Hello everyone! After weeks of anticipation, it was finally time to play our first Road to Legend campaign. Only two of our players had ever played Road to Legend before (and never more than one session due to scheduling difficulties). We had picked out February 6th a while ago (and have the first Saturday of each month blocked off). But with forecasts of 2 feet of snow in Maryland, we resolved to meet up on Friday night before the storm so that we could wake up and play first thing in the morning.
House Rules: We have all of the expansions, so everything is available. We are trying to play with as few alterations as possible. But since there are 6 of us, we have to try a few changes. The overlord suggests all gold and treasure is adjusted for five heroes (e.g. 500/ gold pile, 5 dice for a chest). In return, he gets 5 threat per turn and two power cards in play for free in every dungeon, Doom and Evil Genius. I think this might not be enough for the overlord, but we agree to try this out to start. I haven’t seen many five hero session reports here (aside from Kylearan’s excellent diary vs. five custom heroes), so hopefully this will prove helpful to other groups looking to balance for five heroes. I’m going to borrow liberally from some of the formatting of the other campaign diaries here, especially PaulGrogan and edroz. Red text will be rules questions/mistakes and Blue will be commentary. (+1) are hero cp and [+1] are overlord cp.
We wake up and the roads are blanketed in snow and there are no plows in sight. We won’t be going anywhere for a while, so it’s time to play!
Mark, playing Landrec the Wise, draws first and gets Blessing, Wind Pact, Holy Aura and some fourth skill I don’t remember. The decision was between Blessing (useful at copper level) and Wind Pact (critical for Lieutenant battles later). He went with Blessing.
Kevin, playing Tahlia, was next. I don’t know if he even saw all of his skills, grabbing Unmovable as soon as it appeared.
Brian, playing Kirga, also got his most wanted skill and took Rapid Fire.
Amanda, playing Runewitch Astarra, went next. Spiritwalker came up and was just too good to pass up despite our plan to use her as our primary runner.
I, playing Nanok of the Blade, am last to draw my skills. I’m hoping for Taunt, Leadership, or part of the Able Warrior/Relentless combo, or even Acrobat with my one subterfuge draw. Instead I pull Knight, Cleaving, Parry and Alertness. We decide to save Knight for Tahlia and I take Cleaving.
After buying weapons, the party is
Landrec the Wise: [Blessing] Immolation, Leather Armor, 1 Fatigue potion
Tahlia: [Unmovable] Axe, Chain Mail, 1 Fatigue potion
Kirga: [Rapid Fire] Crossbow, Chain Mail, 2 Fatigue Potions
Runewitch Astarra: [Spiritwalker] Sunburst, Ghost Armor, 1 Fatigue
Nanok of the Blade: [Cleaving] Axe, 1 Fatigue, 1 power potion
Opposing us is Ian the overlord, who takes Beastman Lord and the Obsidian Shackles plot (After so many aborted campaigns, he's eager to see one that goes all the way to the final battle). He buys Focused, Lawlessness, and Toughened and places Alric at the fearsome Applewood Forest. (mocking and requests for smoked bacon ensue.)
Week 1 (0 cp heroes – 0 cp overlord)
The Beastman lord gathers his first conquest [+1] and Alric moves to Vynelvale.
The heroes move to Starfall Forest and there is no encounter (+1).
Starfall Forest Lvl 1 (#2: Alchemist Lab) (note: I don’t own the game, so some of the names and especially spellings will be my best guess for things that are on the overlord’s cards.) This level has a beastman, two manticores and a master sorcerer named Karlos(?) who has a choice of skills each turn. There are also a couple of tables with encounter markers that can be used to get a potion of the hero’s choice. Astarra goes first, running all the way to the glyph (+3) and the chest (which yields one treasure, Bane, taken by Astarra). Kirga grabs the gold pile and Nanok leaves to restock at the market, finding the Crystal Shield and Archer’s charm. Tahlia and Landrec move up and guard.
The overlord spawns a medusa. The beastman is killed by Tahlia’s guard attack. The Manticore tries to take revenge but can’t get through her armor. The rest of the monsters pile on Astarra and she is left with one health and a stun token.
Nanok returns through the activated glyph behind the Sorcerer, drinks his power potion, and wipes him out (+2). Astarra missed, and Tahlia missed on both attacks of a battle but gained a guard.
The overlord spawns some razorwings and played a dark charm on Landrec to score his first kill [+2]. Astarra manages to survive and on the heroes’ turn makes it to the exit. We decide sticking around to use the alchemist tables for potions isn’t worth the risk. Instead Kirga grabs the last gold pile and, to the overlord’s surprise, the heroes decide to flee.
The overlord did not expect us to leave after only one level and was concerned that we’d be playing the whole campaign this way, warning us we’d run out of locations. We assured him we had a plan, and returned to Tamalir. After the marathon games of regular Descent this dungeon seemed especially small, and Astarra's aggressive running made it even shorter. All in all, a strong start.
CONQUEST: Heroes: 6, Overlord: 3/3, Total: 9
Week 2 (6 – 3)
Beastman Lord gets another conquest [+1] and Alric places the first siege on Vynelvale.
The heroes spend the week in Tamalir shopping for two fatigue potions and the Crystal of Tival.
Week 3 (6 – 4)
[+1] for the Overlord and a second siege token.
The heroes move down to the Thelsvan Highway (+1) with no encounter.
Thelsvan Highway Lvl. 1 (#30: Stuck in the Middle) There are two skeleton leaders Allina and Kagus and a central room with hidden tiles that web heroes. Nanok decides to try a path to the center of the room thinking he can absorb any attacks if he is webbed. He makes it there in the clear. Astarra battles and spiritwalks through Nanok with command from Landrec and wipes out 3 normal skeletons. Kirga advances and kills the dark priest. Tahlia follows Nanok’s path and guards in a clear space.
The overlord spawns a beastman war party. Tahlia drops her guard but moves without thinking. Webbed! The monsters attack Tahlia and Nanok for a while but don’t do much damage. Landrec moves up and kills a beastman. Nanok battles, killing a deep elf and uses cleaving to get two attacks against one of the leaders who is left with 3 health. Tahlia is unable to break free of the web. Kirga finishes off the wounded leader, who makes his undying roll and respawns. Landrec battles and kills the leader again; it respawns again. A dark priest spawn combines with a beastman to take out Landrec [+2]. Everything else focuses on Nanok, taking him down to one health.
Nanok returns the favor, cleaving the Master Beastman and taking one of the leaders down to 2 health, but picking up a web token in the process. Tahlia remains webbed. Kirga battles and takes the master dark priest down to 2 health but misses his second shot. Astarra battles through Nanok but misses both. The reborn Landrec remains in town to pick up the Screaming Eagle Staff.
Another beastman war party is spawned and finishes off Nanok [+4]. Tahlia spends her guard to kill the master beastman who got too close. The rest of the monsters pile on her and she barely survives with one health left. Landrec comes back to give some command to the room. Astarra battles a leader and kills it. It comes back yet again. The other leader is left with 1 health and 3 burn tokens. Using the paths and webs found by Tahlia and Nanok to make his way through the room to finally hit the glyph (+3). Nanok uses the new entrance to come through and battle the leader with full health. It finally dies! (+2)
Burns “kill” the leader Nanok spared. Of course it comes right back, but luckily misses its attack.
Kirga opens the chest (lots of gold, and a Leviathan for Nanok). Landrec gets hit with a crushing block and moved into a web space to add insult to injury. Tahlia finally gets out of her web but the very first space she steps into becomes a pit which proves fatal [+4]. Nanok kills the last leader again; he revives again. Astarra battles the leader and he finally stays dead (+2). Finishing out the level, Nanok grabs the last gold pile, Tahlia picks up more fatigue potions at the alchemist. And through the portal we go.
A much stronger level for the overlord, the ridiculous number of successful undying rolls were very frustrating. I learned later we messed up with the web rules. Tahlia was only rolling one die for the web token, instead of one die plus three for each of her melee traits. She likely would’ve broke free a lot earlier. But on the other hand, I think we also missed the “anti-command” feature of Black Curse and that Frost is applied before armor, so maybe we’re even.
CONQUEST: Heroes: 14, Overlord: 15/15, Total: 29
Thelsvan Highway Lvl. 2 (#23 Pit Fiend)
There are several razorwings and four pits that the overlord can move by rolling a white magic die each turn. The overlord backs the monsters around the leader to prevent a run to the glyph on the first turn. Unfortunately for him, this leaves a path to the chest and gold piles as he realizes too late. Although our health is okay, we decide to try to just grab the treasures and leave. Astarra bolts for the chest, which has no copper items (+1). Nanok runs down the long hallway to get the gold at the end and Kirga snatches the other pile. Landrec and Tahlia move up and guard to cover the retreat.
Three pits move towards the heroes. The overlord realizes we are planning to leave so he throws all of his monsters forward but Nanok and Tahlia are able to absorb most of the attacks. Even worse for the overlord, the pit movement and aggressive monster placement opens a path for Astarra to run and get close enough to trigger the glyph with her skill. (+3) She still has enough movement points to get back behind the Tahlia/Kirga wall.
Landrec avoids a dark charm. The monsters continue to push forward and chip away as the heroes attack while moving back to the starting glyph. Tahlia kills the lead Razorwing on the way out (+2), but a final shade spawn drops Landrec [+2]. The heroes flee.
CONQUEST: Heroes: 19, Overlord: 17/17, Total: 36
Week 4 (19 – 17)
[+1] for the Overlord, who spends 15 xp on siege engines. The third token hits Vynelvale.
The heroes miscalculate how long it will take to reach Alric and spend a week they will come to regret in Tamalir healing, buying (Staff of the wild, Dragontooth Hammer, and Cone of Fire), and getting beat up in the Tavern (no rumor). The heroes have 1125 gold remaining.
The snow has stopped falling, so we take a break to shovel the driveway and dig out our cars. The road still hasn’t been plowed so we aren’t going anywhere. Looks like we’ll be playing some more! I’ll get the next session from later that night written up soon.
Ramping up my reviewing.
Happily playing games for many, many years.
Good luck with your campaign! Six players sounds mad, but if you're going to be snowbound, why not?
I rather hope I can one day start a RtL campaign, but I need to get my local crew familiar enough with the basic game to begin with.
Very interesting write up. It will be fun to follow to see how it goes. With 5 heroes, including Kirga, I just don't see how the OL will be able to spawn. Also, the OL didn't save his first 25 XP for the monster upgrade and instead bought Siege Engines. So the heroes will have additional time to gear up before facing silver monsters.