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ONLINE QUEST 1 Forsaken Tunnels Of Xor-Xel

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Re: FORSAKEN TUNNELS OF XOR-XEL discussion

Postby mysticforce » Monday December 27th, 2021 11:55am

I am thinking the effect of the darkness is that a hero opens a door can see a single monster goes in, only to find several more who can now swarm them on Zargons turn as they were not prepared to deal with it. I am thinking of this from my kids perspective who are slowly learning to cooperate.

Nice marketing ploy though a quest that leads into an add on pack for people who got the base system to prompt them to get the next one. So another lead in quest to the other expansion to come?
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Re: FORSAKEN TUNNELS OF XOR-XEL discussion

Postby Kurgan » Monday December 27th, 2021 5:54pm

The problem I see is that once they step inside the room, they will be able to see the other monsters, and since Backtracking isn't forbidden in the NA rules (upon which the Remake is directly based), a hero could step in and then step back.

Seeing more monsters also wouldn't be much of an issue since a Hero with ranged ability can simply move until he sees ANY monsters and attack them that way... otherwise as he moves closer the monsters become visible.

I mean, we're not saying that monsters can move except on Zargon's turn, right? So apart from a slight delay in revealing monsters, I don't see the real game-changer here (although the traps become more difficult, requiring more caution and time spent by heroes searching for them).

Or are we saying as soon as a hero "sees" a monster that was formerly "hidden", that monster moves forward out of the darkness and attacks the Hero (like a Wandering Monster)? That would be pretty exciting (and challenging) as a mechanic, but I'm not sure that's what this quest is actually giving us.

Hero movement would seem to be what reveals monsters, and those monsters can't do anything (except defend from attacks made against them) until it's Zargon's turn... Am I wrong?


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Re: FORSAKEN TUNNELS OF XOR-XEL discussion

Postby Pancho » Monday December 27th, 2021 6:32pm

In most cases the Hero would have to actually go into the room though, in order to see the monsters. That’s already a change up from the usual door blocking tactic.


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Re: FORSAKEN TUNNELS OF XOR-XEL discussion

Postby Fullork345 » Tuesday December 28th, 2021 3:50am

Kurgan wrote:Always happy to see new quests... and combining the words "official" and "free" is nice. The idea that KK comes before ROTWL is fine, although I played them "out of order" back in the day and I personally think ROTWL is the better of the too... the recurring villain, the undead theme and the overall difficulty and variety of tiles and new things makes it somewhat better in my humble opinion, although both are classic, being the first expansions across the board, and the only ones many of us owned back then.

As for the quest itself, I'm just now beginning to look through it...



I found it better too. It was less generic and more stuff happened.
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Re: FORSAKEN TUNNELS OF XOR-XEL discussion

Postby Kurgan » Tuesday December 28th, 2021 4:50am

Pancho wrote:In most cases the Hero would have to actually go into the room though, in order to see the monsters. That’s already a change up from the usual door blocking tactic.


Right, formerly opening the door reveals all monsters inside, but most rooms are small enough you could walk in and then walk back to the door like usual. The challenge would be if there was a spear trap that would potentially freeze the hero in place (if it hits) meaning they'll have to face the newly discovered monsters soon when Zargon's turn rolls around.

So it's a slight upgrade in challenge... since it sounds like everyone is thinking it applies to sight in rooms not just corridors, which seems reasonable since it's not that much harder (except for traps). I'm interested in seeing how it plays.


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Re: FORSAKEN TUNNELS OF XOR-XEL discussion

Postby Daedalus » Tuesday December 28th, 2021 11:27am

Kurgan wrote:So would you put tiddly winks on your quest map and move them around behind the screen or would you place monsters on the board and just tell the Heroes they can't target them with magic or projectiles (but CAN search for things) for those monsters that are "out of range" inside rooms?

I wouldn't place a monster on the board until a Hero moved within three squares. Though not specifically called for, I'd also remove a monster once it was beyond three squares or out of line of sight behind a wall or blocked square marker to emphasize "the darkness in this blasted place."

Kurgan wrote:. . . Can the monsters in the dark "see" the heroes? I guess it doesn't matter if they have no magic or projectile attacks.

The three-square LoS limit was set for heroes. Since monsters in rooms with open doors are active and The Thing Below can activate from seven squares away, I'd think yes, they can see heroes. The heroes are in torchlight, after all.

Kurgan wrote:. . . But let's just assume for the sake of argument they mean it to apply to rooms as well. So if I'm standing in the southern doorway, adjacent to the door for Room "B" then I can't see any monsters, right? But if I set one foot inside, I can now see all those undead monsters even if they haven't moved at all. Following the same logic as I approach the northernmost room from the west, as I stand adjacent to the open door I can see all the skeletons, but not the Zombie (unless he moves), until I step one square inside the room, now I can see all of them. The hero standing at the open door might not see the last row of monsters in the Tomb room, or the last row of monsters in the "secret door" room between C & D, but that's about it.

Is that how you interpret it?

Standing outside of Room B, you are correct that a Hero can't see the monsters. When a hero moves one square into the room, you are only partially correct. The hero will see the Zombie straight ahead as it is three squares away. The other monsters will NOT be seen as they are four or five squares away. Count squares, not rows.

Continuing on with your examples, the Sleletons of the northernmost room wouldn't be placed until a Hero moved one square into the room, and the Zombie wouldn't be placed until a Hero moved to the end of the blocked double square marker three squares away (LoS not blocked.) A hero outside of the Tomb room would only see the Mummy and outside of the secret door room the Hero would only see the nearest Skeleton.

Kurgan wrote:It would be a little surprising, but Zargon purposely moving invisibly the monsters into the corners and shadows to avoid being seen would seem to benefit the heroes more than harm them in several cases since none of the monsters in this quest have ranged attacks of any kind even if they could see through the darkness and this would let the heroes search more. It's an interesting idea, but apart from the traps I don't see it making it all that much more difficult, just taking a little longer or if the heroes are splitting up in exploring the rooms.

The darkness mechanic will definitely put more crawl in the dungeon crawler. I think the combination of monster threat and traps is what works here. A hero must choose to risk trap damage to reveal more monsters or hold back and risk being attacked by hidden adversaries. Good support from other Heroes can largely negate the darkness advantage if all Heroes move in, but as Pancho indicated, door blocking isn't as useful. Zargon can now protect monsters in darkness from missiles and magic while forcing heroes to enter into more vulnerable positions.
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Re: FORSAKEN TUNNELS OF XOR-XEL discussion

Postby j_dean80 » Tuesday December 28th, 2021 2:44pm

So I see an issue and a possible fix:

If the darkness works in rooms, then Heroes could walk in and search for treasure and leave without activating all monsters.

I would keep monsters hidden until a Hero uncovers them, but on Zargon’s turn, any room entered, Zargon can activate undiscovered monsters. I would not remove monsters from the map, as that would be way too difficult to track where they’d gone to.
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Re: FORSAKEN TUNNELS OF XOR-XEL discussion

Postby Pancho » Tuesday December 28th, 2021 4:17pm

j_dean80 wrote:If the darkness works in rooms, then Heroes could walk in and search for treasure and leave without activating all monsters.

I’m just gonna rule that they can’t search for treasure until the whole room is scouted, i.e. all dark areas and monsters revealed in that room. It doesn’t make much sense that they would search part of the room for treasure whilst they know there could be a monster waiting in the dark just a short distance away. Traps are different in that I can imagine a Hero creeping forward checking the area immediately around them before revealing the next dark area.


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Re: FORSAKEN TUNNELS OF XOR-XEL discussion

Postby Kurgan » Tuesday December 28th, 2021 4:48pm

Here again I have to remind myself of the use of terms in the NA rules. "visible" just means on the board. "Visible to you" or "see" means they can be targeted (LOS = Line of Sight) by drawing an unobstructed straight line from one figure to the other (not necessarily directly along the squares, as the rulebook clearly shows!).

To me, when a monster is placed on the board, it stays on the board unless it dies or teleports away. It sounds as if this interpretation of the darkness mechanic might mean the monsters are actually meant to be invisible. But to me a monster not on the board is treated like it doesn't exist, until such a time (if any) that it is placed back on the board. Unlike some video games, there's no way for the heroes to fire blindly into the dark in the hopes of hitting an unseen enemy with "splash damage" so it might not be as complicated as we think.

Daedalus wrote:
Kurgan wrote:So would you put tiddly winks on your quest map and move them around behind the screen (using little markers or a pencil?) or would you place monsters on the board and just tell the Heroes they can't target them with magic or projectiles (but CAN search for things) for those monsters that are "out of range" inside rooms?

I wouldn't place a monster on the board until a Hero moved within three squares. Though not specifically called for, I'd also remove a monster once it was beyond three squares or out of line of sight behind a wall or blocked square marker to emphasize "the darkness in this blasted place."


Interesting interpretation. Of course this "fog of war" doesn't normally apply in HeroQuest. That is, if you see a monster around a corner and then run full stop to the other end of the board, you have that monster visible on the board, you can track his movements even though you're nowhere near within LOS. "Sight" in the NA edition is "line of sight." Just because you can't target a monster with a spell or crossbow doesn't mean he doesn't vanish from the board. If you decide Zargon is now removing the piece and keeping track of him invisibly moving (on the quest map behind the GM screen) that's a very different (and interesting) interpretation.

Kurgan wrote:. . . Can the monsters in the dark "see" the heroes? I guess it doesn't matter if they have no magic or projectile attacks.

The three-square LoS limit was set for heroes. Since monsters in rooms with open doors are active and The Thing Below can activate from seven squares away, I'd think yes, they can see heroes. The heroes are in torchlight, after all.


But since the monsters can't target them, it doesn't matter. I get what you're saying though. The Thing Below doesn't exist, for game purposes, until you touch that square. How else would you ever "see" him? if you used pass through rock and happened upon his area somehow?

Kurgan wrote:Standing outside of Room B, you are correct that a Hero can't see the monsters. When a hero moves one square into the room, you are only partially correct. The hero will see the Zombie straight ahead as it is three squares away. The other monsters will NOT be seen as they are four or five squares away. Count squares, not rows.

Continuing on with your examples, the Skeletons of the northernmost room
wouldn't be placed until a Hero moved one square into the room, and the Zombie wouldn't be placed until a Hero moved to the end of the blocked double square marker three squares away (LoS not blocked.) A hero outside of the Tomb room would only see the Mummy and outside of the secret door room the Hero would only see the nearest Skeleton.


So you'd only place monsters on squares the hero can "see" (LOS) rather than visible within three squares worth of rows. I get the distinction you're making. It starts to remind me how we played as kids (when we didn't understand the rules and thought you had to "look in all possible directions" for ANYTHING to be placed on the board!).

Kurgan wrote:The darkness mechanic will definitely put more crawl in the dungeon crawler. I think the combination of monster threat and traps is what works here. A hero must choose to risk trap damage to reveal more monsters or hold back and risk being attacked by hidden adversaries.


I still don't get the "attacked by hidden monsters" thing though. A monster that is not visible (that is NOT ON THE BOARD) can't attack a hero. Monsters can only move on Zargon's turn. Are you interpreting the rules to mean that once a room is "activated" (door is opened) that any monsters hidden in the darkness (their pieces are not on the board because they're more than 3 squares away from any hero) that those monsters can "move" invisible and then "appear" (be placed) On the board to within 3 squares and attack?

Because the way I was reading it was that monsters simply don't exist until someone "sees" them, then they stay on the board as normal, a very different interpretation than what it sounds like you're saying here (a dynamic "fog of war" kind of mechanic with constantly active, but invisible monsters).

As noted, the monsters have no ranged attacks, so at best they could "step out of the shadows" on Zargon's turn and attack the heroes once they are adjacent, so hero players couldn't assume they'd cleared a room until they had "sweeped" it with moving to within 3 squares of every other square (and searched for traps in each of those areas too... or at least stepped on every other square that could have been a trap!).

Good support from other Heroes can largely negate the darkness advantage if all Heroes move in, but as Pancho indicated, door blocking isn't as useful. Zargon can now protect monsters in darkness from missiles and magic while forcing heroes to enter into more vulnerable positions.


So you're thinking if they block the door, the monsters should move backward and then "disappear" (but still be able to move back onto the board on zargon's turn to attack, but only one at a time since that's how door blocking works for both sides).

Like I said this is a very different perspective if we take it like a Warcraft style "fog of war" thing. In Warcraft: Orcs and Humans (the original video game) everything was black until you explored it, then it was revealed forever (that's how HeroQuest normally plays) whereas Warcraft II had the setting (you could change it to Warcraft 1 style) wherein if an explored area was out of sight of your forces, it went back to a fuzzy fog where you didn't really know what was happening there even if you could guess there was probably an enemy unit sitting there.

If we don't take monsters off the board but simply say they are protected from ranged attacks until within 3 squares, that would be a little different though. Heroes would still know how many monsters in a room and where they were at any given time even if they couldn't hit them without moving closer (and possibly falling into a trap that hadn't been discovered).

The darkness is a cool idea, but I may be over-thinking it, or perhaps I was under-thinking it before! I think one way it would be a lot more work for Zargon and quite a bit more difficult, vs. the minimalist approach it wouldn't be much of a gimmick at all and maybe work against Zargon a little (but just inflate the quest completion time). At least traps are static, so it's less complicated.
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Re: FORSAKEN TUNNELS OF XOR-XEL discussion

Postby Daedalus » Tuesday December 28th, 2021 11:47pm

Kurgan wrote:. . . But since the monsters can't target them, it doesn't matter. I get what you're saying though. The Thing Below doesn't exist, for game purposes, until you touch that square. How else would you ever "see" him? if you used pass through rock and happened upon his area somehow

Yeah, Pass Through Rock would do it, if the hero was within three squares. I'd even allow a Genie spell to open the bottom-right secret door and reveal it as well.

If this darkness mechanic was borrowed for another Quest, it would be interesting to have Goblin snipers throw daggers or fire bows from the darkness. And add traps between. :twisted:

Kurgan wrote:. . .
Daedalus wrote:The darkness mechanic will definitely put more crawl in the dungeon crawler. I think the combination of monster threat and traps is what works here. A hero must choose to risk trap damage to reveal more monsters or hold back and risk being attacked by hidden adversaries.


I still don't get the "attacked by hidden monsters" thing though. A monster that is not visible (that is NOT ON THE BOARD) can't attack a hero. Monsters can only move on Zargon's turn. Are you interpreting the rules to mean that once a room is "activated" (door is opened) that any monsters hidden in the darkness (their pieces are not on the board because they're more than 3 squares away from any hero) that those monsters can "move" invisible and then "appear" (be placed) On the board to within 3 squares and attack?

Yes.


Kurgan wrote:
Daedalus wrote:Good support from other Heroes can largely negate the darkness advantage if all Heroes move in, but as Pancho indicated, door blocking isn't as useful. Zargon can now protect monsters in darkness from missiles and magic while forcing heroes to enter into more vulnerable positions.


So you're thinking if the block the door, the monsters should move backward and then "disappear" (but still be able to move back onto the board on zargon's turn to attack, but only one at a time since that's how door blocking works for both sides).

Yes, Zargon could move a single monster up to the door. A better tactic for Mr. Z might be for him to hold his monsters back in the darkness. Since the heroes must explore to win a Quest, they either gotta enter for a melee fight (good for Zargon) or they gotta leave the monsters at their backs (better for Zargon.)

Kurgan wrote:. . . If we don't take monsters off the board but simply say they are protected from ranged attacks until within 3 squares, that would be a little different though. Heroes would still know how many monsters in a room and where they were at any given time even if they couldn't hit them without moving closer (and possibly falling into a trap that hadn't been discovered).

That's an equally valid way to play it.
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