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Descent: The Road to Legend» Forums » General

Subject: Between-game boxes?? rss

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Nundo Bolas
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Hello,

I haven't played Descent since a few months now. (We had a fight after our last session, and this ruined the game for me.)

D:trl has, however, peeked my interest after I read the rules.
I do have a few questions before I buy it:

1) I don't own the second expansion. (And never played any adventures of the first expansion.) Is the second expansion (the altar) necessary to enjoy this to its fullest?

2) How many sessions(real time) do you believe a full campaign lasts?

3) I sleeved all my Descent cards. Will they fit into the "between-game boxes" used in this expansion? (Sleeved cards are slightly larger and bigger..)

4) Is the campaign as competitive as the stand-alone sessions? Because the hostility towards the Overlord has caused tension and agression during or after sessions in our group. (Not necessarily directed towards the Overlord, but the frustration caused by the botched adventures or Overlord humiliation has been 'vented' after sessions in less friendly behavior.)

5) I want to host an RPG-style campaign again and was planning on using Warhammer Quest to do so. This, however, seems to be a valid alternative.


Thanks guys,
this website is insane.
 
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Luca Iennaco
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1) No (it is in fact the less needed one, since several of its features are simply ignored in RtL).

2) 60-90 hours (unless the OL wins first, e.g. by razing Tamalir). It depends by how much your Heroes like to discuss and plan (just as vanilla Descent).

3) I'd say yes.

4) It IS competitive. The whole nature of Descent is a competition, rather than RPG-esque. If this leads to unpleasant side-effects with your mates... either change mates or do a collective effort to grow up or try a fully cooperative game (e.g. Arkham Horror).

5) It is not.
WQ gives you exploration (what lies behind the next door?), time (search the room for hidden treasures, identify that potion we've just found), events (journeys where you meet people, get lost, find a new settlement), cities to explore (different quarters, roll on tables to see what happens, daily events, living expenses), more variety of enemies, abilities, treasures, etc.
Descent is a syncopated skirmish: the party is a commando trying to defeat opposition before being overrun. Cities and journeys are stripped to the essence. Treasures are almost exclusively "roll one more die" or "spend surges with a better ratio". There's nothing RPG-esque in it: it is a tactical (and to a lesser extent strategical) confrontation.
Liking more one or the other is a matter of tastes (and liking both is possible, each one for its own merits. And not forgetting that each one has its flaws.)

Have fun! meeple
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Luca Iennaco
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Neontek wrote:
Thanks for this very good answer to all of my questions.

And;

Luke the Flaming wrote:
...or do a collective effort to grow up


We're trying, believe me, but adulthood seems too boring and hard.
We'd rather be lazy, clumsy, and hostile.


Well, apart the "hostile" detail, I'm with you.
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Rob "Bodhi" Wolff
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Just backing up what Luca said.

1. I feel that the first expansion is necessary. The second expansion is wonderful, but didn't fare nearly as well in the translation, and actually has some stuff removed for Road to Legend. So while it has some really great monsters and cards and items, it also has some stuff that you'll never actually use in Road to Legend. If you have Well of Darkness, you'll be in a great position.

2. A session lasts through 3 campaign levels - copper, silver, and gold. It is estimated that it takes around 4 or 5 dungeons to finish a campaign level. A 3-level dungeon in Road to Legend is approximately the same amount of real-estate as a long scenario in regular Descent. So estimate the amount of time it'd take you to do 12 to 15 long Scenarios of regular Descent, and that is your campaign length. 100 hours seems reasonable.

3. Sleeved cards should easily fit in the boxes. The boxes can fit the character cards, after all, which are much bigger than the item cards (sleeved or unsleeved).

4. The campaign is more competetive, because it takes place over a longer period of time. Your mistakes from the last session haunt you in this session, because you are trying to make up for the lost ground from last week. The problems from a month ago will niggle at you this month. If you're having social dynamic issues with your group over regular Descent, then perhaps a campaign is *not* the right choice for your group at this time. For that matter, perhaps RPG's in general are not the right choice for your group at this time. Don't invest in anything which requires more from people than they are reasonably equipped to give. You just set yourself up for a world of hurt.

5. Descent is a competetive tactical face-off between two sides of the table, each side held in dynamic tension with the other. One side (the heroes) faces off against a completely adversarial side (the overlord). While the theme is similar to many fantasy roleplaying games, the gameplay, mechanics, style, and mentality are completely different. While it is definitely a great adventure-style character-development dungeon-busting game, it isn't a good storytelling game, or roleplaying game, and the adversarial nature and competetive underpinnings of the two sides need to be emphasized in order for things to truly shine. Hybridizing this with a roleplaying game tends to diminish the adversarial/competetive aspects somewhat, since now the Overlord has to do double-duty as a game-master, and is now at least partially concerned with keeping the players alive, telling a good story, etc. (instead of the simpler duties of an Overlord, which is simply to do his damnedest to slaughter the party at every turn). I think the game suffers when Overlords try to play like GM's. So as an RPG substitute I find it very lacking.

That isn't to say that it isn't *just fine* in its own right, though! A nice, competetive, tactical miniatures adventure campaign is great in my books, with both sides acting in a gentlemanly manner, each happily trying to slaughter the other.
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Corey Allen
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Sounds like you need to drop the bad apple from your tree of gamers.
 
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J S C
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Just adding my two cents where it may be of use:

addressing concern 1) Having played half my only RtL game without AoD then picking up a copy and simply dropping it in, I would say that it would be best to have it available. AoD, while having some pieces removed entirely for a RtL game, adds in some extra variety, and fills some gaps. This is most notable in the treasure decks, monsters, and skills. If you pick up AoD mid-campaign like my group did, I would strongly weigh the options of starting over, continuing without AoD, or adding AoD straign in based on the current game state.

For my group, we felt a little like the heroes got cheated out of some of the wonderful Bronze level Other items that are useful throughout the game. We won't get to see them this game unless we pull the "fix" item that lets you dig for a Bronze or Silver of your choice but that is a Gold treasure itself. Our OL really liked the additional monsters. Dark Priests and Dark Elves have been frequently used in the initial spawn options in recent dungeons. We all wish that we had been able to start with AoD, but since it is scarce now you may not have the option. The game is fun either way.

addressing concern 4) RtL is long enough that one event does not sway the entire game. Because of this, I think the "Overlord humiliation" you mention will probably be less than in a normal game of Descent, but ultimately it comes down to the players, as some other posters have already stated.
 
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Nathan Baumbach
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MrSkeletor wrote:
Note: You do NOT need Altar to use the mosters in it!
Their stats are in the RTL box, all you are missing is the miniatures - just use proxies!


Again, there are some cards that you don't get with RtL that you can use if you had AoD.

Also, on the note of being a DM vs an OL -

I came up with a neat way to combine some of the fun of an RPG with Descent that doesn't change the initial way the game is played. The OL proposes a description of things (I even made a table for the next OL to randomly roll on to make up a description) in a way a GM would add flavor text to entering a room. It's not necessary, but it does make the game a little more fun. Heroes start using the descriptions to name rooms - aka "Let's hustle back to the glyph in the Foyer and make a quick trip back."

As an OL, I also do an OL commentary during my purchases. "Using an ancient rite, the OL has summoned his next Lieutenant to join him," etc, etc.

 
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Luca Iennaco
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Neontek wrote:
MrSkeletor wrote:
Note: You do NOT need Altar to use the mosters in it!
Their stats are in the RTL box, all you are missing is the miniatures - just use proxies!


Thank you Mr Skeletor. I had already been checking out forums to get this information. Proxies aren't any problem, but how does the OL summon these monsters? Doesn't he need the corresponding OL card to do so?

AoD adds 6 cards in the base deck (including two "Spawn"s), so you'd definitely miss them.
However, at the start of any dungeon the OL must choose the minions therein between 4 alternatives: 2 need only the base game, 1 has monsters from WoD (and possibly vanilla) and 1 has monsters from AoD (and possibly vanilla).

Encounters along the roads list all the monsters that are present (and may later appear) in that battle.

So, the "proxy" solution is imperfect but doable. Have fun!
 
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Luca Iennaco
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Neontek wrote:
Luke the Flaming wrote:

AoD adds 6 cards in the base deck (including two "Spawn"s),


If I'm not mistaken, these two spawn cards are both gorilla spawns?
The only monsters we would maybe use are those dark elves. Do they have corresponding spawn cards?

1 spawns Apes and 1 spawns Dark Priests.
Deep Elves can only be spawned with a Treachery card.
 
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