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

Subject: We like D&D Adventure games, will I like this? rss

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gameplayer guy
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We like light/medium games that are not too complex. We enjoy the cooperative nature of D&D Adventure games including Ravenloft, Ashardalon and Drizzt. But we also enjoy competitive games such as Stone Age, Battle Cry, Thunderstone, Innovation, Race for the Galaxy, etc.

This game looks potentially interesting, but I wonder why get this one since I already have the D&D games. I don't want more of the same- I'd only buy Descent if it's significantly different feel than the D&D games. What does Descent bring that is better? Remember, complexity is a negative for us.

Thanks!
 
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Luke Walker
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Yes, you will. Descent brings better character development, enhanced story elements, and improved tactical play. It does not bring any significant increase in complexity.
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Aaron Morgan
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I think it'll be a good fit, given the other games you listed.

The campaign rules are probably the biggest difference - they're much better than the leveling up rule in the D&D Adventure series.

Each character starts with the choice of one of two different play styles (for example, the warrior character can be a knight or a berserker) and as you complete encounters you earn experience that can be used to buy new abilities.

As you complete encounters, which side wins is important, as it determines which future encounters are available and who gets to choose what the next encounter will be. So there's some back and forth between the hero players and the overlord player. During the course of the campaign, there's a point where the monsters all become more powerful, and magical artifacts come into play that both the heroes and the overlord want to possess, and they have different effects on the game depending on who lays claim to them.
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Paul Harper
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Its a little more complex than the D&D games, but you have a lot less to remember, so its not bad at all.

I hate the fact that I as a player have to move the monsters and roll for them. I also hate the fact I know I have to take an attack to enter a new room. So you will never see me playing one of the 3 again.

Descent has neither of those things, and the quests are linked with players increasing in power over the course of many sessions. Biggest differences between the 2 IMO.
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Skywalker wrote:
Yes, you will. Descent brings better character development, enhanced story elements, and improved tactical play. It does not bring any significant increase in complexity.

Lies! All Lies! Well, unless you're playing Campaign mode, then I guess it's true. If you're playing a single, stand-alone quest, there's no character development what-so-ever, and the 'improved tactical play' is because a human is playing the monsters, not the Tactics on the card.

If you like the co-op aspect of D&D, stick with it.
If you like the dungeon crawl aspect of D&D, stick with it.
If you like finding treasures, stick with D&D.
If you like feeling your character progresses, stick with D&D.
If you like playing the game in under an hour, stick with D&D
If you want a different/more-controlled story, character progression over 20hrs of game, human AI to deal with, try Descent.

-shnar
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Luke Walker
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shnar wrote:
Lies! All Lies! Well, unless you're playing Campaign mode, then I guess it's true. If you're playing a single, stand-alone quest, there's no character development what-so-ever, and the 'improved tactical play' is because a human is playing the monsters, not the Tactics on the card.


I agree that character development is non-existent in a standalone quest.

In terms of tactical play, I was referring to a much wider range of elements (and recognise this may be based on opinion). In Descent, choices are more important due to a whole raft of factors. These include:

1. Development: This overlaps with the first point, but having greater customisation of your choices improves tactical play.
2. Teamwork: The greater level of specialisation in Descent also enhances tactical play through the impact of teamwork.
3. Objectives and Quest Setup: D&D games have some variety in the adventures but they are not set up as well as Descent IMO. In campaign play, this increases as consequences can rise.
4. Greater Resource Management: Descent has more resources to juggle but with little added complexity.
5. Positioning: Positioning in Descent provides a greater number of options than in D&D, again without adding much complexity.

Don't get me wrong. I like the D&D games. If you want co-operative style dungeon crawling (your first point), they are the games to go to. But Descent will likely appeal to those who enjoy the D&D games.
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Frank Franco
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shnar wrote:

If you like the dungeon crawl aspect of D&D, stick with it.
If you like finding treasures, stick with D&D.
If you like feeling your character progresses, stick with D&D.

-shnar


The D&D games don't have any of this stuff.
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Mr Skeletor wrote:
The D&D games don't have any of this stuff.

o.O?
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Frank The Tank
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I am an avid fan of both and I think that the DnD games offer a much better "dungeon crawl" then Descent 2.0 but overall I like Descent over DnD.

The difference in encounters, the leveling up system, and the combat mechanics are what pushed me over the top liking Descent over DnD.

If no one likes to play a DM or just wants to all play together towards a common goal then yes I think the DnD games are better then Descent.
 
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Michael Mifsud
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I would say Descent is closer to 4e D&D than the D&D adventure games. Not sure if that's an + or - for you.
 
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Jim Ant
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The biggest difference, which I'm not sure the other answers emphasized enough, is that somebody has to be the DM in Descent 2e. The heroes play a cooperative game but there must be an Overlord. This makes the game more complex by definition. After playing one complete campaign to the end, I can confirm that it definitely gets more complex as it goes along because OL has better cards to play, heroes have much better equipment and numerous skills to think about. During the Finale our table was absolutely covered with cards but I think the players were able to keep track of their skills really well and they worked together really well. I would not recommend anybody playing 2 heroes if you're going to do a complete campaign.

As for single play of a single scenario -- what Shnar said. Descent 2e is all about the campaign. I would not play a single scenario.

 
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Darren Nakamura
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shnar wrote:
Mr Skeletor wrote:
The D&D games don't have any of this stuff.

o.O?


I agree with Skeletor. I've only played Ravenloft, so I don't know if they added to it in Ashardalon or Drizzt, but what character progression is there in the D&D board games aside from sometimes maybe being able to take your character from Level 1 to Level 2?
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Dexter345 wrote:
shnar wrote:
Mr Skeletor wrote:
The D&D games don't have any of this stuff.

o.O?


I agree with Skeletor. I've only played Ravenloft, so I don't know if they added to it in Ashardalon or Drizzt, but what character progression is there in the D&D board games aside from sometimes maybe being able to take your character from Level 1 to Level 2?

Mainly treasures. Items progress your character in addition to 'leveling up', and both of those are absent in Descent, unless you're willing to play a 20hr campaign.

-shnar
 
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shnar wrote:
Mainly treasures. Items progress your character in addition to 'leveling up', and both of those are absent in Descent, unless you're willing to play a 20hr campaign.


There are treasures in Descent too, even without campaign play.
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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There is ONE treasure in Descent, unless I guess you count those crappy medalions. You have a 1 in 12 chance of finding it (mitigated by more heroes, Thief skills, and good luck) and even then, it's a random draw from the shop, usually not what you want (the one game we found a treasure it turned out to be a shield, something we had already boughten).

-shnar
 
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gameplayer guy
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Thanks everyone for the insight. I think we will pass on the game for now.

While I like the concept of the heroes getting progressively stronger, it would take us 6 months to a year (one game every 2 weeks) to get through the 20 hours given our schedules...

We also like to change roles every time we play, so it may get a bit tedious to always use the same hero for the 20 hour campaign. Plus, I'm sure we'd like to alternate overlord/hero roles, which also doesn't seem possible.

Maybe we will pick this up in a few years.
 
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Aaron Morgan
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shnar wrote:
There is ONE treasure in Descent, unless I guess you count those crappy medalions.


I count 7 potions, a flask, a talisman, and the curse doll, in addition to the chest.

 
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EitherOrlok wrote:
shnar wrote:
There is ONE treasure in Descent, unless I guess you count those crappy medalions.


I count 7 potions, a flask, a talisman, and the curse doll, in addition to the chest.



Yes, I assumed they fit under any usual definition of magic treasure too.

It's also worth noting that Descent can be played at three different levels without engaging in the campaign play at all. This can give a significant sense of development from quest to quest, given the greater number of character options in Descent, with individual sessions and interchanging heroes and/or hero/OL roles.
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Potion != Treasure, a potion is something the heroes should be bringing with them into the dungeon. And using the Epic starting variant allows you more options as Heroes (you start with better gear and skills), but you're still not 'progressing' in the game. You're not finding anything of worth, you're not increasing in level, etc.

Ultimately, Descent isn't a dungeon crawl, it's an adventure game. That's not to say it's bad, it's just what it is. The D&D games offer a different experience, a more satisfying "dungeon crawl" experience.

-shnar
 
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Aaron Morgan
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Skywalker wrote:
Yes, I assumed they fit under any usual definition of magic treasure too.


They meet any reasonable definition of treasure.

shnar wrote:
Potion != Treasure ...Ultimately, Descent isn't a dungeon crawl, it's an adventure game


Splitting hairs is precious.
 
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I'd *still* rather play D2E one-shot than D&D AS. The Quests in D2E are different enough that there's variety in the game. While D&D AS has adventures, they all feel samey until you get to the last room. Until then, it's draw a tile, get whacked by a monster, get stomped on by an encounter, run like h*ll to the next tile, rinse, repeat, stomp.

D2E game has epic play so you can start at a "higher" level. More importantly, the quests are short enough that you can easily play two quests in a session so the rewards you gain in the first quest can be used for the second.

Most importantly, when you *do* play a campaign *to win*, the players should know what the quests are like. It helps to have played the quest beforehand, yes? Also, the OL should pick the best monster for a quest, and it helps to have played it before, right?

There's a magnitude of difference between D&D AS and D2E. D&D AS is a videogame on autopilot (anyone remember the original Gauntlet???). D2E has a thinking breathing opponent. Big difference!
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Allan Clements
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Just play 3 random quests in a row and level up between them. You certainly don't need to play the whole campaign.

The one against many aspect of Descent 2nd edition definitely will play differently to the D&D games.
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EitherOrlok wrote:
Skywalker wrote:
Yes, I assumed they fit under any usual definition of magic treasure too.


They meet any reasonable definition of treasure.


Not sure if you guys have played 1st edition Descent but the 2nd edition Descent treasures - by comparison - are pretty wank. I think Shnar was comparing drawing a crappy 2nd edition potion or talisman to drawing the kind of uber hyper mega blaster death ray rune that you could pull from a Descent 1.0 treasure chest.

 
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Frank Franco
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shnar wrote:
Potion != Treasure, a potion is something the heroes should be bringing with them into the dungeon. And using the Epic starting variant allows you more options as Heroes (you start with better gear and skills), but you're still not 'progressing' in the game. You're not finding anything of worth, you're not increasing in level, etc.

Ultimately, Descent isn't a dungeon crawl, it's an adventure game. That's not to say it's bad, it's just what it is. The D&D games offer a different experience, a more satisfying "dungeon crawl" experience.

-shnar


The D&D games don't give any sort of "dungeon crawl" experience, they give a three stooges experience.
"whats in this corner I wonder, Gnuck gnuck? gaaaahhh!"


The leveling is a fucking joke, barely noticeable. Wow, level 2. Now I'm ready to kick ass (not).
And those silly random treasure drops, almost universally piss weak. Wow this magic sword makes me 5% better! 1in 20 monsters more will now die! Look out savage hordes!
 
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Nelson Chandler
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hungryhomer wrote:
We also like to change roles every time we play, so it may get a bit tedious to always use the same hero for the 20 hour campaign. Plus, I'm sure we'd like to alternate overlord/hero roles, which also doesn't seem possible.
Of course it's possible, it's a board game. You can do whatever you want with it.

Seriously though, I personally think you'll like it (assuming your play group is 4 or 5 people). There's nothing that says you can't switch roles every game. This is the type of game where you can easily make up character progression rules to fit your playstyle, just make sure both the characters and the overlord are the same level powerwise and everything will work out.
 
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