Designer of Titans of Steel - www.titansofsteel.de
Designer of Titans of Steel - www.titansofsteel.de
Since I now do own both games (all of Descent 1st edition) but played none, is there anyone who played both and can compare ?
Since both are generic fantasy dungeon crawlers there are lots of similarities. Is Sword & Sorcery really a more modern and better design, coming 10 years after Descent ?
Please neglect the coopartive vs dungeon master aspect. I plan to play campaign with my group and will be the DM in case we choose to play Descent first. I'm more interested in the fun aspects for the hero group, the character building, combat mechanics and exploration excitement.
I hated Descent 1st Edition, heroes didn't feel heroic (just a bland collection of stats) and game was invariably unfun either for the DM or for the heroes (i.e. either it seemed like the heroes had no chance or the DM had no chance).
I think Sword & Sorcery is substantially better. Heroes crush things and do pretty fun things (I mean, come on, I was a fire breathing dragon person with a fire sword, Descent didn't have anything that sweet).
I liked Descent back in the day. It was a solid game. But it's one vs many so that's very different from S&S.
I enjoyed the campaign that they came out with to a point. There was an option to make your own character and that was very cool. But as the overlord, the game got pretty stale.
S&S has a lot more modern design behind it (as least IMO). It is full co-op which is great. I find it a little fiddily but I think that part would improve over time. S&S has a slightly stronger theme to it (resurrected heroes) vs Descent which was a generic dungeon crawler in a generic fantasy world. Overall I like the dice mechanics in S&S better but at the same time more complex.
I think S&S would be the better choice. I sold my Descent 1st edition and part of me regrets it a little but that's mostly nostalgia.
It has been a really long time since I played Descent and I didn't get to do much of it.
I recall it feeling really dice luck dominated and I had to be careful to role play dumb monsters to avoid slaughtering the heroes.
I did really like the Road to Legend competitive campaign.
If you don't mind being GM I think Descent is worth trying. Oh wait, I mean Descent 1st is atrocious and you should immediately sell the post RTL expansions to anyone foolish enough to buy them for whatever scraps you can get. Don't bother with eBay just look for some sucker on this forum, maybe even this thread.
Hmmm... I must be in the minority because I loved Descent 1.0 but hated 2.0--Imperial Assault was slightly better but still feels predetermined which side will win in scenarios. Went through four Road to Legend campaigns.
Descent 1.0 was awesome because back in 2005, there were hardly any other dungeon crawlers. Plus, you had a ton of expansions with new heroes to play and new monsters to spawn. It was also great to level up your hero during the scenario so that by the end, you were pulling from the gold treasure deck. So I loved that game, so much so that I made a 3D board for it (go to 2:44):
But here's the reason why I like playing Sword and Sorcery better: 1. Descent took about five to seven hours to play through a scenario. S&S takes 2-4 hours per scenario, depending on the number of players. 2. I like co-op better than having an Overlord because I usually have to be the Overlord. 3. Descent has you starting back at level 1 for each scenario whereas S&S has continuous progression and leveling. 4. There is a pretty huge errata for Descent--just telling you now, don't bother using Blood Apes because the rules for them are CRAZY. 5. I can play S&S solo.
I do think S&S is more fiddly than Descent as it has more moving parts and layers of rules. But both satisfy the itch for a crunchy, classic dungeon crawl.
Descent 2e is a much better comp for S&S than Descent 1e. Honestly the biggest difference *is* the 1 vs. many aspect, so that should be your determinant. If you want to be able to play against each other as the Overlord, then Descent is going to be your choice.
S&S is a more modern design, but at this stage I'd give a very slight edge to Descent 2e with the app for co-op/solo play. The AI in S&S on cards is actually pretty similar to the app's monster AI. But S&S just came out and isn't complete yet, so it's a very preliminary opinion and it's close to even in my mind.
Since you only have 1e, I think you'd have to decide what kind of game you really want, they're just not the same at all.
Besides the 1 vs many compared to full coop (which really IS a if not the BIG difference)... I'd say Descent 1 is more ameritrashi. Descent is more of a fun straightforward dungeon romp while you need quite some more tactics for sword and sorcery, carefully managing your positioning and power cooldowns. I definitely enjoy both (while I quite dislike Descent 2 actually).
We absolutely love Descent first edition, and also are really liking S&S so far. The two games have very different rules, so it's hard to compare them. In Descent, you have huge dungeons and an Overlord character must run the enemies. Gameplay can take a really long time, which we actually like. In S&S, the gameplay time is shorter each quest, and there is artificial AI for the enemies. Everyone is a hero, and you get to keep going up in levels if you're doing the campaign. In Descent, there is also a campaign mode if you buy the Road to Legends expansion. We love it, but it takes a long time to get through it. Which we also really like. I know this is a really basic comparison, but I just wanted to give you a general idea.