I tried to find some discussion here about bonus quests released by FFG on their support page, but with no success. I wish to share some thoughts if someone is interested.
We want to begin an Advanced Campaign as soon as possible; we've played all the base game quests + ToI quests and now I'm making a selection of Well of Darkness and Altar of Despair quests to show all game features that can be used in the Campaign, while Hero players improve their skill a bit more.Yesterday evening I ran this short quest just after crushing the party in "The Thing in the Pit". It was chosen because it was a short quest (started playing at about 21.30) and a good showcase for boulders, altars and a tough Golem boss.
Party was a strong one (good heroes with good skill combinations):
Lord Hawthorne with Weapon Mastery, Brawler and Ox Tattoo.
Grey Ker with Born to the Bow, Burglar and Sharr the Brightwing
Tobin Farslayer with Ranger, Swift and Pickpocket (after this game I'm convinced this Hero is broken)
Challara with Divine Retribution, Telekinesis and Water Pact.
Challara's player complained about his apparently lame skill choice, but Brightblaze was really effective on this map and the final area has a surprise for him and the Overlord.
It appears that the boulders work for the Heroes most of the time. The first blocks monster movement in the start area, protecting the group's back instead of threatening them. I used it to spawn a Beastman War Party that killed the party's melee tank. This suddenly put the group in danger with 1 CT left, but after that they had no problems clearing Area 2. In Area 3, it suddenly became evident that the altar-boulder mechanic is a joke. The Golem boss should definitely be immune to the boulder, otherwise he can be easily crushed before activation, provided a Hero has the Telekinesis skill (here's the above mentioned surprise). I had 2 Hordes of the Things in play and tried to clog the area around the Master Golem, but with Tobin it was impossible to stop the trick. Conceding this cheap victory to heroes, I invited them to go on without using Telekinesis, just to see how it turns out.
The boulders move at the beginning of the OL turn, right? Before he does anything else, right? So, if the Heroes use a good altar to change the boulder direction it will surely roll before the OL can do anything else, possibly crushing his monsters or the 51-wounds Golem boss. If the OL uses the evil altar to change the direction, thus losing one of his few Beastmen in the room, the Heroes will have enough time to get out of the way or even change the direction. Basically, the 101st cultist will be crushed, sooner or later. Not sure if the 2 extra armor are "per player" as the 10 extra wounds; in that case, with 8 extra armor he will be impossible to harm and the boulder should be the only way to kill him. If this was the intention, it may justify the tons of Gold in this dungeon, which my players gladly spent for extra gear. Were they supposed to make the altars work, they should keep some money or try to harvest the final room while avoiding to get killed. It is also unclear if the boulder in Area 1 can be changed in direction as well (text mentions "boulders").
It might sound weird to ask if the person who compiled the Cult of the 100 has ever played it. Anyway, it's a bonus quest and I left these words of warning just in case someone wanted to give it a try. It may work if the Golem gets +8 armor +40 wounds but then the OL could win by leaving the boss on one side of the room without attacking and let the Heroes lose through infinite deck cycling. But if the altars work on both boulders, the Heroes will then be forced to bring both boulders into area 3 and that may be a cumbersome task.
Probably it's better to ignore this bonus quest at all, and never play it if a Hero draws Telekinesis.
A wizard is never too late. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to.
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I believe the intentional design of this quest is for the boss to be nigh impossible for the heroes to kill through normal means. Thus they have to use the boulders to crush him, hence all the gold in the Dungeon. Having a hero with Telekinesis sort of breaks the quests though..... Even without it though it still isn't really that hard, the heroes just have to get the boulders in the right spot, and then stand in such a way that the boss cannot move out of the way (since he can't move through them). Even though he gets a free shot or two on them, Golems don't hit for crap so....
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