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Descent: Journeys in the Dark» Forums » Rules

Subject: Really...? (An Overlord QQ story) rss

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Brendan Lapsley
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So... my friends and I are pretty new at Descent. We've only done a few quests. Now, I play the OL and there are 3 heroes, who usually try to get a mage, a fighter and a ranger.

Well, in the 3rd quest, the mage happened to pull Acrobat (move through enemies) and Divine Retribution (when he dies, all non-named monsters within 3 die as well). Needless to say, being the squishy mage, he only costed 2 CP when he was killed and he greatly abused this combo.
The 2nd to last room, which was kind of small and had a rune-door for an entrance, he opened it and walked in, and then his allies closed it behind him, leaving him all alone with about 10 monsters. I ended up killing him and losing a LOT of guys in one go. Now, I realize that I could have just let him sit there and try to take longer to kill my figures, but that probably would have only bought me 2 or 3 turns at most and it wouldn't have made a difference that late in the quest. I mean, it seriously felt like shooting at a guy with dynamite strapped to his chest.

My question is, are we missing something or did I just get completely unlucky with his draw of talents?

(I got revenge in that they STILL havn't beaten quest 4)
 
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Ed Rozmiarek
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They didn't try to make him a suicide bomber, did they? That is a very common illegal tactic with DR. DR can only be triggered by an enemy attack.

If that was not the case, you probably should have not attacked the mage with DR. Instead, spawn monsters outside the room to harass the other two heroes.
 
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Corbon Loughnan
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valpocarnie wrote:
Now, I realize that I could have just let him sit there and try to take longer to kill my figures, but that probably would have only bought me 2 or 3 turns at most and it wouldn't have made a difference that late in the quest.


Well, you don't know do you? 3 turns is 6 cards and 12 threat. You can do an awful lot with 6 cards and 12 threat.

Time is always the OL's friend. Descent is a race...

Frankly, DR is a weak skill because it relies on OL cooperation. The Ol can always choose to do things to mitigate it's effects. Acrobat OTOH is as good as it gets.
 
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Sarah Thomson
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It sounds to me like the heroes were playing correctly. As the Overlord, there are two principles at play here:

(1) Small monsters are expendable, and
(2) Time is on your side.

In some cases, principle 1 is more important, and in others, principle 2. In this case, you expended quite a few monsters to force the loss of only 2 Conquest tokens, which is pretty acceptable according to Principle 1. HOWEVER, strategically the heroes were in a bad place - most of them are on the other side of a door, wasting turns that you can use drawing cards/threat tokens to do something really really nasty (I personally quite like exploding doors and chest traps myself - as a hero, nothing gets my goat more than a Mimic).

So in the situation you described, recognizing that killing the dude may slaughter some good baddies, I would either move my stronger monsters away and chip away with expendable ones like skeletons, or if the room is too small for that just let the hero fuddle duddle around killing them while I burn through the card deck and save up for a really "nice" penalty for doing so.
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Daniel Francis
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You got very unlucky lol. Does Divine Retribution also kill heroes?

Dont underestimate getting more turns, time is the OLs ally. Those 3 turns would get you 6 more cards to play plus 9 threat and bring you closer to cylcing your deck taking 3 CP of the heroes. It would also allow you 3 more spawns and possibly more Power cards in play

(edit : Great minds think alike lol. that will teach me to take to long over my replies lol)
 
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Brendan Lapsley
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corbon wrote:


Time is always the OL's friend. Descent is a race...



Ya, this is what I realized in the next quest where they had to rescue the princess. Between that and using traps to split the party, I was able to win before they cleared the 2nd of the corner rooms (the one with the red key.)

At this point, I'm kind of hoping one of them pulls DR again so they are overconfident.
 
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Andrew Clarke
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I agree with muddgirl's advice here in general, though you should also assess how quickly the mage hero is likely to kill the boss assuming you don't attack the hero. Assuming his attack is relatively weak or you can protect the boss with other monsters in the way, holding off is definitely the way to go.

I don't think Divine Retribution/Acrobat is in any sense a "combo". Divine Retribution, if played around sensibly by the Overlord, is actually quite a weak skill.

Acrobat, on the other hand, is incredibly good: I would be tempted to call it "broken" if the heroes really understand how to abuse it. It doesn't *quite* break the game, but it changes it very radically in the heroes' favour. On most maps, it makes it virtually impossible for the heroes to lose before the final boss fight and ensures they have very respectable CT values going into the final fight. Traps (and Naga, if the map features any, thanks to Grapple) are the best way to try to deal with it. I have considered removing it from the deck.

The other skill you *really* don't want to see on a competent hero is Telekinesis. TK may even be slightly better, but it's also less obvious in its use, so on a novice hero, Acrobat is far more powerful.
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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I believe I see one rules mistake that was made in the heroes' favor in this particular case:

If memory serves, the heroes never receive the rune key to the rune-locked door in quest 3, the door just opens automatically. Since they don't have the key, they can't open or close the rune-locked door.
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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yoacusna wrote:
I agree with muddgirl's advice here in general, though you should also assess how quickly the mage hero is likely to kill the boss assuming you don't attack the hero.

There's no boss in the room immediately behind the rune-locked door in quest 3.
 
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Brendan Lapsley
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I think the reason I just killed the wizard was because he had some kind of burst weapon already (I can't remember).

Antistone wrote:
I believe I see one rules mistake that was made in the heroes' favor in this particular case:

If memory serves, the heroes never receive the rune key to the rune-locked door in quest 3, the door just opens automatically. Since they don't have the key, they can't open or close the rune-locked door.


If that is the case, we've been playing wrong and the OL just got a lot easier. My players seem to be very good at deciding when to close and open doors to balance LOS and hindering monster movement.
We were playing that rune doors could be closed so they always closed them the second they were through.

Antistone wrote:

There's no boss in the room immediately behind the rune-locked door in quest 3.


This is correct. There are some strong monsters, but nothing named.


In terms of Acrobat being broken or not, I do agree from what I've seen that it is strong, but not yet gamebreaking. Although that could be from players not using it to its full potential. There was one turn in quest 4 where the ranger had to use a run action and acrobat to activate a glyph because they were at 2 CP and the wizard was about to die, and the warrior was on the other side of the map.
The wizard opened the door pretty much by himself and greatly regretted that decision, its 1 of the 3 things that game that we attribute their loss to (the others being dropping a rock trap to split the warrior from the other 2, and them spending FAR too much time in town trying to min/max their stuff).
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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valpocarnie wrote:
If that is the case, we've been playing wrong and the OL just got a lot easier. My players seem to be very good at deciding when to close and open doors to balance LOS and hindering monster movement.
We were playing that rune doors could be closed so they always closed them the second they were through.

The heroes can close rune-locked doors if they have the corresponding rune key, which they usually will. But in this particular case, IIRC, they don't.

Note that named monsters can also open and close rune-locked doors, and normal doors can be opened or closed by any monster, as long as the door doesn't lead to an unrevealed area.

valpocarnie wrote:
...the others being dropping a rock trap to split the warrior from the other 2...

You wouldn't be playing Crushing Block traps in spaces adjacent to obstacles, would you? That's not allowed...
 
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Sarah Thomson
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Antistone wrote:
If memory serves, the heroes never receive the rune key to the rune-locked door in quest 3, the door just opens automatically. Since they don't have the key, they can't open or close the rune-locked door.


It seems like, hypothetically, a situation could occur where a named monster closes that rune-locked door with all heroes on the other side of it (as named monsters do not need any revealed rune keys to open and close rune-locked doors into revealed areas). This assures an OL victory. To prevent this situation, I'd rule that either the heroes can open/close this particular door at will, or no being can close it once it's been opened (contradicting the official FAQ).
 
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Brendan Lapsley
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Antistone wrote:

The heroes can close rune-locked doors if they have the corresponding rune key, which they usually will. But in this particular case, IIRC, they don't.

Note that named monsters can also open and close rune-locked doors, and normal doors can be opened or closed by any monster, as long as the door doesn't lead to an unrevealed area.


Ok, that makes more sense, I guess that's just a rule that we didn't examine as close as we should have.
Your right in that this particular case, the door was opened due to activating the "?" spaces, not getting a rune key.

Antistone wrote:

You wouldn't be playing Crushing Block traps in spaces adjacent to obstacles, would you? That's not allowed...

blush... In my defense, they weren't doing very good anyway...
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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muddgirl wrote:
It seems like, hypothetically, a situation could occur where a named monster closes that rune-locked door with all heroes on the other side of it (as named monsters do not need any revealed rune keys to open and close rune-locked doors into revealed areas). This assures an OL victory.

It only assures an OL victory if there are no heroes and no active glyphs on the boss's side of the door. In this quest, that is theoretically possible, but the heroes would pretty much need to be deliberately sabotaging themselves; IIRC, there are two glyphs (and a closed normal door) between the rune door and the boss, and the boss
Spoiler (click to reveal)
cannot leave a small area she starts in until the heroes have completed three special quest objectives

which makes it extraordinarily implausible that the boss will have an opportunity to reach and close the rune door before either of those glyphs are activated, let alone kill all the heroes on the inside of the door after doing so.

Though it's also possible that the quest instructions just tell you to remove the rune door completely when it opens; I don't remember for sure.
 
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Max Maloney
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valpocarnie wrote:
Now, I play the OL and there are 3 heroes, who usually try to get a mage, a fighter and a ranger.

Note that, if you're having trouble beating the players, you could ask them to run character selection strictly by the rules:

"The first hero shuffles the cardboard hero sheets, and then deals one randomly to each hero player, starting with himself and continuing clockwise. Alternately, if the overlord player agrees, the hero players can simply choose the heroes they will play, again starting with the first hero and continuing clockwise." (emphasis mine)

Basically, don't let them pick an optimal party mix. If you start beating them more often, then let them go back to choosing characters.
 
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Sarah Thomson
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Antistone wrote:
muddgirl wrote:
It seems like, hypothetically, a situation could occur where a named monster closes that rune-locked door with all heroes on the other side of it (as named monsters do not need any revealed rune keys to open and close rune-locked doors into revealed areas). This assures an OL victory.

It only assures an OL victory if there are no heroes and no active glyphs on the boss's side of the door.
I am ashamed to admit that I completely forgot about glyphs. The, like, most important part of the game.

But it would slow the heroes down by at least a turn, eh? Hmm...
 
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Brendan Lapsley
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Dormammu wrote:

Note that, if you're having trouble beating the players, you could ask them to run character selection strictly by the rules:

"The first hero shuffles the cardboard hero sheets, and then deals one randomly to each hero player, starting with himself and continuing clockwise. Alternately, if the overlord player agrees, the hero players can simply choose the heroes they will play, again starting with the first hero and continuing clockwise." (emphasis mine)

Basically, don't let them pick an optimal party mix. If you start beating them more often, then let them go back to choosing characters.

I'm not nearly nice enough to let the players pick whatever they want, I use the system where they each randomly get 3 heroes to pick from, no swapping, they are just lucky. I think that if they only got 1, it would be far too unbalanced the other way.
 
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Asdrubael Vect
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Stop crying and learn to play your role..start punishing the heroes,YOU CAN try the level system of the game(believe me when you reach the 2nd or 3rd level they are in big trouble even if they get extra gold..with your 12 threat a TURN you are not going wrong!!!).

ps.the game is perfectly balanced for 5 smart-good players,my group has 50% wins and 50% losses(i'm on the heroes side~currently on quest 4 of vanilla).
 
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Corbon Loughnan
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Asdrubael1985 wrote:
try the level system of the game(believe me when you reach the 2nd or 3rd level they are in big trouble even if they get extra gold..with your 12 threat a TURN you are not going wrong!!!).


That is not how the level system works. Read it carefully. The threat boost and possibly everything else is to start with, not per turn.
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Asdrubael Vect
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let me check this out..
 
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Asdrubael Vect
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i think you are right.thanx.we've played it the Haaard way..
 
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