guidance on Heroquests

From: James Sterrett & Corinne Mahaffey <jscm_at_...>
Date: Sat, 20 Jan 2001 22:38:08 -0500

After reading through the archives of this group, and comparing to our own
(still very small) experience playing the game, we are struck by the ease
with which some of you seem to complete Heroquests. It's possible that we're approaching them wrong somehow.

What we (think we) know:

We need all the mysteries of the quest known. Try not to do things the god in question hates the year before, and do the quest in the relevant season.

The quester need to have a Very Good or better magic ability, and also a Very Good or better ability in the skills relevant to the quest - usually combat, plus others as relevant to the deity in question.

In our experience, Very Good is "Very Bad" for HQ.... so, really, you need to be better. When we won a short game, it was through having one person able to do the combat-related quests through Heroic combat skills and Excellent magic. To be honest, that's as we'd expect - they are HERO-quests, after all! 8)

But it took us the better part of 30 years to find and groom that leader
(we won the short game in 1384.) Is this simply a random effect we ought
to expect? How do you groom leaders in non-combat skills? *How* are people able to the Ernalda Feeds the Clan inside the first few years of the game - the dice grant an awesome leader right at the outset?

On a happier (?) note, in our current game, we lost our only HQ-potential leader, but it was kind of nifty. He was a Humakti, and his nerve failed when trying to break his kin-ties. When he came back, he worshipped Orlanth. We also suspect he was not right in the head, because he then promptly went off and slew the children of another clan's chief, bringing us to the brink of a feud. Before we could be certain if he was a chaos fiend in disguise (we were warned that there was a whiff of chaos about the tula), we sent the guy off on an Orlanth vs Aroka quest. He did fine until he met Aroka - and then Aroka chewed him up and spat him out; he died shortly after telling us what happened.

   In any event, we thought that the shift from Humakt to Orlanth, after failing to maintain his Humakti vows, was pretty cool - especially if it weakened his ability to resist Chaos. Good cause-and-effect! 8)

Finally, a related problem, perhaps, is a sense that our development seems to stagnate after a bit. We've achieved military dominance in our region, our economy is supporting a variety of temples, we have as many trade links as we can support. We have made peace with clans other than our traditional enemies, and allied with a number of them. The herds are large, we have a reserve of food. Due to poor leaders, explorations often meet with trouble but we've pushed out to the slopes of Kero Fin. The next step, it seems to us, is to start making a Tribe (short game, easy). But there's nobody in the tribe with a snowball's chance of making it.

   Is this simply "the flow of the game", and we should concentrate on improving our position still further while waiting for events to bring us a better leader(s)? Are we not paying enough attention to purchasing Magic Items? The latter has tended to be lower on our list of Things To Do, in part because of the tiny number of leaders able to both trade and escort a trade mission.

James Sterrett & Corinne Mahaffey

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