David Hadley
United States
Monett
Missouri
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This is my list of house rules I thought I'd share with you guys. This seems to add a bit more balance to the game for us and further incentive to kill monsters and collect search tokens. Tell me what you guys think and if you have anymore that might add something to this great game.

1)Hero’s cannot move diagonally across corners.

2)During a hero or monster attack action, surges must be spent prior to defense die rolls. This prevents the attacker changing his/her mind based off the defense roll results.

3)Loot will be given for killing all monsters unless the specific quest already grants loot to a lieutenant, but loot may still be gathered by killing other monsters in the quest. The hero must roll one brown power die. If 1 shield is rolled, the hero gains 2 gold. If 2 shields are rolled, the hero gains 5 gold. If a blank is rolled, the hero will gain nothing. Hero’s and OL will still receive end of encounter rewards.

4)If/when a hero is killed, the OL may gain 1xp or draw a new OL card into his hand (his choice).

5)When a hero is killed, he may not be revived using a stand up action. Hero’s can only be revived by another hero “Revive a Hero” action (see “Revive a Hero” on page 7 of the Descent: Journeys in the Dark Second Edition rulebook).

6)If a hero/monster has been inflicted with Burning condition, the condition is lost when he/she steps into a space containing water.

7)When a hero searches a Search token, he/she rolls one grey power die. If 1 shield is rolled, the hero gains a search card. If 2 shields are rolled, the hero may roll one green power die and recover health equal to the number of hearts. If 3 shields are rolled, the hero gains 5 gold and a search card.

8)Gold that had been gained by hero’s killing monsters will not be shared and cannot be traded, but will remain part of each individual hero’s supply. End of encounter and quest rewards will still be shared amongst all hero’s.

9)After the encounter objective has been completed by either the Hero’s or OL, the encounter must end and will continue the campaign. Hero’s cannot continue to kill any living monsters or search any uncollected search tokens.
 
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Patrik Linell
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dhadley wrote:
1)Hero’s cannot move diagonally across corners.

But monsters still can?

Quote:
2)During a hero or monster attack action, surges must be spent prior to defense die rolls. This prevents the attacker changing his/her mind based off the defense roll results.

Under the rules it's not a matter of mind-changing; attack and defense are rolled simultaneously. What is better about this way?

Quote:
3)Loot will be given for killing all monsters unless the specific quest already grants loot to a lieutenant, but loot may still be gathered by killing other monsters in the quest. The hero must roll one brown power die. If 1 shield is rolled, the hero gains 2 gold. If 2 shields are rolled, the hero gains 5 gold. If a blank is rolled, the hero will gain nothing. Hero’s and OL will still receive end of encounter rewards.

I'm not sure what you mean by "loot" here. The "roll a brown die" procedure is done after each monster kill, except for lieutenants if and only if you get something for killing that lieutenant?

Quote:
4)If/when a hero is killed, the OL may gain 1xp or draw a new OL card into his hand (his choice).

1 whole XP each and every time you defeat a hero (if you give up the draw for it)? Wow. That sounds, well, amazingly overpowered.

Quote:
5)When a hero is killed, he may not be revived using a stand up action. Hero’s can only be revived by another hero “Revive a Hero” action (see “Revive a Hero” on page 7 of the Descent: Journeys in the Dark Second Edition rulebook).

In my experience, standing up is rarely done as it, in effect, costs two actions rather than one. What problem do you solve by banning it?

Quote:
7)When a hero searches a Search token, he/she rolls one grey power die. If 1 shield is rolled, the hero gains a search card. If 2 shields are rolled, the hero may roll one green power die and recover health equal to the number of hearts. If 3 shields are rolled, the hero gains 5 gold and a search card.

So no search card for rolling two shields? Or is the above in addition to the normal search card? If the first, this would seem to discourage searching, and if the latter, this seems unbalancing.

Quote:
8)Gold that had been gained by hero’s killing monsters will not be shared and cannot be traded, but will remain part of each individual hero’s supply. End of encounter and quest rewards will still be shared amongst all hero’s.

Why is this good?

Quote:
9)After the encounter objective has been completed by either the Hero’s or OL, the encounter must end and will continue the campaign. Hero’s cannot continue to kill any living monsters or search any uncollected search tokens.

This is playing as written.

I'm not sure what these balance issues are that you feel are solved by these changes. What were the problems before?
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William Korner
United States
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#4 seems a lil rough, it seems your house rules favor the Overlord. In our games the Overlord is powerful enough and victories are hard to come by
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George Mantziaris
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#4 --> WOW this is so OP for the OL. 1 whole XP? If we used this rule during out campagns the OL would have all lvl 3 cards by the end of the campaign…

Also about #5 --> when all of the heroes die during the same OL turn, is the quest simply over? They just lost? I cannot stop thinking master shadow dragon+frenzy+blood rage

 
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David Hadley
United States
Monett
Missouri
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My group are pretty hardcore gamers and spend most of our play time with euro economic games, so we like to really think things out. Several of our group are old dnd'rs as well, so we thought we'd try descent. We liked the base game, but found that it was too easy for the heros and OL only won maybe 1 or 2 encounters during an entire compaign. We bought the expansions hoping it would make it harder and it did..a bit. But still our group will look at the board for a few minutes, analyze what the heros need to do to win and then ignore the monsters, ignore the search tokens, and just complete the objective. Searching forums for rule clarifications hoping we're doing something wrong, but still the hero's seem to always win. On a rare occasion, one hero will die. In our case, giving more power to the OL really added to our game play. I know I've read where others found the OL already OP, but we just can't seem to find that being the case in our group. We're starting a new campaign again tonight if anybody has any suggestions to add to the game, we're really open to try out new things.
 
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Darren Nakamura
United States
Columbus
Mississippi
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I find it surprising that the heroes could ignore the search tokens in a campaign and still be successful. So they were armorless and using their starting weapons against Act II monsters and were still able to beat the overlord?
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David Hadley
United States
Monett
Missouri
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They picked up the occasional search token, but it was never a real priority for them. They get the gold after the quests and usually give it all to the one hero who needed it for shopping. They spend their xp as well. So one hero is way OP for the current encounter and the others are not. So that one OP hero knocks everybody down while the regular heros go after the objective. We've played with the same OL and rotating OL and seems to make no difference.
 
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Arthur Peterson
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Cane Ridge
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Someone is playing something wrong methinks. In our games the OL is almost always overpowered. I have to pull punches just to let the heroes have a chance (most times).
 
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Damien M
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Salt Lake City
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dhadley wrote:
They picked up the occasional search token, but it was never a real priority for them. They get the gold after the quests and usually give it all to the one hero who needed it for shopping. They spend their xp as well. So one hero is way OP for the current encounter and the others are not. So that one OP hero knocks everybody down while the regular heros go after the objective. We've played with the same OL and rotating OL and seems to make no difference.

My main question is: Who wins at the end of all of this?

Do the heroes still win the Finale with very little equipment? Not all quests award gold, so I'm not sure how you are able to fend off Act2 monsters with starting weapons/armor + maybe 4 or 5 items.

If the OL wins at the end, then there's your answer. Heroes can win everything beforehand, but if you lose the Finale, the rest mean nothing.

If the heroes are winning with no equipment, I think you guys need to take another look at how the overlord plays. He is obviously not making descent strategic decisions. There are dozens of things that if done wrong can really mess up your game.

*Monster choices. (Will they reinforce? Can a couple of Deep Elves really stop the heroes from claiming that objective, or will a Merriod be more effective?)
*Monster placement based on distance to objectives and heroes.
*Monster activation order. Too many times I've see the overlord (myself included) activate monsters out of order and therefore lost numerous actions or entire activations because one group is now blocking the other.
*OL card buying. (Is Web Trap really that good if only 1 hero has less than 3 strength?)
I can go on and on...
 
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Robin Reeve
Switzerland
St-Légier
Vaud
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As we are in the Variants folder, I won't plead too heavily in favour of playing the game rules as written.

However, here are some questions :

- Have those house rules been thouroughly tested (taking into account the interactions with different aspects of the system)? Seeing some questions spontaneously popping up, there seems to need some rewording and refining of the propositions.

- Are some of those house rules meant to answer problems that don't actually exist or to repair "broken" mechanics that actually work well ?

- At what quantitative level of house rules can one still consider that one is playing a given game, rather than a ripp-off hybrid which misses some essential aspects of the game's philosophy ?

It could be interesting to develop what sort of "problem" those house rules try to adress (or if they are just alternatives for variation and fun's sake).

Of couse, those questions don't mean that one "shouldn't" play along house rules or transform Descent into another gaming experience.
It even can be entertaining to try such changes - I am personally pleading for an expansion that presents a solo, exploration system, adapted to the Descent main mechanics.

But, if house rules are an attempt to improve the game, I would say that the preceding questions have some importance.
 
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