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

Subject: Campaign Tweak rss

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Nathan Scott
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I was talking with a friend today about all D2e and strted talking about the balance issues that I have experienced and others have reported. I have not playtested the campaign to completion and can't comment on balance completely, but my repeated experiences in Act I tell me that the individual quests vary a lot in terms of "balance" (or lack thereof), with some skewed towards the players and others skewed towards the OL.

One major concern that I have for any campaign is the possibility of a death spiral, where the winner gets an advantage which helps them keep winning, and then you end up with a long, painful monopoly effect. I won't go so far as to say D2e has a death spiral, but I definatly won't rule out the possibility either.

To me, a quick, easy fix is to have the LOSER of a quest select the next quest instead of the winner. The quest winner already got permanent rewards (extra exp/gold/relics) that will help them all campaign more so than the loser. By giving the winner more rewards and the ability to select a quest that is already skewed against the losers(possibly greatly so) is a potentially bad combination.

To me, letting the loser select the next quest helps give the campaign a more back-and-forth feel with more of an ebb-and-flow of quests.

I'm curious to hear what people think!
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Darren Nakamura
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I don't think you are the first to come up with this minor tweak, and for the most part, I think the campaign would benefit from it. The one exception I would make is that the winner of First Blood should still be allowed to choose the first Act I quest. Since there are no other rewards for winning that one, having the loser choose would result in some of the more cutthroat players/groups throwing the game, resulting in a stalemate in which the Overlord doesn't want to run his Goblin Archers off the map, and the Heroes don't want to defeat Mauler.
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Chris J Davis
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Dexter345 wrote:
I don't think you are the first to come up with this minor tweak, and for the most part, I think the campaign would benefit from it. The one exception I would make is that the winner of First Blood should still be allowed to choose the first Act I quest. Since there are no other rewards for winning that one, having the loser choose would result in some of the more cutthroat players/groups throwing the game, resulting in a stalemate in which the Overlord doesn't want to run his Goblin Archers off the map, and the Heroes don't want to defeat Mauler.


We've been playing exactly this way (loser's choice, except First Blood) since the beginning of our campaign and I think it works miles better than having the winner choose.
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M ofthet
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We are on our first campaign, and are selecting in a random order, or just straight down the list.

I suppose if you have not played the episode, selection is pretty random anyway.
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Jim Ant
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Your tweak seems like a good one, but honestly I'm not sure it would make much difference overall. Our group has played three campaigns now, and I would say the winners and losers of a given encounter depend on the following:

1. Mood -- if you're well rested and in a good mood for the game, you're more likely to win; if you're cranky and tired you're more likely to lose.

2. Planning -- if the OL is prepared with good monsters and a well thought out plan, he's more likely to win; if the players cooperate and work together, they're more likely to win.

3. Dice -- if one side rolls a lot of blue Xs, they're more likely to lose. If the OL plays Frenzy and rolls 2 blue Xs, he loses. Period.

4. Experience -- if you played the encounter before, you'll probably do a little better the next time.

5. Experience Points -- if you spend your XP on good skills and you actually remember to use those skills during the encounter, you're more likely to win.

6. Gold -- if the heroes are able to gather gold and if they make good draws from the store and if they spend wisely, they're more likely to win.

In our group when we play our next campaign (after the expansion) we'll probably choose the encounters we never played before, to keep it fresh.

There are so many variables in this game that I would not be willing to say any individual encounter is hugely slanted toward one side. You might lose an encounter if it happens early in Act II but win the same encounter if it happens late in Act II.

YMMV seems to be the basic motto for this game. We've had encounters that looked like they were going to be epic and they ended in half an hour. Others have looked cut & dried and turned out to be rather intricate. This game system has legs. Many campaigns will be designed for it. I'm hoping for longer ones, myself.

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jay cutler
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Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) » Forums » Variants
Re: Campaign Tweak
during the choice, what are the missions that they should choose the heroes, and which ones should choose the OL?
 
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