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

Subject: House rules for a custom campaign rss

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I'm thinking of starting on a custom campaign and figured it would be best to start off with any rules tweaks first. Generally I don't house rule something unless it is broken, and I don't think D2e is generally broken but I do think the rules could be better.

Anyway, here are the rules I'm thinking of using. I am open to new ideas and/or changes to the listed rules, but I want to keep things relatively simple.

House rules:
1. Diagonal movement costs two movement points.
This allows figures to cut corners between two monsters or a monster and an obstacle and cuts down on movement optimization. I think this may also make the large monster movement less silly since they have fewer points to spend so they may not be able to wade through the ranks of the heroes so easily.

2. Line of sight is traced from the center of your target's square to anywhere in your square.
I think the base LOS are too permissive to the point that they aren't interesting. Alternately, I could just get rid of LOS entirely and use range but that would require reworking other parts of the game :yuk:. I'm sure there are other LOS rules that work as well or even better than the one I've presented, let me know what you think.

3.Some sort of reinforcements change.
What I don't like about this rule is that it doesn't feel like the OL is getting more reinforcements so much as the monsters are never really dying. This is particularly bad when the heroes are near a spawn point that places at the start of the OL's turn. A great example is Castle Daerion encounter 2, where the heroes end up killing that Ettin over and over again.

4. You may gain one fatigue to hold one of your actions to use later (i.e. during the OL's turn).
This adds some tactical choices, such as closing a door after a monster opens it or attacking a monster when they try an move past you. I am worried about players always holding one action if there is no cost associated with it, but one fatigue might be too much.

5. The entrance tile is now 2X3 (long).
This gives all the heroes a chance to attack if the OL blocks the entrance.

6. At the end of the heroes' turn, if any hero is more than three spaces from any other hero they must test Will or lose one fatigue.
This is entirely thematic, dungeons are dark and scary places.

Please evaluate and comment honestly.
 
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Matt Albritton
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slacks wrote:
4. You may gain one fatigue to hold one of your actions to use later (i.e. during the OL's turn).
This adds some tactical choices, such as closing a door after a monster opens it or attacking a monster when they try an move past you. I am worried about players always holding one action if there is no cost associated with it, but one fatigue might be too much.


There is already a Knight specific skill (Guard) that allows for an attack during the Overlord's turn. It costs 2 Xp to get and 2 fatigue to use. You may want to limit what the heroes can do with the held action.
 
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Triu Greykith
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slacks wrote:
1. Diagonal movement costs two movement points.
This allows figures to cut corners between two monsters or a monster and an obstacle and cuts down on movement optimization. I think this may also make the large monster movement less silly since they have fewer points to spend so they may not be able to wade through the ranks of the heroes so easily.

2. Line of sight is traced from the center of your target's square to anywhere in your square.
I think the base LOS are too permissive to the point that they aren't interesting. Alternately, I could just get rid of LOS entirely and use range but that would require reworking other parts of the game yuk. I'm sure there are other LOS rules that work as well or even better than the one I've presented, let me know what you think.


I posted some house rules with my solo variant that cover these two. A bit more complicated, but I'm a math major ...
 
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@Kubigaruma
There are a number of skills that allow heroes to do things in the OL's turn and this house rule will reduce their relative strength somewhat. However, none of these skills require the hero to use an action and their fatigue costs can be paid after resting, so I think they are still much better than the option in the house rule.

@Triu
Most of those movement rules seem too complicated to me. Making diagonal moves cost effectively 1.5 spaces isn't too bad, but it would take some work to double all movement points.

I like your LOS rules, adding range penalties will slow turns down somewhat since there is more math going on but I like it better than adding defense dice because I think it is faster to run. I will try out the LOS rules to see if I like them.
 
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Maybe I should put it another way. If I develop a quest with the above house rules, would it still be useful to most people or would you insist on using the RAW?
 
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Matt Albritton
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If you put it that way, I don't know if it would be useful to most people. As long as it's useful to you and your group, go for it.

I am not having enough problems with the published rules that I feel the need to change them.
 
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Triu Greykith
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slacks wrote:
Maybe I should put it another way. If I develop a quest with the above house rules, would it still be useful to most people or would you insist on using the RAW?


Are you saying the quest would somehow be tied to the house rules? That does seem problematic. I generally consider them to be amendments of the rules, independent of any quest (should not seriously change game play, or balance). There can be special actions defined as part of a quest, but that's a different animal.

[I did include some house rules along with a variant I posted, but they weren't required. The original version on FFG included a play session, and I wanted to avoid any confusion.]
 
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Many times monsters do not move as much as the heroes, so making movement harder will often affect the heroes more than the monsters. This is not a problem if this is accounted for in encounter design/playtest, but changing it for an encounter that is designed around easier movement rules could easily unbalance the encounter.

I don't think the LOS change would affect too much, but it does impact the power of certain skills and, again, the monsters generally start in position so they may get more of an advantage from more restrictive LOS rules. I doubt that this will change the balance too much though.

I'm thinking that holding your action would be a hero only thing, which can only make the heroes stronger than they are under the RAW. Again, this will probably just make planning easier for the heroes rather than making them significantly stronger.

The remaining "house rules" could easily be encounter specific rules.
 
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