Re: guidance on Heroquests

From: Dave Harper <dharper_at_...>
Date: Sun, 21 Jan 2001 00:20:26 -0500

On Sat, 20 Jan 2001 22:38:08 -0500, you wrote:

Warning: some spoilers ahead.

>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.

        This is probably obvious, but having a Eurmal god-talker on your ring helps - and of course, putting magic into 'quests' as much as possible.

        Also, you will have a very, very poor chance of success if you hero-quest twice in one year; you will have a slightly-worse-than-normal chance of success if you hero-quest in the year following an attempt.

        Making sure that you have a lot of clan magic might help - not sure, but probably having 0 or negative is bad. <g>

        Sending a worshipper of the god is a good thing, although I usually send the ablest person when there's a big difference in ability.

        Having a temple to the god in question helps, apparently. So does sacrificing to them in the same year. And apparently performing the ritual at the right time of year helps. To be honest, I've ignored all of these three points - I do all my hero-questing in winter, when there's little else to do.

>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?

        I don't normally TRY to hero-quest for the first ten years of the game. It's much more important to me to explore, make friends, increase my population and wealth and gain treasures. After THAT, I begin hero-questing. If you need Ernalda Feeds The Tribe that early, you might be doing something wrong, like trying to grow too quickly. What's the rush?

        Incidentally, to groom leaders for hero-questing, I prefer to send them on Lhankor Mhy Finds The Truth. That's because success in it raises your magic by one rank, your leadership by one rank, and may also increase some of your other (non-combat) stats - this is all assuming you pick 'increase the quester's abilities'. This is a bonanza for heroquesting in the future, and of course it's also rather good for any future leaders. It's also one of the easiest heroquests to succeed at, although your quester will be wounded for a few months afterwards. It's especially easy if you happen to have a very good (renowned/heroic) fighter (uroxi even better!) and ANY issaries god-talker; his bargaining ability doesn't actually appear to matter. With these two, you just let the fighter kill the chaos-creature and follow the rest of the legend and you succeed - in comparison, the Ernalda or Uralda quests are much harder, longer, and riskier. If you have an older but skilled fighter, you can send even a total novice on this quest, which means that after two or three quests they'll be at exceptional levels of magic, capable of doing quite well at other heroquests.

        Other advice - there are various treasures that can help your ability to heroquest. It's easier to heroquest when you're part of a tribe, and also when you call on an ally (or a favour, but allies don't get used up) to help out with the ritual. Having a god-talker of that god on your ring helps.

> 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)

        This is one of the cooler parts of the game. It's also why I rarely send young humakt-worshippers on that quest, though. <g>

>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.

        Making a tribe doesn't require you to have a good leader - I've made several tribes without having a proper candidate for king, because I knew if I was patient, I'd get a chance to be king or queen later, and in the meantime, I had a tribe, and all it's benefits anyways.

        I recently made a tribe with eight (!) members - one demanded too much to allow in, at least by my standards - and watched as someone else was made king - I didn't even try to put my chieftain forward. The first king reigned less than 2 years, the second (also computer) reigned less than a year before being replaced; by that time, I nominated one of my own who I didn't expect to win and he did, putting an elderly Lhankor Mhy lawspeaker on the throne. I expect he'll rule for close to ten years if he doesn't get kicked off first - something I'm trying to prevent by gifting my neighbours liberally every year.

> 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.

        Treasures can help, certainly - a few of them, like the Scarf of the Lightbringers, are invaluable, and Heort's Stone is also helpful. Others exist, some found in heroquests, that aid you as well on specific quests.

        You really don't need to send a good fighter/bargainer - just a bargainer will do. Just send 30 warriors with him, and try not to do it in the spring or fall - nobody has ever touched me when I sent 1 weaponthane and 30 warriors. It also doesn't get the weaponthanes off patrols. I could probably send a lot fewer and still not get attacked, but I've never tested it.

        For that matter, I often send bargainers to other clans without any intent to actually buy the treasures - what they're doing is 'scouting them' to see which clans own which treasures; when I find one worth keeping - there's a limit to how many you can own before all the clans start selling only spirit fetches - I make a bid, starting low around 50; then I send people back raising the price by about 25-50 each time until I get it. But to me, buying things like, say, the Burning Standard isn't worth it - but buying the Shapeshifting Statue IS, since I like large clans and they get upset all too quickly when the population is over 1,000 (I've been aiming for 1,000 in recent games but it seems to stabilize at 1,300 when playing with a large tula).

        Hope this has helped.


"Let me get this straight - you don't have a skill for wedgies, but a noogie is d12 initiative?" -Keith, 02/01/01

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