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

Subject: Revealing the map gradually rss

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C M
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In my group, we have decided to try to reveal the map of any scenario gradually. We do this by using LOS rules, whenever a hero has LOS to a tile in a part of the map that is not yet on the board, the OL (me) reveals it, along with all figures, search tokens etc. on it. Before that, I keep the non-revealed tiles behind a screen and move monsters on them during my turn, which then pop up on the main board as soon as they enter the tiles already in LOS.

Since all our players are new to Descent and no one looks at the scenario book up front, this creates a nice bit of tension and feeling of exploration. Of course, except for the map layout, all other information is shared with the heros before scenario start. However, it is a bit cumbersome and I wonder if this might lead to issues or becomes too complex in later scenarios. Does anyone here have experience with using this kind of approach?
 
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Kelly Overholser
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I haven't tried it myself at all, but I imagine it may be problematic later in the game. For instance, if the heroes play A Fat Goblin and don't know how the quest works at all, they may end up stuck on the first few tiles for a while. In a normal game, the heroes will see the goblins run from the entrance to a few spaces away from the crops in one turn, and start escaping with them right after - this gives them a major sense of "oh crap, we need to get there RIGHT NOW". Without seeing what the monsters are up to, they may get the idea to hurry if you tell them straight up that they need to be fast, but I imagine that it would be rather unsatisfying if they finally reach the farm only to realize that two of the tokens are off the board and two more are halfway to the exit.

I'll also point out that the quest guide spells out, with no ambiguity whatsoever, that the contents are open information to all players, at all times, period.
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C M
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Yes, this could be a problem in later quests. In FG, I made sure they understand the objective and need to hurry as the theft is in progress, but this might not be as easy in other quests. When they took their time, I had a farmer "tell" them where the crops were and that they better hurry up (stepping out of my OL into a DM role I guess). I can see how this would get difficult in the more complex quests though...
 
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David Stahler Jr.
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Since you're not hiding any of the scenario information at all, I don't know if you really gain that much by revealing the map that way. It seems like a lot of work, to me.

Also, since the players and OL are working directly at cross purposes on a lot of the quests, as a player, I would want the right to see what the OL is doing.

But I suppose if the OL player is honest and doesn't make mistakes, and the rest of the group likes it better that way, there's no direct harm.
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Josh Owens
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So since you're using LOS rules from the rulebook, they can see the whole map from turn 1, right?
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Darren Nakamura
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If they lose LOS to an area, do you take the tiles away? It seems like a neat fog of war type variant, but it also seems like it's more trouble than it's worth.
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Douglas Buel
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Are the heroes allowed to move their figures on a hidden board, where the Overlord can't see, as long as there are no monsters in the room with them?
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Kelly Overholser
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If both players are familiar with the game, and both can reference the quest guide, I'd say this might work. I don't think I'd play a game where both sides could hide from each other unless there was a moderator of some sort keeping track of things and letting the players know when they can see each other, though. Also, trap cards might be hard to use.
 
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Sylvain BONNEAU
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You should try playing with the lights off. No torch in the heroes' inventory!

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Jim Patching
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I've only played two games in the campaign so far (the intro and Castle Deirion) but that wouldn't work for either of those as you've got stuff happening all over the map from the get go. Seems to me like a lot of the scenarios are set up that way too. To be honest, I think it's way mroe effort than it's worth to have a gradually revealing map with this one.
 
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C M
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Thanks all for the good input., I take it from this and from looking at what’s ahead in the campaign that we might have to revert to an open map from now. I think the gradual reveal works to a degree (as long as it is kept simple, e.g. by leaving tiles in place once LOS was ever gained), but it means that there needs to be a lot more story telling around it, and I need to play more as a DM than a OL, meaning I have to make sure all are aware of what is happing even though they cannot see it going on. And that in some way distracts from my own play trying to win the quest… I will tinker with this a little more and will let you know if I find a way to make it work. Thanks!
 
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