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Descent: Journeys in the Dark» Forums » Variants

Subject: changing Descent to be less luckbased and more planable rss

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another geek
Switzerland
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I like games, that are strategic and you can plan an idea and see it in the game, how it works or not. Descent in this case is too random sometimes for me, so I want to change it, here my house rules:

- the dungeon is not built up fully, only the opened area (is the official optional rule)
- OL starts with x cards and x treat markers, x= number of heroes
- OL can spawn every monster, doenst matter, if there are enough miniatures
- monsters are not blocking the line of sight while the OL is spawning monsters
- OL can spend 2 tread markers to use it like fatigue tokens: take a power dice or get a movement point
- if there are 4 heroes or more: we are playing with the traiter optional rule

- heroes dont need to anounce action, for example, they can attack first and decide again, if they need to attack again or want to move forward.
- almost no restriction in using the glyphs: you can use the glyph, go to town and get back to dungeon in a round. The only restriction is, that you cant attack and hide in the city.
- the treasure deck can be mixed and be a new deck again
- heroes can buy any treasure they want in the city, doesnt matter if they opened already the treasure
- heroes can give gold to other heroes
- heroes get 1,5x cards (items, skills, feat) rounded up in a pool and can pick them. the rest is going back
- picking heroes: get 2, pick one
- time limit: 2 minutes per heroe, for example 8 min. for the whole 4 hero group


I hope for more ideas or opinions. One opinion was, that it makes the game a bit too easy for the heroes.
another idea was, that the overlord can do a battle action or run action too, like the heroes. But in my view it makes too hard for the heroes... maybe we can modify it, like he can do it only once in his round.

after some games, here the actual rules:
- the dungeon is not built up fully, only the opened area (is the official optional rule)
- heroes can give gold to other heroes (1MP)
- OL can spend 2 tread markers to use it like fatigue tokens: take a power dice or get a movement point
- picking heroes: number of players x2 -> pool for all heroes players, pick your hero from ther
- heroes cards (feet cards, treasures etc.) you get always +1 and can choose from them, give back the rest
- neg. conquest tokens: game continues after loosing all the conquest tokens and the OL get the next conquest tokens. After finishing the quest the result depends on who has conquest tokens
- power potions give +3 power dices, max. 7
- OL can spend 40 threat tokens for 1 conquest token
- I need a house rule for the stealth ability, it is to random
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Uwe Heilmann
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Hi,

I completely support your ideas.
That's why I removed the overlord and have all players build a team against the system that "runs" the dungeon.

Too difficult, too easy for the adventurers?
I incorporated a simple "adjustment" factor that takes the number and levels of the adventurers into consideration.
Many high level adventurers in the team of explorers? Tough dungeon.
Few and weak adventurers present? A much less dangerous dungeon.


Cheers
U.L.H.

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Marco Reubzaet
Netherlands
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Although I would never go with any of your ideas myself (as I think player vs players with equal luck and decision factors is fair enough), I think you should play the way that is most fun for you(r group). If my input can be of help, I will provide it gladly :-)

- The rule that glyphs can be used to go to town and return in the same round is my main gripe with your house rules: heroes can then teleport all around the dungeon for 2 MPs. If the heroes can make ranged attacks, they simple attack and teleport to safety. Melee monsters are rendered completely useless this way.

- Allowing heroes to make up their mind during the course of their turn seems like the best idea to reduce the amount of luck involved and increase the possibility of planning. It DOES make the game a lot easier for the heroes though.

- Allowing the heroes to buy any treasure they like makes the game very easy once the heroes have leveled up (i.e. survived a couple of quests): they get more starting money and can easily buy copper treasures to start with.


- Allowing heroes to give gold to other heroes seems to introduce the risk of one hero becoming the errand boy/shopper for the hero team: everyone gives this hero their gold and this hero then gets the desired items. A very big issue with this would be that the errand boy would make sure to be in town as much as possible, out of reach of the Overlord's influence, and out of the way of doors, chests and other potentially dangerous objects. Since this hero would be the only one carrying a lot of gold and he would probably not die at all, the Overlord will be unable to set the heroes back financially by killing them. Gameplay-wise, this is a high price to pay for a short-cut: giving useless items to the hero who needs gold, so he can go and sell these items in town works the same but is more time-consuming. And everything time-consuming requires careful consideration, as time is on the Overlord's side.

- Allowing the Overlord to spawn as many monsters as he wants, seems tempting, but cluttering the dungeon with monsters will only lead to frustration and negate the benefit of the time limit for the heroes. Things would get out of hand: hordes of monsters keep chasing the heroes all the time without the Overlord having to take care not to get them picked off by the rangers, as there are plenty more pursuers. Particularly in hard quests where progress is slow, this will lead to more problems for the heroes: hard quests become even harder. (Collapsing Mine from WoD anyone?)

- I assume you are aware that monsters not blocking line of sight for spawning, is in fact the official rule and not a house rule?

The other changes seem to be interesting little ones, but they do not seem to influence the game balance too much.

I hope the above makes sense and at least offers you another perspective on a few of your house rules. Regardless of what rules you end up using, I wish you a lot of fun with this awesome game :-)
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another geek
Switzerland
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Co1980 wrote:
Although I would never go with any of your ideas myself (as I think player vs players with equal luck and decision factors is fair enough), I think you should play the way that is most fun for you(r group). If my input can be of help, I will provide it gladly :-)

- The rule that glyphs can be used to go to town and return in the same round is my main gripe with your house rules: heroes can then teleport all around the dungeon for 2 MPs. If the heroes can make ranged attacks, they simple attack and teleport to safety. Melee monsters are rendered completely useless this way.
I restricted the rule already because of that: The only restriction is, that you cant attack and hide in the city.

- Allowing heroes to make up their mind during the course of their turn seems like the best idea to reduce the amount of luck involved and increase the possibility of planning. It DOES make the game a lot easier for the heroes though.

- Allowing the heroes to buy any treasure they like makes the game very easy once the heroes have leveled up (i.e. survived a couple of quests): they get more starting money and can easily buy copper treasures to start with.
I dont play campaigns and do not take heroes from quest to quest

- Allowing heroes to give gold to other heroes seems to introduce the risk of one hero becoming the errand boy/shopper for the hero team: everyone gives this hero their gold and this hero then gets the desired items. A very big issue with this would be that the errand boy would make sure to be in town as much as possible, out of reach of the Overlord's influence, and out of the way of doors, chests and other potentially dangerous objects. Since this hero would be the only one carrying a lot of gold and he would probably not die at all, the Overlord will be unable to set the heroes back financially by killing them. Gameplay-wise, this is a high price to pay for a short-cut: giving useless items to the hero who needs gold, so he can go and sell these items in town works the same but is more time-consuming. And everything time-consuming requires careful consideration, as time is on the Overlord's side.
this means, this hero cant fight in this time. He is only hiding with a lot of gold.
- Allowing the Overlord to spawn as many monsters as he wants, seems tempting, but cluttering the dungeon with monsters will only lead to frustration and negate the benefit of the time limit for the heroes. Things would get out of hand: hordes of monsters keep chasing the heroes all the time without the Overlord having to take care not to get them picked off by the rangers, as there are plenty more pursuers. Particularly in hard quests where progress is slow, this will lead to more problems for the heroes: hard quests become even harder. (Collapsing Mine from WoD anyone?)
maybe this is a misunderstanding: When you have a card and it gives you the possibility to spawn 2 monsters, but you have only 1 monster, you can spawn 2 of them anyway
- I assume you are aware that monsters not blocking line of sight for spawning, is in fact the official rule and not a house rule?
it is not: The overlord player may not place a spawned monster in a space to which any hero figure on the board has line
of sight (see “Line of Sight,” page 9-10). Exception: For purposes of spawning new monsters, other monster figures do not block a hero’s line of sight. p12

The other changes seem to be interesting little ones, but they do not seem to influence the game balance too much.

I hope the above makes sense and at least offers you another perspective on a few of your house rules. Regardless of what rules you end up using, I wish you a lot of fun with this awesome game :-)
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Jeremy Lennert
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Most of those rules do not have any obvious relation to your stated goal of making the game less random and more planning-based. Based on the thread title, I was expecting to see rules that prevented a long run of misses/undying revives/failures to remove web tokens, and made various cards more equal in power and/or let you see in advance what you were going to draw.

This looks more like "here's a collection of unrelated house rules that I happen to like".

Some of them are not explained very clearly (like the "overlord can spawn every monster" one), and several of them look like they haven't been fully thought-out.
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another geek
Switzerland
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Antistone wrote:
Most of those rules do not have any obvious relation to your stated goal of making the game less random and more planning-based. Based on the thread title, I was expecting to see rules that prevented a long run of misses/undying revives/failures to remove web tokens, and made various cards more equal in power and/or let you see in advance what you were going to draw.

This looks more like "here's a collection of unrelated house rules that I happen to like".

Some of them are not explained very clearly (like the "overlord can spawn every monster" one), and several of them look like they haven't been fully thought-out.


post some ideas

I remember there was a thread about the stealth ability and how to change it. I searched the forums, but I cant find it any more, but I would like to change the ability to prevent multiple failures.

Btw. I posted my actual house rules
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