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HeroQuest Challenges


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This question was raised on the G+ forum but I thought worthwhile to add in here for future reference.

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I have a question about heroquesting Challenges. Are they always the culmination of the quest, or can an earlier station contain the Challenge? For example, in Orlantha and Aroka, is it possible that the contest with the Dark Woman could be the Challenge on some performances, instead of Aroka?

 

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Responses so far.

By Martin Hawley:

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sure, a HQ challenge can be at other phases or parts of a myth,not just as the culmination indeed I would argue some myths have multiple ones as cisis moments or pounts where you reach an exhange site ...just imagine how many you would face in experimental HQing!

By Charles Corrigan:

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I'd look for credible challenges where another questor would want to perform the opposing role, placing a piece of their soul at risk for some benefit. The Dark Woman challenge would require careful design to avoid it being a co-operative event rather than a challenging event. But otherwise, yes, I'd agree that a challenge does not have to the climatic culmination of the quest.

By Herve Carteau:

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Spring the Challenge on players whenever they don't expect it. If it's Dark Woman, so be it. Next time it'll be... a chaos invasion before reaching Aroka itself. Whatever destabilizes players and makes them improvise, adapt, overcome.

By myself:

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Yes, it could be potentially at any station.  However, if the Challenge is between Orlanth and Aroka, then expect that to be at the culmination of the Quest. 
I think other stations offer good opportunity for other players to engage in a Heroquest Challenge.

 

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This raises another question. How do questers know when they've reached the Challenge? Is there a mystical sense that "this is the moment'? Do they just guess which station is the Challenge and hope they get it right? ("Crap, I thought the Dark Woman was going to be the Challenge, but it's actually Aroka! I declared the Challenge too soon.") Can they make a particular station the Challenge?

 
You 'know' because it's the point in the myth/story where the hero So-and-So won their great victory and brought back a great reward.  This is what your hero has prepared for and expects to happen.

Now, is it possible to get it wrong?  Definitely!  And this may be because of HeroQuest Surprises or changes in the Gods World due to chaotic influences or Lunar heroquesters or something else.

There's some useful additional text in SKoH that's not included in HQG.  "Before the quest starts the challenger must declare the ability he will stake, and prepare the invocation ahead of time. At the moment of the heroquest challenge, the hero must pay 1 Hero Point and name the ability that he declared before the quest. His opponent (another heroquester) does the same, (although as a Narrator entity, the opponent obviously does not have to pay a hero point). Each risks a portion of his very being in the challenge by wagering his entire rating in that ability, which can be anything on his character sheet with its own rating. The actual stake of the challenge is equal to the lower rating of either the ability wagered by the hero or the resistance rating of the contest.  The hero must face the Heroquest Challenge alone, without aid even from the companions who accompanied him on the quest. If he has not called upon the community wyter, he can still use it here. The two opponents face each  other in an Extended Contest using the abilities wagered."

This helps emphasize the fact that the person who is performing the HeroQuest Challenge is making the decision of when/where to perform it based on their instinct as to when the time is right.  As a GM I would go with that decision - and the results should reflect that, including the possible realization that they made the decision too early or too late.
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From the account in King of Sartar, it appears possible to perform just part of a heroquest for its reward, and be done with it, as Sartar did when he performed the Westfaring portion of the Lightbringers' Quest in order to provide a wyter for his kingdom - basically doing the quest for Ginna Jar.

Applying this to the Aroka quest, there could be a way to just gather the seven winds and seduce the Dark Woman without facing the Blue Dragon at the end of the journey.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/8/2016 at 4:53 AM, Joerg said:

From the account in King of Sartar, it appears possible to perform just part of a heroquest for its reward, and be done with it, as Sartar did when he performed the Westfaring portion of the Lightbringers' Quest in order to provide a wyter for his kingdom - basically doing the quest for Ginna Jar.

 

It is also a good way of building up to a quest. Perform some of the Stations as individual HeroQuests then perform the whole Quest. That's basically what Harmast did when he did the Lighbringer Quest.

Applying this to the Aroka quest, there could be a way to just gather the seven winds and seduce the Dark Woman without facing the Blue Dragon at the end of the journey.

 

I think a big HeroQuest might have several HeroQuest Challenges, allowing the HeroQuestor to defeat several foes.

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