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Treasure Rules

The American rulebook states a room may be searched by all 4 Heroes:

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The European rulebook does not state this, but it’s reasonable to infer that you can only search a room for treasure once.  The idea that each hero would find different treasure searching the same room is wonky.  I suspect that the European version intended this, then when it was ported to the American version they saw the rule was unclear, they saw the rule was unclear, they may have thought it meant infinite treasure searches, then they changed it without realizing the consequences.

Allowing all four heroes to search every room has some bad consequences:

1) If the players want to optimize their results, they’ll wait until the end of the quest and then do a painful treasure card grind that takes longer than the actual quest.  Searching each room for treasure four times can be slow due to wandering monsters.

2) More treasure cards means you get gold faster, which means characters max out their armory purchases too fast.  This makes the game less fun because part of the fun is “leveling up” the heroes.

3) More treasure cards means you end up with too many treasure potions.  It’s tedious writing these on the character sheet.  It makes the heroes invincible because you always have a bunch of healing potions in case of death.

Despite the flaws of the original HeroQuest, my HeroQuest simulator is all about nostalgia.  For that reason, I stick to the original rules as much as possible.  However, interpretation is required because there’s two versions of the official rules (American and European) (plus expansions clarify rules) (plus non-English versions may have slight rule variations and/or rules wording), and because some rules are not clear.  There’s also cases where I think of a rule as a “bug” (which is why I added the anti door camping rule).  When in doubt, I strive to stay faithful to the source material but lean towards interpreting the rules to improve the overall game experience.  For that reason, I’m going with (one treasure search per room).

Beyond this, I may add some conservative tweaks for the purpose of improving the overall experience.  Some ideas:

1) Start of Zargon’s turn any room with no monsters that hasn’t been searched for treasure spawns a treasure goblin.  This avoids the end of quest treasure grind and adds a little difficulty.

2) Basic expansion artifacts can be reused once per quest.  This gives heroes more opportunity to permanently “level up” instead of hording one-time-use potions and items.

3) When entering the Elf expansion, the Elf gets all 8 spell cards and the Wizard gets all 12 elemental spell cards.  The advanced expansions are hard (especially with less potions).  Plus this avoids the Elf spells not getting used – it’s no fun making the player pick 3 out of 8 elf spells and have to give up the elemental (typically Earth) spells.  Access to new stuff is a big part of what makes the expansions fun.

But I’ll come back to these ideas later after the implementation is further along and I’ve done more play testing.

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