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Descent: Journeys in the Dark» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Primate Pincushions and Gallumphing Giants, oh my! rss

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Brian M
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I had this clever idea about running a "spur of the moment" Descent game; initially I was dinking around with how to randomly stock a dungeon, and wound up with what I thought was a mixture of randomly generated elements applied with some good common sense rules.

Unfortuanetly for the poor heroes, I think I'd been reading too many of the "chests are too powerful" posts too recently.

The three heroes (Jaes, One-Fist and Landrec) bravely ventured into the dungeon to hunt down the evil wizard who's diabolic beasts had been terrorizing the land.

They fought slowly through beastmen and menacing spiders, moving slow but not taking much damage. This gave the evil Overlord time to get a "Doom" card into play that lets all the monsters roll an extra power die.

They ventured through a door and found a wandering chamber with two copper treasure chests in very seperate corners. Aha! Treasure! But a deadly sorcerer and a horde of beasties was guarding them.
My, going through sorcerers and hordes of beasties with only basic weapons can be a bit slow!

At last, Jaes dashed to one of the chests and opened it - and I revealed the fiendish power of the sorcerer they faced by turning him into a monkey!

Having dropped suddenly from armor 4 to armor 0, Jaes was now a prime target while he was so vulnerable, and skeletons emerged from all corners to pepper him with arrows. Poor Jaes dropped in a single round, costing the heroes 4 conquest tokens.

The heroes managed to fight through the beasties, and get the other treasure and the glyph, while Jaes made his way back, monsters tagging at his heels. However, their treasure draws were less than stellar. They had a nice two handed melee weapon...which their only melee character couldn't use (having somewhat less than the required number of hands). They had a nice Blast rune which went to Jaes; which made a nice blast that couldn't really hurt much. At least One-Fist had some nicely explosive Dwarven firebombs.

As the heroes entered the next area, monsters swarmed in from all sides. The tougher heroes protected Landrec, but Jaes was getting beat to a pulp again...even with his armor!
Through the new door they saw - ah ha! A Silver chest.
And uh oh...I giant guarding the chest. In fact, having gotten the Brilliant Commander card out only moments earlier, a Master Giant guarding the chest.

The giant strode forward, and Landrec and One-Fist valiant engaged it; only to discover that lousy basic and copper weapons pretty much make a Master Giant laugh. Ooh, two turns later and we've done 3 damage to him! And he's about to pound us to paste!
Jaes meanwhile, tried to use his blast rune to clear the ever growing horde of monsters behind...and was mostly bouncing magic off their hides.

Things looked bad. Very bad. Landrec retreated down the hall to a safe position; leaving One-Fist heroically holding off the giant.
The giant Raged to get two attacks.
Whump! Whump!
One-Fist was pounded into a rather convincing imitation of a pile of scrambled eggs.

The heroes had just run out of conquest tokens...and the giant was only supposed to be a "mid-boss", with the souped up sorcerer and his demon henchman (we'd never gotten to see a normal non master demon before...and wouldn't have this time either, thanks to Brilliant Commander).
Oddly, the 2 conquest Landrec never went down during the game! It was the 4 conquest values that were getting killed.

The single word to describe this spur of the moment dungeon design might be: disastrous. Forget the comments of certain individuals, the heroes need enough chests to have an exciting and fighting chance!

Back to the drawing board for me. When I kill the heroes, I want to do it through cleverness, not a board setup they can't beat.
 
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Tristan Hall
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Very nice article!



I'd be interested to learn a little more about your methods for random designs. I too have been having similar problems coming up with spur of the moment dungeons that were either:

a). impossible to beat;

or

b). a walk in the park;

but never

c). well balanced and actually useful to anyone.

We struggle on . . .

sauron
 
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