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Descent: Journeys in the Dark» Forums » Variants

Subject: Campaign Play Variants rss

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I have no doubt that many of us will want to improve campaign play in Descent. It's certainly not what I expected it to be - by nature I think it should allow the hero players to keep their gear and skill advancements between dungeons. I'm starting a brainstorm here, so anyone with ideas please share them.
 
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Here are my initial thoughts:

1. Toss out the published scenarios - they won't work with proper campaign play. Save them for those one-off games, or use them with the published campaign play rules. The Overlord player will need to design all new scenarios, with the following modifications in mind.

2. Towns, advancement, glyphs - I think that towns should only be visited between games (before and after). You should not be able to buy silver or gold treasure in town, only copper (maybe allow heroes to buy silver if they're on scenario 4+ of a campaign and gold at 7+). Only in the first scenario do heroes start with gold, for the remaining ones they must do with what they find and can sell. Glyphs do not teleport the heroes to town, the overlord can use them for other functions. Skill advancements - only one can be purchased at the end of a scenario per hero, and they don't get removed between scenarios.

3. Scenario design - There should be an established number of dungeons for scenario play, so that we can establish a proper balance mechanism. Let's say there are always 8 scenarios per campaign (number taken at random). With that number, we can assign some standards that always apply. The purpose of this would be to slow down hero progression: artifacts don't get placed before scenario 7, gold chests don't get placed before scenario 5, silver not before 3. The same should go for monsters; I need to play more to determine what the power levels are for the different monsters and masters. It would probably work similarly to how treasure placement would... a point system may be necessary in this regard.

4. Scenario design pt. 2 - If the Overlord player does design all new scenarios for a specific campaign, he can do so with a continuous plot arc in mind. I think puzzles could factor into this game more than they do in the published scenarios. Here's an example: Two rooms are linked by a single door. The room the heroes start in has a glyph at one corner. The door only opens when the glyph is activated... and the glyph only stays activated when a hero figure is standing on it. The door closes as the hero steps off the glyph. Also, each time the glyph is activated, 1 razorwing is placed in the adjoining room by the Overlord. There is a glyph in the other room that has exactly the same function... keep in mind that glyphs don't send heroes to town in this campaign variant.

5. When heroes die - Instead of being sent to town, a dead hero is raised in the beginning area, at the stairway or other entrance feature.


these are just a few ideas off the top of my head... I'm sure it won't be too difficult to fix up the campaign play in Descent.
 
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Thomas Henage
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These sound a lot like what I've been contemplating. After Mike Z's response to the issue of time warps in town visits, I also think it might be appropriate for a campaign style game to impose further restrictions:

1. Treasure is not automatically distributed to all heroes. Instead, it contains a fixed total sum and players are free to take or leave what they want. One player could take it all if there is room in the pack and then distribute it later or each player could get his/her own treasure from the chest.

2. Treasure cannot be traded for gold immediately. Although they can't get back to town till the next adventure this will limit the amount of stuff they can carry.

3. Dropped items don't go *poof*. Instead they remain where dropped, just like relics. Leave a token to remind you what's there. This could be a coin, with a matching coin placed on top of the card or cards representing the item.

4. Heroes can't change body armor during a scenario. They're stuck with what they are wearing when they come in. Maybe allow it, but they spend a full turn removing it and another full turn putting the new armor on. For both turns they cannot use any movement or attack or ready actions or vitality potions and are played as without armor for the entire two turns. Switching armor in a hostile dugeon is now very dangerous.

5. Heroes can jump over rivers the same way as they jump over pits.

6. Conquest tokens now represent magic used to bind the souls of the heroes to glyphs. When heroes are resurrected, they respawn at any activated glyph (player's choice), and come into play with a stun token, but with all their equipment and gold. If a hero dies and cannot be resurrected because there are insufficient conquest tokens, then the hero is permanently lost. This could either end the game immediately with a loss for the heroes, or if the players don't mind they could continue without their fallen companion.

7. Torches, as suggested elsewhere, are a 25 gp one-handed common item and light up the dungeon up to 10 squares away (blocked by walls, doors, and rubble). However, heroes can always see at least 5 squares from where they are (as in the gust of wind card) restricted only by the standard line of sight rules.


On a side note, I'm really excited about designing my own scenarios with a custom items, events, and monsters. Water dwelling monsters (as suggested in another thread), riddles that must be solved to enter a treasure room/alcove that's not crucial to the scenario, optional (but expensive) alterations to weapons to add an additional die or make them glow with magic light that isn't vulnerable to the wind. This game is just ultimately customizable!!
 
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Matthijs v S
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It could be me, but isn't your suggestion the same thing I put under the topic "The Epic game?"

Well, my thoughts are in that topic.
 
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This should almost go without saying, but for the record...

Villains:

There should be a mechanism by which the Overlord player can use an unused Hero character sheet (with skills and equipment) as a "monster" to pit against the heroes. The villain would drop its treasure when dead for the heroes to pick up.
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