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Subject: Searching rss

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Brett Haskell
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There isn't much exploration and discovery in this game, something I miss from older dungeon crawler games I used to play. I was thinking of maybe introducing some sort of search mechanic, something like this;

As an action a hero may search a board tile they currently occupy if that tile is empty of enemy models and there are no enemy models within short range.

The Overlord player consults the map to reveal if there is anything to find, if there is not then the hero player draws a card from a Search deck.

The search deck could contain the following -
* 1 or 2 Gold.
* Magic Item (draw a random magic item card).
* Secret Door (overlord adds new corridor tiles, connecting to a room tile closer to the end goal, if yet revealed end new corridor with a door).
* Trap (draw a random trap card).
* Wandering Monsters (roll on chart on card/adventure to see what extra baddies have shown up and placed on the board).
* Event (some unique and unexpected bonus/challenge for the heroes).
* and lot of 'Find Nothing' cards.

Do you think this would work? With the strict time limit in this game looking for stuff probably isn't always the best thing to do but might add a little more choice for the players.
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seb seb2
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But..
there is explorationg: everything behind a door is hidden.
there is search : chest,furniture...
there is traps
there is also secret passage (i don't want to spoil one quest)..

already in the game.
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Belsamoreth wrote:
But..
there is explorationg: everything behind a door is hidden.
there is search : chest,furniture...
there is traps
there is also secret passage (i don't want to spoil one quest)..

already in the game.
I think he sort of means in the base campaigns where if you have played them once there are no secrets or surprises and they only play different if the overlord gets significantly different cards or you try different tactics/heroes. But if you get through one straight away not much reason to go back.
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Sergio Torres
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I think the poster is missing the possibility of searching in every room thaf HeroQuest had, exposing yourself to find treasure, but also being attacked by wandering monsters.

I was disappointed with Descent not letting players to search every room, an surprised to find the same in DS.

Anyway I think it's just a matter of taste. Searching is present in DS, albeit many will still miss the random treasure cards of HeroQuest.
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garrapeta wrote:
I think the poster is missing the possibility of searching in every room thaf HeroQuest had, exposing yourself to find treasure, but also being attacked by wandering monsters.

I was disappointed with Descent not letting players to search every room, an surprised to find the same in DS.

Anyway I think it's just a matter of taste. Searching is present in DS, albeit many will still miss the random treasure cards of HeroQuest.
Perhaps a system similar to Level 7 Omega Protocol, where there is predetermined loot that could be hidden in a different place every time you play?
 
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Sergio Torres
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Yeah, if you are thinking about house rules for searching, I'd suggest to see how is done in Earth Reborn or Omega Protocol. The latter I have never played, but everyone says searching is very well done in it.
 
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Brett Haskell
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garrapeta wrote:
I think the poster is missing the possibility of searching in every room thaf HeroQuest had, exposing yourself to find treasure, but also being attacked by wandering monsters.

I was disappointed with Descent not letting players to search every room, an surprised to find the same in DS.

Anyway I think it's just a matter of taste. Searching is present in DS, albeit many will still miss the random treasure cards of HeroQuest.
Exactly that. As there really isn't much to explore and discover on most maps (which are often quite linear and only 1 or 2 areas hidden behind a door) I would of liked more a wandering into the unknown feel to the game (like AHQ and WHQ), plus it gives the players another option on their turn. As the game is more of a tactical skirmish with a tight turn limit this sort of thing is probably not appropriate but I might have an attempt at it (and will look at Omega Protocol, ta).
 
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I could see Geoff Burbidge making a DS searching deck
He has made several decks for Mantic's Dreadball that are spot on
 
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Alan Stewart
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cherrystone wrote:
the game is more of a tactical skirmish with a tight turn limit
That's pretty much the meat of the matter. HQ had specific *rooms* that were searchable and there was no time limit so taking a turn to search was well worth it. HQ was a dungeon tromp, whereas DS is more of a race to get through whatever fiendish monsters and traps that the Overlord can throw at you. However, some of the expansions apparently (I haven't checked yet) *don't* have the deck timer so maybe those adventures we *should* have more searching going on?
 
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In the last game yesterday, we were debating this issue as well. The "search" action just like in HQ is missing sorely; the point is, IMHO, to:

- make a table or, better, a deck for Search, which includes random encounters, traps, nothing found and so on, and of course it should include only lesser treasure. Perhaps a spell or two.

- make the Search action not too easy. I was thinking about this: the Search action can be performed by forfeiting both movement and action for a character; plus, any room can only be searched once, and there is no search in corridors or smaller tiles.

Another good way to conduct the search would be similar to the one used in Shadows of Brimstone (i.e. using dice rolls).

just my two cents (or three)
 
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talking about search decks etc..a group of Warhammer quest fans setup a spin off system [grey mountains ] I think it was called and that had searching with specific areas monsters cards for that particular quest
possibly could do something similar search with loot/monsters/traps around the undead theme
then similar with expansions. orks and demons etc
 
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Ok so I would debate the need for search. It slows the game is an almost auto response and you know the range of resukts uif its a deck. Chests are a convenient way of creating an eqivalent interms of stuff or information to find without the constant oh we'd better search this roomin a default sense...
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Troll66 wrote:
Ok so I would debate the need for search. It slows the game
The main game yes. Apparently not all the expansions (Warlord of Galahir?) have a deck-timer so for those games maybe searching taking time wouldn't be so bad?

Troll66 wrote:
you know the range of results if its a deck.
Even if it's rolling on a table you pretty much know what's gonna come up. Of course the Overlord should be keeping that table a secret.

Troll66 wrote:
Chests are a convenient way of creating an equivalent in terms of stuff or information to find without the constant oh we'd better search this room in a default sense...
Well, default searching IS something you need to ALWAYS do if you want to milk the dungeon for all it's worth.

I like the idea of a search eating up an entire turn. To make it REALLY harsh (and to be reasonable) it should eat up the entire turn for the entire party. I think chests are the best way to do it. We get four chests in the main game and many people should have a bunch more. Put a chest anywhere that a search CAN be done (ie, room tiles) and then remove the chest. What's in the chest can be set, a deck, or a table. But once the chest is gone, no more searching. I think what's missing is a generic random-search deck (or table) (with wandering monsters!) and more chests in the main game adventures. There are some but as the heroes progress and earn goodies for the *next* adventure, it would've been nice to find more of them rather than have them just introduced for the next level of the dungeon.
 
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I like the idea of searching a bit more in this game. Yes, like heroquest. Having it taking up one of the heroes turn is a good idea but I think the overlord needs a bit more help to balance out the search rewards.
In heroquest this was achieved with wandering monsters but I think the search deck should include wandering monsters but also everytime the hero searches the overlord can draw a bonus overlord card. Have not really thought about the rest of it yet, like when he can play it? (due to only can play one per turn?), does the card come from the turn counter overlord deck or another pile (maybe the rest of the cards which were not used?) invisible overlord deck (could have some good bonus overlord cards?).
Maybe it could be as simple as the overlord gets one interrupt card everytime the heroes search.
 
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CaptainOrlando wrote:
I think the overlord needs a bit more help to balance out the search rewards.
That's why I was suggesting that searching takes up an entire turn for ALL the heroes. It's *like* giving the Overlord a bonus turn.
 
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It really depends on what you are trying to achieve.
Personally I think losing one whole turn for every hero is pretty harsh, it does make the overlord more powerful just because there is less time to do the mission. But if he gets to draw a bonus card from somewhere else then he gets more powerful because he has more options.

Also I like the idea previously mentioned of using a token or something to indicate that certain tiles can be searched and others cannot. Gives a bit more of a exploration feel without making it like a default action which you have to take.
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I personally would have it use up the turn of the hero who actually uses the search action (the other players would have to make sure he is safe from attack - maybe enemies get +1 die if attacking a hero that searched).
Single wide tiles cannot be searched (i.e rooms only) and each tile only once per game. The danger / risk of searching comes from the traps and wandering monsters and the odd event found in the search deck or search table.
 
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I really don't get these watered down semi-random searches. In Shadows of Brimstone it's called 'scavenge'. The bad things that can happen far outweigh the small chance of getting a weak item. Many people have written that they never scavenge because they don't want to make the boss battle harder. In SoB, scavenge just takes your action, not also your move, and the map is bigger, so no big deal about loss of Hero turn.
I use SoB as a reference because it's also supposed to be heavily based on HQ and WHQ.
Did the old games have random search loot that was better than marginally useful? I don't understand wanting to possibly tank the game for such a minor item.
 
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I really like the idea of random searching!

How about if the furniture stuff used as searchable containers? Some book shelf won't fit in corridors so it makes sense that you only find one in bigger rooms. Some smaller chest etc. can be searched around everywhere. If we have a different deck/table for "big" and "small" furnitures, we can give them different kind of content when searched thorough.

As an example a Shelf may have options like:
- Empty x 4
- A Secret Closet (If found, the Overlord adds a small room tile (max 4-6 tiles) behind the shelf and slides it one tile left or right.)
- A Secret Passage to another part of dungeon (like a "teleport" or physical corridor between rooms — what ever fits for map)
- A Trap
- Angry swarm of Rats/Bats/Insects who attacks immediately
- A Spellbook
- A Monster hiding in the shadow of shelf and attacks immediately

And a Chest may have:
- Empty x 4
- A Trap
- An Item
- A Potion
- A Crystal
- A Monster lurking in the shadows

A Generic Wooden Table may have:
- Empty x 4
- A Potion
- Angry swarm of Rats/Insects under the table, attacks immediately
- A Secret Trap Door to lower level or a tunnel (If found, the Overlord adds new tiles off the map and slides the table one tile. Needs some trap door counter.)
- A Piece of Bread which will restore one wound
- Left of Booze which gives a Hero one turn of Frenzy(1)
- Broken table that collapses (removed) when searched

+ Other stuff that makes sense

+ One extra idea could be a secret closet of 4 tiles that contains a Troll! Not cool surprise when your hero finds this secret and the wall opens up next to him/her and his/her turn is over already...
The Troll may not be able to move far from the starting point, but he definitely dominates the room from now on.

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ampoliros wrote:

Did the old games have random search loot that was better than marginally useful? I don't understand wanting to possibly tank the game for such a minor item.
Heroquest was a bit different because it was worthwhile to search. The negatives (wandering monsters, traps) were easy and the positives were great gold, healing potions, potions. Gold was quite important because the equipment cost so much so if you could find 80gold that was great.

I am trying to find a good searching mechanism so I can turn some of the heroquest quests into DS. Some good suggestions about the furniture.
"You open the tomb and ... Out jumps a dwarf revenant"
 
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cherrystone wrote:
There isn't much exploration and discovery in this game, something I miss from older dungeon crawler games I used to play.
Just to comment on this, I think you could introduce as "exploration token" concept. The idea would be to put down exploration tokens out of LOS of heroes and not put anything else down beyond the token. When the heroes have LOS to the token then you can reveal the rest of the area (to the next exploration token). This is exactly like doors but heroes dont have to break it down, they might not even have to get close to it (just have LOS). Yes, you would have to make some exceptions on larger tiles because the floor space would already be known but it will work well for the smaller tiles.
Just think about that winding corridor from the warlord of Galahir for example, there could be plenty of exploration tokens on this which would allow you to hide monsters around the corners (because LOS would be quite short in some places). The idea is to try and use a heroquest idea of exploration except on tiles instead but still allow the DS quests to work.

Also I was thinking that the overlord,if there are monsters hiding behind the exploration token according to the quest, the overlord can freely move them to the exploration token (no command action neccessary), then start a command action with that monster from the exploration square so they could then move and fight the monster. This would enable the overlord to surprise the heroes especially if they treat the exploration square as a door and try and clean out the rest of the known areas first.


 
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Brett Haskell
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CaptainOrlando wrote:


Just to comment on this, I think you could introduce as "exploration token" concept. The idea would be to put down exploration tokens out of LOS of heroes and not put anything else down beyond the token. When the heroes have LOS to the token then you can reveal the rest of the area (to the next exploration token). This is exactly like doors but heroes dont have to break it down, they might not even have to get close to it (just have LOS). Yes, you would have to make some exceptions on larger tiles because the floor space would already be known but it will work well for the smaller tiles.
Just think about that winding corridor from the warlord of Galahir for example, there could be plenty of exploration tokens on this which would allow you to hide monsters around the corners (because LOS would be quite short in some places). The idea is to try and use a heroquest idea of exploration except on tiles instead but still allow the DS quests to work.

Also I was thinking that the overlord,if there are monsters hiding behind the exploration token according to the quest, the overlord can freely move them to the exploration token (no command action neccessary), then start a command action with that monster from the exploration square so they could then move and fight the monster. This would enable the overlord to surprise the heroes especially if they treat the exploration square as a door and try and clean out the rest of the known areas first.

That's a pretty cool idea and might work though It might cramp up the game space as the overlord would want to bring in as many models as possible to gang up on the heroes, leaving later areas empty.
 
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cherrystone wrote:
That's a pretty cool idea and might work though It might cramp up the game space as the overlord would want to bring in as many models as possible to gang up on the heroes, leaving later areas empty.
Maybe I did not, explain myself well enough because it should not have any difference. The overlord still is restricted by doors, nothing from beyond the next doors can be moved or shown unitl the heroes come break it down. The exploration tokens are only used on the tiles the overlord should reveal normally anyway, so in a normal DS game they would still have the same monsters in the area.
This just allows the overlord to bring them forward quicker if they want and give the heroes a bit of exploration because not everything is automatically revealed up to the next door.

For example if the area is made up of 5 tiles before the next door but 3 are out of LOS, then only put down 2 tiles the heroes can see and mark where the other tiles go with exploration tokens. It could be possible there is only one exploration token because the heroes have to explore further to reveal the other exploration tokens and tiles. When the heroes are within LOS of a token then reveal that area to them. Yes, this could mean the heores might not know where the next door is. I have no problem with this as that is what exploration is about. Like stated previously you can also put down multiple exploration tokens on one tile, especially the winding narrow corridors tiles.
 
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I've uploaded the first draft of my Searching rules (with card deck) in the file section. It might not be fully balanced yet (if ever) but hopefully it add a little of what I miss from older games; the surprising randomness of exploring an unknown dungeon and also given the heroes another option to do on their turn.
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