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Descent: Journeys in the Dark» Forums » Rules

Subject: Is Spawing and Treasures broken? rss

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Eric Newland
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First off, I have been reading that spawning to to easy. Some people say to use the RoL rules which makes each spawn after the first 15 threat tokens. Then some people say its fine the normal way. I want to make it a good experience this weekend, help me out please.

Second: It seems overpowered that everyone gets a treasure when a chest is opened. It kinda takes away from the rarity of the treasure. Would it not be better if only the person who opens the treasure get it?How are people playing this. Sticking to the rules or house rules on this, and what have you found works good. Thanks.
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James McMurray
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First off, I have been reading that spawning to to easy. Some people say to use the RoL rules which makes each spawn after the first 15 threat tokens. Then some people say its fine the normal way. I want to make it a good experience this weekend, help me out please.


Spawning is fine. A tactically-minded group of heros can spread out and shut down many possible spawn locations. Add in a lucky draw of Boggs the Rat and spawning can be made near impossible for the Overlord.

Quote:
Second: It seems overpowered that everyone gets a treasure when a chest is opened. It kinda takes away from the rarity of the treasure. Would it not be better if only the person who opens the treasure get it?How are people playing this. Sticking to the rules or house rules on this, and what have you found works good. Thanks.


Treasures are definitely powerful. In fact, it's often better to have one hero charge into the room, burning a fatigue potion and all of their fatigue in order to open the chest, even though you know they'll instantly die. Even so, there have been at least two games at our table that boiled down to a single die roll making the difference between an Overlord win and a Hero win. And several others that were just as close or even massively one-sided Overlord victories.

If you do decide to limit treasures, I'd let them immediately distribute it to the person who wants it, rather than always giving it to the opening hero. It's closer to the base rules and not as massive of a nerf. You may also want to consider only limiting Gold treasures this way, as they're the really broken ones. Copper and Silver are useful, but nowhere near as scary as seeing four guys with silver gear suddenly become four guys with gold.

I'd definitely recommend waiting until you've played a few games before changing it though. The game is pretty tough on starting heros as it is, so you won't need any help until they start getting their tactics down.
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Eric Newland
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Cool, thanks for the detailed responce. I will try a couple of games first. If you say that it can come down to the last die roll, that is great, and what I am looking for. If other people would like to post to, to tell what they have done, that would be great as well. Thanks again.
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Michael Denman
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I would caution against judging the game based on the first few missions. They're pretty easy for the players, but they're supposed to be. If you decide you need to crank up the difficulty after that, you'll make the hard missions nearly impossible.

Spawning doesn't need fixing. It's already fairly tricky to spawn in a good spot at times.

Treasures distribution is a bit simplistic but consider that maybe only 2 of your 4 players will get something they'll like. The others will probably just try to sell theirs during their next visit to town.

I came to this game from Doom and learned a valuable lesson during my first play at Descent. The Overlord needs to nail an adventurer in one turn. If you've got an adventurer down to a few hit points left, do whatever you have to to take him down now. Otherwise, he'll just scamper back to town and drink up and by the time you get a shot at him again he'll be nearly fully healed again. Players have more control over healing in Descent than they do in Doom.
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James McMurray
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Trump wrote:
I came to this game from Doom and learned a valuable lesson during my first play at Descent. The Overlord needs to nail an adventurer in one turn. If you've got an adventurer down to a few hit points left, do whatever you have to to take him down now. Otherwise, he'll just scamper back to town and drink up and by the time you get a shot at him again he'll be nearly fully healed again. Players have more control over healing in Descent than they do in Doom.


Are you using the one-potion-per-turn rule from the errata? If not, it can definitely make in-game healing fast (and completely break Fatigue potions). But if you are, they have to spend several turns to go from almost dead to almost fully healed (unless they started at 8 health). That's turns where the OL gets more cards, more threat, and either fights a weakened party or spawns anywhere to his heart's content.
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Dexter Drake
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I don't know about you, but i knida like the game the way it is. I haven't played it enough to believe otherwise.
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Andrew Clarke
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Neither are broken in any sense. Having each hero get a treasure is pretty much a necessity to keep the heroes on equal footing: I would never consider changing that rule.
Spawning, though, while not broken, is unbalancingly cheap, by comparison with other power cards, no question. It also has a horrible tendancy to slow down the game. I haven't tried using the RtL 15 Threat rule in a normal game, but I'd be interested to see how it went.
Bear in mind that making spawning more expensive will have other consequences as well, such as reducing the value of guard and dodge orders.
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Jeremy Lennert
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Spawning is mostly a problem in small games, because the monster scaling doesn't work at all. Even in large games, certain spawn cards are very good, but that's really just the overlord deck being very inconsistent in power than any problem specifically with spawn cards.

Still, it's virtually impossible to ever justify discarding a beastman war party for threat, and the fact that the actual game designers have seriously proposed charging the overlord 15 threat to flip the reinforcement marker as a prerequisite to playing a 4-threat spawn card is a pretty solid indication that some spawns cost much less than they're worth.

I'll go ahead and plug The Enduring Evil, a Descent mod of my own design that has improved player scaling. The spawn cards are more expensive, but they scale to the highest level chest the heroes have opened, so they pose a meaningful threat even when the heroes have gold treasures.
 
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Peter Folke
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Both spawning and treasures are very powerful. Both are so powerful that a lot of the strategy in the game revolves around denying that exact thing to the other side.

Heroes should try to cover line of sight in order to prevent spawning. The OL should put monsters on top of chests and trap a hero on his way over there in order to delay treasure acquisition (trying to run him out of movement points if in any way possible).

I think this adds a nice layer of tactics to Descent. I simply love the dilemma of "Should I step around this corner, exposing myself to the monsters down the hallway, but preventing spawning; or should I stay here and risk a spawn close by?"

If you change either (treasures and/or spawns), you suddenly have a very different game. I have no idea whether this new game is better or worse, but it would definitely play differently.
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Jim Patching
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yoacusna wrote:
Neither are broken in any sense. Having each hero get a treasure is pretty much a necessity to keep the heroes on equal footing: I would never consider changing that rule.
Spawning, though, while not broken, is unbalancingly cheap, by comparison with other power cards, no question. It also has a horrible tendancy to slow down the game. I haven't tried using the RtL 15 Threat rule in a normal game, but I'd be interested to see how it went.
Bear in mind that making spawning more expensive will have other consequences as well, such as reducing the value of guard and dodge orders.


I totally agree with this. Spawning isn't exactly broken but it can really slow the game down. As overlord I often don't bother spawning beasties when I could, just to get the game moving along.

There's one variant that I use that I quite like. Someone mentioned it on these forums but I can't remember who it was.

Basically you spend the threat cost for a spawn card for each figure that it spawns. E.g. the beastman war party costs something like 4 threat for 2 beastmen and a master beastman. With this variant you'd spend 4 threat for each one of those figures, for a total of 12. You don't actually have to bring all of the creatures on a spawn card in if you don't want to.

It's worth trying the game with the regular rules first though, just to see what you think of them.
 
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"Every Board Game I Reach Is Dead"
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eroc1024 wrote:
Cool, thanks for the detailed responce. I will try a couple of games first. If you say that it can come down to the last die roll, that is great, and what I am looking for. If other people would like to post to, to tell what they have done, that would be great as well. Thanks again.


I find the OL tends to have the game in his favour, and although spawning is powerful it is necessary once Heroes get going- a silver/gold treasure draw and your remaining placed monsters are going to be toast without some additional aid!

To me this comes down to how much of a good OverLord you make. I like to give my Heroes a run for their money, but not blow them out of the dungeon in under 30 minutes and make them never want to play the game again. I like to give them an adventure. I spawn only when the heroes seem to be making progress too quickly, or to give them extra pressure in an area I don't think they will struggle in. If I've beaten them down to a couple of conquest I'll reduce the amount of spawning and save up some threat until they can afford to lose another Hero. I also spawn behind them once they are a little way into the dungeon, meaning they often can't go back safely for any reason. Most important I put the pressure on them when they near the end of the game. When the boss is revealed I'll play all I've got and the game can often come down to a win either way.

I know the general game plan of the OL is to kill, kill, kill until you win, but I find everyone enjoys the experience more if you give 'em a good game instead, win or lose. goo
 
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Emivaldo Sousa
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I've said it before: Descent is not a balanced game, there are just too many variables, starting with the scenario you choose to play.

Our group decided to adopt the threat marker because:
1. The game goes faster; Spawns can drag the game without really affecting the outcome of the match.
2. Most expansions scenarios favor the Overlord specially when you use treachery.

But not because it is a balancing mechanism.

Changing the way treasure is distributed can make the game really frustrating for some heroes, as the ranger might never see a good bow if the card drawing rate gets too low.

My advice is this: play with the normal rules and see how it goes. If it was fun, don't change anything. If it is not fun, try to understand what didn't worked for your group.

Our group have came up with a set of house rules that has managed so far to get almost every game to the final room in the dungeon. I posted them here. But I recon they are suited for our tastes and I wouldn't dare to say that they balance the game, as a bunch of good rolls and the right (or wrong) combination of heroes and treasure cards can make the game seriously one-sided.

But it is a fun game nevertheless...
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Emivaldo Sousa
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Narlgoth wrote:
eroc1024 wrote:
Cool, thanks for the detailed responce. I will try a couple of games first. If you say that it can come down to the last die roll, that is great, and what I am looking for. If other people would like to post to, to tell what they have done, that would be great as well. Thanks again.


I find the OL tends to have the game in his favour, and although spawning is powerful it is necessary once Heroes get going- a silver/gold treasure draw and your remaining placed monsters are going to be toast without some additional aid!

To me this comes down to how much of a good OverLord you make. I like to give my Heroes a run for their money, but not blow them out of the dungeon in under 30 minutes and make them never want to play the game again. I like to give them an adventure. I spawn only when the heroes seem to be making progress too quickly, or to give them extra pressure in an area I don't think they will struggle in. If I've beaten them down to a couple of conquest I'll reduce the amount of spawning and save up some threat until they can afford to lose another Hero. I also spawn behind them once they are a little way into the dungeon, meaning they often can't go back safely for any reason. Most important I put the pressure on them when they near the end of the game. When the boss is revealed I'll play all I've got and the game can often come down to a win either way.

I know the general game plan of the OL is to kill, kill, kill until you win, but I find everyone enjoys the experience more if you give 'em a good game instead, win or lose. goo


Some people say that's the wrong way to play the game, but if it's fun for your group I think it is quite valid. I, personally, play for the win right from the start, so we have to find some house rules to keep the Overlord in check at the beginning and the heroes in check by the end.
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