Sebastian D.
Germany
Berlin
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SoB is tough, isn’t it? My heroes gave up recently but want to try again. And as I was trying to provide some balance against all the RtL games going on on the forums, I’ll have to keep posting about our new adventure.
Good Friday was our starting day and we played 2 dungeon levels. Next meeting will be in the far future again as one member (yes, the same as last time!) has already left for his last term of his education. So don’t expect deadsider’s kind of rhythm of ‘once a week’. We’re slow but we are reliable!
We had a 50:50 experience with fan-dungeons, that’s good enough to keep them in .



Pregame setup

First hero draw had an interesting mix with no viable melee character but Battlemage Jaes as a high-armor-hero. But lacking early punch we immediately drew again . Now the groups were:

Group 1: Kirga, Varikas the Dead, Jonas the Kind

Group 2: Lord Hawthorne, Spiritspeaker Mok, Grey Ker

Group 3: Mad Carthos, Vyrah the Falconer, Bogran the Shadow

Group 4: Sahla, Shiver, Laurel of Bloodwood



Well well, a lot of returning faces here (from previous games AND the discarded draw I mentioned above). It seems we are attached to some characters already. Or maybe the cards are just sticky. Next time we will draw with a random number generator .
Anyway, we only have a small number of melee and Lord Hawt might just be the best one. Having two ranged heroes was rated ‘not very good’ last time so they are rather looking for two mages. Not much left here then, either. It’s Mad Carthos and Sahla/Shiver. They played Shiver last time and Sahla is cheaper, so that’s their choice. Kirga is chosen last. No, not exactly. Kirga was chosen first, even before melee and everything was built around her. Not a bad group but a little slow and low fatigue, right? But their 8 health character is not 3 CT anymore. Wait until you see Carthos’ skill, though and you will know why he would rather be 1 CT!

Skill draws:
Kirga: Lucky, Master Archer, Born to the Bow, Marksman

Lord Hawthorne: Mighty, Weapon Mastery, Enduring, Shark Tattoo

Mad Carthos: Saj’s Mark, Quick Casting, Fire Pact, Alchemist

Sahla: Necromancy, Inner Fire, Blessing, Hand of Death

Pretty good draw, right? Like with the characters, the same skills seem to come up every game. I hate seeing those surge skills again!
Kirga has a tough time deciding between BttB and MA. Surges are useful with every weapon but the Ripper, aiming all the time (and thus missing a lot less) has a lot of appeal, too. But there is the gold treasure that does the same thing.. .. Lord Hawt is struggling with WM and Shark Tattoo. He wants to be useful in sea battles and maybe they need him to be in the many lieutenant battles ahead. So he and Kirga team up and decide to take at least one surge skill between the two of them. Lord Hawt goes for the tried and true Weapon Mastery and Kirga can then go for BttB.
Mad Carthos also has two very good skills but with only 3 fatigue and a generally slow party he does not take QC but instead dives deep into RPG territory and fleshes his character out with background story: MAD Carthos with the ritual dagger in his hand just has to be self-mutilating, Saj’s Mark it is! Sahla then takes the group boosting Blessing. So much damage coming my way!

I’ll just keep everything from last time, so I pick the Master of the Hunt and the Fury of the Sun plot (3 keys spread around the map need to be brought to the lighthouse which then destroys one city per turn, lighthouse is placed at Cerridor Sea, starting upgrades are Lawlessness, Focused and Helm of Night (Avatar gets +2 armor, Ironskin and Unstoppable).



If you’d like to know more.. ..

Descent Session Report: Descent Campaign Tracker


Week 1

Same as last time: I play “The keys appear” right on my first turn for 0 XP, they place the keys as far away from the Siren's starting location as possible: Burning Bay, Sea of Redtyde, Winnowing Straits. Then they head for the Hollow Woods.

I have no idea if they set themselves any goals for the first dungeon besides buying Elven Sails. Preventing a huge CT gain for the OL could be another one.

Hollow Woods – Level 1: The Scarecrows
Probabilities are 55% official dungeon, 45% fan-made. This one is a fan-made one, just like last campaign. What’s up with that ‘just like last campaign’? And dungeon levels ARE drawn with random number generator.. ..

This layout was silly, even we could see that. 20 spaces to the glyph and forced to a fixed path, seriously?
On the other hand, the boss is in easy reach for a first turn assault (8 spaces for melee). But their initial buy did not include any potions, Lord Hawt wanted to have the Ring of Protection right away. (By the way, villagers represent statues in the pictures. Once per turn one statue can breathe fire, rolling one green die and ignoring armor for damage)
So their approach was ‘slow and steady’, which gave me the option to turtle in the last room at the green stairs. Guarding didn’t do them much good as the boss medusa would attack twice, stunning two heroes and only taking minimal damage (I didn’t draw Rage, that would have been even more fun!). Setting up an assault on the last room was hard because of the fire-breathing statue. Spawning was easy even with Kirga, the stairs made every space a lot closer to the group than it seemed. Dark Priests coming from behind took out Carthos.
After some turns of minimal progression (the chest yielded the Gauntlets of Power, not exactly increasing their firepower, and zero potions) Lord Hawt was desperate enough to try and tank the stairs but was heavily wounded by a beastman spawn and when he limped away he didn’t see neither the crumbling dungeon ceiling nor the huge hole in the floor. Kirga did a better job later but she is a smaller target the way she cowers on the floor (=dodging). That provided the opening for Carthos to Blast and Kill (with much Ritual-Scratching).
I think damage-wise they were doing ok (one-shotting normal dark priests with improved 6W 2A, for example), their walking speed and no potions made it difficult to advance properly. They were considering fleeing a couple turns after getting the chest but the scarce treasure on this level was really frustrating also (300 gold and 1 treasure, no coins, no boss kill, no glyph at that time).

Hollow Woods – Level 2: #63 – The Meatlocker
Back to known territory, and another quickshooting boss. But a manticore doesn’t hit as hard as a medusa, and it has no stun (here: frost instead, but with the low damage, when should it trigger? ).
Mad Carthos with two wounds left from last level cannot be protected for long from charging skeletons. And Kirga can’t find a nice place to rest, everytime she gets herself comfortable between two rocks a master sorcerer or a charging manticore boss disrupts her relaxing yoga pose. Rightfully angry she reminds herself of her tanking qualities and opens the door for the others only to face the last couple of monsters stunned, without a dodge and only five health remaining -> send back to town.
Treasure was plenty on this level though: the barrels had money and a chest in them (Dwarven Firebombs and no potions), the chest had a treasure (Axe of Returning and still no potions!).

Hollow Woods – Level 3: #62 – No Mercy
I have 11 cards left in the OL deck and Evil Genius in play. Can they beat dungeon #62 in 4 hero turns? Without anyone dying?



Conquest Standings
Heroes 11, Overlord 12.


Heroes - Money: 775

Kirga - Born to the Bow
Equipment: Dwarven Firebombs, Axe of Returning, Sling, Chain Mail
1 Power Potion(s)
3 Black Dice

Lord Hawthorne - Weapon Mastery
Equipment: Axe, Chain Mail , Ring of Protection, Gauntlets of Power
0 Potion(s)
3 Black Dice

Mad Carthos - Saj’s Mark
Equipment: Sunburst, Wizard’s Robes,
0 Potion(s)
3 Black Dice

Sahla - Blessing
Equipment: Immolation, Wizard’s Robes,
1 Fatigue Potion(s)
2 Black Dice


Overlord

Master of the Hunt - Fury of the Sun
Beast Level: Copper
Eldrich Level: Copper
Humanoid Level: Copper
Event: 0, Monster: 0, Trap: 0
Plot: An Ancient Weapon (lighthouse at Cerridor Sea), The Keys Appear (at Burning Bay, Sea of Redtyde, Winnowing Straits)
Upgrades: Lawlessness, Focused, Helm of Night (Avatar +2 armor, Ironskin, Unstoppable)
Key of Fire, Key of Water, Key of Air


Where to go from here
Not much to say yet, an entertaining group of heroes. Let’s hope they don’t screw up on level 3.
The Scarecrows level was pretty bad again, not a lot of treasure and a long walk. You should probably put the forward glyph next to the first green stairs or something. Death toll was not high enough to reset and 3 treasures is not bad but Kirga now deals with the downsides of BttB: no two-handed weapon drawn yet. No chest on the next level means hoarding as much money as they can. In 4 rounds .



Pictures to follow.. ..done

PS: Shoutout to JimZam: I’m happy you like it! I have a feeling my group is definitely far from being “Masters” and enjoying more of an RPG feel. Even if we stick to the original “competition” rules.
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Jim Ant
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Re: SoB really for real - 6th campaign – End of Session 1
Thanks for the shoutout. I'll wait patiently for the next report. Meanwhile I can continue to browse the occasional Forum game to see a little more action in a game that I really don't get a chance to play very often. It's also nice to see some fan made dungeons even though they may have design issues. At my FLGS we played an entire fan-made campaign for Descent 2d edition (designed by Morthai) and it was very entertaining just because the ideas were so different from the usual run of dungeon design.

I'm glad you're still posting all your session reports! There's a lot of work involved in that and not everybody can do it.
 
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duhtch
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Re: SoB really for real - 6th campaign – End of Session 1
Might I suggest using the updated Sahla?

http://www.descentinthedark.com/_s_/sahla.php

Basically nearly the same thing, but he attacks with 3 magic dice instead of 2. It makes him more inline with other magic users.
 
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Sebastian D.
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Re: SoB really for real - 6th campaign – End of Session 1
Oh yeah, right, Sahla was in the “weak heroes improved”-thread, forgot about that. And while it’s true that my players would really like seeing him with three dice I just don’t know why exactly that should be done. I think his special is not bad (even if not combat-enhancing). “To make him more inline with others” is what you say (or what all of you came up with in that thread), but why should every character be equal or ‘more inline’?
I know all of you were mostly dismissing the heroes with split trait dice but I feel that’s part of the game. Maybe that was more appropriate when there was no campaign game with heroes chosen randomly without the “draw 3 pick 1”-rule. So I like what you were trying to do with the improving, it makes hero choices less obvious. And harder decisions are fun. I’m just not sure if it’s really necessary for every group. I might bring it up next time, though, thanks for the reminder.
 
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Corbon Loughnan
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Re: SoB really for real - 6th campaign – End of Session 1
BastiRand wrote:
it makes hero choices less obvious. And harder decisions are fun.


Yeah, it was all about this - and some variety being realistic, instead of self-mutilating. :)

But sure, for those who don't feel the need, its not necessary.
OTOH, your heroes seem to be struggling, right? (overall, not in the newest campaign I mean).
 
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Sebastian D.
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End of Session 2
Do I really get an report in earlier than deadsider? What’s happening?

To using the optimized heroes from the forums: We’re not upping Sahla in the middle of the game (as the changes were made to take effect mostly at the moment of choosing), but we will be using the new stats of all the heroes in future campaigns (if such future campaigns ever happen).

We’re returning to the group on Level 3 of the Hollow Woods.

Descent Session Report: Descent Campaign Tracker


Hollow Woods – Level 3: #62 No Mercy
11 Overlord cards left, 4 hero turns to run in, loot and get out. With two 3 fatigue heroes and only speed 4 they don’t believe that to be a safe bet, so they flee.


Week 2
I buy the Siren and move her to Cerridor Sea, waiting for an interception.
The heroes know they are being attacked next turn so changing harbor to Orris is their most sensible move, the think. No encounter on the way despite me setting it up so nicely (+2 dice from lighthouse, +1 from Lawlessness), booh. We totally forget that they get a visit action which might’ve brought them some weaponry. But we will forget some OL stuff, too, so it cancels nicely.

Week 3
I attack the gang at Orris.

Encounter: The Siren @ Distress at Sea(?)
Except Kirga everyone has shop weapons so they don’t see much point in fighting. The current helps them get out faster* so they’re trying to flee.
Foreshadowing the kind of session we will have the heroes roll the X for the current the first two times. Instead of blitzing out they will take much longer than expected and I get lots of shots in from skeletons.
But then, those rolls are pretty much all below average so over the whole encounter only Carthos is brought down and without Master Skeletons even that would have been hard.
The whole time we were forgetting the Siren’s Call ability. That would have let me kill Sahla, too, probably, but fair’s fair and no hard feelings .


*: By the way, my german location cards ARE oriented differently from the maps in the book. This particular map has the heroes traveling from top to bottom (card) and left to right (rules). The current is only printed on the card and points ‘down’, which translates easily into ‘the way the heroes’ ship needs to move to flee’. No mention of north, south or something similar. When it DOES say east or west (like on the card for Teeth of the Giant, which I had trouble with earlier) it gets confusing again because now the different orientations do not make it clear at all what I should do. At first I was leaning towards the cards (special rules on cards trump basic rules, etc.) as that was the only place where the current was actually specified. Then corbon kind of convinced me to look at the rules maps and play top=north unless otherwise specified (which worked for TotG and actually made it playable).
Now we just have to make up our own interpretation every time because of the inconsistency between cards and rules. Gaah, as if Descent wasn’t prone enough to discussions already.



They immediately take off to Queldan Flood.

Queldan Flood – Level 1: Dancer in the Dark
Keeping the good tradition alive our first level is a fan-dungeon. We talk a little bit about the rules and we do find it pretty .. .. sprawling. It’s fairly large but not exceptionally far to the glyph. The boss’ teleport ability seems pretty strong, especially for a Deep Elf. Shutting out one ranged character for a turn (at least for ranged attacks) does make that even more nasty. Spawns can be covered fairly easily, especially with Kirga guarding the back hallways.
Sahla heads to the temple for two turns which leaves only 3 heroes in the dungeon. Kirga on spawn coverage in the starting room means only two characters actually move forward, one down each corridor.
Lord Hawt gets stun locked by the Master Medusa but doesn’t take any significant wounds, not even with support from the boss and a skeleton patrol. But I foget his one remaining fatigue and leave the medusa in his reach. So I have to blind him which then leaves me short on threat later for teleporting the boss away.
After Sahla’s return, Carthos evades a Dark Charm which would have caught 3 heroes in his possible blast, dangit. As compensation the Master Skeleton revives twice and kills Sahla in the process. Carthos kills the boss on the turn he exposed himself without the ability to teleport away (after Lord Hawt does some damage and misses another attack). Kirga exchanges some arrows and whatever a shade attacks with with the shade on the glyph, each failing multiple times to do any damage or miss outright. Crazy dice today, I told you. But they do make it out alright: 1 empty chest, 1 coin pile, boss dead and only Sahla died.


Queldan Flood – Level 2: #25 – The Arena
And an original dungeon, standard procedure.
The starting monsters ping on Kirga a bit but she survives with 2 wounds. A falling block kills her and I have room to spawn devil. The boss charges and throws Carthos and Sahla into dangerous territory. The lightly armored mages fall soon after.
Now the CT situation gets tricky, the OL is sitting on 21 unspent CT. Fleeing means 2 more CT for me from weekly income so if they’re going for another land dungeon that means: no more deaths from here onward! And fleeing would also mean another attack from the Siren!
It’s all in Lord Hawt’s hands as he’s quite alone in the dungeon (apart from the raving skeletons, sorcerers and shades). Back at the starting glyph he would be quite safe. Loot wasn’t much so far: 1 coin pile, but the first bone pile turned into a chest and yielded the Bag of Holding (I know, not a weapon . The shop holds Knuckle Dagger and Leviathan and a shortage, not exactly what they are looking for, either.). Annnndddd .. .. he goes and activates the forward glyph. Bold, but the boss can knock him away so it’s kind of a decision to stay. So the rest of the bunch come out and kill off all normal monsters, remaining are 3 Master Skeletons and the boss. Why do I mention that? Well, all of them have Undying.. .. and that will activate a lot.
I mean the heroes now play really well, moving, hiding, blocking, killing, carefully protecting Carthos and Sahla. But two of the skeletons keep coming back, one revives twice, the other .. oh at least 4 times. After they are finally dead (the ogre is easily outmaneuvered) they take on the boss. Only Lord Hawt and maybe Carthos do some real damage to him but he too revives twice. All that Undying makes all their attack actions empty actions and the skeletons in particular make short work of Carthos. So now I will be able to upgrade monsters before the next dungeon.
Scrambling for more loot a heavily wounded Sahla opens the last bone pile but one more Master Skeleton pops out and takes him out.


Queldan Flood – Level 3: #17 – Bag o’ Bones




Conquest Standings
Heroes 23, Overlord 32.


Heroes - Money: 3600

Kirga - Born to the Bow
Equipment: Dwarven Fire-bombs, Axe of Returning, Sling, Chain Mail
1 Power Potion(s)
3 Black Dice
Lord Hawthorne - Weapon Mastery
Equipment: Axe, Chain Mail , Ring of Protec-tion, Gauntlets of Power
0 Potion(s)
3 Black Dice
Mad Carthos - Saj’s Mark
Equipment: Sunburst, Wizard’s Robes,
0 Potion(s)
3 Black Dice
Sahla - Blessing
Equipment: Immolation, Wizard’s Robes,
1 Fatigue Potion(s)
2 Black Dice

Overlord
Master of the Hunt - Fury of the Sun
Beast Level: Copper
Eldrich Level: Copper
Humanoid Level: Copper
Event: 0, Monster: 0, Trap: 0
Plot: An Ancient Weapon (lighthouse at Cerridor Sea), The Keys Appear (at Burning Bay, Sea of Redtyde, Winnowing Straits)
Upgrades: Lawlessness, Focused, Helm of Night (Avatar +2 armor, Ironskin, Unstoppable)
Key of Fire, Key of Water, Key of Air

Where to go from here
Well, tough luck today, first for both sides but then the Undying rolls really drowned them. I mean, it was a tough decision whether to flee the Arena or not (similar to what corbon was saying in the PBF SoB campaign: that you are kind of forced to play through the dungeons or face the Siren week after week with weak weapons) and it turned out bad.
Money-wise they’re pretty well stocked but no good weapons so far on the market. Upgrades in Orris: no good skills but dice for everyone might be a thing soon. But the Siren is waiting there, so maybe training should wait until they’re ready to move away from the Orris island?
For my part: Depending on the next level I might even get Darkwind really early, we’ll see .

PS: Dungeon pictures will follow.
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Sebastian D.
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Re: SoB really for real - 6th campaign – End of Session 3
It’s been a long time. In our private lives much has happened: PhD-honors, sent to somewhere far from home by employer and much more. But Descent brings us all together, hah!

We’re returning to the group on Level 3 of the Queldan Flood.

Descent Session Report: Descent Campaign Tracker


Queldan Flood – Level 3: #17 – Bag o’ Bones
Well, with enough CT for the monster upgrade there’s much incentive to just keep looting.
Long corridors in the beginning lead to their fairly conservative starting move: forward and guard on Kirga, dodge on Hawthorne, mages hide behind the “wall of 2 heroes”. Having no 5 speed hero and two with only three fatigue doesn’t really support a “storm in guns blazing”-strategy.
I spawn razorwings but due to forgetting Kirga (it was a long time since last session) they stay pretty far out of reach. The skeletons in return pepper her with arrows but she survives.
I’d like to say my bunching up of 3 monsters was a lure to draw Carthos into the thick of the level but when you see the result .. not really satisfactory.
He does charge in for a blast attack on the three monsters but he misses! While Kirga went out healing the other two can’t kill enough to save Carthos and concentrate on the boss, taking him out on my turn. At least four skeletons and one razorwing with one worthy target: Abysmal rolling keeps Carthos alive for two more turns (!) while the boss is safely transported to the right sarcophagus. The right side is now empty of monsters as Carthos does not miss again but with a beastman spawn the other side (with chest and more coins) is blocked. With the OL deck about to run out they flee. “Invulnerable” Carthos though is getting a block dropped on him for kill, phew.


Week 4
Siren sieges Orris. I buy silver beasts.
Heroes need more stuff, especially weapons to get through the Siren’s blockade. So they move to Shivering Hills and enter the dungeon.

Shivering Hills – Level 1: #100 – Eternal Dark

You can start betting on it: first floor = fan-dungeon.
Since I don’t get that option often, I start with a demon (yeah, I know, strong Option A .. ..)! And like last time they move forward slowly, Lord H and Carthos to the left, Kirga and Sahla to the right. The mud slows them even further so I have time to prepare (=spawning beastmen and positioning). Scared of the demon (so far only Lord H and Kirga have bronze weapons) they soon bunch up again in the left corridor. I start the assault with a charging demon and a razorwing + boss ferrox attack. Too many misses leave the heroes in good health and my monsters in bad positions. Luck evens out when Carthos again misses a blast (with the help of All-concealing Shadows).
And this time he doesn’t survive the raging master razorwing. The now stunned Lord H desperately calls for help and Kirga comes to the rescue but not really, she can’t keep him from dying. Now with 2 heroes left the boss camps on the forward glyph. Kirga and Sahla have trouble taking him out fast so the others have to slowly make their way back through the mud.
Several turns later (and Sahla dying) Lord H gets the killing blow on the boss. But this was another looong level. The chest yields two treasures for the effort, Staff of the Grave and Shillelagh.

Monster loadout seems a little off-balance and it’s a trend that the fan-levels are quite a bit larger than the official ones. And the mud does make it additionally slower but overall I think this is a fan-level that’s pretty fun. Expansion boss, not too durable and expansion terrain, moving fog gives quite nice effects (demon just behind it with Aura, blocking LoS to avoid guard attacks, etc.).


Shivering Hills – Level 2: #121 – River of Lava

Uhh, another fan dungeon, and again rather large.
1 lavabug and 2 master hellhounds make this silver-monster-only. After a short discussion we play that the lave river does not change the connections between the rooms, so there’s still only the 2-space opening. (Placement of the markers over the gaps between the tiles could be intentional, fusing all tiles into one big open room.)
Carthos opens the chest and there are two more treasures inside, Staff of Punishment and Falcon’s Claw (Kirga now owns almost all one-handed ranged weapons, too bad she longs for a two-handed one to go together with her skill!).
(Rules translation: Lavabugs, Hellhound and Demons are not affectet by lava. All Lavabugs gain Knockback. A figure knockbacked onto lave only gets one Burn token, no damage. Leaders have +8W, +1A per campaign level and +1 Blast and +2 Range.) Lord H and Sahla move forward dodging. But it doesn’t turn out well. The first silver master hellhounds hits hard and the boss bug knockbacks them onto the lava and into the hellhound aura to their deaths.
Now they are a little taken aback and plan their next steps more carefully. In the end they even decide to flee. They sell stuff and now have enough money and XP to get two skills and 4 dice upgrades (silver and black twice) at their next stop in Garnott.

The level does offer some nice rewards (2 bosses, 2 chests, additional potions) but it is also rather large. I don’t like how you’re basically forced to cross the lava, a little railroading here. Also the knockback on all lavabugs is a little too much of an advantage, I think. All silver monsters was tough but any level with all silver monsters is significantly tougher than others without them.
Both fan-level are very thematic, though, and I liked that.




Conquest Standings:
Heroes 36, Overlord 51(21 unused)


Heroes - Money: 5000

Kirga - Born to the Bow
Equipment: Dwarven Firebombs, Axe of Returning, Falcon’s Claw, Sling, Iron Shield, Chain Mail
1 Power Potion, 1 Vitality Potion
3 Black Dice

Lord Hawthorne - Weapon Mastery
Equipment: Dragontooth Hammer, Shillelagh, Shadowblade, Morningstar , Chain Mail, Ring of Protection, Gauntlets of Power,
1 Power Potion, 1 Vitality Potion
3 Black Dice

Mad Carthos - Saj’s Mark
Equipment: Staff of Punishment, Sunburst, Elven Robes,
3 Power Potion(s)
3 Black Dice

Sahla - Blessing
Equipment: Staff of the Grave, Wizard’s Robes, Bag of Holding,
2 Vitality Potion(s)
2 Black Dice

Overlord
Master of the Hunt - Fury of the Sun
Beast Level: Silver
Eldrich Level: Copper
Humanoid Level: Copper
Event: 0, Monster: 0, Trap: 0
Plot: An Ancient Weapon (lighthouse at Cerridor Sea), The Keys Appear (at Burning Bay, Sea of Redtyde, Winnowing Straits)
Upgrades: Lawlessness, Focused, Helm of Night (Avatar +2 armor, Ironskin, Unstoppable), The Siren
Key of Fire, Key of Water, Key of Air

Where to go from here
An interesting and fun session today. Heroes finally claimed some weapons for everyone but had to trade that for some CT. The Siren is probably not too strong anymore; I probably won’t attack with her in Orris. But now I could get Darkwind to start collecting keys, which will put pressure on them.
Heroes will most likely travel to Garnott for training, that’s two weeks movement and one week training.
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Sebastian D.
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Re: SoB really for real - 6th campaign – End of Session 4
We had a very exciting session showcasing much of Sea of Blood’s features! Which were really lacking last campaign. It turns out this game is super-hard .

We’re returning to the group after fleeing and returning to Orris, ready for training..

Descent Session Report: Descent Campaign Tracker


Week 5
While the heroes grabbed some important treasures (= magic weapons for Sahla and Mad Carthos) they were still afraid of an attack by the Siren. But the cautious player that I am I too am afraid of their newfound power and just continue sieging (Orris to 2). My CT-pool allows me to be a little generous and to quench my fear I buy Darkwind (12 CT seems quite cheap for this versatile bird), who start his duty of collecting key stones. He picks up the one from the Sea of Redtyde and moves on to Tarianor.
Heroes stick to their plan and try to move to the Torrents of Dreadpeace. After many Rtl campaigns and the last SoB campaign they haven’t really become master sailors, so they are ambushed by the Plagueship at the Perfect Storm. (Unfortunately my tileset doesn’t have the ocean map so I can’t provide a map image today. That is sad because there will be MUCH sea action.)
A boss beastman, two normal beastmen and a sorcerer man the ship (sloop size) with 4 Eagle Eye cannons (ranged trait Blue yellow, +7 range, +1 damage, knockback, not inaccurate), the location damages every figure or ship in the water for one wound at the end of the figure’s turn. The Plagueship also oozes the stench of decay so heroes starting their turn 5 or less spaces from the ship receive a bleed token. (insert rules discussion about timing here) Due to the ambush I start the ship away from the Revenge and forever out of firing arc of their cannon.
Their immediate reaction is trying to ram the ship and boarding it like true pirates! So while they sail forward the get hit by cannon fire. Blue yellow doesn’t roll much damage but the turns add up and the Revenge gets down to 7 wounds until they are finally in reach of boarding. They sniped at some monsters during that whole time but out on the ocean one single-space rock can be very annoying. This one rock blocked LoS so many times it wasn’t even funny. Well it actually it was funny, but only for me devil. Only a couple monsters and all copper don’t pose much threat at that point and Lord H finishes off the boss with one of his trademark big swings of like 16 damage or so.
They don’t enter the Island dungeon.

Week 6
Darkwind flies toward the lighthouse and stops one trail short at Dagger’s Isle. The Siren sieges Orris to 3

The heroes try to sail to Garnott but again they must sleep the whole time on the lower deck because they are ambushed again.
What, another sea encounter? Revenge has only 7 HP! Well fear not, it’s not a ship encounter! But it’s a Roaming Flock, all six razorwings out for blood at Sharp Rocks (current draws ships always towards rocks)!
Seriously, I’ll tell you the result right away as this encounter was too hard at this point. We did play it out painfully because we’re like that but 6 silver beasts, soaring and moving fast, hard hitting on the mages with only robes as armor.. .. they had no chance. They tried their very best, guarding with the Falcon’s Claw to web some RZWs but the ship’s masts provided enough cover to always sneak around guards or at least move adjacent from behind the mast that the attacks just kept coming. The boss happily knockbacked heroes into the water so they had to watch their ship sail farward while they stayed back. Awsome atmosphere of being lost at sea when falling off your ship. I really thought that was great (no irony, seriously!). Lord H stayed up the longest and drowned fittingly.

So instead of Garnott they are back in Orris, an absolute nightmare and a major MAJOR setback. Now Darkwind is in range to attack them and that’s basically the same encounter as they just had with one more added master RZW and of course Darkwind himself. I’d say: very hard to win.


Week 7
The Siren is still afraid and continues sieging (Orris to 4). Darkwind.. well, what to do with Darkwind? Attack them and then attack them again week after week as he moves two trails just like the heroes -> no chance of escaping a RZW beatdown every week? Strong move probably, but is it fun? (I felt reminded of a corbon’s Slaggorath situation he told some time back, just at some other campaign stage .) It might be a game ending situation, who wants to play that battle over and over until the final battle comes around the corner? But instead of quitting/giving up the heroes want to play on if I don’t exploit them. And by the way, I didn’t really want to, it wouldn’t be fun for me, either. So I happily advance my plot: Darkwind delivers the key stone and flies farther to get the next and I buy the plot card First Key is engaged!

The heroes struggle on the seas and have an encounter on their way to the Narrows of Gracor. Lucky, aren’t they? As the Revenge didn’t crash last time it still only has 7 HP left. What will the encounter be? Weeeelll, it wasn’t a battle! Phew, shouts of joy around the table! But it was a Thunderstorm: the Revenge gets damaged for 1/4th of max HP (round up), which is .. 7 damage! But the event can’t kill. Shouts of joy again! I mean it would have been fitting to the course of this session to have them get killed by the thunderstorm but it’s so much more exhilarating to survive by the skin of their teeth, wow!
So they reach the Narrows and by discovering the dungeon the finally have enough CT to buy two skills and two silver dice upgrades. They have miscounted that before but now the unfortunate total party kill and all the encounters really have a benefit, if you’re a positive inclined person .

Week 8
The Siren sieges for the last time (Orris to 5) and Darkwind collects the second key at Winnowing Straits.
Heroes have one more water trail to weather and this time the roll is in their favor: no encounter. So they finally and safely reach Garnott and visit. The tavern has a fitting rumor for them at this point: A Question of Time (OL can’t buy upgrades or order lts. around for three weeks). Can it help them come back?

Week 9
Sure enough the first siege roll fails. At least Darkwind is doing his job and flies back to Shrouded Gulf.
Heroes finally train: Prodigy for Sahla, Master Archer for Kirga, two silver dice each for Lord H and Carthos. That’s what I call geared up. All surge skills again on the team *headshake*. You will see what Lord H can do with that.

Week 10
Yeah yeah, siege roll fails, whatever. Darkwind delivers the second key to the lighthouse and ups the pressure by moving to the Narrows of Gracor, in striking distance of the heroes.
Their only goal is to secure the last key and store it somewhere safe so the move to Burning Bay, no encounter on the way.

Burning Bay – Level 1:Island – Caught in the web
As the island map is on the back of the ocean map I still have no tilesystem pictures for you.
I knew this was a beast boss map and I appropriately pick beasts (= 1 naga and 1 master naga) to go with the two spider bosses. The bosses have Shadowcloak but lose the Swim ability per FAQ. Both need to be killed to advance to the next level and islands are huge and spiders are fast and Shadowcloak means getting close. So yeah, we’re in for a long tough level. Make them work for the key I say.

With the forward glyph blocked by the naga they start with a slow advance and when the get closer to the shore Carthos and Lord H get off at the point where the glyph is not. Strange, as Sahla and Kirga struggle a bit with the naga and get attacked by one boss spider, too. They manage to open the glyph later with a dash-in-and-run-out maneuver but their advance is then stalled. So the pull bac k to the ship glyph to come out forward later. That leaves me time to withdraw and make them come to me again, precious turns ticking away.
Carthos and Lord H have a stronger showing. Lord H one-shots (!) the master naga, answering its petty rage attack on Carthos. He should have been dead, look at the dice and damage potential but a miss and bad rolling let him survive. I spawn beastmen which do a slightly better job and put Lord H on the brink of death. That makes him a trap magnet and on his next step towards the second boss he falls into a pit and dies. The remaining beastmen then tear through Carthos’ non-existent melee armor and kill him, too.
Now that doesn’t exactly speed up the level, several turns pass to get back into position and my spiders work their guerilla tactics. I bet I could’ve spawned somewhere in between again, too, but it was way past our bedtime and attention spans and LoS on this huge map is pretty tough to figure out sometimes so I just stock up on cards and play Evil Genius. At the end of the map the OL deck is halfway depleted and I’m ripe with decent/great beast spawn cards for the next levels. We were tired enough to not draw the next level in advance.




Conquest Standings:
Heroes 52, Overlord 77(25 unused)


Heroes - Money: 1975

Kirga - Born to the Bow, Master Archer
Equipment: Dwarven Firebombs, Axe of Returning, Falcon’s Claw, Iron Shield, Chain Mail
1 Power Potion(s)
3 Black Dice

Lord Hawthorne - Weapon Mastery
Equipment: Dragontooth Hammer, Shillelagh, Shadowblade, Morningstar, Chain Mail, Ring of Protection, Gauntlets of Power
1 Vitality Potion(s)
1 Black Die, 2 Silver Dice

Mad Carthos - Saj’s Mark
Equipment: Staff of Punishment, Sunburst, Elven Robes
1 Power Potion(s)
1 Black Die, 2 Silver Dice

Sahla - Blessing, Prodigy
Equipment: Staff of the Grave, Wizard’s Robes, Bag of Holding
1 Vitality Potion(s)
2 Black Dice

Overlord
Master of the Hunt - Fury of the Sun
Beast Level: Silver
Eldrich Level: Copper
Humanoid Level: Copper
Event: 0, Monster: 0, Trap: 0
Plot: An Ancient Weapon (lighthouse at Cerridor Sea), The Keys Appear (at Burning Bay, Sea of Redtyde, Winnowing Straits), First Key engaged, Second Key engaged
Upgrades: Lawlessness, Focused, Helm of Night (Avatar +2 armor, Ironskin, Unstoppable), The Siren, Darkwind
Key of Fire (used), Key of Water (used), Key of Air


Where to go from here
For me this probably was one of the most exciting, fun sessions of Descent I ever had. I purposely picked a plot in the beginning to force more sea action. That it would come so early and on simple movements was certainly a surprise. But it’s awesome. Sure, the heroes suffered a major setback when they were sent back to Orris from the total party kill. The literally said “4 hours of gameplay today and we gained 2 XP, lost potions and are back were we bagan the day. Frustrating.” And I feel for them. And I also admire them for moving on. Getting skilled up was important (one-shotting a master naga, hello-o!).
They will need to stay at Burning bay to pick up the key and Darkwind will wait for them in Garnott. But he can’t yank the key from them as they will just put it in the vault and pick it up next turn when moving inland. But Darkwind gets one free attack on them, if I want to. Also, there’s “A Key is Lost”, which puts a key from a vault or an inland trail on the closest island. Should I play that and make a run for it? If I make it to the lighthouse the heroes would then be able to attack the keep and that might be a tough nut to crack, too.
Anyway, fun will ensue!
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Re: SoB really for real - 6th campaign – End of Session 5
After all the sea action from last time, the heroes were back into safe territory: dungeoneering! Which means you will get pictures again, too. Because as usual the first random level of a dungeon will be a fan-created one. And the second one, too!

Descent Session Report: Descent Campaign Tracker


Week 10 continued

Burning Bay – Level 2:#121 – The Elven King
Alright, this fan-level doesn’t look unbalanced at first glance, but as you know, we would have tried it anyway (with rewind option).
The Deep Elf boss gets Stealth while sitting on his throne and all monsters are immune to the blade traps, that’s all there is to the specials. Loadout has some beasts available but the numbers are not overwhelming. Of course the guaranteed traps are an annoyance. (Just now I see I missed placing the blue runekey *blush*. That might’ve made some difference indeed! Crap.)
Carthos decides that he can handle clearing the glyph by himself and starts off great by killing the master lava beetle that was sitting on it. He doesn’t avoid the blade trap, though and moves towards cover behind the rocks.
All others go south and take out one elf and a beetle, everyone getting damaged from the blades. So besides the traps, progress goes pretty smoothly.
Then Carthos dies to a pit trap before reaching the glyph. The others reached the throne room while again all stepping on the blades but stealth lets the boss survive. I saved up massive amounts of threat and was saving great beast spawns for a fitting occasion and razorwings and dark priests back to back killed Lord H and Kirga before the boss was as much as scratched. I think Lord H took the max 10 damage from both traps so it wasn’t really hard to kill him.
In the end no one gets screwed by frost and Carthos swoops in to get the bosskill. He also gets the kill on the dark priest which puts the ever-dying Carthos at +1 CT for me, soon I hope .
The chests have a Heavy Leather armor in it, Sahla gets it over the Cloak of Deception.


Burning Bay – Level 3:#118 – Hell Spiral
This fan-level on the other hand seems a little ridiculous. It’s pretty far to the glyph and due to the rules for the boss (Breath through closed doors) only a couple of spaces are safe from the breath and those are covered with lava. At least it’s pretty thematic again.
As there’s not much safe room anyway, Sahla and Carthos go healing. But I nicely stall the other two by spawning blood apes to block the way to the glyph after they killed off the first apes . Slowly they fight on and stay out of the breath range but Lord H is whittled down and killed, but only after he received a voodoo doll to get rid of his two curse tokens. Curses! Adequately he furiously returns and kills the boss after the forward glyph was bravely activated by Kirga, dashing through an opening. The monsters fail to kill her for that, bummer. But Sahla gets killed on the way out by a last spawn. (I must have cycled the deck somewhere but I think I missed recording it on DitD.) The group has to stay to pick up the Key of Air.

Week 11
The siege roll of Orris fails again . Darkwind moves into running position at the Torrents of Dreadpeace. Heroes go back to Garnott without an encounter and visit, mostly healing and getting a Plate Armor draw which is actually not really useful for the group as they don’t have a 3-Speed-character and don’t want to further gimp their slow movement.



Conquest Standings:
Heroes 69, Overlord 95(43 unused)


Heroes - Money: 4550

Kirga - Born to the Bow, Master Archer
Equipment: Dwarven Firebombs, Axe of Returning, Falcon’s Claw, Iron Shield, Chain Mail
1 Power Potion(s)
3 Black Dice

Lord Hawthorne - Weapon Mastery
Equipment: Shadowblade, Morningstar , Chain Mail, Ring of Protection, Gauntlets of Power
1 Vitality Potion(s)
1 Black Die, 2 Silver Dice

Mad Carthos - Saj’s Mark
Equipment: Staff of Punishment, Sunburst, Elven Robes
1 Power Potion(s)
1 Black Die, 2 Silver Dice

Sahla - Blessing, Prodigy
Equipment: Staff of the Grave, Heavy Leather, Bag of Holding
0 Potion(s)
2 Black Dice

Overlord
Master of the Hunt - Fury of the Sun
Beast Level: Silver
Eldrich Level: Copper
Humanoid Level: Copper
Event: 0, Monster: 0, Trap: 0
Plot: An Ancient Weapon (lighthouse at Cerridor Sea), The Keys Appear (at Burning Bay, Sea of Redtyde, Winnowing Straits), First Key engaged, Second Key engaged
Upgrades: Lawlessness, Focused, Helm of Night (Avatar +2 armor, Ironskin, Unstoppable), The Siren, Darkwind
Key of Fire (used), Key of Water (used), Key of Air (in Hero possession)


Where to go from here
Well, two fan dungeons today that didn’t scream “crazy setup” right from the beginning. They did work out rather well, I think.
From now on it will be a race for the heroes to get some more stuff before they have to enter the final keep, as there’s probably no chance to prevent the last key to be brought to the lighthouse. The “The Key Is Lost”-plot card is too readily available and Darkwind is in position to sprint away with it. Even if I bought him exactly for this kind of mobility I still don’t know why he’s allowed to keep his two-move-speed while carrying a quest item. I think Kratz from RtL is comparable but his move is reduced.

Heroes need to think about where to place the Key of Air:

* Placing it in Garnott’s vault would make it suspectible to A Key is Lost immediately,
placing it at the Torrents of Dreadpeace. Darkwind picks it up and races to the lighthouse
with the heroes 3 trails away with no way to catch him.
* Keeping it on them would invite Darkwind to attack, probably kill them all
and snatch the key out of their hands. If the heroes don’t kill him right back he will
need two more weeks to deliver the key. So the heroes have three weeks of actions before
the laser weapon is active, and three more after the cities start burning. And they can tackle
the rumor dungeon which would get them three more weeks again!
- Only thing is Darkwind could wait with his attack and OL plays Key is Lost
one week later when heroes have moved out of Garnott, depending where they go and
end their week. OL might gain a week that way but if heroes are smart they will go
to Solace Mountain and return to Garnott to have the exact same situation as before, only a week later.

So maybe the choice is not that hard .

It’s also really hard to prepare for that battle against Darkwind when the plot is moved forward so freaking fast, even if they could catch him in this situation we have. Their goal could be going for the rumor dungeon to get three more weeks to maybe skill up in Dallak and get some silver gear before entering the final keep. I feel the campaign is entering its final stage, though, and it’s not looking good for the heroes.



PS: rest of dungeon pictures will follow, as usual. done
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Re: SoB really for real - 6th campaign – End of Session 6+7
Regular meetings bring this campaign steadily forward, two sessions have been played already since the last report. So this will be a long report, beware!

Descent Session Report: Descent Campaign Tracker


Week 12
After diving right back into the impending doom that ultimately will destroy the cities of Torue Albes the heroes held on to the Key of Air last week.
But Darkwind is pretty powerful so I attack them in Garnott. Not before buying Protective Magics for more armor on my avatar. I will try to boost the final battle from now on, obviously. A Diamond Hellhound against silver gear (and not a lot, I hope), we will see. I think the SoB wound bonus might be too much to overcome, the Diamond stats are not that scary by themselves. So far we’re looking at 21W 7A (with Helm of Night and Prot. Mag.), but it’ll be at least +240 wounds at the moment!

Garnott: Darkwind @ Sandbar
As I said earlier this battle is basically the razorwing encounter with more razorwings and Darkwind as additions. Lord H and Carthos have the power to one-shot the razorwings, although Carthos probably needs to hurt himself. Fast-moving RZWs can also avoid Lord H most of the time and Carthos goes down rather fast. So they just set their sails toward fleeing. On the way Carthos, Sahla and Kirga die, Lord H pilots the Revenge to safety.
Darkwind now has the last Key for the Lighthouse!

The heroes now need to gear up for the final battle. And attempting the rumor which stops OL actions for three weeks sounds as good a plan as any. So they travel to Azure Peaks and go dungeoneering.

Azure Peaks – Level 1: #57 – The Executioner
What is that? An official level? Ok then, no pictures necessary.
This level is rather small but the long hallway to the boss means they don’t rush him on the first turn. Lord H is so beat up from the last dungeon that he selflessly blocks the hallway from the big 2x2 monsters but dies in the process. The others heroically use that opening to trigger the glyph where he comes right back out and takes down the giant in two turns. That’s how it’s done!
Their charge does give me space to spawn and skeletons proceed to take out Carthos. And the n the level is already cleared. A swift victory, nicely played (I mean, Lord H was bound to die with 2 wounds at the beginning).


Azure Peaks – Level 2: #18 – Garden of Grazius
I call this the potion shop because after this level the heroes will possess all vitality and all power potions in the game. This happens in all our campaigns I believe (not this level but the collecting of potions). I don’t know what to do against that as they now can use them freely and replenish their supply easily from chests (or fan-levels, which have some potions lying around openly). But wait, will those potions be game changing? I’m already winning by plot! So let them get drunk on power (potions) while I burn the cities to the ground!
This level is also a walk in the park and monsters fall easily. Only two hellhounds bring down Sahla who doesn’t get rid of the curse token from SotG as much as he could. And the chest finally gives Kirga a two-handed weapon, the Great Bow. Unfortunately it’s not very strong and after this dungeon we will be in silver, so go figure .

Azure Peaks – Level 3: #32 – Up and Down
Even with Kirga covering spawns on this level is hard, at least on the first turn. And that’s why Kirga gets eaten by a razorwing spawn. Later I spawn Lava beetles but even while being silver they don’t do much. Carthos’ Elven Robes are especially annoying! I thought they were more useful on Sahla but they have saved Carthos so many times from spiders and lava beetles.. .. which makes me wonder: why the heck do I use those monsters so often (I mean, I remember using them, that must mean I use them often, right?) if they don’t do much??
So I switch targets and kill Sahla instead . The last copper chest contains a Crystal Shield and the Belt of Strength.
As they are on their way to the rumor at Bog of Vipers they stay put.



Week 13
The campaign changes to silver! And we’ll discover something awful: the rumor they are going for (A question of time) stops the OL from buying upgrades and issuing orders to lieutenants. It doesn’t say anything about the lighthouse and it is a SoB rumor. While I would gladly play it as “OL basically skips his turn” the heroes insist on playing “by the words” and decide that that rumor is now worth nothing to them. So instead of staying at Azure Peaks last week they have returned to Garnott.

Darkwind races of to Narrows of Gracor, only one trail away from the lighthouse. I don’t have a lot of time left for buying final battle upgrades AND monsters so I have to decide. As there will be not much dungeon action I go all out final battle.. .. well, event treachery first. They WILL lose one weapon, I will make sure of that, grrr…
Anyway, heroes need training and gear, XP is abundant and money is not too shabby. But not enough to train everything AND buy weapons, hehe. They travel to Dallak and buy the Beastman Fetish and *drumroll* Flying Death. A nice silver ranged weapon, sure, but.. get it?.. It’s one-handed!

Oh, did I mention that the siege roll for Orris failed? Yeah, it did. For the .. .. whatever.


Week 14
Darkwind reaches the lighthouse and I put down the key. Do I delay activating the weapon to smuggle in some more upgrades? Nah, that will only get the heroes more dungeon time and time to train/buy. I’m especially weary of them reaching Trelton and buying indestructible items (houserule). While the web weapon isn’t scary in this campaign (hellhounds are two-space figures, and more importantly the avatar now has Ironskin and Unstoppable) I still don’t like that idea of a permanent powerful silver weapon. So I buy The Weapon Unleashed.
Heroes now have the choice of staying and training in Dallak or going to Trelton and buying one item. Next turn I can destroy any city I want and it will be the most beneficial one, of course.
So they train, all go for dice upgrades. While Koll’s Mark is strong of course, Sahla has only 2 black dice and a copper weapon and Carthos already has a wound-using Mark skill.

Missing the siege roll? Right, failed.

Week 15
Siege roll successful! About time. Right when I start destroying cities FOR FREE! *headshake* Siren and Darkwind rush towards Trelton to fortify the Final Keep. I buy the Black Bow (replaces the avatars attack and gives surges to spend: 1 for damage, 2 for pierce and 4 for web).
Great, so Orris and Trelton are gone, 3 more to go. Which means three more weeks for the heroes. First week is spent moving to Trelton and making it Home Port. (Yeah it’s destroyed but it doesn’t matter where they make port as Garnott will be destroyed next so they will have no buildings available anyway.)

Week 16
Garnott burns. Darkwind even has the chance to attack the heroes but we know how that encounter goes so I decide against it (we’re not even playing an auto-TPK, we’re nice/stupid like that). I buy silver humanoids (because I haven’t upgraded them in all our campaigns) and the heroes enter their last dungeon at Plains of Red Ice.


Plains of Red Ice – Level 1: #101 – Marble and Ancient Glory
Fan –level again, and the boss golem seems a little ridiculous as his wounds are doubled and 3 armor is added! Thankfully he’s copper so it doesn’t go through the roof but at this point of our campaign a silver master golem with 34W 10A would be .. scary and a gold one with 50W 10A .. well, I don’t know.
But being copper and because I use him as a meat shield for my stronger (attack-wise) monsters he goes down rather quickly. But the other monsters do some stuff, silver deep elves pierce Lord H to death and Carthos dies from a naga (a monster that doesn’t care about his robes, yay!).
He will die from a hellhound and a Mimic trap later, too, those are good anti-Carthos combinations. I also found out the dragon was not that scary, as he has no Fear (only the master would have it). Blue Green Green with pierce is good but he was hard to navigate in this level. Ah well, I just wanted to have a dragon in my starting line-up .
Their first silver chest is empty .

I think walking back from dying without an active forward glyph is really a little too far on this level. It took them one turn running and one turn readying/guarding to get in striking distance for monsters but they are a careful bunch and with no 5-speed character it’s maybe not surprising.


Plains of Red Ice – Level 2: #88 – Lost Souls
A fan-level which forces the heroes to split up, isn’t that nice? I place all starting monsters in the left room, to catch some heroesdevil. Lord H and Sahla take the challenge and Kirga and Carthos go to the right.
The charge doesn’t go so well though. A spawned medusa keeps Lord H in check (=double stun) and the others slowly kill him. There are just too many monsters for two heroes to kill in a short time. Kirga leaves Carthos alone to rush to the rescue. Carthos scrambles for the glyph and gets attacked by the boss again and again. His robe doesn’t help against pierce 4 and he dies but loots the room before.
The chest contains the Enchanted Breastplate.
The left side is a killing ground, though. Sahla diesand Kirga is left alone. Carthos uses the opportunity to jump out the right glyph and kills the boss. Now Kirga dies but Lord H jumps out and kills the second boss. I try to break his Shadowblade as they have no backup melee weapon but Carthos plays Preventing Evil successfully. (Now that the feat is gone I hope to get to play Crushing Blow at least one more time in the Final Keep.) Some bleeds later and a Trapmaster boosted Block Trap (Darkwind reinforces!) kills Lord H on the way out though.

I think the level was ok but they fell for the trap. With no temple to heal Carthos and Sahla had to play with only a couple of wounds and died fast.


Plains of Red Ice – Level 3: #XX –Temple of the Apes
Whew, a tough boss with 49W 8A but only a couple of starting minions. But the layout leaves room to spawn if Kirga doesn’t mess everything up . And two chests, just what they want. We will play this next time.





Conquest Standings:
Heroes 116, Overlord 153 (33 unused)


Heroes - Money: irrelevant

Kirga - Born to the Bow, Master Archer
Equipment: Flying Death, Great Bow, Falcon’s Claw, Crystal Shield, Chain Mail
2 Power Potion(s), 1 Vitality Potion(s)
2 Silver Dice, 1 Black Die

Lord Hawthorne - Weapon Mastery
Equipment: Shadowblade, Morningstar, Enchanted Breastplate, Ring of Protection, Beastman Fetish
2 Vitality Potion(s), 1 Power Potion(s)
2 Gold Dice, 1 Black Die

Mad Carthos - Saj’s Mark
Equipment: Staff of Punishment, Elven Robes, Gauntlets of Power
4 Power Potion(s)
2 Gold Dice, 1 Black Die

Sahla - Blessing, Prodigy
Equipment: Staff of the Grave, Heavy Leather, Bag of Holding
3 Vitality Potion(s), 1 Power Potion(s)
2 Silver Dice

Overlord
Master of the Hunt - Fury of the Sun
Beast Level: Silver
Eldrich Level: Copper
Humanoid Level: [COLOR=#B C0C0C0]Silver[/COLOR]
Event: 1, Monster: 0, Trap: 0
Plot: An Ancient Weapon (lighthouse at Cerridor Sea), The Keys Appear (at Burning Bay, Sea of Redtyde, Winnowing Straits), First Key engaged, Second Key engaged, Weapon Unleashed
Upgrades: Lawlessness, Focused, Helm of Night (Avatar +2 armor, Ironskin, Unstoppable), The Black Bow (replaces avatar attack with BGGAu, 1 Surge = damage, 2 surges = Pierce, 4 surges = Web), The Siren, Darkwind
Key of Fire (used), Key of Water (used), Key of Air (used)


Where to go from here
Another exciting session, at least for me . The heroes don’t feel a lot of hope for a final battle win with mostly copper weapons. With the SoB rules the avatar will have (as of now) 327W 8A, Ironskin and Unstoppable. He attacks with BGGAu, Pierce 6 and Breath or the Black Bow with surge conversions. With only RtL wound it might be manageable but it will be hard to do 300+ wounds to him. If I buy Call of the Horn (or whatever) he will get resurrected once with 200 wounds, does that seal the deal? I have one more upgrade to buy, should that be it? Or another gold die for more surges? Or monster upgrade for 5 levels of doom? I’m leaning towards the die.
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Re: SoB really for real - 6th campaign – End of Session 8
It’s getting closer and closer, I think we will have one more session after this one. So if you’re waiting for the Final Battle.. well you just have to wait a little bit more.
This session though was rather uneventful, sometimes even downright passionless. My friends made calculations beforehand with regards to their damage potential on the avatar and their research left them nearly hopeless. And they made the calculations with the wrong stats! So yeah..

Descent Session Report: Descent Campaign Tracker


Week 16 continued

Plains of Red Ice – Level 3: #122 –Temple of the Apes
Whew, a tough boss with 49W 8A but only a couple of starting minions. But the layout leaves room to spawn if Kirga doesn’t mess everything up . And two chests, just what they want. (Rules translation: The two normal blood apes are statues that activate immediately if a hero ends his movement on an encounter marker OR opens a chest. Opening a chest triggers chance for free a Curse of the Monkey God (enhancement on a die roll to trigger))
Lord H decides to leave the group alone and strides off to kill a medusa. The others don’t quite kill the blood ape. BUT they are nicely lined up for a special move by the boss and both Sahla and Carthos have fairly low health! Special move, but of course it will leave him very exposed. I don’t care about that I will only get one more upgrade anyway and have enough to buy anything I want so I go for cool big moves.
The boss charges and leaps all the way to the starting glyph getting a hit on Sahla and Carthos. I think I deserved those deaths but oh.. the dice didn’t think so as I roll a miss . With a joint effort (that means Lord H has come back to help) the boss goes down on the next turn . That does make the level a little longer as all of them are back at starting position but nothing really exciting happens anymore. The master medusa harasses them a bit and the ape statues get a hit each on a hero, killing Carthos. Kirga gets killed opening a chest when I play Exploding Runes. This seemed a little cheesy as the dungeon special has an automatic Curse of the Monkey on opening chests so in effect I got two traps from one trigger but hey, it’s a fan-dungeon, we can play however we want! The other chest turns Sahla into a monkey and the others leave him alone to die. They did get one treasures from the chests, the Bow of the Hawk, a two-handed ranged weapon! With no surge abilities and a useless auto-pierce .


Week 17
I destroy Dallak just for the fun, buy Dark Strength and the heroes go for Stagwood Forest, the Final Dungeon!

Stagwood Forest – Level 1: #38 – Crushing Stones
Ahh, a Giant boss makes me almost regret not upgrading monsters . (I would’ve upgraded humanoids again just because we haven’t had that in all our games. And because deadsider ruled with beastmen )
Right away they moved and left Carthos exposed for a thrown stone. Then I roll 1 range each on the two yellow dice and the rock only travels half-way :headshake:. All my awesome moves this evening failed so far. And awesome moves are what I’m looking for in the remaining session as the outcome of the overall campaign is pretty much a foregone conclusion.
Strategic thinking is not present in its highest form this evening as the heroes concentrate on the boss for a turn and bring him down but leave 3 beastmen and 2 skeletons alive and in attack range. That leads to Sahla’s and Lord H’s death. The chest contains the Robe of Kellos, an upgrade for Carthos. Funny thing is that he’s not carrying ANY Other items .

Stagwood Forest – Level 2: #93 – Cascade
As an opening move Carthos
advances forward to kill some Dark Priests as a Block drops on him and a pit opens beneath him. Lord H takes over but needs 2 turns to reach the cowardly priests. Kirga and Sahla then hunt down the master deep elf while Carthos and Lord H patiently wait in the mushrooms, safe from a lot of monsters. And thus switly murder the boss when it appears. The chest has a Scorpion Helmet for Kirga. Seems they’re getting anything but weapons. But those weapons.. well, I’ll recap below.




Stagwood Forest – Level 3: #46 – The Forgotten Cove
This will be the level for next time.



Conquest Standings:
Heroes 143, Overlord 177


Heroes - Money: irrelevant

Kirga - Born to the Bow, Master Archer
Equipment: Flying Death, Great Bow, Falcon’s Claw, Crystal Shield, Chain Mail, Scorpion Helmet
1 Power Potion(s), 2 Vitality Potion(s)
2 Silver Dice, 1 Black Die

Lord Hawthorne - Weapon Mastery
Equipment: Shadowblade, Morningstar, Enchanted Breastplate, Ring of Protection, Beastman Fetish
2 Vitality Potion(s), 2 Power Potion(s)
2 Gold Dice, 1 Black Die

Mad Carthos - Saj’s Mark
Equipment: Staff of Punishment, Robe of Kellos
4 Power Potion(s)
2 Gold Dice, 1 Black Die

Sahla - Blessing, Prodigy
Equipment: Staff of the Grave, Heavy Leather, Bag of Holding
3 Vitality Potion(s), 1 Power Potion(s), 1 Healing Potion(s)
2 Silver Dice

Overlord
Master of the Hunt - Fury of the Sun
Beast Level: Silver
Eldrich Level: Copper
Humanoid Level: Silver
Event: 1, Monster: 0, Trap: 0
Plot: An Ancient Weapon (lighthouse at Cerridor Sea), The Keys Appear (at Burning Bay, Sea of Redtyde, Winnowing Straits), First Key engaged, Second Key engaged, Weapon Unleashed; Orris, Trelton, Garnott, Dallak destroyed
Upgrades: Lawlessness, Focused, Helm of Night (Avatar +2 armor, Ironskin, Unstoppable), The Black Bow (replaces avatar attack with BGGAu, 1 Surge = damage, 2 surges = Pierce 3, 4 surges = Web), The Siren, Darkwind, Dark Strength, Protective Magics
Key of Fire (used), Key of Water (used), Key of Air (used)


Where to go from here
Not much left to go to really . They’re going through the levels with a little less caution than in the early parts of the campaign. The fan-dungeons are usually greeted with disrespect as most of them initially seem so much more swingy than the original ones. I think that’s because we’re biased towards the old, tried-and-true content and not because the fan-dungeons are actually horrible. I for one like the variety they bring and sometimes the oh-so-tough boss goes down really fast (see Golem and Blood Ape in sessions 7 and 8). The occasional warped level was then really messed up though (too far to anywhere safe, no decent spawn coverage possible, generally too large, etc.; have to look into them again to give an opinion).

I promised you numbers on weapons and here they are (remember, THEY added the values and I didn’t check them ): At the start of the session the Avatar has 327W 8A, Ironskin and Unstoppable. With one attack each (conservative calculations) they would do 20-30 wounds per turn (let’s see, Lord H does max 24 wounds, Sahla max 17, Kirga max 18, Carthos max 20). As they put the Avatar at 5A all this goes down to 10-20 wounds with 8A. That’s 21 turns to kill him. On the other hand he will attack with BGG2xAu, Pierce 6, so avg. 7.2 wounds (averages from DitD; maybe on more than one hero due to Breath; or different with Black Bow because of surges) on 37-45 wounds heroes, so 6 turns per hero. Is that looking good?
Last comment on silver weapons: Most of the weapons are not much of an upgrade to their existing ones. The best surge conversion is 2s=3d, and they mostly have that (only Carthos has 1=1). The added yellow doesn’t boost much, built-in surges would be the biggest difference (none of their weapons have that). Pierce or Sorcery doesn’t help either. So their damage output wouldn’t really go up significantly with the best silver items. That’s what frustrated them the most.

PS: Still some pictures to follow... done
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Re: SoB really for real - 6th campaign – End of Session 9 (finished)
I was right, one more session. And what happened when I was away from BGG? Deadsider is 1/3rd through another campaign! Man, that guy is productive
So this is the last show, we will finally get to see a final battle SoB-style! (Well, ok, we had that against The Count but that wasn’t fair, they used the Black Widow’s Web to make it trivial.) It will feature a lot of dice rolling and hope and luck. I liked it when deadsider said recently that behind all the tactics, all the strategy, it’s still a dice game . So despite my glum calculations last time, let’s have fun for one last time!
Oh, and because I kind of enjoyed the pictures, there will massive spoilers for the Keep of the Master of the Hunt!

Descent Session Report: Descent Campaign Tracker


Week 17 continued

Stagwood Forest – Level 3: #46 – The Forgotten Cove
Even if they don’t feel overly confident concerning the avatar battle they (= Lord H) can still pack a punch. As the opening move here Lord H almost one-shots the silver boss naga! All right, this scares me a little so when I get the opportunity to get a Crushing Blow in I choose Lord H’s Shadowblade. Cool/sensible/effective move of course but strangely my heroes don’t feel the same way.. .. devil
On the following turns he tries to prove the group that he’s still a great companion: he swings his Morningstar against a razorwing, he shoots with the Bow of the Hawk. But he doesn’t get anything done. The others stare in disbelief at him and his loss in hitting power. They shake their haeds and murder the other monsters without him. In the end the people he believed to be his friends turn on him. In the limbo after this level they strip him of every valuable item he had leaving him with shop gear (chain mail and morning star) and the Bow of the Hawk and delegate him to running duties. With the home port town razed he can’t even buy an axe. He sets his hope on finding treasure, but alas, the chest on this level turns up empty.

Stagwood Forest – Level 4: #73 – King of the Rotten
Two treasure chests, yes!! I play around with seldom seen humanoids (ferrox and kobolds) but their eyes are all on the treasures now. And on the upcoming final level. Lord H dies when he runs forward to the first chest and some monsters were still standing. The chest turns up empty again. Grr, but the level has two chests! When everthing is cleared the second chest reveals a treasure .. .. but it’s not a weapon. The Healing Amulet might be useful in the Final Battle, though, just not for Lord H.


Stagwood Forest – Level 5: The Keep of the Master of the Hunt

Here we go, the Final Keep. Huge, as was to be expected. And what is that outer ring? We will find out.
A silver giant so close to the heroes is no problem but which door shall it be? Lord H on scouting duty takes the ‘wrong one’ for progress but the right one for his last hopes: the top door leads to area 2 and the three big monsters: a giant, a demon and a dragon, the last one guarding the chest. And the monsters show great effort in protecting this area, killing several heroes. The glyph is claimed in a flying suicide run and the chest .. .. turns up empty! What a disappointment. Now the group is basically down a man for the final fight, a 3:1 conversion for surges_:_damage and RYYAuAuB with the morning star or BGGY with useless pierce against 8 Armor just wouldn’t cut it.
They still fight their way through and after backtracking to area 1 to get the red runekey they face a last master spider and open the last door. The Master of the Hunt and his slobbering pack of hellhounds greet them (pictured).


Final Battle Wounds:
MotH = 435
Lord H = 58
Kirga = 58
Sahla = 54
Mad Carthos = 50

He will chase them round and round because when the pack gets a hero that hero dies. Permanently, of course, it’s the showdown, duh. They don’t know that, though, as all special information here is not revealed to the heroes. That’s kinda unfair and of course my curious bunch is sometimes just curious enough to keep standing and ‘just look what will happen when the pack reaches us’. They’re also just competitive enough to not go through with that.
Anyway, the pack is why I try to web them, or one of them on the first turn. It turns out as a miss. So some merry bushwhacking begins as the avatar is just in front of them. Only Lord H silently slips away.. .. aww, come on, he’s madly dashing towards the very last chest. Yes, there is a chest in the final area, isn’t that lovely!
We trade some blows, me alternating between missing with the bow and high damage with breath attacks (12 damage, 6 pierce!). They pour all their potions into those rounds and they do get good damage in. Well, most of them. Carthos does around 16 wounds per attack, Kirga around 10 and Sahla.. .. oh well, maybe 4 (which doesn’t really fit in with their “calculations” from last time). But as this goes on for a while, constantly advancing, I see myself with half health pretty fast. So I start running and they have to follow me. Attacks get weaker and less numbered and I don’t play around with the bow anymore. They also run past the Master of the Hunt to get away from the pack. Carthos uses the Healing Amulet and we round the first corner. Despite the close quarter hallways I rarely get all three heroes in a breath.
When Lord H finds another empty chest things turn around. I land a web on Kirga and she doesn’t get free so the pack eats her. Lord H tries to cover and dodge for Carthos but breath can work around that (meaning positioning). Carthos is my next target because of the still consistent damage output. Lord H is just collateral damage when Carthos finally goes down. Sahla is absolutely no threat anymore even if my health is now under 80. In the end Sahla dies from the avatar’s aura.

A mighty win for the overlord, even if the health was running pretty low in the end. I think I missed 4 of the first 7 attacks, mostly with the bow.



Comments
So does our campaign end with a triumphant OL. The heroes were just slogging through the last weeks and when it was time for the Final Battle, well, there wasn’t much hope left on their side, to be honest. The last level took about 1.5 hours and I cut it short at the end by not spawning anymore for just some measly wound bonus.
During the battle I felt rather confident at the start but when the avatar was at half health I was starting to worry (but then, I’m always worrying even when there’s no reason ). And while Lord H’s player had almost nothing to do during the last couple of levels with (almost) no weapon I think that cruel move won me the game in the end. I might’ve played a little differently but he would’ve certainly added his serious firepower enough times to really hurt the avatar.
This to me shows that even at this early point in the campaign (without funny gold weapons and massive skill/dice upgrades) the heroes had a fighting chance in the final battle. Are the SoB health bonuses still not enough?

Should I say something on the fan-levels? Well, I can do that, that was one major change to our last game. Statistically we played 10 fan levels, 10 official ones, 1 island and the final keep. And ignoring the final keep the fan-levels went more in my favor than the official ones, CT-wise. We had one fan-level that was too tough for them but that was right after silver monster upgrade. Otherwise they do offer a lot more variety and other boss monsters, sometimes neat tricks or at least nice atmosphere. Most of them were larger than official ones and that does have a negative influence on the heroes of course. Overall I think it’s more the SoB-specifics that threw this game in my favor than unbalanced fan-dungeons. So there, play with them or without. We had fun, mostly liked them (even if my heroes felt most were ‘made up by a 12-year old Overlord’ or made up by me to crush them) and most overwhelming bonuses turned out to be marginal in actual play.

For us, our time with Descent campaigning comes to an end for now :sad:. SoB has some really interesting ideas but I think some things are hard to deal with. For example RtL had very few outdoor encounters that were difficult or unwinnable, in SoB this is rather the norm (almost every OL ship encounter is really difficult and the FAQ rules for fleeing might’ve been necessary for lieutenant encounters but they make a lot of locations a lot more difficult or outright impossible to flee from). The absolutely huge maps made it easier for OL lieutenants to gather threat and be a big challenge (Darkwind being especially nasty! And available in copper!)
My friends need to take some time off of long games with lots of needed commitment. They are looking for a year off and then maybe take on Imperial Assault. Please don’t flame us . Maybe one or two of them will remain Descant 1st Ed. fans and play with me in a smaller group some time. I will still hang around here and follow each and every game of Descent on the forums, though .
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BastiRand wrote:

Should I say something on the fan-levels? Well, I can do that, that was one major change to our last game.... they do offer a lot more variety and other boss monsters, sometimes neat tricks or at least nice atmosphere. Most of them were larger than official ones and that does have a negative influence on the heroes of course.

For us, our time with Descent campaigning comes to an end for now.

My friends need to take some time off of long games with lots of needed commitment. They are looking for a year off and then maybe take on Imperial Assault. Please don’t flame us .


Thanks for posting these interesting session reports! Now I really want to try to recruit a few players for an "RPG-style" SOB campaign. One of the drawbacks of the "campaigns-in-the-box" (for my player group) is the disparity between size of map and length of campaign. What's the fun of having a large map with lots of islands and cities if you can't really go anywhere because the OL can bring all campaigns to a relatively quick resolution? My players would want to be able to explore the entire map and would be quite dissatisfied if they were unable to do that.

If I ever get a campaign started, I would definitely consider the fan-made maps, your commentary on them was excellent.

As for Imp Assault, no flaming from me. At my LGS there are more people waiting to begin that campaign than we can accommodate in one go. Some will have to wait or we might have to get two campaigns going. But then at our LGS we've had a constant stream of D2e campaigns going steadily ever since the release. You'll have to forgive us for this "heresy" because no one at my store has ever played original Descent except me.

I'll keep watching these spaces for your future games while I browse other campaign reports for SOB and Road to Legend. With everyone at my LGS holding up a large stack of games that say "Play Me!", there is little time left over for Descent Advanced Campaigns, alas.

BTW, your description of the final battle was good, I agree that it "might" have turned on the destruction of Lord H's weapon, in which case you played a very close-run campaign indeed!

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