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Searching in Heroquest

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Searching in Heroquest

BlakScot
I have never been a fan of the search rules, always wondered why you would search for traps and ignore any treasure or secret doors along the way or the way all traps are simply revealed.  Now I am getting ready to Heroquest with my grandchildren and would like to streamline Searching.  Does anyone have any ideas for combining the Search option.  I plan on using a Search skill.  (I've been banging my head against the wall on this for a week when my 11-year old grandson told me I should just ask someone for help)
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Re: Searching in Heroquest

Billiam Babble
Hi BlakScot,
Welcome to the forum!
Good question.  I'm more of a WHQ player myself.  There's a few HQ players here who'll probably have thoughts on that.
I remember in early D&D searching for secret passages was a real chore.  As a DM, if the players were smart enough to actually look for something in the right place, I'd reveal it, because secret doors were pretty rare in my dungeons, certainly not worth searching every piece of wall.  It really depends upon the situation as well, I guess.
What about a dice roll + Mind with a difficulty rating for different situations?  Perhaps with a "Big Reveal" option on a high roll.
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Re: Searching in Heroquest

Billiam Babble
In reply to this post by BlakScot
BlakScot wrote
  (I've been banging my head against the wall on this for a week when my 11-year old grandson told me I should just ask someone for help)

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Re: Searching in Heroquest

MortiS-the-Lost
Administrator
In reply to this post by BlakScot
Welcome to The Lost and the Damned Forum BlakScot, it is my arbitratairel duty as High Lord Dungeon Master of these Forum to ask you to pop on over to The Introductions Page  and post a little about yourself so our members can welcome you. I look forward to your posts and all that  

Right, Searching in HeroQuest …

The reason searching for Treasure is a separate action from Searching for Traps and/or Secret Doors is due to the nature of what the character would be doing. To quote a few lines from the so-called 'Revised Edition'  PDF (a recommend read for anyone playing HeroQuest).“Searching for Treasure means you are looking around, opening things, searching for interesting objects and gold coins, regardless of what square you are in the room.”
Where as searching for Traps would be a much more careful and subtle process, looking out for concealed trip-wires, pressure plates and so on. Similarly searching for Secret Doors would involve looking for unusual seams or hollow-sounding spots in the stonework of the dungeon walls.
To summarize; Searching for Treasure involves moving around a room and potentially setting off traps in the process (hence the Trap cards in the Treasure Deck), but looking for Traps could be done by standing on the spot and looking carefully around for signs of triggers.

In my house-rules-cum-whole-new-home-brew-game “MortiS Quest” we use the terms 'Looting' a room for Treasure, 'Spotting' Traps and 'Searching' a room Secret Doors to distinguish between the 3.

It's interesting that my esteemed dungeoneering friend and all-round 'good egg' Billiam Babble mentioned how complicated searching in old school D&D is – HeroQuest in it's own way does emulate (in a much simplified manner) the way searching works in D&D, but I feel that's not worth me rambling on about in this thread quite yet.

Now I understand your need to re-work the rules for searching in HeroQuest, so here's a few suggestions:

A similar game you might have heard of called 'Dungeons & Dragons: The Fantasy Adventure Board Game' (published by WotC in 2003) has a rather nice innovative system for searching for traps …



The 'Search Dice' shown in the extract above is marked with 2 'blanks', 2 'Single Eyes', 1 'Double Eye' and 1 'Stop Hand'. The 'Disable Traps Dice' in the second bit is marked with 5 'Disabled Trap' symbols and 1 'Triggered Trap'/'Explosion'.




it's pretty easy to work these kind of rules into HeroQuest even if you don't have access to these specialised dice by simply assigning these results to the humble D6

Search For Traps D6 = 1: Stop Searching, 2-3: Search Unsuccessful, 4-5: Reveal Nearest Trap, 6 Reveal Nearest 2 Traps

Disarm Trap D6 = 1: Trap Triggered, 2-6: Trap Disarmed  

And of course the same rules could also be applied to Searching for Secret Doors.

This is nice simple and effective system but doesn’t take into account that some characters might better at finding things than others. For instance traditionally Dwarfs are very good at spotting the changes in stonework that might indicate the presence of a hidden door and thus many games have rules that account for this sort of thing – a simple addition to the above rules might be to allow the Dwarf to Re-Roll the Search Dice once per a turn.

My own rules make use of a more complex system inspired by TSR's Dragon Strike and expanded on to account for all different situations. It's a lot to write about here but each Character has a Perception Dice assigned to them – the better the character is at spotting things the higher the value of the dice. For instance a D6 for a character that is not very good at spotting things or a D12 for a character with excellent vision and D8 or D10 for those in-between. Various Trap types, Secret Doors and other 'hidden' things are assigned a 'Spot Value' on the GM's map and if a player rolls over a Trap or Secret Door's 'Spot Value' then the character has spotted it.

Of course (as you've said in your post) it's quite likely that in searching for one thing you might come across another (after all it happens to me in real life all the time!) – there are a few ways this could be simulated, but I think simplest one would be to add a few extra cards into the Treasure Deck:

Secret Door!: Have the GM consult the Dungeon Map, if there is a Secret Door in this room you have stumbled across it and the GM must place the Secret Door on the board.

Trigger!:  Have the GM consult the Dungeon Map, if there are any Traps in this room you have come across the triggering mechanism of one and managed not to set it off. The GM must place one of the traps in this room on the board and if you have the Thief Tools it may be disarmed using the normal rules.

(If you'd like I can make a printable sheet of these cards in the week  )  

in the same spirit you could allow a Hero that successfully searches for Traps or Secret Doors in a room that has none, to pick a card from the Treasure Deck (ignoring any 'Trap!' cards of course)

I hope my ramblings have been helpful to you
-----------------------------------
~The ravings of a single mad Goblin is bad enough, but such a power-hungry, malice-filled creature as Mortis can never hope to be understood~
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Re: Searching in Heroquest

Billiam Babble
Good work, Mortis!
- He provides the dice with the stickers!

I think that D&D board game is mainly thought of as a Parker brothers derivative spin-off (clearly borrowing from HQ).  D&D3 players get quite upset at the idea that it's part of any Wizards official range, but alack it appears true.  (BGG page)
Stealing the tile-boards and dice for other games is pretty much all that it's good for.   Actually that's what we've seen a few sellers on Ebay do... but I digress...

Elegant solutions, my man!
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Re: Searching in Heroquest

BlakScot
In reply to this post by MortiS-the-Lost
A very knowledgeable and insightful answer in less than 24 hours, I am impressed.  I suspect the answer to all my problems lies within the semi-mythical MortiS Quest

Thanks for the response, a veritable feast for thought.
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Re: Searching in Heroquest

MortiS-the-Lost
Administrator
No problem - would you like me to knock together a sheet of Trigger! and Secret Door cards to add to your Treasure deck? (would anyone else for that matter?)
-----------------------------------
~The ravings of a single mad Goblin is bad enough, but such a power-hungry, malice-filled creature as Mortis can never hope to be understood~
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Re: Searching in Heroquest

The Skald
MortiS-the-Lost wrote
 - would you like me to knock together a sheet of Trigger! and Secret Door cards to add to your Treasure deck? (would anyone else for that matter?)
Yes please  

I'm struggling putting together my own campaign rules, I keep ending up with something either too complicated, too simple or just too "clunky" - from what I keep reading of "MortiS Quest" (or Endungeoned), it sounds just about perfect so I'm currently carefully combing & copying content contained chaotically () on the forum to hopefully gain some insight from - I've even "zoomed in" on the game aids visible in some of your in-game photo's!!
When men meet foes in fight, better is stout heart than sharp sword.
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