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Descent: The Road to Legend» Forums » Rules

Subject: About to start my first RtL campaign tonight [Spawning cost] rss

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dario odde
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I know this is stated clearly in the rules and I do apologise for asking, but...
Do I really have to spend 15 threat everytime I want to spawn monsters save for the first time?? surprise
That seems like an awful lot!
What's in the game to balance for this extra cost? I'm confused...
 
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Wayne Shepherdson
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i think its only for the first time per round right? If you wanna spawn 2 sets of monsters in a turn then you would need to pay 15 threat extra.
 
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dario odde
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waynez wrote:
i think its only for the first time per round right? If you wanna spawn 2 sets of monsters in a turn then you would need to pay 15 threat extra.


It says in the manual the reinforcement token stays face down until the end of the dungeon unless you pay 15 threat.

so how much does the overlord rely on monsters compared to the vanilla descent?
 
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Shawn Burk
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Correct. The first spawn per area is free, others require a payment of 15 threat. The reason I state area, is later on when a floor has more than one area, make sure you take advantage of your free spawn token flip.

If this wasn't in the game in such small maps, the Overlord would be broken beyond belief. We get nothing in return for that and that is how it should be.
 
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Shawn Burk
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odde wrote:
so how much does the overlord rely on monsters compared to the vanilla descent?

Short answer, is we rush monsters to die for wounds on heroes or to delay them. We don't win by swarming like we did in vanilla. Might suggest you have a look at this new recruit guide I'm shamlessly plugging.
 
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Corbon Loughnan
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odde wrote:
I know this is stated clearly in the rules and I do apologise for asking, but...
Do I really have to spend 15 threat everytime I want to spawn monsters save for the first time?? :surprise:
That seems like an awful lot!
What's in the game to balance for this extra cost? I'm confused... :what:


i) There is a high proportion of starting monsters in a small area, often including a powerful or hard-hitting (or both) Leader.
ii) As the monster classes are upgraded, monsters can get very tough, and very hard hitting.

A great deal of experience has shown that this extra 15 threat cost is not particularly unbalanced. It means 1, sometmes 2, very rarely three (and occasionally none) spawns in a level, which tends to work out about right overall. I just had a single spawn do 20 damage on the turn it appeared (a normal card, not a treachery card with lots of extra monsters, although there is +2 in there from command belonging to a not-spawned monster), and thats still in early copper level campaign (silver monsters just upgraded) and could have been 22 with a better roll.

You often only need to get 1 kill to stay about par in CT with the heroes (OL will get more 'weekly' (free, not kill/glyph related) CT on average, through weeks the heroes don't go to a new dungeon and through razing cities).

As others have said there tends to be less 'swarming' and more planning and plotting and making best use of his resources by the OL. Persoanlly I find it a much better game that way.

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Corbon Loughnan
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Deadsider wrote:
[q="odde"] Might suggest you have a look at this new recruit guide I'm shamlessly plugging.


Go there. Its an outstanding guide, a job really well done.
 
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Corbon Loughnan
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odde wrote:

It says in the manual the reinforcement token stays face down until the end of the dungeon unless you pay 15 threat.

so how much does the overlord rely on monsters compared to the vanilla descent?


RtL pg17
Otherwise, the reinforcement marker stays facedown until the end of the dungeon level.

A dungeon usually has 3 levels (4 for Legendary, 5 for Keep), theough the heroes may flee before entering some of the lower levels.

FAQ pg22
Q: The condition for turning the reinforcement marker in Road to Legend is “new dungeon level.” In Sea of Blood, the condition is “new dungeon level or area.” Are these intended to be different?
A: No. Use the Sea of Blood rules for both Road to Legend and Sea of Blood. That means that in all Advanced Campaigns the marker can be flipped back whenever a new area is revealed.


Normally 'levels' are Areas, but special levels, like rumours levels, legendary levels and the keep levels may have more than one area, much the same as a vanilla quest.
In such cases areas are usually denoted by doors with triangle ends, not square ends (and usually labelled on the map, too).

Yes, most OLs rely very heavily on monsters still. But individual monsters can be an awful lot more dangerous, and an awful lot tougher, and the OL has some control over which monsters he uses.
 
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dario odde
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Thanks guys. I'm just worried. These guys i'm playing against, they have to be challenged. If they feel the game's too soft they might never wanna play again.
We are supposed to play a short campaign before going back to the 'regular' gaming program at the club, but I want them to have so much fun they will wanna go all the way to diamond. So I have to crush them. For they own good.
 
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dario odde
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Deadsider wrote:


Wow. That should go on the manual in the box. Exactly what I was looking for laugh
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dario odde
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corbon wrote:

i) There is a high proportion of starting monsters in a small area, often including a powerful or hard-hitting (or both) Leader.


You mean those that are usually wiped from the map before I even get to move them? And here maps are even smaller, I figure every monster will be within reach... But I'm just speculating, tonight I'll see for myself. Wish me luck!
 
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Corbon Loughnan
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odde wrote:
corbon wrote:

i) There is a high proportion of starting monsters in a small area, often including a powerful or hard-hitting (or both) Leader.


You mean those that are usually wiped from the map before I even get to move them? :p And here maps are even smaller, I figure every monster will be within reach... But I'm just speculating, tonight I'll see for myself. Wish me luck!


Yes, some of them will. But you get to place them where you see fit, so thats partly up to you.

Oh, and another thing, there is a very low limit of potions available (although extra will be found in chests. And thats a big deal. In vanilla, heroes should use a potion on most turns that they can. In ACs, potions are a husbanded resource pulled out for the big moments, to some extent (like clearing as many of those starting monsters as possible on turn 1!)
 
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dario odde
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So, I was able to spawn a lot despite the 15 threat cost, 12 because I play with the lord of the beasts whatshisname.

Something is still not clear... if I got this right, I can only conquer a dungeon if the heroes flee (I don't see why they would do that) or if I go through the deck twice (never gonna happen). So is winning a dungeon important at all for the overlord? I was able to make a ton of CT by killing heroes anyway...

Also, about the deck, if you use the first expansion you're told to add cards to the deck (Ferrox and Kobolds), with the side effect that now I need TWO more turns to go through the whole deck, right? I'd rather NOT have those cards and keep my deck smaller. But I guess this is mandatory.
 
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Master of the Waz
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Conquest and making the heroes spend resources is your goal in dungeons. Don't worry about trying to cycle the deck. If you made a ton of conquest the heroes have failed, even if they completed the dungeon.
 
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Corbon Loughnan
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odde wrote:
So, I was able to spawn a lot despite the 15 threat cost, 12 because I play with the lord of the beasts whatshisname.

Something is still not clear... if I got this right, I can only conquer a dungeon if the heroes flee (I don't see why they would do that)


If they don't figure out when to do that the campaign will be short and very very painful for them - unless you pick all the wrong upgrades, practically have to be deliberately.
The timing of a flee, and being willing to flee often, is the single most important skill there is, for hero players.

Quote:
or if I go through the deck twice (never gonna happen). So is winning a dungeon important at all for the overlord? I was able to make a ton of CT by killing heroes anyway...


There is no such thing as 'winning a dungeon'. Thats a massive clue right there...

Quote:
Also, about the deck, if you use the first expansion you're told to add cards to the deck (Ferrox and Kobolds), with the side effect that now I need TWO more turns to go through the whole deck, right? I'd rather NOT have those cards and keep my deck smaller. But I guess this is mandatory.


Yes it is. And more or less irrelevant.

You (and your fellow players) must understand this, and understand it quickly. Advanced campaigns are not dungeoneering. The stuff in dungeons is nothing more than the engine which drives the game. Just like driving a car, if you get busy paying too much attention to the engine while you are on the road, you will crash, because its the steering wheel which determines the destination, not the mechanics inside the engine.
The game itself, where it is won and lost, is the map, and the ability of the heroes to win enountrs vs Lts - or for the OL, the ability of his Lts to take down the heroes.
Of course, you can have fun with the engine, but if you want to get anywhere, you need to keep your eye on the road all the time. And navigate well.

But it usually takes a campaign or two to learn these lessons, and its a rare group that doesn't end up writing off its first campiagn to learning experience, so don't worry about it too much.
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Jo Bartok
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if your hero party knows how to play, you will have a damn hard time. know how to play: see that cash/pots are their primary ressouce and giving you low ct (1-2) is no problem. playing dodge/guard, going for mass armor+mass fatigue etc.

my conclusion: they have much more to understand than you, but if they do, they have a slight upper hand. aldo, the game punishes early mistakes. if you get lots of cp and they get very little gold, gg. if they surpass your cp early, gg.
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Shawn Burk
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odde wrote:
I can only conquer a dungeon if the heroes flee (I don't see why they would do that) or if I go through the deck twice (never gonna happen). So is winning a dungeon important at all for the overlord? I was able to make a ton of CT by killing heroes anyway...


Firstly, your heroes need an education on RtL too. Make sure they read The Art of the Blitz so they have an idea of what to do and how to play. If they are just trying to complete each floor and each dungeon and kill every monster, they've already lost the campaign. Fleeing is to be expected in almost every dungeon they go into. To give you an idea, if over a full campaign heroes tried 30 dungeons, they might actually complete 3 of them and flee the rest. If they're not willing to flee, its over.

While there is no winning a dungeon for either side, the heroes should know they played well if they limited that dungeon to maybe one or no hero deaths while getting some gold, loot or CT from it. That's what a "win" is, and that is best done by getting quickly in and quickly out. For you, anything more than one hero death is a well played overlord floor and you whupped them. Remember to actually win the campaign the heroes have to defeat the Avatar in the final battle, or you can raze Tamalir or complete your Plot before that happens (or luck out a final battle win). Nothing else is a win or a loss.

This is a game about small incremental gains over a long period of time, not headlong foolishly into action. We gave you some tips on how the Overlord role changed, just make sure you do the same for the heroes otherwise it'll be so lopsided that it'll end early, and you might not get to play it again (and THAT would be awful!)
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Jo Bartok
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art of blitz is a tule of thumb. ich your party starts with very high armor, good weapons and astarra and has luck they might only need to flee 1 of 10 dungeons - don't forget how easy and strong healing is
 
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dario odde
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Thanks everyone for your tips!

So here's what happened:
My heroes didn't like our first play that much. They were in a rush to play and were more or less complaining about setup time, checking their cellphones instead of listening to me and so on.
I was pressed to get on the game fast, so I didn't go into detail about the levelling up part. I just told them WHAT they were going to be able to upgrade, saving the HOW for later, so that they could immediately go into the first dungeon and see what the game is about.

As a result of this they didn't, of course, get exactly the meaning of experience points: how much they are worth, and how important it is gaining 2 rather than none.

So at the end of the first two levels we stopped and they were disappointed that I was telling them they were performing very poorly, despite cleaning the dungeon up, because they suffered so many deaths.
They were not making a real attempt at optimizing their moves, trying to get the best out of their combined fatigues and attacks and keep me in check. Despite me saying that that was really what the dungeon was about.

So I came here, asked for your advice and reported your tips to the heroes.
With this new insight they were willing to go RtL another go. To at least the point were they could spend some of their XP and see how that would impact the game.
Only now they're complaining the whole 'points over fighting' is antithematic.
What? they would say, You're telling me we're facing the boss and instead of fighting him we flee because our point balance is in our favour, so that's a win? What? Is this a resource management game? I thought I was playing a dungeon crawler!

So, I guess there's no pleasing certain guys

So far they were not that entertained. But they're willing to have a few more plays to see where this is going. I keep telling them to make a plan, understand where they want to improve and travel to the cities they need to do that, that should give them a sense of purpose. I feel like I'm playing the fifth hero, here

Anyway thanks again, your tips were really helpful
 
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Shawn Burk
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Well, consider giving them the option to have to you sit out of fifth hero slot and let them play as they are. Explain to them a lot of RtL is about the journey and not the destination if they play this way, and that if they are going to be destroyed in the end for it. I mean, it won't even be debatable, they'll get destroyed. This is a game where you have to think long term and not short term, but if they are having fun I guess who's to stop them, but remind them if they actually want to win this thing, they have to be more strategic than going in to kill everything each time.

If they want a thematic reason? Well how about something like this.

An ancient evil Overlord that draws strength from the souls of death arises in Terrinoth, and the magic that binds these four heroes to resurrect at the Obelisk of Journeys will not stop the gathering storm. As such, heroes will do well to limit what forces can be thrown back at them, because the journey will already be difficult.

Or just whoop their asses in early silver and end it early and they'll see where they went wrong and hopefully want another to correct it. Once the OL makes some good upgrades, they'll understand.

Hopefully your group will "get it" and if they do, you'll have a blast for years to come.
 
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Corbon Loughnan
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odde wrote:

Only now they're complaining the whole 'points over fighting' is antithematic.
What? they would say, You're telling me we're facing the boss and instead of fighting him we flee because our point balance is in our favour, so that's a win? What? Is this a resource management game? I thought I was playing a dungeon crawler!



Oh its very thematic. Much more so than most games of its type.

You see, they aren't a bunch of super-hero adventurers when they start out. They have one skill only, and no better kit than the local city guards. Half the time the better monsters are actually bigger, tougher, and harder hitting than they are!
These are not the legends that will save all of Terranoth from the almighty (insert evil Avatar here).

They have to grow into themselves. They have to earn experience, train, upgrade, find the cool magical weapons, then chuck those away for even cooler weapons and armour etc, then chuck those away too... They have to travel around, learn to fight as a team, develop their individual roles within the team, visit legends past to pick up some secret tips and skills. Only then will they have the strength and power and class to beard the OL in his own den and put an end to his threat. And while they grow into their own, all the time they need to be keeping one eye on the OLs growing power and make sure he doesn't crush Terranoth under his heel before they can stop him. They have to hold off the OLs most powerful Lts, who individually outclass them, and prevent those Lts from carrying out secret plots. They have to keep Tamalir, the bastion of free Terranoth, out of the OLs control, and also try to limit his control over other cities where possible.

Thats the theme. Its 1000x more engaging than random superheroes come together, kick some ass and save the world.

The mechanic is dungeoneering and resources, and map positioning. Because it takes resources to improve yourself and it takes resources for the OL to improve himself. There are times when resource denial is effective, and times when it doesn't matter and you just need to kick arse and take names and get through this thing whatever (almost) the cost. Its always a balancing act, which is a brilliant layer of depth on the game that ats meaning to the dungeoneering you are doing. You can't afford to blitz too often early, or you'll run out of locations within easy reach. But the OL's progression is marked by huge leaps and then long periods of small increments, so delaying those huge leaps as long as possible can be very important. Thats when denial matters. Its the game behind the game.
 
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Retired Hurt

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The fleeing rate, and what to flee, will depend on several factors :

- which levels they encounter ; some are more or less must-do flights, some are badly suited to your hero group : for example, a heavily-armored, but slow, party will prefer having to fight Sorcerers than Razorwings ;
- whether the level's boss, minions and specials are more or less suited to the OL' present upgrades (don't play The Throne Room against upgraded Eldritch, howxever juicy it seems) ;
- the balance between the OL's upgrading opportunities (as stated by Corbon) and yours (the heroes, too, upgrade by chunks) ;
- the heroes themselves ; some heroes make blitzing easier (Tatianna, Zyla) while some favor staying because they aren't too costly and have good long-term abilities (say Kirga).

It might occasionally be worth paying double in CT (gaining 10, losing 20) because you need to stay there or in order to reach some CT tally ; more is too many.
 
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