Sadgit
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I would like to discuss possibilities of how to play regular Descent campaigns without an OL. At the moment to my knowledge there are RedJak's variants RAMV and RAOV that allow for that.

Recently, I went through the Shadow Rune campaign solo using RedJak's RAMV (both, with printed cards and the fantastic webtool by Juntukka). While it was good fun, I did not like that rules and mechanics differ significantly from what I am used to from Road to Legend. Obviously, RAMV needs to be different in some aspects as e.g. monsters need an encounter-specific AI allowing them to accomplish objectives. This is fine. However, general rules and monster activation mechanics are also different and often it is difficult to remember that e.g. "spot" or "engage" in RAMV is different from "spot" and "engage" in Road to Legend and such. I also like that the monster behavior is much more varied and unpredictable in RtL compared to RAMV.

In general, I think that there are two ways to address these problems:

1. Modify the RAMV cards and rules
Modify the RAMV rules, keywords and cards to bring them inline with RtL ruleset. Create a set of general AI cards for each monster type and lieutenant displaying the activation lists used in RtL to get more variety. Maybe the Event card/Dark Influence card mechanic could stay. The alternative is to create a monster specific set of Event cards corresponding the Special effects which are displayed at the top of the activation window in RtL. The problem here is that people would need a lot more cards than the ~400 currently in RAMV. I am not sure how accessible this would be as most likely only very few people would actually go that way and print all those cards.
The alternative would be to use Juntukka's web tool to display all the cards. If he (politically incorrect I assume he is a "he") would support such a project, I think that this is a very good option and would solve many problems. Maybe Juntukka can comment?

2. Use Valkyrie
I have to admit that I haven't tried Valkyrie (yet). Some time ago its developer BruceLGL commented on his efforts adapting the Shadow Rune campaign into Valkyrie and how much work that would be. I think that using RedJak's work as a basis for the adaption of regular campaigns would be much easier. The big advantage of this would be that the quests could basically stay as they are. Sure, you would lose the exploring part of RtL but on the other hand the experience would be much closer to the original campaign, which I personally would like. However, I do not know how flexible the Valkyrie system is when it comes to introducing new elements (such as encounter objectives for monsters) that are integral parts of RAMV. Maybe Bruce can comment?

What do you guys think? Would you be interested in playing regular campaigns RtL style? Would you prefer printed cards? Or some an web-based or app-like solution?
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Ron Armstrong
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This sounds like an awesome idea. I'd prefer a web-based/app solution.

I currently have so much unused content in my complete set.
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Sebastian H.
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I played the classic campaigns a lot by using RAOV, and to be honest, after having played Road to Legend, I don´t see me going back to this playstyle (for solo or coop play).

Idea 1: Building a new coop card driven system by taking RAMV as a base and modifying it would be a moderate amount of work.

The advantage is, that you can use the original campaigns as is, but it would still be a suboptimal play experience compared to RtL.

A webtool would definitely be needed, as it otherwise would be too much work to print so many components, that most people simply wouldn´t bother. I´d cut anything besides monster activations and rework these in the style of RtL.

In the webtool I would require the users to input the campaign, current quest, current encounter und open monster groups. The provided monster activations of the webtool could then be tailored to the used monsters and their quest specific objectives. This should be doable for almost all quests.

What would be needed:
- Information about all campaigns, quests and encounters (used fixed monster groups, possible open monster groups, sensible activation behavior modifications in regards to the overlord objectives).

- New Monster activations for all monsters and lieutenants (quest specific and generic). I´d cut Agents, because it would be hard to track their usage.

- A webtool in some form that would have this information und would require some user input. Perhaps Atom4geVampire might be able to help with this, because half of the needed information is already included in his online campaign tracker.

Idea 2: Using Valkyrie would open up new possibilites but would also require more work. Still, I think it would provide a substantial better user experience.

The 2 major disadavantages of this idea are, that the campaigns have to be changed to a certain extend to work in the app, and it will also be a lot of work to create them in the first place.

On the other hand, a newly created campaign, inspired by the originals, could easily surpass them in regards to quality and ease of play. While they wouldn´t be 100% like in the campaign books, the changes might even improve them to an extend.

Nonetheless, this would be huge project, and need a team to complete. This isn´t something that 1 person can do alone (at least not in a timeframe that would keep this relevant).

Lastly there unfortunately is the question of whether FFG would be opposed to this. Perhaps they even have something like this planned as future RtL content. I could see this as a way to give buyers of the reprint access to an improved "The Shadow Rune" campaign.

What would be needed:
- A team consisting of at least BruceLGL and other willing contributors.
- Detailed information about all quests of each campaign.
- An adaptation of all of these quests with some changed mechanics to integrate them into the RTL playstyle
- Lots of text that has to be written (story, quest rules, monster activations, travel events, flavor text etc.)
- New features for Valkyrie to make it possible to play a campaign tree with saved progress.
- Someone who speaks to FFG to get their ok.

Both ideas would be feasible, and, in case of the second one, even be very cool to have, but both of them require a moderate to substantial amount of work. To get this done in time you undoublty need a team and someone to oversee/organize the effort.
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Essentially I agree with all of your assumptions. Valkyrie would indeed provide a better experience. However, I am not sure that the quests can be adapted. BruceLGL tried that and might provide some insights here. However, I think that the quests would need so many changes that in the end the only thing that they would have in common with the original quests is the name and maybe the used tiles. And it would be a MAJOR effort.

Another thing that I am worried about is that I have the feeling that Valkyrie isn't been used by too many people at the moment. I could be wrong, but the frequency of posts in the Valkyrie support thread seems to indicate that. I am not sure what the reason for that is. Maybe lack of quest content, maybe the UI (some people commented on this). I have to try it myself first.

Creating a web-based variant similar to the existing RAMV would be so much easier. Still, I am not too sure how many people would be interested. My experience with the CRRG is that the majority wants something that is not only very good in what it is supposed to do - it also needs to look and feel professional to be successful. It would be a shame to create something that is used only by a few dedicated people.
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Sebastian H.
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Sadgit wrote:
However, I think that the quests would need so many changes that in the end the only thing that they would have in common with the original quests is the name and maybe the used tiles. And it would be a MAJOR effort.


I think you are absolutely correct here. The adaption could try to be faithful to the original, but some of the mechanics have to change. Still, it would be nice to have such an adaptation.

Sadgit wrote:
Another thing that I am worried about is that I have the feeling that Valkyrie isn't been used by too many people at the moment. I could be wrong, but the frequency of posts in the Valkyrie support thread seems to indicate that. I am not sure what the reason for that is. Maybe lack of quest content, maybe the UI (some people commented on this). I have to try it myself first.


I guess regarding Valkyrie that´s true. At the moment Valkyrie is still very much in development, but if there was a full playable campaign (and some improvements to it´s UI), I think it would boost its popularity immensely.

Sadgit wrote:
Creating a web-based variant similar to the existing RAMV would be so much easier. Still, I am not too sure how many people would be interested. My experience with the CRRG is that the majority wants something that is not only very good in what it is supposed to do - it also needs to look and feel professional to be successful.


This definitely would be a simpler project which could be handled by fewer people. As said, I think Atom4geVampire from the FFG forums might be the right person to create a fitting back- and frontend for the webtool, if he is interested in such a project.

Creating a database for generic and quest specific monster activations is just time consuming, but not overly complicated. The positive effect of this project would be, that a lot of the work the would go into this could be used for a potential Valkyrie project at a later date.

Sadgit wrote:
It would be a shame to create something that is used only by a few dedicated people.


Unfortunately there is always the risk of this happening I think the best way to promote the use of anything like that is aiming for a high quality release.
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Hi everyone!

First on an automated overlord:

We could add this to Valkyrie. I have not planned for this, but the advantage would be getting all the monster activation data from RtL. I haven't played RAMV so I don't know the specifics but it shouldn't be too hard. The main issue is this is a mostly coding excersice so there aren't many people around who could help (and currently this isn't in my plan). That said, the plan for Valkyrie is what people convince me is the right plan.

Next on converting quests:

I have perhaps overstated the effort. I could probably knock out a converted quest in a few hours *ignoring balance*. Balance is the big one which will require play testing. Another advantage is that anyone can do this, and if others are trying they will hopefully improve the documentation as they go, which will help even more people use it (and ideally I would be focussing on bugs and improvements). The main reason I have shelved my Shadow Rune conversion (I can provide what I have) is that I don't want to put the work into something that might just get taken down (and FFG may well do so, SR at least is out of print, but the others aren't). One plus here is that the next version of Valkyie will have Quests/Scenarios downloadable rather than included to keep this separate from Valkyrie itself.

For reference I have just completed converting a Mansions of Madness first edition scenario. That took a long time, but it has a LOT more complications, flavour text and 12 unique setups (plus MoM1E to MoM2E are different rulesets, unlike D2E->RtL).

On Campaigns:
Currently there is no campaign support, but I don't think this is a big deal because you can play as per standard D2E rules and write things down without any app support at all. Having said that adding app support isn't too hard, just hasn't been a priority (see above re: the plan).

On Valkyries popularity:
I have been a little dissapointed in a lack of interested in D2E, but it never got that much positive reaction before I started, which surprised me because everyone was screaming for a MoM editor, why not D2E? Given that I still see new comments here and on the FFG site every day for a MoM editor it seems that is where the community support may come from, which will also help D2E. I am very close to releasing a version with playable MoM, so we will see what happens. And then there is IA, which may increase the popularity, but I suspect IA players who are intersted are probably already into D2E/MoM.

Conclusion: This is completely doable. I would prefer not to drive the content creation, but am happy to help with bug fixes and feature development.
 
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Thanks for that information, Bruce. Sounds great in general. I really need some time to test Valkyrie

What worries me a little is your comment on FFG possibly interfering with the adaption of regular quests into Valkyrie. I assume that you contacted FFG/Asmodee when you started the Valkyrie project. May I ask what Asmodee's legal department told you are allowed to do? Obviously you can use all the art and mechanics of RtL. What about content?
 
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I do not have permission, so I am being careful not to use copyrighted materials. This is why Valkyrie requires Road to Legend to be installed, I do not include any of the art or text in Valkyrie itself.

I am not a lawyer, but I beleive Valkyrie and new home made quests are in the clear, but updating FFG published quests is more grey. FFG/Asmodee would of course lose a lot of good will if they were to take down such quests though.
 
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@Bruce: Can you give some details on the peril mechanic of RtL? Is it only dependent on the number of turn or do things like objectives, opening doors and such modify when perils appear? How is this implemented in Valkyrie at the moment?

A problem when adapting the regular campaigns to a RtL-like style might be that the OL power grows over time (OL cards and Plot cards). Somehow this needs to be implemented. RAMV does it by adding more powerful cards to an the Event deck of global effects.
 
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In Valkyrie there is a peril number that is increased each round. You can set points for the different events to occur. Every interaction can increase, decrease or set the peril level (part of the quest design).

OL power over time can be done by just entering the quest number at the start (I have MoM style events where you enter a number from a test result). Alternatively it wouldn't be hard to have support for carrying data over between quests. Either way you can play with the peril level and/or monster groups to increase difficulty. In Affairs of Wizards I change how often monsters spawn.
 
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I had a look into Valkyrie this morning. Man, that is some fantastic work you did there, Bruce! I am very impressed. I will post detailed feedback in the Valkyrie support thread.

I am fully convinced now that Valkyrie is the way to go, when adapting the regular campaigns. I am playing around to setup First Blood at the moment. Indeed it is a lot of work, but not as difficult as I imagined.

General problems that need to be solved are:
1. How to assign quest objectives to monsters? My idea would be to include quest objectives into the Effect part (upper part) of the monster activation window. However, that would make it necessary to chose possible Monster activations for each quest which overwrite the three standard activations per monster group.
2. How to carry over results into the next quest? My idea would be to try to use a gold/fame based system like RtL.

I would like to ask who would be interested in adapting The Shadow Rune using Valkyrie? It would be great if we could get at least 3-4 people to work on that.
 
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Provided we can find enough other people, and we get an official ok from FFG, I'm in.
 
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Sadgit wrote:
1. How to assign quest objectives to monsters? My idea would be to include quest objectives into the Effect part (upper part) of the monster activation window. However, that would make it necessary to chose possible Monster activations for each quest which overwrite the three standard activations per monster group.


Yep this is how I was doing it, and what I have done for MoM. If it doesn't involve monster movement you can leave the activations and have additional end round events (ie: "If monster is <> do <>").

Quote:
2. How to carry over results into the next quest? My idea would be to try to use a gold/fame based system like RtL.


My plan was to leave the existing rules as-is (more or less). Heroes would buy and sell just like normal and be given XP/relics based on the quest result. Having said that I can add an RtL like system for items if it is wanted, but note that I do not think that the side quest system is appropriate.

Quote:
I would like to ask who would be interested in adapting The Shadow Rune using Valkyrie? It would be great if we could get at least 3-4 people to work on that.


You can start by looking here:

https://github.com/NPBruce/valkyrie-questdata/tree/master/un...

If you like I could finish First Blood to get people started?
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Quote:
If you like I could finish First Blood to get people started?

I will modify your version of First Blood. Will be a good exercise for me. Concentrate on improving the app.
I just realized that including the special activations for monsters with quest objectives is already possible! Great! Will post a version of First Blood when I am done.
 
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hi guys lovng Valkyrie app..well done!..as to the questions about which app to use...people lose track that RTL only runs specific material...non of the original D2E campaigns etc.so,if looking for a true D2E experience using the campaigns etc..RTL isn't usable.
Valkyrie is a great start to shadow rune campaign.and of course Redjaks variants are great

although I do think the rulset from RTL is doable
 
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