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Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)» Forums » General

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Adam Rivas
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Ok, i'd like some opinions from you good geeks out there if y'all have time.

I really love Warhammer Quest- IMO it's the best dungeon crawl-EVER. My issue is the group I have been playing it with has been playing it for literally years and can quote the scenarios, events etc with scary accuracy. As a result we still play but...sparingly.

I love dungeon crawls, it's my favorite genre of RPG, Board Game, and the reason I play MTG (fantasy themes). In that vein I have been seeking something that is similar to WHQ.
I was going to buy the original Descent (as FFG owns the rights to WHQ and wont reprint it ) because it seems on the surface level to be very similar. However the lack of campaign and experience building kept me from purchasing as did the fact that I have never played it.

So here is my question(s):
What do you think of original Descent (mechanics and system wise (easy to learn, hard to play, enjoyable)?
Do you think the new system will allow for a greater experience with leveling characters (give that feel of RPG in a Board Game)?
If you have ever played WHQ and Descent what are your thoughts? Similar, Different- oil and water?

I'd like to pull the trigger on a preorder for a cheap cost however I'm nervous to drop near $7o dollars when I dont know if I'll like the Descent System (From what I read it seems like Super Dungeon Explore minus the Cuteness- I own SDE and Love it) or world (Though I have played Runewars one time and I really like it's world)?

Thanks for your time and thoughts,
A
 
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Bess A.
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If it's the campaign aspect you are interested in, Descent: the Original had an expansion called Descent: The Road to Legend which allowed for campaign-style play. Some people felt it exacerbated balance issues in what was already a precariously balanced game, other people loved that it shortened each play session.

I've never played WHQ, so I can't compare. But I played a lot of 1st ed Descent and it's expansions (sans campaign). My general understanding of WHQ is that it is a pure co-op, though, and that would make it a pretty different experience than any version of Descent thus far. Descent is a "many vs. one" co-op, and that can make it difficult for a lot of game groups. Particularly since if the heroes are successful you might be playing for 5-8 hours. That's 5-8 hours of one person feeling like everyone is out to get him/her. There are a lot of good reviews and comments out there in the original forums that can explain why that can be a rough deal, especially because often times only one player cares to learn the rules well enough to be Overlord (which means they will always be stuck being the Overlord).

Knowing as little about the new edition as everyone else, it's entirely possible that there will be a true co-op variant. There were some intriguing fan-made true co-op variants that had some promise (I never got around to trying any, because the D&D boardgames came along satisfying my true co-op fantasy adventure wishes).

It's also possible that the 2nd ed Descent will come up with a way to mitigate the unsatisfied feeling everyone gets when they are on the heroes team and lose half-way through. I can hope, although I can't imagine how it would work.

Despite it's inherent problems, I had enough fun with Descent in the past that I am optimistic for the new version, and most likely will get the updated version and conversion kit when they are available.
 
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Adam Rivas
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Wow, thank you for the thoughts and info.

I can relate to the everyone out to get me feeling- generally only myself (owner) and my buddy Kev are the Consul in Super Dungeon Explore.
In terms of co-op I do love that feeling WHQ provides, and Im puzzled as to if I would be able to pull it off in Ds2nd (perhaps by playing both side of the fence as I have been wanting to in SDE).
I will certainly look into Descent reviews (ive read lots I really wanted the first game because it looks great and seems to provide that high fantasy feel).
In regard to the D&D games- Wrath of Azaroth and Drizzit are on my wish list pending some info and review I get from folks. From what I have read they seem really fun.

PS- Nice collection of games on your profile, I remember many of those from over the years.
 
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Jamie Vantries
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I'm quite certain FFG doesn't have the license to WHQ. Why would they get it in the first place if they wouldn't be planning on doing anything with it?

Anyway, just to add, there is also a second campaign expansion for Descent 1st ed. called Descent: The Sea of Blood. It was like RtL but with the addition of boats and water.
 
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Adam Rivas
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Burnham wrote:
I'm quite certain FFG doesn't have the license to WHQ. Why would they get it in the first place if they wouldn't be planning on doing anything with it?

Anyway, just to add, there is also a second campaign expansion for Descent 1st ed. called Descent: The Sea of Blood. It was like RtL but with the addition of boats and water.



I heard a rumor that they bought the rites years ago, and based descent off of it. Could be wrong- hope it is, woulod love to see updated WHQ one day
 
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Adam Rivas
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D6Frog wrote:
Descent 2.0 has the campaign system built right in the from the beginning. And if you look at the adventure cards in the card gallery, it almost looks like it has a branching path story-system with Runebound-like skill checks. The dungeons will still likely be static, but if those quests have branching choices via card-deck...it may have a lot of the Warhammer Quest style flavor you like (and I miss).



I'll take a look at the cards in the gallery and I hope that it does have that flavor. I like you miss the flavor WHQ gives.
 
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Adam Rivas
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Thanks for the info.
 
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Stephen Williams
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504Shadeaux wrote:

What do you think of original Descent (mechanics and system wise (easy to learn, hard to play, enjoyable)?


Descent is a fantastic experience; a truly epic hack n' slash dungeon crawler. It is easy enough to play and tons of fun. The Overlord player will have a much easier learning curve than the heroes, which means he will likely win the first few games you play, until the heroes catch on. (Rotating who plays OL can help everyone figure out where their priorities are.) Once everybody knows what they're doing, it's relatively well balanced, although before that it can often seem like one side or the other has a significant advantage.

There are aspects of character building and, thanks to the Advanced Campaign expansions, there are aspects of a long-term campaign mode, although how well you enjoy these elements depends on a few things. For starters, as far as character advancement goes, gear is king. You can train extra dice for your attacks, although there's seldom any reason to train in a field other than the one you're best at naturally (which leads to fairly predictable and unchanging development for most heroes.) You can also buy extra Skills (random draw), which are expensive and not always worth it - although the ones that ARE worth it can make some killed combos. All in all, it's a very twinky process. You develop your character along one of few "obviously good" paths. Experimentation is possible, but rarely leads to anything helpful, and given how cut-throat the game can be, it's a waste of resources the heroes can seldom afford.

There is a "Basic Campaign" in the core box, but it's barely worth mentioning. It basically amounts to "you gain +X Gold based on the number of quests you previously completed" (You still start from scratch each time, you just have more money to blow off the bat.)

The Advanced Campaign provides exactly what it says it will - a long-term continuous version of the game for those who feel that restarting anew each quest is too disorienting. It does this by stretching out the amount of time it takes the heroes to get better levels of gear. Other character development is largely unchanged, although Skills are no longer random draw (which makes their acquisition more affordable but also more predictable - you go for the ones that are good.) You also have a limited ability to develop your health and/or fatigue values which you didn't have before, and new ranks of trait dice which make it take a while longer to max them out. When you get right down to it, the development angle is basically the same as the original game, but stretched out to take longer. Whether or not that's a good thing is a matter of opinion.

Tactics-wise, the heroes need to understand the dungeon game hands down so that they can focus on the bigger strategy of defeating the Overlord. This means that you should probably play the base game quests first, because if the heroes are still learning how to survive in the middle of a campaign game... well... they won't =P

In terms of role-play value, there is sadly none. You solve riddles by rolling dice. There are also a number of rules that defy logical explanation (beyond "it works because it's MAGIC!") That kind of undermines the RPG experience.

504Shadeaux wrote:

Do you think the new system will allow for a greater experience with leveling characters (give that feel of RPG in a Board Game)?


Here's hoping. we don't really know a lot about what 2e will give us just yet, although there do appear to be more options for advancing your character that will hopefully provide real choices instead of just twinky number-pumping. I've also heard some promising rumours about the 2e campaign mode and certainly the fact that such a game mode is in 2e from the start (so the basic rules are actually written with it in mind) is encouraging.

504Shadeaux wrote:

If you have ever played WHQ and Descent what are your thoughts? Similar, Different- oil and water?


I haven't played WHQ, although I did play its predecessor, Advanced HeroQuest. AHQ had more complicated hero stats than Descent, which meant more options for character development. It also had a combat mechanic that didn't rely quite so heavily on gear to increase your hero's power level. The end result was a system that allowed more experimentation in the mechanics. The quests also had a much more robust story element than Descent quests generally do.

Although there's something about the fact that the Overlord in Descent can play traps on you wherever he likes that gives this game an edge AHQ never had.

504Shadeaux wrote:

I'd like to pull the trigger on a preorder for a cheap cost however I'm nervous to drop near $7o dollars when I dont know if I'll like the Descent System (From what I read it seems like Super Dungeon Explore minus the Cuteness- I own SDE and Love it) or world (Though I have played Runewars one time and I really like it's world)?


All I can say is try to find someone who owns Descent 1e and will let you play it. 2e will probably be similar (though not identical) so it should give a feel for what you're getting into.

Personally, I wouldn't blow money or a preorder of a game I wasn't sure about, but then again, I don't like to spend money before I can take the product home even when I AM sure about it.
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Well... If you already have a dungeon crawler you enjoy, stick with it until the Descent 2.0 reviews come in. You should still be able to buy Descent 2.0 through your OLGS for a discount.
 
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Frank Franco
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504Shadeaux wrote:

I was going to buy the original Descent (as FFG owns the rights to WHQ and wont reprint it )


FFG don't own the rights to WHQ, Games Workshop still do.

Quote:
So here is my question(s): What do you think of original Descent (mechanics and system wise (easy to learn, hard to play, enjoyable)?


Descent is the best Dungeon Crawl made. It lacks the scope of WHQ, with it's oodles of tables and the like, but it more than makes up for that in gameplay. Whereas WHQ really boiled down to a bunch of random shit that kind of plays itself out (luck has much more to do with sucess then anything else) Descent is really much more game play focused, with skill and experience having a much greater impact. After playing descent I found I couldn't get back into WHQ because it was a became boring with obvious moves everywhere.

Quote:
Do you think the new system will allow for a greater experience with leveling characters (give that feel of RPG in a Board Game)?


No idea. Note that the 1st ed decent had the 'leveling' built into the dungeon itself in the form of equipment. So characters would walk in at 'level 1' and essentially walk out at 'level 10' - in other words they became MUCH stronger as the quest rolls on.
There were 2 expansions that had 'campaign systems'. These were less random then the WHQ ones (and probably had less variety) but they told a much stronger narrative as there was an overall campaign goal (beat the leader of the villans) and an overhead map you could traverse and see cities fall on etc.
With 2nd ed, no one yet knows what they will do.

Quote:
If you have ever played WHQ and Descent what are your thoughts? Similar, Different- oil and water?


Both dungeoncrawls, WHQ has greater breadth but descent has superior gameplay. I prefer descent.
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Adam Rivas
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Sam and Max wrote:
Well... If you already have a dungeon crawler you enjoy, stick with it until the Descent 2.0 reviews come in. You should still be able to buy Descent 2.0 through your OLGS for a discount.


Im sorry, but what is OLGS?
 
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mateenyweeny
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Tim C.
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I believe there is a variant in the files section of the BGG Descent page that creates a more warhammer quest like experience. It has card pdf's, quests, and rule sets included. In the Descent forum in the Variant's section it is discussed in detail. I think it is called Descent Quest. You could always give that a try as well. Descent has tons of users made content that can improve/adjust your experience.
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