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

Subject: Do Rumor quests need reworking? rss

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So I haven't actually gotten to play with rumors yet, having just finished my first campaign. But I've looked at the rules and the cards, and definitely walked away with the feeling, "these are really cool. As for the rumor quests, why would a sane OL ever actually play one of them?"

I assumed they weren't as bad a choice as they seemed, but I recently read another thread here where everyone seemed to agree that an OL who was actually playing to win would NEVER play them. (The people on the other side were arguing that OLs shouldn't play competitively... they weren't arguing that playing rumor quests was a strong play.)

How do people feel about these cards? If the consensus is that they don't make any sense to play, how can they be fixed? (The obvious answer to me is to give the OL a few Threat for playing the card.)
 
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Darren Nakamura
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I think the general feel now is that an OL would play them if he's playing with a Plot Deck as well. Otherwise, the only reason an OL would play the Rumor Quest cards would be to play more quests and have more fun, but not if he wants to maximize his chances of winning the campaign.

EDIT: Regarding your last sentence, the Overlord does receive Threat for playing them. That was not a concept that existed in Descent 2e when the Rumor Quests made their debut, however.
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Drew Thomson
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Dexter345 wrote:
I think the general feel now is that an OL would play them if he's playing with a Plot Deck as well.


How many threat do you receive for playing a Rumor card? It's only one, isn't it? Do you think that's a fair trade for all the extra gold and XP that the heroes will get?

I'm curious, because I've never used a plot deck before, but my next campaign will be a LoR campaign with Trollfens rumor cards thrown in and the OL using the Bol'Goreth lieutenant pack.
 
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Brent Mair
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I also have never played with the Rumor cards but after buying both boxed sets I feel the need to as it extends and enhances the campaign. But I'm already getting trashed as the Overlord. I believe that most believe that Rumors aid the heroes.
 
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Damien M
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sdrewthomson wrote:
How many threat do you receive for playing a Rumor card? It's only one, isn't it? Do you think that's a fair trade for all the extra gold and XP that the heroes will get?


You get one for playing the card and 1 for completing the quest. You also get up to another 4 for KOing heroes, and 1 more if you win the quest.

The heroes do not get XP for rumor quests (neither does the overlord). All they get is the extra gold from the 4 search tokens and maybe a relic.

Total of:
2-7 Threat Tokens
50-200 gold (or an extra shop item)
1 relic for the winning side.

Seems fairly on par for any other quest...although it could be very swingy.
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Drew Thomson
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Entice wrote:
sdrewthomson wrote:
How many threat do you receive for playing a Rumor card? It's only one, isn't it? Do you think that's a fair trade for all the extra gold and XP that the heroes will get?


You get one for playing the card and 1 for completing the quest. You also get up to another 4 for KOing heroes, and 1 more if you win the quest.

The heroes do not get XP for rumor quests (neither does the overlord). All they get is the extra gold from the 4 search tokens and maybe a relic.

Total of:
2-7 Threat Tokens
50-200 gold (or an extra shop item)
1 relic for the winning side.

Seems fairly on par for any other quest...although it could be very swingy.


OK, that sounds reasonable.
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JH
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You also get whatever threat you manage to generate from any Plot cards that do that; most seem to have a net gain of 2 to 4 when used effectively. With the 1:3 exchange ratio of experience for Threat, you can make out very nicely if you win a Rumor quest, KO some heroes on the way and get some extra threat from a card, and typically you get a relic in the bargain. That's worth the risk of loss and probable extra gold for the heroes, I think.
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Ben Pletcher
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When considering the amount of threat you get, you should also consider that you might need to spend some in the quest to play competitively. Also OL gets 3 threat per rumor card in play for both acts plus kills. You only get 1 for initial rumor card put into play and 1 per each of the two encounters you play at end.

Also the risk vs reward depends on which set you play. The LoW ones have much better rewards for heroes. Take the act 1 rewards. If heroes win that get a great armor or weapon. For OL both of those are not that good.

Assuming we are talking 4 heroes, the trollfens puts in 4 searches per quest. 8 total for both map. LoW has 12 combined. I assume about average value of about 35 per search when accounting for secret room and treasure chest. So I value Trolfens at about 280 and LoW at about 420.

As I see it neither one is really worth it from a purely competitive POV for OL but you could argue the trolfens ones are not completely horrible. The LoW is a pure gift to the heroes. And I as hero I am insulted if the OL puts in it. Its like the OL saying I think you are so horrible you need this handicap to make it interesting for me. (So yes as OL I put it in just so I can say that. devil)

Also as OL if you do put one into play try to do it as early as possible before heroes get strong. If you wait until near end of act they are basically give aways.

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Bpletcher seems to be taking a much more accurate way of looking at it. Let's look at the items that Entice laid out:

Relic: Relics are ALWAYS tilted in the heroes' favor, simply because they can always use them, whereas the OL cannot always use them. On top of that, most of the time, the relics are more powerful for the heroes. (Not always true, but often true.)

Threat - "2-7" is a bit optimistic. You get 2 - one for the quest, 1 for the rumor card. You can also score more for beating the heroes, or fulfilling other conditions, but most of those things put you at a tactical disadvantage. Threat from beating heroes costs you a card; many of the others require you to have already invested in plot cards and may require you to spend threat counters. So, yes, you could conceivably generate as much as 10 threat (I think there's a plot card which can give you 1/hero) but the mission would have to be an enormous blowout and it would cost you threat on top of it.

Money/shop items - the heroes get a full encounter's worth of search tokens, followed by a shop phase. Depending on how the encounter goes, they can make more than 200 gold (aurim, secret rooms) but getting to see a full set of extra shop cards is just as important.

So assuming that the relic, on average, balances out (as I said before, it doesn't, but let's assume) we're talking 2 threat + whatever the OL can generate vs. gold + shop phase. Frankly, not having played any of the rumor quests yet, I don't have any experience - but that sounds like a almost an even bet to me. For something that's ostensibly an overlord bonus, I still don't know if I'd take it, but much better than I originally thought, at least.
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Ben Pletcher
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One thing I might not have made clear.

you get 2 threat for the act 1. One for putting rumor card in play and one for playing it.

You only get 1!!! for the follow up in act2 as it gets in play automatically and not from a rumor card.
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Dean L
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I think the Rumour cards got a bad reputation following Lair of the Wyrm. Those quests are fairly biased towards the heroes, and the rewards for the heroes for winning are really good.

Trollfens seems to swing a lot more towards the Overlord side. I played a Trollfens rumour quests (as I used one of the rumour cards that forces you to play it when you use it - wasn't sure it was the best choice as I'd read scary things on here, but the alternative was just using one rumour card all campaign and we wanted to try stuff.)

The heroes had won First Blood, and then the next two quests they picked. They opted for the rumour quest next (Food for Worms) and it was by far the toughest quest they'd played so far, and the first one I won. They won the next quest, then I won the Interlude and first quest of Act 2. At this point I threw caution to the wind and opted for the Act 2 rumour. It was the most one-sided quest we'd played yet, with me winning in the second turn. The reward was fairly nice too. The heroes netted an entire 25 gold from it.

I'm thinking there's a huge difference between Lair and Trollfens quests in terms of difficulty, especially compared to The Shadow Rune base campaign.
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Hmm... so would you say that if you remove the LoW rumor quest cards from the deck, the Trollfens ones are reasonably balanced?
 
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Dean L
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amoshias wrote:
Hmm... so would you say that if you remove the LoW rumor quest cards from the deck, the Trollfens ones are reasonably balanced?


That's certainly my feeling, though I've only played two of the total five quests. Maybe I was just lucky. At the very least though they tend to involve Bol'goroth and the Trollfens monster groups, all of which are pretty strong.

Of course, nearly everyone with Trollfens and LotW has both and so plays with both so it's not really been tested.
 
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