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Descent: The Road to Legend» Forums » Variants

Subject: Break this, please! rss

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Fox Reinard
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During my long hours of doing not much of anything at work, staring at cars, forbidden from using any device of an electronic nature to pass the time, I write.

Today, I devised a new consumable item for Descent, made with RtL in mind.

SCROLLS
Single-use items which are purchased or randomly obtained at the end of a Dungeon.

Purchase:
At the Alchemist, the heroes may purchase a Scroll in lieu of a Potion during a game week. Doing so reduces the number of available potions they may purchase from the Alchemist by one, and the heroes may purchase any number of scrolls, up to the limit of the Alchemist rating in a single game week. Scrolls cost 100 coins at Copper, 200 coins at Silver and 300 coins at Gold.

Randomly Obtained:
When the heroes exit the final level of any dungeon (Normal dungeon, Rumor, Legendary Area) they are given one Scroll, chosen at random.

Markers:
Scrolls are represented by cards, with a uniform back to allow for random draws. There is one Scroll for each Rune card. For most Scrolls, there is only one copy. There are multiple copies of Scrolls which represent Shop Item runes, as appropriate.

Miscellaneous:
The Scrolls that are found in the Eternal Night plot and any other Quest Items are too powerful for mere mortals to comprehend. As such, they are not obtained or used via this variant ruleset.

WHAT THE HECK DO THEY DO?!
Simply put, each Scroll is a representation of one of the Runes that are found in the game. There exists a Scroll of Pacify, a Scroll of Ghost Armor, a Scroll of Word of Vaal, and all other Runes, including the Healing runes that are removed from the Treasure decks (Minor Healing, Greater Healing, Superior Healing)

How to use:
At the start of the hero's turn, equip the Scroll in one of the hero's Other slots. The hero may then use the scroll during their turn as though the Rune were equipped. If the Scroll is that of a Weapon Rune, then it is discarded when the Hero uses it to make an attack. Otherwise it remains equipped until the end of the hero's turn. At the end of any turn in which a Hero equipped a scroll, discard the scroll. Scrolls and Potions are not compatible with each other. Using one prevents use of the other for the turn, and only one Scroll or Potion may be used during a hero's turn.

A Hero may use a Scroll's effect as an attack. When rolling to attack with a Scroll, the hero adds their Magic trait dice, and in addition they may add five Power die upgrades, as though they had used a Power Potion. These additional Power Die upgrades may not be used for any purpose other than enhancing the Scroll's attack. The Hero may also use Fatigue to further upgrade the effect. Due to the nature of equipping the Scroll, they are not valid attacks for use with the Guard order, and a Hero cannot Battle to gain two Scroll attacks.

If the hero equips a Rune that is not an attack, such as Ghost Armor or Minor Healing, they may use the rune until the end of their turn, and in the case of Healing Scrolls, the hero is given a pool of five Fatigue which may only be spent on the Scroll's effect. The Hero may also spend their own Fatigue for additional use of the Scroll before the end of their turn.
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Fox Reinard
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Before I forget:
During the Copper level of the campaign, the Scrolls chosen at random are those found in the Copper Treasure deck. Silver level scrolls are those found in the Silver Treasure deck. Gold level Scrolls are those found in the Gold Treasure deck.

Heroes may repeatedly purchase Shop Item scrolls for 100 coins each. They may only purchase any other Scrolls that are appropriate to the campaign level.
 
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Shawn Burk
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Very cool idea, for starters. One thing about the non-combat scrolls, there is no healing runes in RtL and as such I dont think they should get around that core rule. I think they should not be able to do heal effects as they are plenty strong already.

On a non-magic user they seem fine, a neat tactical option that won't be useless due to getting some power dice. However on a Mage I think it is way overpowered, As with being able to use a power potion, plus aim, plus feats, plus fatigue burning even a piddly copper hero can roll five golds at will. So I think there needs to be risk instead of all reward. I would suggest if the hero has two magic dice (can include fatigue burn but not a power potion) they should roll a power die and have it miss on a blank. If they have three dice roll for a surge, and higher results fail on a power enhancement.

I like that it can't be used as a Guard interrupt, but I greatly dislike that an OL cannot get a chance to Dark Charm a hero who leaves one on. I'd have it stay equipped until the start of the hero's next free equip phase. If you do this, let them Guard with it. Also it makes it simpler for ghost armor which is active during the OL turn primarily.

Great concept though, just really strong.
 
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Fox Reinard
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In essence, punishing them for having better dice.

Note that I have only had Overlord experience for RtL but the three campaigns I have going now (All via Traipse) are still in Copper and not very far along. I trust in your greater experience.

No healing scrolls, you suggest. I will take this into account when I test it to see if it horrendously unbalances play.

I don't really like the idea of punishing for use with a potentially wasted turn.
Alternatives:
- Adding the Stealth die
- Rolling 5 power dice without taking the Hero's Magic trait into account, permitting upgrades with Fatigue (Giving everyone who uses them equal footing where power dice are concerned, with Mages getting a better effect)

I had imagined that any effect which destroys/discards potions can also destroy/discard scrolls.
 
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Fox Reinard
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The "adding the Stealth die" above seems to run counter to the header immediately above it. I don't like the idea, but consistency and simplicity are two of my primary objectives. Having to do math (even check for presence of 4+ power dice) of that nature adds to complexity and reduces consistency. The Stealth die would be an alternative to that, though I am still leery of punishing those who have specific criteria.
 
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Shawn Burk
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My take on a scaling critical miss roll was because mages on the overall are already the most damaging type, and this really pushes that. I like the tactical option of a Melee character pulling off a (fairly) surprise attack at range that can actually do damage. But you have to realize the OL gets nothing out of it, so having extra miss chance helps. If heroes need a smidge more damage, rolling against a blank is probably going to work. A little harder of an attack and it has a decent chance to miss. If they are trying to kill the strongest LT who is about to raze Tamalir and every copper hero pulls off attacks with 5 golds? That's pretty ridiculous if there was no extra risk involved in arguably winning a campaign right there.

Note you don't have to take my suggestion, but remember the stronger something is the more you need a check or balance against it. Dark Charms are powerful, and they have a chance to fail. Feats are limited, attack dice can miss unless you Aim (and still can). This would be the biggest damage output possible and from characters that can't even attack at range normally. Something has got to balance that.
 
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Fox Reinard
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Which is why I offered the idea of rolling 5 power dice with the effect and not using the hero's inherent Magic trait. They can't use a potion (Scrolls are effectively using up the hero's Potion for the turn) but they can burn Fatigue for more.

What they can't do is burn Fatigue after the roll devil (Edit #1 and #2: Fixing this emoticon...)

As for "what does the overlord get?", I am actually addressing that in a different variant rule, basically outlined as "Heroes and the Overlord are balanced; for every variant that favors the heroes, a variant is put into place to favor the overlord", with details added to address questions such as 'What if one variant benefits one side much more than the variant that benefits the other side?'

So for right now, I am simply trying to hash out how this could be implemented in a manner that does not make it the primary option to use at all times I am looking for ways it can be abused, so that it can be adjusted and more fair.
 
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Corbon Loughnan
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foxreinard wrote:
In essence, punishing them for having better dice.


No, in essence, just not rewarding them for having different dice.

Quote:
- Rolling 5 power dice without taking the Hero's Magic trait into account, permitting upgrades with Fatigue (Giving everyone who uses them equal footing where power dice are concerned, with Mages getting a better effect)

I had imagined that any effect which destroys/discards potions can also destroy/discard scrolls.


I simply don't see any point in giving the extra 5 power dice. Its overkill already.

Don't forget that the mere existance of these things is an upgrade for the heroes, giving them options that they didn't have before. Even if they are not, on average, as strong as a normal attack (and on a mage they will be).

Even more so if they ar purchased by choice, not random. You just have a smal stock with the mage. A breath scroll, to make the Ol spread his monsters out. A scroll of Crystalise for the tough monsters, a scroll of mana weave for that critical or feared attack, etc etc.

They need to be random and low powered if they are a free boost

 
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Fox Reinard
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With feedback in mind, these would be the changes to the initial post:
- Remove the option to purchase from the Alchemist (Retain ability to sell for 50 coins per campaign level at the Alchemist)
- Remove the free Power Dice entirely
- Remove Healing runes

I would be interested to hear what you think of the idea, Corbon. Both you and Deadsider seem to have quite a lot of experience with the game.
 
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Corbon Loughnan
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foxreinard wrote:
With feedback in mind, these would be the changes to the initial post:
- Remove the option to purchase from the Alchemist (Retain ability to sell for 50 coins per campaign level at the Alchemist)
- Remove the free Power Dice entirely
- Remove Healing runes

I would be interested to hear what you think of the idea, Corbon. Both you and Deadsider seem to have quite a lot of experience with the game.


Well, with the above in mind, its a cute idea as ideas go, but there is no balance. The heroes are getting a free boost. More options, no cost, no downside - and some of those options (not many, but some) are quite powerful just by being in existance, without even being used. What is the OL getting to keep balance?
If you aren't provinding the OL an equivalent boost, then there needs to be a cost to the heroes in using them. At the moment, the cost is negligible, and they are getting some at least for free.

By removing the free power dice boost, you've removed the ulk of the 'overpowered' problems. What remains is largely a question of 'available options' and the hidden effects - typified by the OL cadapting his monster movements to thethreat of a breath of blast attack. You don't even need to use the rune to get a quite beneficial, if not immediately obvious ("you didn't use it so how can it have had an effect?" an inexperienced player might ask), effect in this sort of case.

Of course, unless you are playing at a very tightly competitive level, these minor balances may be of no concern. There are other things that have much much more effect, including small variables of player skill. But you asked what I thoughht, so ... :)
 
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Fox Reinard
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foxreinard wrote:
As for "what does the overlord get?", I am actually addressing that in a different variant rule, basically outlined as "Heroes and the Overlord are balanced; for every variant that favors the heroes, a variant is put into place to favor the overlord", with details added to address questions such as 'What if one variant benefits one side much more than the variant that benefits the other side?'


This is the answer to balance I'm not implementing the Scrolls idea into every game immediately. I'm merely presenting it as an idea and seeing how to best make it work.
 
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Corbon Loughnan
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foxreinard wrote:
foxreinard wrote:
As for "what does the overlord get?", I am actually addressing that in a different variant rule, basically outlined as "Heroes and the Overlord are balanced; for every variant that favors the heroes, a variant is put into place to favor the overlord", with details added to address questions such as 'What if one variant benefits one side much more than the variant that benefits the other side?'


This is the answer to balance :) I'm not implementing the Scrolls idea into every game immediately. I'm merely presenting it as an idea and seeing how to best make it work.


Sorry, missed that entirely. Things are tight time-wise and distracted for me right now.
 
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Retired Hurt

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Basically, you're paying 40% of the price of some item to get the right to use it once. I don't think this is overpowered - in games where such an option exists the price is usually 1/3. Just don't give extra dice.

I think that scrolls should be drawn, not picked.

Of course, it's right that the threat of some scrolls (like Word of Vaal) will have an impact on the game.
 
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Fox Reinard
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Another adjustment comes to mind.

As mentioned in the initial post, I created this with Road to Legend in mind. Road to Legend has a balancing factor inherent to it that makes adding variants easy!

Heroes can pay Conquest and/or Coins
Overlord can pay Conquest

So, no need to balance with "What does the Overlord get" in this case, if a cost to obtain permission to do so is implemented.

So, randomly drawn scrolls only, sellable at the Alchemist:
750 coins Party upgrade?
5 conquest Tamalir upgrade?
 
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Curtis Sutherland
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I like the idea of getting them after the final level of a dungeon. Like the map pieces in SOB, this gives an incentive(even if small) to finish a dungeon as oppose to blitzing.

Maybe they could get some from chests too, in place of a potion.
 
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Retired Hurt

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What about : when the heroes don't find any magical item in a chest, they may forfeit their 1 CT gain to draw a scroll of the appropriate level ?

The idea of being allowed to exchange one potion from any 3rd level chest (if any is obtained) for a scroll isn't bad either. It would indeed resemble map pieces as an incentive, which sounds right.
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