I'm a Descent newbie. Recently bought most of what's available (I'm OCD completionist) and has been slowly absorbing it. I like to mod PC games and tinker with rules in general, so I started thinking up some possible house rules when I encountered FFG rules I felt I didn't like.
Since I have no experience with the actual play balance, and just kind of dreamed up rules which I think "feels better", please take a look at the following and just let me know if any of them are big mistakes:
(1) REST takes one action, but must be performed without any enemies adjacent, or without standing on a hazard, or without otherwise being interrupted by the Overlord (such as via a card). If interrupted, the action is lost.
(2) Diagonal movement or range counts as 1.5, not 1.
(3) Monster spawning on the map costs its entire turn.
(4) Masters may spawn only after all minions in its group have spawned.
(5) A hero must be on the same square as the search token in order to search it. Same with activating objectives. If a monster is on the same space, then it cannot yet be searched/ activated.
(6) A hero's tokens (I have 5 for each player) are counted as "extra lives". Each time a hero is knocked out, he must spend a token in order to revive. An ally who wishes to revive him must spend 1 of her own tokens.
If there are no tokens left to spend, either because they are spent, or because they're tapped for some other specified purposes, then the downed hero cannot revive.
(7) The Necromancer's Reanimate can equip non-Mage melee weapons and armor. No relics or accessories. It has the additional surge options of the weapon, but can still only use 1 surge per turn.
(8) Fun rule for myself, in order to use some other 3rd-party minis which I possess:
The following named monsters replace the Master of any group (I would follow theme), and has the stats of a specified Act II Master. There is a max of 1 per map.
Once defeated, they do not respawn, and the normal Master spawns instead. The player who defeated it receives a Fortune token.
*Finaela the pirate = Bandit
*Marie Delphine LaLaurie the vampire = Changeling
*Satheras the warlock = Dark Priest
*Duagruel the dark elf = Deep Elf
*Moabh the necromancer = Sorceror
*Arrius the skeletal warrior = Ogre
That's it. Thanks for your input!
The official Descent scenarios and campaigns are all built around these rules, and any changes to them might significantly affect the outcome of them. For example, many scenarios require the heroes to run around the board to complete a couple of objectives before the Overlord completes something that requires little movement. So in order to win the heroes must make efficient use of their available movement points. If you change diagonal movement from 1 to 1.5 movement points, that could severely handicap the heroes.
So in my opinion, the game's basic rules don't need to be messed with, and your alternative rules might make take away your enjoyment of the game.
That all being said, if you made up your own scenarios to go along with your rules, you might come up with something fun.
Before I go any further I'd like to start with advising you to just try the game with the rules as written. They are actually quite good and well-ballanced. What you have come up with appears to be a rather random collection of changes which all influence balance in one way or the other. Some more than others which I discuss below.
1. Resting is an important acton. Maybe more so than you might realise. Allowing the overlord to cancel this at any time by playing a random card is overpowered as hell. A wasted action is a big deal in this game. Not allowing to rest while adjacent to a monster is hard enough for the heroes and may lead to them losing quests already. Imbalanced in favour of the overlord. I do not recommend this change.
2. A weird change as movement points are integers. No monster or hero has half movement points. I am guessing this works both ways balance wise, but there is no way to tell how this will affect individual quests. There are a lot of "race quests" out there in which you need to get somewhere in a limited amount of time. This change may completely break those. I do not advise this change.
3. Some monsters are spawned at the start of the overlord's turn, others at the end. I'm not sure how this change would impact that. It either nullifies this difference or it causes monsters that spawn at the end of the overlord's turn to skip an entire round. Imbalance in favor of the heroes. I don't see the point of this change.
4. This is the most Imbalanced suggestion of them all. With this change you will hardly see master monsters at all. In addition, the overlord will be forced to only pick large monster groups as small monster groups certainly will not have masters once the initial one is killed. This change will cripple the overlord. Don't even think of doing this.
5. This may not seem like much, but doing this will affect the heroes in every single encounter. The search tokens are the least of your worries; if the overlord is allowed to block access to an objective token simply by parking a monster on top, this may severely hamper the heroes. Also, the extra space that the heroes must walk every time will also add up. Imbalanced in favour of the overlord. I don't recommend this change.
6. This change may actualy work! There, I've said it, I'm not completely negative. This will benefit the overlord, obviously, but I don't think it'll be game changing. Go ahead, I don't see any immediate objections.
7. I don't think the necromancer class needs any specific buffing. Not sure why you would want to give a specific boost to a single class. This change is not needed, is very situational and imbalances sightly in favour of the heroes. Not game breaking, but still no recommendation.
8. So instead of a master cave spider you can place down a master ogre on the map... Need I go on? I don't recommend this change.
Long story short, non of your suggested changes fix any problem in the game. Every change introduces several, potentially game-breaking, problems. I really urge you to at least try the game one time using the rules as written. Of course, when all is said and done, this is your game and your decision. But tell your players up front which house rules you propose and why.
The balance in this game is very delicate. Disturb it with care.
(6) Just my thoughts on this, but why do heroes have five extra lives if you possess a specific expansion and otherwise have four?
I would personally use Threat tokens or coins or some other marker not already in use by game mechanics and very much limited (hero skills that call for tokens, marking your spot where you fell, etc) that you can set on heroes, if you must have a lives system.
Or do as RtL does, and use Morale. A pool that once depleted, results in failure. Each hero death depletes morale by 1, and maybe each Master monster defeated adds 1 to morale, resetting to whatever starting value you like at the end of a quest.
Makes sense! I think I forgot that this is a PvP tactical skirmish game disguised as a dungeon crawler, rather than a true dungeon crawler which is much more amenable to whimsical house rules! I shall keep my inner gremlin in check until I've at least played some sessions!
(Or if the OL is getting steamrolled... then I just might "replace a master cave spider with a master ogre"...)
New question. Say I'm making a custom monster. How does this monster skill sound?
Rather than roll Defense against a melee attack, this monster may choose to suffer all as (max of 8 ). The monster then retaliates immediately with a melee attack, as long as it was not otherwise prevented from acting by the attack it just suffered.
This monster heals X at the start of each of its turns.
And what is ..?
And what is
Just any substitute tokens I can find, which can simulate damage which the monster can auto-heal at the start of its turn. It still counts as actual damage just like the hearts.
when i get home, i'm so tired
just roll over, please. i'm so tired. just roll over, please. i'm so tired.
Try the cooperative Road to Legend app for a more 'dungeon crawl' experience. It's awesome.
New question. Say I'm making a custom monster. How does this monster skill sound?COUNTERSTRIKE X
Rather than roll Defense against a melee attack, this monster may choose to suffer all
(max of 8
). The monster then retaliates immediately with a melee attack, as long as it was not otherwise prevented from acting by the attack it just suffered.
This monster heals X
at the start of each of its turns.
I think you need to play the game before you start going crazy with house rules, new monsters, and new abilities... This ability is just straight broken... Instead of suffering up to 8 wounds... The monster makes an attack and heals for the amount suffered?
Sooooo cut down the useless heal and say instead of receiving damage the monster immediately makes an attack?
I understand your desire to tinker with the game to fit your idea of what it should be, but how do you know what it "should" be until you've experienced what it actually is? I think you are doing yourself and anyone that sits down to play with you a huge disservice by house ruling rules you don't even understand yet.
Just my two cents.
Enjoy the game that professionals got paid to make, understand the core concepts, then work on new content and rules.