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Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Is The Travel Step Actuall Worth It rss

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James McMillan
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I am running a couple of campaigns at the moment. I get to play with each group once or twice a month. To me the travel step doesn't seem to add very much. It seems way too abstracted and adds very little to the experience each time we sit down. It seems an unnecessary fiddle when I've got heroes less interested in the narrative arc and chomping at the bit to hit stuff. Also the prologue story pieces for each scenario don't really fit with the travel step. Some pieces take place before or after reaching the destination. Sometimes both. The travel step seems a bit artificial and a tad contrived.

I'd be interested to know does anyone ignore the travel step? If so does it affect gameplay in some way i am yet to see?
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David Stahler Jr.
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I agree it's a bit abstract and doesn't add much to the "narrative" experience of the game, however...

It doesn't take very long to complete (you basically just draw a few cards and maybe make some skill checks) and can have an impact on the upcoming quest depending on card draws, so I wouldn't cut it out.


 
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Drew Thomson
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It seems to me that most travel events tend to harm the heroes rather than help them, so you may be putting them at a slight advantage by ignoring the travel step.

But I would be interested in knowing the actual percentage of helpful vs. harmful events if anyone is so inclined to tally them up.
 
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Darren Nakamura
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sdrewthomson wrote:
It seems to me that most travel events tend to harm the heroes rather than help them, so you may be putting them at a slight advantage by ignoring the travel step.

But I would be interested in knowing the actual percentage of helpful vs. harmful events if anyone is so inclined to tally them up.


In total (and only counting the base game and Lair of the Wyrm [because that's all that is on Descentinthedark.com]), I count:

Pro hero: 12
Pro OL: 23
Neutral: 6
No Event: 24

Where Neutral is something that could benefit either or both teams, pro hero either benefits the heroes or does nothing, pro OL either benefits the overlord or does nothing, and No Event is No Event.

Lair of the Wyrm's "force the OL to play a Rumor Quest" was counted as pro-hero for this one, worth five. So not counting that, there would only be 7 pro-hero travel events.
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Noble Knave
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Also, if you look at the traveling, certain Quests are closer or further to Arhynn and the Act II Quests go through more treacherous terrain and tend to involve more travel. I'll put a decent wager that those travel steps are factored into the overall balance of the Quest.
 
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David van Damme
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I kept forgetting the travel step, so now we just skip it. Does not affect game play at all I think.
 
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Eric Penn
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We're running a RPG-like campaign right now and the Travel Step is actually a great opportunity for us to do some old-fashioned straight up roleplaying. No maps, no minis, just good old fashioned storytelling.

The Travel card descriptions are generic enough that it allows for both overlord and players to pretty much make up whatever they want (within the limits of the card effect). I use the campaign map as a guideline for setup of the story. I've actually had a lot of fun with the "nothing happens" effect. I can start telling a story about the plains that the heroes are travelling across and start really describing a farmhouse in the distance, embellishing the details and making the hero players think it is very important or that it has some plot significance and getting them to spend ten of fifteen minutes exploring it, when... "nothing happens".

Yeah, I'm evil.
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Drew Thomson
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Dexter345 wrote:
sdrewthomson wrote:
It seems to me that most travel events tend to harm the heroes rather than help them, so you may be putting them at a slight advantage by ignoring the travel step.

But I would be interested in knowing the actual percentage of helpful vs. harmful events if anyone is so inclined to tally them up.


In total (and only counting the base game and Lair of the Wyrm [because that's all that is on Descentinthedark.com]), I count:

Pro hero: 12
Pro OL: 23
Neutral: 6
No Event: 24

Where Neutral is something that could benefit either or both teams, pro hero either benefits the heroes or does nothing, pro OL either benefits the overlord or does nothing, and No Event is No Event.

Lair of the Wyrm's "force the OL to play a Rumor Quest" was counted as pro-hero for this one, worth five. So not counting that, there would only be 7 pro-hero travel events.


Thanks Darren. If you're up to it, it would be cool to know whether some types of terrain are more treacherous to travel through than others.
 
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Stephen Williams
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I think the Travel Step as it exists in D2E is an attempt at streamlining the overland play seen in Road to Legend (D1E.) In RtL, the heroes (and LTs) moved around a static world map of Terrinoth. They retained their map position in between dungeons and had to roll for random encounters (which were just small outdoor maps - dungeons were nearly always indoors.)

This may sound awesome to some of you, and indeed, it was. It also took forever. The heroes could sometimes be facing three or four encounters if they had far to travel and rolled poorly, and each encounter came with that trademark set-up/tear down time involved with building a map to play on. There were frequently entire sessions where we didn't do a dungeon because we rolled too many encounters (and we didn't want to play more than 6 hours at a time.)

I'm not saying D1E was bad, nor am I saying the D2E Travel Step is perfect either. But it is a lot faster, after all, and allows the focus of tactical encounters to remain on the "dungeons" themselves.

I don't think very much would be lost by skipping the Travel Step, if your group finds it more of a hindrance than a help.
 
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Aswin Agastya
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I use travel step because it's fun for my group.
 
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Sean Houston
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Honestly, this game shines as an iterative re-play value game, and anything that adds minor random-ness to it, such as the travel step, is excellent.
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Darren Nakamura
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sdrewthomson wrote:
Dexter345 wrote:
sdrewthomson wrote:
It seems to me that most travel events tend to harm the heroes rather than help them, so you may be putting them at a slight advantage by ignoring the travel step.

But I would be interested in knowing the actual percentage of helpful vs. harmful events if anyone is so inclined to tally them up.


In total (and only counting the base game and Lair of the Wyrm [because that's all that is on Descentinthedark.com]), I count:

Pro hero: 12
Pro OL: 23
Neutral: 6
No Event: 24

Where Neutral is something that could benefit either or both teams, pro hero either benefits the heroes or does nothing, pro OL either benefits the overlord or does nothing, and No Event is No Event.

Lair of the Wyrm's "force the OL to play a Rumor Quest" was counted as pro-hero for this one, worth five. So not counting that, there would only be 7 pro-hero travel events.


Thanks Darren. If you're up to it, it would be cool to know whether some types of terrain are more treacherous to travel through than others.


If I do this, I'd rather do it right, so I'd wait until I'm home with my cards so I can take Labyrinth and Trollfens into account as well.
 
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Jim Ant
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I once did this analysis (misplaced it, unfortunately) but if Darren does the work, I believe he will find the following, in general:

Roads and plains favor the heroes.

Water Crossings (bridges? rivers?) are somewhat iffy but I'd say they slightly favor the OL.

Forests and especially Mountains definitely favor the OL.

Our group never leaves out this step, we really enjoy it!

We're about to add in a Lieutenant Pack, and I'd say that it's something every OL will want to add in any future campaign.

Also some of the Rumor Cards are based on Travel Events.
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JH
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I like the Travel Step. Throws a little uncertainty into the lay of the land for the start of each quest.
 
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