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Subject: Descent Overlord Tips - Please... rss

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Mike Frantz
United States
Wenatchee
Washington
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No..I don't have any yet...I'm looking for some.

I have a group of good gamers (euro gamers, and ex-rpg'er, and computer gamers) playing tonight. I will be the overlord. I want to make the game somewhat challenging so that the game hooks them (i think an easy romp might be a turnoff). So I was looking for some tips for good overlord play.

I was also thinking about trying to rein in some of the treasure inbalances that I have heard about. It really sounds like the gold treasures can be obscenely powerful. SO I was thinking about making it so you can't buy any gold treasures...maybe even silver too. I'm doing this especially becuase I will have 4 heros which seems like the easiest game for the heroes...also they should be able to trade amongst themselves to get stuff they want out of the chest.

Any other ideas/suggestions?

Thanks.
 
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Luca Iennaco
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From reading about the subject elsewhere: Quest #1 was done to be very easy for the Heroes (the others are more challenging). Possible house rule (suggested by someone else): allow them to buy Silver/Gold cards only after they've found a Silver/Gold chest (and maybe raise the cost for Gold cards to 1000$).
Note the errata (Overlord begins with 3 cards, Vitality Potions cost 50$ not 25$, etc.).
Don't worry if they'll win easily: you (all) will have learnt the game and the next time you could add house rules and/or design your own scenario to make things harder for them. Limiting their options too much during the first game (only Bronze cards?!?) may kill the fun for them (and maybe even for you)... you want that they like Descent and ask for it again, don't you?
Have fun!
 
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Mike Frantz
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Yeah, I suppose erring on the easy side would definitely be a bit more palatable than going way too hard. And I wasn't suggesting not having any silver or gold treasure available, but simply not letting them buy it ....you get what you get when you draw the cards. Then they can trade amongst themselves to distribute it better. But I think I'll sort of see how it goes....If the mechanics are fun, I think they'll want to play again even if it's too easy, knowing we can tweak it next time.

 
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Steve Bernhardt
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saratoga springs
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For a learning game, dont tweak it at all is my suggestion. Try to get the mechanics down and be sure to encourage the use of dodge, guard, rest, etc..... ive noticed new players dont use those much.

As the overlord, dont leave your monsters sitting next to players...make the player burn fatigue or have to use an advance order to close the distance. Hit and run attacks. Use the special powers of the leader monsters. Razorwings to stun and run, spiders to web the melee guy etc. Beat up the heavily armored guys with traps, kill the underarmored wizards with monsters. Say MUHAHAHAHA a lot. Get Evil Genius played ASAP if you get it early, its uber.
 
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Mike Frantz
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Are all of the event cards worth playing if you get them early?

And I think I'll take your advice and avoid the tweaks first time out...we'll just see how it plays "stock."
 
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J. Green
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Being a good Overlord means being a good DM: you succeed if all the OTHER players have a good time. You shouldn't try to *defeat* them, just give em a hard time, make it challenging so they have to think and feel like they accomplished something. Help flesh out the scenario you choose, and don't be afraid to 'get in character' and have dialogue exchanges with them as the monsters they meet...you know it's going to end in combat, but a talented, creative DM will make it funny, fun and compelling. If you do a good job, they will all have fun even if they die and you'll create a group of people who want to play again, and take turns 'Overlording' so *you* get to play as an adventurer next time.

Basically, try to imagine the most fun adventure you could have in a dungeon, and how the overlord could make it the most fun and challenging for everyone, and then do that.

Do unto them as you would have them do unto you...it works in all kinds of situations.
 
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James Forsythe
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I agree with John - be a good DM, and make it fun that way. I don't think it's important to beat them, but they should be a little "tense". I would try to kill each of them once if possible. With all the glyphs and treasures, that should be possible to do without winning. This way, even if they win, they will think it was a tough win. I set it up so the last room was hard for them - save dodges, aims, double attacks, etc for that room, so you can make the giant as tough as possible. It would probably be a little depressing to go into that room, and wipe out the giant before he gets a chance to attack back. Would make it seem too easy.
 
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Galen
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I actually disagree with yall who suggest the overlord is the DM. In past games such as heroquest it does say that the point of the Bad guy was to make the game challenging and fun and not to kill the heroes. However, after playing Doom and reading the rules for Descent I think this falls a little closer to the Boardgame side in that you are competing against the good guys. Of course you want everyone to have a good time, but I think playing it seriously and not being afraid to kill the good guys makes the game more enjoyable. Otherwise the good guys will expect to win!
 
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Mike Frantz
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I'm with galengo (the last post) on this one...the whole idea of "just make it fun for the others" doesn't work because the only way to do that is to bend the rules...once that happens you really are playing an rpg, and that's not what I bought. i bought a boardgame with rules to play a reasonable balanced scenario where all the players can do their best and it should end up a tense struggle.

We just finished our game (yes...it's a tad after 3am). And I think everybody had a good time. It was a bit easy for the heroes, but it got just tense enough at the end to make it fun. I got the Evil Genius out pretty early which helped a lot, and I saved up some Rages, Charges, and Aims for the big dude at the end..so that was fun. I think it's really the treasure and use of glyphs that needs to be tweaked. It's just too easy to get to town and cash out/in. Everybody gets decked out fairly easily. We did have 4 heroes which makes the treasure fly fast and furious. Just too much. Of course this was the first scenario, so I suppose this is somewhat understandable.

Good game though.
 
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Slyvanian Frog
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I hope this game doesn't rely on "Be a good guy as the DM and make things fun for the players," as that pretty much means the "2 player game" description is close to false advertising.

I don't think the game is intended to have the DM be a "good guy" helping the players get through cooperatively.
 
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Mike zebrowski
United States
Unspecified
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SlyFrog wrote:
I hope this game doesn't rely on "Be a good guy as the DM and make things fun for the players," as that pretty much means the "2 player game" description is close to false advertising.


It doesn't. Some people like to play it that way and that is fine. I prefer to be a very evil Overlord.

Mike Z
 
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James Forsythe
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I didn't mean to suggest that the game required you to act like a GM rather than as a person trying to beat the other team. It's just for a first time, and trying to get people interested, you may want to play that way (which the game certainly allows - one of the nice things about the game is you can really play it either way). But this is true of any game where you have some newbies. For example I played Tigris and Euphrates recently for the first time with two experienced players. They left me alone for a while, and let me build up, get the hang of it, etc. Then they pounced on me near the end, and that made it a close game for all of us, and a lot of fun. Same would go here. Don't kill off all the heroes as soon as they walk in the door, that's all (not sure you could for the first scenario).
 
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Slyvanian Frog
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Oh, okay. I can get that. Misunderstanding then. Makes sense the way you rephrased it; it just shouldn't be mandatory once the players know the game.
 
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Lance Bailey
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I played a game as the OL, and about the second room into the first dungeon I had a perfect chance to beat the players (a weak character with like 2 hp left, and I could get a beastman into range by charging that would probably do enough damage). I chose not to take it though, as I had killed the guy that I would have to kill again once already, and it was everyone's first game. So I was a wuss, and of course I lost in the giant room... but at the end they only had one conquest token left.

The only reason they were weak so early is that the player didn't make very good initial starting equipment selection.

I just wanted to play a full game, I didn't want it to end early. Next time I'm OL, I'm taking every opportunity to win, no matter when.

As well, I got DOOM! (or whatever gives you an extra power die) out early, then the card that gives you 3 cards per turn pretty quick after that... it was very useful. Of course I didn't realize you started with 3 cards, so I was a bit hamstrung.
 
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Slyvanian Frog
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Ebonwoulfe wrote:
I just wanted to play a full game, I didn't want it to end early. Next time I'm OL, I'm taking every opportunity to win, no matter when.



Muhuhuhahahahah! Kill em' all and let Crom sort em' out.
 
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