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DungeonQuest Revised Edition» Forums » Variants

Subject: Quasi-Torchlight rss

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Kur Chaos
Australia
New South Wales
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In a previous thread two problems were recognised with the torchlight optional rule. In the first problem, viewing ahead through a chamber of darkness is a thematic absurdity. In the second, the rule eliminates the severity of bottomless pits and trap chambers. However, an alternative way of using the rule was hinted at but not fully discussed.

In this thread I will offer a torchlight variant that I believe solves the two issues. In a nutshell, chamber category determines whether or not a hero may view ahead. A chamber may be categorised as always permitting torchlight, never permitting it, or only permitting it in certain circumstances.

A word about timing: in the standard torchlight rule, viewing ahead occurs immediately upon entering a room - before activating chamber effects. This presents an issue for the variant I offer when considering the bottomless pit. Here, a failed luck test means the hero did not get an opportunity to look ahead (since their time was spent falling to their doom). I believe that this is a piece of thematic experience that should be preserved. Thus, there are two possible ways in which timing may occur in my variant. The first possible way is that the standard rule is used in all cases except the bottomless pit. I find this way too ad hoc for my liking. The second is to place torchlight after the action phase. This way is not without consequence. For it means, in the case of a rotating chamber, that a hero can see farther than what would have been permitted under standard rule. This is perhaps a good consequence, since it seems fitting that new areas would become visible if the room one is in suddenly rotates. It also means that if a hero leaves a chamber before the end of action phase, whether it be through a secret passage or through death, that farther areas that would have been revealed through standard rule are not.

As with the standard rule, doors obstruct view.

Always
Dungeon Room
Corridor
Rotating Chamber
Trap Chamber

Remarks: While in these chambers, a hero may always view ahead. Dungeon room and corridor are obvious choices. Rotating chamber has been commented on above. Of all chambers it is trap chamber that I am least certain about. Of course, this is due to its uncertain nature. In a thematic sense, a few snakes will not obstruct view to other rooms, but thick green poisonous gas might.


Contingent
Bottomless Pit: Torchlight occurs only if the luck test is successful. The reason, as already mentioned, is that an untimely death prevents a hero from looking elsewhere.

Chasm: Only the connecting chamber on the hero's side is revealed. Presumably the chasm is wide, preventing a clear view of what exists beyond it.


Never
Bridge
Cave-in
Chamber of Darkness
Spider Web
Tower Chamber
Treasure Chamber

Remarks: While in these chambers, a hero may never view ahead. Cave-in, chamber of darkness, and spider web are obvious choices - the view of the hero is physically obstructed. Bridge requires some explanation. The situation is similar to bottomless pit. Heroes that fail in their attempt to cross the bridge will find themselves in the catacombs, hardly a decent place to view whatever may lie at the other side of the bridge. Heroes that succeed gain the extra move beyond the bridge, making torchlight redundant. But the remaining question is about the hero that chooses not to cross the bridge. Presumably, the situation is the same as with chasm - the bridge is long and the gap is large, and one cannot see clearly to the other side.

Tower chamber is placed here since it is a starting square. Since, furthermore, a hero who enters this chamber must immediately move again, the torchlight phase is never reached.

Treasure chamber is placed here since heroes who make it this far are wholly focussed on the mounds of gold (and the dragon that sleeps in their midst)

=====

Edit: I realised after writing this that the corridor does not fit into the timing scheme. Since it is an immediate-move space, torchlight would not occur. I'll have to think about this more, then.
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