Mark McCoy
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In my first session of Descent 2nd Edition, I invited 4 of my closest friends over to try to learn the game together and play through a couple of encounters. I had also bought the first expansion because I am really excited about this game. If you continue on, you will see that my friends made it less than ideal circumstances to try out a new board game. The first bad sign was when two of my friends announced that they were both being fighter classes before I even said a word. Let me elaborate that these friends of mine are oblivious to Descent and have no knowledge of what they are doing as of yet. Let's call them Dick and Larry. Dick and Larry tell the other two in the group, let's call them Bob and Stewart, that they should make sure to pick classes with range combat, because they are not going to be responsible for that. Bob and Stewart, being good sports, choose a mage and scout class to support the group.

After a 1/2 hour walk through of the rules, we delved into First Blood and I was enjoying myself as the Overlord. Even though I had no chance, I felt like I put up a good fight in my losing effort. I was very excited to see what the victorious heroes would choose as their second quest.

After visiting the town, and Larry complaining about how the group should sub-divide their gold into who deserves what based on who searches the most in the dungeons, we settled into the Fat Goblin encounter. 10 minutes in and I realized my horrible mistake, I had read the rules wrong and I was supposed to place my Barghests in a starting area just outside the heroes starting point. I informed the group of my mistake, and they very begrudgingly allowed us to start over. It wasn't that different with the Mage blasting his way through the Barghests and Larry's fighter killing the two survivors on his turn alone. I was starting to sweat, "Is this game too easy?" I thought. But before I could formulate any more opinions, Dick butt in with the following, "Is every quest in this game the same?"

I was confused, we were less than 2 hours into a gaming session, we had played two different maps, and someone was already complaining? "Its just the first two, Dick." I said.

"Well why are they so similar?" He said.

"I don't know yet, Dick, are you really upset about it or something?"

Before he could respond, I got cut off by someone asking me to re explain surges. I explained how surges work, and concluded by saying that they can be used to heal a fatigue if you don't spend them on anything else.

"What the heck?" Larry exclaimed. "What kind of crap is this?"

It turns out that I had forgot to explain the fatigue rule for surges. This was something that Larry and Dick would not forgive.

"That changes everything!" Dick yelled.

"Its like a whole new game!" Whined Larry.

"C'mon guys," I pleaded, "we're like 1.5 missions through the game."

"Its just a big rule to forget." They both agreed.

"Meanwhile, Bob and Stewart were planning how to best manage against my goblins.

At the end of Fat Goblin, Encounter 1, I had stolen 2 bails of crops and the heroes had saved 2. I felt pretty good about myself.

As I was setting up the 2nd Encounter, Dick decided that he needed to speak up.

"What's up with all these quests with goblins?"

"Um," I said, "You were literally the one who said we should play the quest called a Fat Goblin." He was. When I showed them the quest book, he said, "Oh oh oh, lets do a Fat Goblin."

"Yeah but its annoying. Is every quest just a goblin sprint?"

Now, I know that some people dislike that Descent has racing quests, but I have not had the experience with the game and I don't think playing the first 2 encounters is enough to form an opinion.

In the first two turns of the second encounter of a Fat Goblin, I had excellent draws. My cave spiders were dealt with unfairly quickly, and due to poor positioning, my Ettins were not much of a threat. In the torture chamber, a dash card got Splig way across the map and some good rolls got 2 of the heroes near to 0 health. The luck lasted for them though, when the archer scout rolled two attacks, back-to-back, that dealt almost 10 damage to Splig. I had lost the first full quest.

I was a little bummed but I was starting to realize that I needed to be more strategic. More tactical. One bad move was the difference between victory and defeat. If I had remembered to keep my goblins spread out instead of bunched up, the mages blast would not have been nearly as affective. My reflection was short lived though, as Dick and Larry decided that I was worthy of some hardcore taunting.

"SUCK IT SPLUNCK!" Yelled Larry.

"Yeah Splatch, EAT IT!" Said Dick.

"That was really close," said Bob. "Yeah," said Stewart, "those were some lucky rolls at the end."

"Splotch can SUCK IT!" Continued Dick.

"Yeah Splick, get your fat butt out of here."

"I really like my character," said Bob.

"Splatch was such a bitch!" Said Dick.

Maybe i'll just invite Bob and Stewart next time...

Thanks for reading! This was very medicinal for me to vent.
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Cedric Chong
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mgmccoy wrote:
I invited 4 of my closest friends over...


Maybe that should read: I invited 2 of my closest friends and 2 ex-friends over...

Jokes aside I empathize with you.

In my group, I'm always the person to explain the rules. Here's the dilemma.

A) You explain every single rule and exceptions, the players start to lose interest/concentration.

B) You explain just the basic, planning to cover the exceptions as we play along, and this happens:
mgmccoy wrote:
"What the heck?" Larry exclaimed. "What kind of crap is this?"

It turns out that I had forgot to explain the fatigue rule for surges. This was something that Larry and Dick would not forgive.

"That changes everything!" Dick yelled.

"Its like a whole new game!" Whined Larry.

"C'mon guys," I pleaded, "we're like 1.5 missions through the game."

"Its just a big rule to forget." They both agreed.


Nobody ever appreciates the effort you put into researching the game. Buying the game. Reading the rules. Setting up. Explaining the rules. All just so that everyone can have fun. It's almost like you owe them something... Like you're responsible for their happiness.

Having said that... It reads like Dick and Larry both have issues. Were they high or something? They sounded angry.
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Ethan
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With games like Descent(long or epic games), I always try and pre-supply people with the rules for the game we will be playing. I know I will not always remember all of the rules and this helps spread the information across multiple people so I don't get blamed for forgetting to explain something or mis-remembering.

It also sounds like Dick and Larry were not very fun to game with, hopefully your other experiences with them have been better in the past.
 
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Evan Coolen
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This is the kind of attitude that made me flee from online videogames and random people and towards boardgames and relaxed friends. Sounds like your friend still need to outgrow their pubescent aggressive behavior. Maybe wait a few years and try again
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Ryan Stripling
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I see two options.
Option 1: Oh hey guys. Since you won, you get to pick the next quest. I'd ask that you avoid Cardinal's Plight, since it heavily favors the heroes, and you guys have already won the last two. What? Cardinal's Plight? Sigh... (inwardly chuckling, scheming, plotting nefarious deeds)
[two hours later]
Booyah! Watch him bleed out, you puny, insignificant mortals! Y'all nothing! All your base are belong to me! I am the Overlord ownerer!!!

Option two:
The game really is a lot of fun with two hero players controlling two heroes each. The other two guys seemed like they were interested and worth playing with.

-ryanjamal
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Chris Funk
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It can happen. I was playing in my first D&D session a looooong time ago and we had a couple of guys that wanted to join. So we got them characters and the DM found a way to bring them into the story during a fight with kobolds. One of them had a bow and arrow and tried to hit the one I was fighting and rolled a 3 to hit, which then whizzed very close to my face. We finished off the kobolds and I kept my bow drawn on the one guy. He's now arguing about why I'm aiming at him and how we're supposed to be friends. Even after we tried, very wink-wink, to explain to him that we didn't know them and he had fired an arrow at my head, which could mean he might have been in league with the kobolds, he was clueless. I tried four times to explain in character about th situation so he would go "Oh, hey! I'm not a foe! I'm just a bad shot!" and we could go on, but NOoooooOOoOoOooO... So I shot him in the shoulder.

These guys joined us for a game of Vampire a couple of months later. I should have known, but we let them in and started playing. We were sneaking up on a bad guy we had been hunting and I was the only on with low stealth and had to move from shadow to shadow to stay hidden. Goofball #1, same as above, announces that he's turning his headlights on (thus announcing our presence and lighting me up like a firefly). For no reason at all. I yell at him and he turns them off. I start sneaking again, and he flips them back on. I pull out my pistol, since it's no use being stealthy anymore since my shadow has just been projected across hells half acre. Twice. Shoot both the headlights out and keep going. He was pissed about why I would have done that.

Some people just aren't designed to be cooperative gamers.
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Mark McCoy
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I didn't even mention the worst part, originally the friends I called Dick and Larry both told me that I should get the game because it sounded so fun. And no, they were not high, but they were extremely frustrating to play with. I didn't mention a couple of other bad moments. For example, I played a trap card against Larry and when he successfully passed the attribute test, he literally pointed his finger at me and yelled for me to suck it.

I'm not trying to be a jerk about having fun, but I did feel like a lot of it was at my expense.

I agree with your statement about when friends get mad about games being explained incorrectly. I care way more about having an enjoyable evening than winning a game. One rule might be a big deal, but we're human and I was trying to get the game started.

Thanks!
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Cedric Chong
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mgmccoy wrote:
I played a trap card against Larry and when he successfully passed the attribute test, he literally pointed his finger at me and yelled for me to suck it.


....

Words escape me.

It'll be interesting to see Dick and Larry play a game of Risk / Diplomacy / Intrigue etc.

They'd probably commit murder.
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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maxixe wrote:

mgmccoy wrote:
"What the heck?" Larry exclaimed. "What kind of crap is this?"

It turns out that I had forgot to explain the fatigue rule for surges. This was something that Larry and Dick would not forgive.

"That changes everything!" Dick yelled.

"Its like a whole new game!" Whined Larry.

"C'mon guys," I pleaded, "we're like 1.5 missions through the game."

"Its just a big rule to forget." They both agreed.


Nobody ever appreciates the effort you put into researching the game. Buying the game. Reading the rules. Setting up. Explaining the rules. All just so that everyone can have fun. It's almost like you owe them something... Like you're responsible for their happiness.

Having said that... It reads like Dick and Larry both have issues. Were they high or something? They sounded angry.

Ugh, I get this all the time. Nobody wants to read the rules so I have to. Then as I try to explain it, inevitably someone says, "Can't we just play already?" If I try to explain there are some more rules they should know about, they complain further. So we start, and part way through I explain the missing rules, and they get mad at me for not explaining the rules to begin with, claiming I "make up rules as we go along."

-shnar
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Darren Nakamura
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mgmccoy wrote:
Now, I know that some people dislike that Descent has racing quests, but I have not had the experience with the game and I don't think playing the first 2 encounters is enough to form an opinion.


I'm glad you feel this way. If you are still intent on playing with Dick and Larry (which it sounds like you may not be), I'd recommend having one or both of them play as the Overlord, and see how it feels to be treated that way.
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Ryan Stripling
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shnar wrote:

... claiming I "make up rules as we go along."

Yeah, I get this all the time, and it is my number one pet peeve. First, because I'm the only one who takes the time to read the 20-30 page rulebook and look up the FAQs and errata, but secondly because half the time I did tell them the rule, only they didn't remember it. Arrrrgggg, I say!
-ryanjamal
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Dude.

Half your friends seem to suck.

I recommend cutting out the rot.

Hell, where do you live, I'll play with you instead and bring people who don't suck.
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Craig Bocketti
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Sometimes you just gotta not play with certain people.

I have been through many descent groups already. I would constantly be learning the rules, reading the errata, asking questions here just to have answers to questions that may not have even come up in any one group yet. But I like to be prepared just in case.

Then you get the people who like to argue every point, even when you show them the rules or errata. But then they still don't like it, well because they don't like it.

I finally realized, this isn't fun. I am spending all this time and money and not having a good time.

I have ended campaigns early, or have never played again after first blood. It sucks but you just got to realize who is worth playing with and who isn't.

Unfortunately this group included friends, good friends, best friends, sisters,brothers, brother-in-law, etc....

I finally have a great group I play with, they are attentive, engaged and really happy to be playing. Sure we have our fair share of "You suck" or "I HATE THE X", but its all in good fun. (Also I get the added bonus of having an on going campaign with my fiance, we are currently in ACT II of LoR.)

Sometimes it sucks ditching people but really its your TIME and MONEY they are wasting, just think about like that.

Either they will see the error of their ways, and be decent like normals, or they are so oblivious that they may not even realize. Doesn't mean you have to end a friendship, just exclude them from the gaming group.


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Marty Fox
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Exactly the same here.

I'm at some point where I don't even want to explain games anymore, but nobody is really trying to explain the rules, so after half an hour of sitting around the table watching the box of the board game I usually end up doing the same routine. And that routine is word for word what Shnar said.

FWP
 
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Marc Mistiaen
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mgmccoy wrote:
Maybe i'll just invite Bob and Stewart next time...

Maybe you'll only have Bob and Stewart as friends next time...
 
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Oliver Steinberger
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I would tell Dick and Larry in their faces that it wasn't fun playing Descent with them and that you're going to play with the other guys instead.
Maybe they see what they did and behave better next time.

Explaining the rules of a game is a tricky thing, that you always will do wrong.
You make it short : "Wow! I didn't knew! If I had knew that blablabla"
You explain in further detail: "Booooring! Lets start the game, dude!" or "Oh sorry, I stopped listening 2 minutes ago. What did you say?"
It's always the same ...
 
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Mark O'Reilly
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Shnar summed it up perfectly.
I have exactly the same experience.
Hell, you research the game...looking at videos, reading reviews, more videos, more reviews, take the plunge, shell out insane amounts of money.
The joy of opening the shrink , smelling the virgin sheets, ready to punch, checking all contents.
You then read all rules, FAQ , errata, maybe a play-through video
And you arrange a game night....
Only for someone , shall we say , called Richard Head?, to ruin the experience.
Explaining a new game to 3, 4, even 5 new players can be exhausting, lots of patience needed.
My particular pet hate is the little Richard Head who is sat at the table not paying attention to anything ....and you just know they are going to big down the start of the game asking numerous questions.
Even the flow of the game can grind to a halt as some participants play on their f****** bloody mobile (cell) phone! , while they could and should, be preparing for their next turn.
It can be extremely frustrating, yet...
When it plays out right, all have had a great evening, can't wait to do it again.
It's all worth it, and why we do it.
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Mark McCoy
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Well said biffta. I completely agree.
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Boss Beau Blasterfire
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You should have had each view a play through or something to that effect on Youtube or whatever prior to playing with them. WatchItPlayed I believe covered it and they usually do a great job covering things. This would have given them enough exposure to the game to decide whether they wanted to try it themselves.

I find with any deep or heavy game it is of the utmost importance that everyone involved in a play through being equally committed to the game; otherwise, it can lead to a ruined experience for everyone involved.

It helps if you can print out as many player aids/rulebooks ahead of time, so that things can be looked up on a moment's notice or as people want to look them up. This way someone can look something up without interrupting the flow of the game.

I have a feeling for your friends, a much shorter/simpler game would have been better suited. I hope your future game plays prove to be better experiences for all involved.
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Mark McCoy
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Its funny that you mention that considering that we played Space Alert after and had a blast. I was especially surprised by these friends because they have played Twilight Imperium with me several times and like big epic games.
 
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Craig Hogan
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Sounds like a thoroughly unpleasant game for you. My condolences.

Is it possible that Larry and Dick thought they were just smack talking and didn't realise how obnoxious they were being? I'm referring to the ending dialogue specifically here.

 
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Mark McCoy
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Hi Doomjester,

Its entirely possible that they were just trying to be funny, but it was so unpleasantly forceful that it became distracting for me. Its true that I might need to have tougher skin for a game like Descent but it was unbearable enough that I suggesting moving on to a different game immediately after that encounter. If they didn't know I was bothered, then they just didn't care.

 
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Arthur chang
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Just curious... are Dick and Larry regular boardgame buddies? Or only RPGs/non-gamers?
 
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Robin Reeve
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Hi Mark,
All my sympathy for your bearing such "profiles" in your gaming session.

That sad experience shows how much boardgaming is a question of group dynamics.
Much more than a given game mechanic, it is the way people interrelate which makes the moment fun or not.

What is disturbing in your experience, is that, when learning the game, no slack was given to the oversight of some rules, etc.
In my gaming sessions, when we are learning a new game, and when we noticed that we played something wrong until then, we try to enforce the correct rule for the continuation of the game - with possible "retroactive" adaptations, if the impact is severe on the present situation.
But we accept, beforehand, that errors are possible and that there is a learning curve.

It also seems that your two "special guys" adopted a low browed, kill-em-all, profile, not trying for the least to enter into the atmosphere of the game.
I find it quite disturbing that they bullied the two other players into choosing their hero classes : that was a show of authoritarist domination which, from the beginning, distorted the relations within the group.
And they went on bullying you, as if their only pleasure was to walk on everybody's feet.

For the least, they missed the essential aim of a game : spend a fine moment with friends.
They broke some essential codes of civilized interaction and their trash talk could not be separated from their general dominating attitude.
When playing a grumpy dwarf, one can use some coarse words, playing the role of the character - quite like a more sophisticated way of expression could correspond to an elf.
But in this case, even if they intended to play the role of gruff fighters, the fact is that their agressive and dominating interaction with the other players - on the side of "real life" social relations - made all their behaviour unrecievable.

I would take distances from people who don't know how to integrate a group and follow basic social codes of interaction.
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Cedric Chong
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Robin wrote:
they missed the essential aim of a game : spend a fine moment with friends.


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