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Descent: The Road to Legend» Forums » Rules

Subject: A few questions about dungeons rss

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Mike Russo
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I just got done playing a RtL session with my wife through our first dungeon and I have a few questions:

1) Just double checking but, after the heroes resurface successfully from a dungeon, do they regain full fatigue as with a random encounter? Does their health change at all?

2) Is the maximum of 5 power dice on a roll actual "dice" or "power boosts"? e.g. A master dark priest (at the copper level) has 1 white die and 5 black dices/boosts. If I have "DOOM!" in play (grants 1 extra black die/boost) can I use the extra bonus (6 total) to roll 2 gold dice or would I have to stay with 5 boost and roll a gold and a silver?

3) We were playing on a dungeon level (#22 I think) in which there were special areas that I can attack the heroes if they end their move there. Do I still gain threat for each set of two surges rolled or is that only for monster attacks? Also, the effect said the environment attacked "as if it was a master giant but without special effects such as sweep", does that mean the extra die I get with "DOOM!" can't be used?

...Just a general thought I was wondering about. It seems like between gaining 4 threat each turn, cashing in cards, and sets of surges giving threat, it seems like I have tons of threat to spawn monsters (even having to pay the cost to flip the spawn eyes token back over). I end up spawning sets of monster about 3-5 times on each level of a dungeon. Is this normal?
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Corbon Loughnan
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el_chupacabra wrote:
I just got done playing a RtL session with my wife through our first dungeon and I have a few questions:

1) Just double checking but, after the heroes resurface successfully from a dungeon, do they regain full fatigue as with a random encounter? Does their health change at all?


Fatigue is 'refilled' every time the hero party returns to the campaign map, so yes. See FAQ pg13
Would only heal at temple or death (or by healing potion or skill/ability etc), so no.

Quote:
2) Is the maximum of 5 power dice on a roll actual "dice" or "power boosts"? e.g. A master dark priest (at the copper level) has 1 white die and 5 black dices/boosts. If I have "DOOM!" in play (grants 1 extra black die/boost) can I use the extra bonus (6 total) to roll 2 gold dice or would I have to stay with 5 boost and roll a gold and a silver?


5 dice max, any number of boosts (well, obviously no more enough to get 5 gold dice).
Note that the monster still must start from the dice on it's card, so your Dark Priest can't 'trade in' three black dice for gold. But he can convert a black to silver with the boost from Doom.

Quote:
3) We were playing on a dungeon level (#22 I think) in which there were special areas that I can attack the heroes if they end their move there. Do I still gain threat for each set of two surges rolled or is that only for monster attacks? Also, the effect said the environment attacked "as if it was a master giant but without special effects such as sweep", does that mean the extra die I get with "DOOM!" can't be used?


"As if it was a Master giant". Therefore you get the Doom boost and can spend the surges for threat, as if it was a Master Giabt attacking.

Quote:
...Just a general thought I was wondering about. It seems like between gaining 4 threat each turn, cashing in cards, and sets of surges giving threat, it seems like I have tons of threat to spawn monsters (even having to pay the cost to flip the spawn eyes token back over). I end up spawning sets of monster about 3-5 times on each level of a dungeon. Is this normal?


Not really, the heroes are playing more slowly than they should be.
But noob experience, if you haven't played much, varies wildly from the norm. This is an Advanced campaign, and works best with a fairly high level of basic competency. Which is not to say you can't learn, and have fun, just by playing, just that your experiences won't match the 'norms'.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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corbon wrote:
your Dark Priest can't 'trade in' three black dice for gold.


I've always wondered what the statistical differences are between 3 Black Dice and 1 Gold Die? I mean, if you wanted to house-rule allowing a roll of the one gold die just to save on dice spattering over the table, would it be the same odds as rolling 3 black dice?

-shnar
 
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Jacob Martin
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The main difference between rolling 3 black dice and 1 gold dice is the distribution.

3 black gives you the following:

0 hits - 12.5% 0 surges - 29.6%
1 hit - 37.5% 1 surge - 44.4%
2 hits - 37.5% 2 surges - 22.2%
3 hits - 12.5% 3 surges - 3.7%

In contrast 1 gold dice:

0 hits - 50.0% 0 surges - 33.3%
3 hits - 50.0% 3 surges - 66.7%

Obviously this is a big deal if you are going up against anything with decent armor, since 1 hit might well be equivalent to 0 anyway.
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Mike Russo
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corbon wrote:
Note that the monster still must start from the dice on it's card, so your Dark Priest can't 'trade in' three black dice for gold. But he can convert a black to silver with the boost from Doom.


If I understand correctly, this is a big point of contention amongst the community. Some people feel that the dice listed on monster cards and on traits for heroes are "power boosts" in the campaign mode that can be used however the controlling player would like. There seems to be some evidence for this in the FAQ where it says (paraphrasing) "Any time an effect mentions a black power die, read that as one power boost." Still, others feel that upgrades can only be done with fatigue.

EDIT***

Ok, after looking some things up it seems that printed black dice on traits and monster cards are actual dice but bonus black dice granted by other effects are the only thing that can be used for upgrading. The big argument online seems to be whether fatigue can be used to upgrade the printed dice or only afterward on their own.
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Mike Russo
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One other point of clarification:

The base rules (JitD) state that the overlord can't spawn monsters within LOS of the heroes, or in areas that haven't been revealed yet. In RtL, areas that "haven't been revealed" only applies to those dungeons that specifically state there are two (or more) zones right? In other words if there is a dungeon (same one from my master giant attack question before) that is split in two by closed doors but doesn't have two areas/zones set in the layout, it is ok for me to spawn monster behind those doors? If so, the monsters can also open said doors on their turn because it isn't revealing a separate area, right?
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Yes. Most (I think all) of the Dungeon Levels in RtL and SoB have only 1 "area", so you are free to spawn and open non-rune-locked doors as much as you want so long as there is no LOS (there are a couple rune locked doors if I remember rightly).

-shnar
 
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Retired Hurt

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On the question of having the OL spawning 3-5 times during 1 dungeon level : in fact, it all depends on how your OL is playing.

In our last game, the OL spawned a total of 7 times in 2 levels. Admittedly, the first level was more complex than average (report in a few days).
But the main reason for that is that he didn't draw early power cards, apart from Brilliant Commander, which he doesn't like, thereby having all his threat ready for spawning;

6 rounds is a normal length for a dungeon level against efficient heroes.
Barring special effects (like Focused, which will make the deck a little heavier), the OL will draw 15 cards, of which 5 in average will be Spawn cards. The average discard value of the other cards is very near 3, which means that he'll get on average 30 threat from non-spawn cards, To this you may add 4 therat per round and some threat from attacks (just make sure you spawn Dark Priests) ; that's usually around 70 threat, enough to spawn 4 times (cost around 63) - 5 times if you are the Beastman Lord (cost around 66).

This means that you won't be using traps, just being able to throw in the occasional Rage or Aim card.

And of course, with that many monsters around, the average length of dungeons could increase a little.

Whether this strategy is optimal is another question, but surely it is possible to engineer it.
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Tor Sverre Lund
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shnar wrote:
corbon wrote:
your Dark Priest can't 'trade in' three black dice for gold.


I've always wondered what the statistical differences are between 3 Black Dice and 1 Gold Die? I mean, if you wanted to house-rule allowing a roll of the one gold die just to save on dice spattering over the table, would it be the same odds as rolling 3 black dice?

-shnar


The main difference depends a lot on what you want out of the roll. Like the difference between "I need to roll a surge" and "I need to roll lots of surges". For the first one roll 3 black, for the latter roll gold.
But to answer your question, no the odds are definitely not the same.
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Mike Russo
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Merrimac wrote:
On the question of having the OL spawning 3-5 times during 1 dungeon level : in fact, it all depends on how your OL is playing.

In our last game, the OL spawned a total of 7 times in 2 levels. Admittedly, the first level was more complex than average (report in a few days).
But the main reason for that is that he didn't draw early power cards, apart from Brilliant Commander, which he doesn't like, thereby having all his threat ready for spawning;

6 rounds is a normal length for a dungeon level against efficient heroes.
Barring special effects (like Focused, which will make the deck a little heavier), the OL will draw 15 cards, of which 5 in average will be Spawn cards. The average discard value of the other cards is very near 3, which means that he'll get on average 30 threat from non-spawn cards, To this you may add 4 initial threat, 4 therat per round and some threat from attacks ; that's around 70-75 threat, enough to spawn 4 times (cost around 63) - 5 times if you are the Beastman Lord (cost around 66).

This means that you won't be using traps, just being able to throw in the occasional Rage or Aim card.

And of course, with that many monsters around, the average length of dungeons could increase a little.

Whether this strategy is optimal is another question, but surely it is possible to engineer it.


I'm sure there are more optimal ways to do things but here is the general flow of how we played:

- Several of the traps require the opening of a door or a chest. There aren't a lot of doors and the hero player (my wife playing all 4!) doesn't bother to go for treasures until the dungeon is cleared out, so I discard those for threat right away.
- I am playing as the beastman lord so respawning costs me one less and only 12 to reset my spawn ability.
- It is difficult for her to cover a lot of line of sight angles because she needs to bunch up her heroes and take out the monsters that are already on the board (no time for moving people down an empty hallway just to cover LOS.
- We are just starting out so her heroes are not very strong. They have a few decent copper level treasures but are generally using basic market weapons such as a crossbow. Except for her one "tank" character (Lord Hawthorne) they don't do a ton of damage.
- She has been using fatigue to move a few spaces into optimal positions and then battle orders to get double attacks in.

I'm sure that we were moving slower than we could because we are new and had to look up things here and there and she had to manage 4 heroes worth of abilities, weapons, and feats, but it still took us a looong time to play. We only had one level of a dungeon left yesterday and it took us about 4 hours or so because I could continue to spawn monsters so many times. (Side note, the master monster was a sorcerer with 14 life, 4 armor, and "undying". I managed to roll a surge when he was killed two different times so he had to be killed 3 times!).
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duhtch
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i think the main problem is the amount of total turns it took you guys to get through 2 levels. 4 hours to do that is not unheard of, but again it all factors into the total number of turns.

1 on 1 is fun, and imo i like it better, as long as the person controlling the hero's can manage everything well(it is a bit tough, especially if you are new).

like corbon said, it probably has a lot to do with inexperience in the advanced campaign itself.
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Mike Russo
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el_chupacabra wrote:

Ok, after looking some things up it seems that printed black dice on traits and monster cards are actual dice but bonus black dice granted by other effects are the only thing that can be used for upgrading. The big argument online seems to be whether fatigue can be used to upgrade the printed dice or only afterward on their own.


Does Pico add 1,2, and then 3 power boosts for the copper, silver, and gold campaign levels, or can his bonus only be used as a black, silver, and gold die?
 
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Tor Sverre Lund
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el_chupacabra wrote:
el_chupacabra wrote:

Ok, after looking some things up it seems that printed black dice on traits and monster cards are actual dice but bonus black dice granted by other effects are the only thing that can be used for upgrading. The big argument online seems to be whether fatigue can be used to upgrade the printed dice or only afterward on their own.


Does Pico add 1,2, and then 3 power boosts for the copper, silver, and gold campaign levels, or can his bonus only be used as a black, silver, and gold die?

Pico adds a black power die when the campaign is Copper level. This grows to a silver power die when the campaign is Silver level, then to a gold power die when the campaign is Gold level.
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Corbon Loughnan
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el_chupacabra wrote:

- Several of the traps require the opening of a door or a chest. There aren't a lot of doors and the hero player (my wife playing all 4!) doesn't bother to go for treasures until the dungeon is cleared out, so I discard those for threat right away.


There is a basic gameplay mistake right there. Always gather chests ASAP as they may contain some equipment that increases for fighting power and helps clear out the monsters even faster.

Further, it isn't actually necessary to clean out all monsters (though often you will).
The aim isn't to clear the dungeon, it is to gather resources - which means looting chests and coinpiles and killing the Leaders, then getting out. The other monsters only get killed because they are in the way or to stop them hurting you back.
Sometimes you don't even kill the boss. Just grab the loot you can reach easily and flee.

Quote:
- It is difficult for her to cover a lot of line of sight angles because she needs to bunch up her heroes and take out the monsters that are already on the board (no time for moving people down an empty hallway just to cover LOS.
- We are just starting out so her heroes are not very strong. They have a few decent copper level treasures but are generally using basic market weapons such as a crossbow. Except for her one "tank" character (Lord Hawthorne) they don't do a ton of damage.


An important point of early play, especially starting play choosing heroes, skills and equipment, is making sure you have at least 2, preferably 3 (well, preferably 4) heroes that can reliably output 5-6 damage - enough to kill most of the basic monsters in one shot. And one hero that can do around 12 damage fairly reliably to hit the bigger stuff and whittle down the bosses.

Quote:
I'm sure that we were moving slower than we could because we are new and had to look up things here and there and she had to manage 4 heroes worth of abilities, weapons, and feats, but it still took us a looong time to play.


That is playing slowly, not moving slowly.

But I sympathise. I am good at that sort of thing, but with feats added, 4 heroes is enough for even me to miss things and forget things regularly.
You have a lot on your plates. It will get better, but it still won;t be easy.
But then, few things that are rewarding are 'easy'.

Quote:
We only had one level of a dungeon left yesterday and it took us about 4 hours or so because I could continue to spawn monsters so many times. (Side note, the master monster was a sorcerer with 14 life, 4 armor, and "undying". I managed to roll a surge when he was killed two different times so he had to be killed 3 times!).


Yeah, stuff like that helps slow things down, and up your spawn count, a lot.
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Frank Franco
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el_chupacabra wrote:

- Several of the traps require the opening of a door or a chest. There aren't a lot of doors and the hero player (my wife playing all 4!) doesn't bother to go for treasures until the dungeon is cleared out, so I discard those for threat right away.


Someones wife needs to go back and play the basic game, most notably quest 2 which would teach her what she is doing wrong here.
 
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Mike Russo
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corbon wrote:
Yeah, stuff like that helps slow things down, and up your spawn count, a lot.


Yeah, and gets a die thrown at my head out of frustration too!
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Mike Russo
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Thanks for the in depth response corbon; much appreciated.

corbon wrote:
An important point of early play, especially starting play choosing heroes, skills and equipment, is making sure you have at least 2, preferably 3 (well, preferably 4) heroes that can reliably output 5-6 damage - enough to kill most of the basic monsters in one shot. And one hero that can do around 12 damage fairly reliably to hit the bigger stuff and whittle down the bosses.


I'm not sure if these are good choices or not, but the heroes are:
- Lord Hawthorne
He is rolling a red, green, and 3 black I think. Usually does some decent damage of 8-10, has a weapon with pierce 2, and has an armor rating of 3 right now.
- Ronan
Armor rating of 2 with a bow that does 1 blue, 1 yellow, and only needs 1 surge to add damage. He usually only does roughly 4 or 5 damage.
- Red Scorpion
Armor of 2 with a crappy crossbow right now. She does have a skill that gives her pierce and +1 range to all ranged attacks though.
- Andira Runehand
Armor of 2 but only against magic/ranged attacks. Uses a basic magic staff and has pierce 2 built in but she has to be adjacent for it to work.

...After reading those I think Andira should be using a hand to hand weapon to make sure she is always using her natural ability of pierce 2 and she should trade her armor with Red Scorpion since she'll want armor that works all the time against melee. Then the heroes will have two hand to hand and two ranged characters. Any other suggestions?
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Corbon Loughnan
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el_chupacabra wrote:
Thanks for the in depth response corbon; much appreciated.


no problem

el_chupacabra wrote:
I'm not sure if these are good choices or not, but the heroes are:
- Lord Hawthorne
He is rolling a red, green, and 3 black I think. Usually does some decent damage of 8-10, has a weapon with pierce 2, and has an armor rating of 3 right now.


All fairly standard. Melee warrior, 3 dice with an axe (progressed to Dragontooth Hammer I suspect).
This, as expected, is your heavy hitter, counting pierce he can do around 12 damage.

Quote:
- Ronan
Armor rating of 2 with a bow that does 1 blue, 1 yellow, and only needs 1 surge to add damage. He usually only does roughly 4 or 5 damage.


He really needs to get another damage or two to hit that 6ish mark more reliably

Should be using a crossbow (and shield) or even a Hammer. Never touch a Bow if you can avoid it. If you must have a 2H weapon (due to Born to the Bow, which I don't rate as a skill, but it could still have been your best choice), use a sling. Green dice is always better than yellow dice unless you have a special ability which gives you bonuses for range capability.

Should be wearing chainmail, and using a shield.

Actually, checking the Bows there are none that fit that description.
Could be Axe of Returning? (copper treasure) - I'd still use a crossbow.

Quote:
- Red Scorpion
Armor of 2 with a crappy crossbow right now. She does have a skill that gives her pierce and +1 range to all ranged attacks though.


There is no excuse, ever, for picking this hero. :p Categorically the worst hero there is in every way.
Worst possible dice split, terrible skill split, ordinary stats, weak special.
At least, given the skill she has, she has the best available weapon. Shame though, as either magic or melee would give her a better damage output apart from the skill.

Quote:
- Andira Runehand
Armor of 2 but only against magic/ranged attacks. Uses a basic magic staff and has pierce 2 built in but she has to be adjacent for it to work.

...After reading those I think Andira should be using a hand to hand weapon to make sure she is always using her natural ability of pierce 2 and she should trade her armor with Red Scorpion since she'll want armor that works all the time against melee. Then the heroes will have two hand to hand and two ranged characters. Any other suggestions?


She should trade armour anyway but make sure she can use a rune weapon.
She should get something with a green dice, not yellow. The Mage Staff is actually the worst weapon she has to choose from, though you are not alone in choosing it.
Blinding Light has the same dice and damage conversion, but a stun bonus if you can't get the kill - that can effectively take out a normal monster or a melee based master for a round at least (you don't have to kill them (unless they are in the way), just avoid having them kill you).
Immolation is her best choice for now - same as Mage Staff but change the yellow dice for green. You need damage, not extended range.
Her pierce 2 is usually not worth the loss of 3 black dice, so don't move to a melee weapon. Just get up close and personal with your Runes. With green (damage) dice instead of yellow (range) dice.
At some (later) stage, get the Spiritwalker skill for her if you can. It is very effective at allowing her to fight at best effect.

She also has natural armour 1, so simple leather armour gives her A2 vs everything.

I'd honestly recommend you let your wife redraw a replacement for Red Scorpion. Otherwise it is a fairly middling party, hero wise.
Otherwise some minor equipment changes might help a bit.
Basic rule of thumb... green dice are a must.
If possible, high surge conversion is next priority.
Then 1H over 2H as that lets you use a shield.
You may need to move more to attack, but often one attack will do the job where you needed two before.

I also agree with what someone else posted.
Go back to basics and play quest 2 several times. Learn the value of a runner (which you don't have, though Ronan can hand Pico off to someone else and do that job adequately) and how to loot as much as possible before you fight.

PS. 3 of the skills are not mentioned and could change best options a little here and there.
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duhtch
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Red Scorpion is my favorite, she is so overpowered
 
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Corbon Loughnan
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duhtch wrote:
Red Scorpion is my favorite, she is so overpoweredbalanced


Fixed that for you. cool
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Mike Russo
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corbon wrote:
PS. 3 of the skills are not mentioned and could change best options a little here and there.


I was trying to remember them from memory. I think I can figure them all out now though using the descent in the dark website (since I'm at work ):

- Lord Hawthorne
Has the "Berserker" skill that makes him do more damage as he gets wounded. He is using a "Dragontooth Hammer".

- Ronan
Has the "Tiger Tattoo" skill for +1 speed and +1 stamina. He is using a "Great Bow" which gives pierce 2 and then has "Archer's Charm" which gives another level of pierce and +1 range.

- Red Scorpion
Has "Eagle Eye" that gives her +1 range for range/magic attacks and pierce 2 for ranged attacks. She is using a standard crossbow.

- Andira Runehand
Has "Necromancy". She is using (I think) just a generic mage staff. As I said, she has generic "Wizard's Robe" armor that gives a +2 if hit with a ranged or magic attack, but I think this is at odds with her pierce 2 for melee combat and she should get something else.

...Also, the heroes just found a "Skull Shield" that is cursed but gives "+5 Armor vs. Blast, Bolt, or Breath atttacks.
Exhaust to cancel 2 wounds being dealt to you. You may cancel wounds that ignore armor (such as damage from traps)." I think she should give this to Hawthorne.

corbon wrote:
There is no excuse, ever, for picking this hero. Categorically the worst hero there is in every way.
Worst possible dice split, terrible skill split, ordinary stats, weak special.
At least, given the skill she has, she has the best available weapon. Shame though, as either magic or melee would give her a better damage output apart from the skill.


I just let my wife go through the deck of character cards and pick 4 that she liked instead of what the rules recommend. Having only 1 black power die in each skill is pretty bad but I figured her other picks were good enough. She's got a group with some strengths and weaknesses she's got to adjust to. Also, she has already identified on her own that red scorpion is weak and she wants to save up and buy some trait dice upgrades for her.
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Red Scorpion is hawt.

-shnar
 
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Frank Franco
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This ain't no fucking Eurogame.
Play what is fun, not just what is power cheese.
Red Scorpion is one of the icons of the game. She deserves to be played.
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Corbon Loughnan
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el_chupacabra wrote:

...Also, the heroes just found a "Skull Shield" that is cursed but gives "+5 Armor vs. Blast, Bolt, or Breath atttacks.
Exhaust to cancel 2 wounds being dealt to you. You may cancel wounds that ignore armor (such as damage from traps)." I think she should give this to Hawthorne.


Who is using a 2H weapon...
And will get a new curse token each time he re-equips the cursed Shield.

Hero analysis
Shop item analysis
Combat skills analysis
Rogue skills analysis
Wizardry skills analysis
Those are 'generic' Descent. Mostly they stand for Advanced Campaigns as well - mostly.

RtL hero tactics
Hero Analysis for RtL

 
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Corbon Loughnan
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Mr Skeletor wrote:
This ain't no fucking Eurogame.
Play what is fun, not just what is power cheese.
Red Scorpion is one of the icons of the game. She deserves to be played.

No, its a tighter tactical and strategic game than most Euro's.
Vanilla Descent can be played as a piece of fluff - you just have 4-5 hours of fun and who cares about the result really. But Advanced campaigns are a much large time investment, and can turn decidedly one-sided in a not-fun way, with mistakes having 10s of hours of painful consequences.

You can play whatever you like, but taking that fluff attitude into RtL invariably sees the heroes being destroyed and not enjoying the experience. It is a repeated theme.

Already the OP is talking about too many spawns being played, a hero party taking too many turns in a dungeon level (reading between the lines) and a frustrated hero player throwing the dice at the OL.
I think a significant player in these issues, which are only going to get exponentially worse after the monsters upgrade, is that the hero choices in heroes (1), skills and equipment is decidedly poor.
She can't cover spawning for example. because she has to do lots of attacks to kills monsters. That comment shows that spawn coverage is understood as to importance, but being neglected due to other, fixable, weaknesses.
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