in which I let heroes actually die. Until then, they just fail the quest. I never play the Trial without spellcasting - I did this once and all but the Wizard actually died.

I then use Carlos' Starter Pack - the Goblin Caves is a nice early scenario for beginning heroes, and the Temple Cleanse and The Dead Rising quests serve as a good way to have the Heroes gain the notice of the Emperor, setting them up for The Rescue of Sir Ragnar on the Emperor's orders.

Finally, I have the heroes become Champions after FIVE quests from the main game, counting from The Rescue of Sir Ragnar, so the heroes become Champions after completing the Legacy of the Orc Warlord quest. This neatly ties up the Ragnar/Orc Warlord quests into neat little bundle, and the extra 500 gold coins provides a nice little boost for equipment for the later quests.
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