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

Subject: Changes to Traps rss

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Eric Davies
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With the group I've played with, they have expressed quite a bit of disappointment with how traps are implemented in this game. Namely, that traps generally are something in a fixed location and not something that is targeted after the fact to the most clumsy of adventurers.

We've tried to think if maybe there could be a house rule that could end up. helping traps be more thematic (instead of being something that you play when the clumsy hero enters a square in order to continue performing an action you didn't want them to perform.

Here is the idea:

--At the beginning of the hero round, before they select turn order, for each trap the overlord has in hand he determines a square (or door/search token) which will trigger the trap. The overlord does this by writing it down or on an honor system. When any hero enters that square, the trap is sprung.

This will make the overlord have to anticipate hero movements, but will allow the adventurers the opportunity to send scouts ahead with higher awareness to clear traps.

What do you think? Has anyone else created any house rules to make traps more thematic? Has anyone else experienced frustration with this?

--please note I do not necessarily think this is something that needs to change. The original implementation is fine but we wanted something different and I was wondering if anyone else had done this or thought of any better ideas. We haven't play tested this yet but we will next get together.
 
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While flavorful (which is always good), ultimately what it means is that I'm never going to buy a trap card and every chance I get to upgrade is another trap card removed from the deck.
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Matt Albritton
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ignorantpenguin wrote:
While flavorful (which is always good), ultimately what it means is that I'm never going to buy a trap card and every chance I get to upgrade is another trap card removed from the deck.


Yep.

The only way I would even consider playing this way is if the traps were (-2) to pass. Meaning that a 5 awareness hero would have to roll 3 or less to pass a tripwire test.

Also, the overlord would have to have the ability to change the trap trigger space on his turn if every hero was beyond it.
 
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Kelly Overholser
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ericbdavies wrote:

--At the beginning of the hero round, before they select turn order, for each trap the overlord has in hand he determines a square (or door/search token) which will trigger the trap. The overlord does this by writing it down or on an honor system. When any hero enters that square, the trap is sprung.


First off, just to be clear (since your wording suggests otherwise), the heroes don't have to decide turn order to start. They decide who goes next after each individual hero turn, and can change that order as the round goes on, with the restriction that once a hero finishes a turn, he's done completely. Unless you're Grey Ker.

Back to the original idea, if traps were still something in the overlord's hand and work as they are now except that the overlord has to predict hero movements ahead of time, they would be exceptionally weak. I could see a variant where traps are never in the overlord's hand or deck, and instead set on the map in advance before the quest starts (in secret on a notepad, so the heroes have no idea where they are even after playing the same quest multiple times), but I would also drop all the traps out of the deck if they worked as printed with this change.
 
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Chris J Davis
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As others have said, the idea is a pretty bad one. Having the OL having to decide the location of traps in advance would require too much bookkeeping and would weaken their use. The way traps are implemented in D2E is a good compromise between some kind of realism and still allowing the OL some tactical play as to where and when he springs them.
 
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Eric Davies
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Quote:

First off, just to be clear (since your wording suggests otherwise), the heroes don't have to decide turn order to start. They decide who goes next after each individual hero turn, and can change that order as the round goes on, with the restriction that once a hero finishes a turn, he's done completely.


Good point. I was actually just trying to say, "before the first hero takes his turn." And you would change every position every turn.

Quote:

Back to the original idea, if traps were still something in the overlord's hand and work as they are now except that the overlord has to predict hero movements ahead of time, they would be exceptionally weak.


Could it be argued that tripwire (the trap that caused much frustration) could be considered too powerful? I haven't played enough to see, but it has made the difference in a couple quests.

Quote:

I could see a variant where traps are never in the overlord's hand or deck, and instead set on the map in advance before the quest starts (in secret on a notepad, so the heroes have no idea where they are even after playing the same quest multiple times), but I would also drop all the traps out of the deck if they worked as printed with this change.


Yeah that's probably the only way to get the thematic feel they were seeking.

Quote:
As others have said, the idea is a pretty bad one.


Yeah I agree. If it shipped like this it would be atrocious. Mostly I was just wondering if anyone else has any good ideas or if anyone has experienced the same frustration.

In the end, if the overlord card had described a spell or event that stopped a hero in their traps there would have been no complaint. But the fact that this is how traps are played does feel a little wonky. Also, trying to play when a hero enters a space is difficult and we usually end up just rewinding to where the overlord wanted to play the card when a hero does their movement. This makes the hero feel like he only decided that because they revealed where they were going. However, moving one space at a time and then seeing if the overlord wants to play a card doesn't seem right either.
 
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Kelly Overholser
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ericbdavies wrote:
In the end, if the overlord card had described a spell or event that stopped a hero in their traps there would have been no complaint. But the fact that this is how traps are played does feel a little wonky. Also, trying to play when a hero enters a space is difficult and we usually end up just rewinding to where the overlord wanted to play the card when a hero does their movement. This makes the hero feel like he only decided that because they revealed where they were going. However, moving one space at a time and then seeing if the overlord wants to play a card doesn't seem right either.


The heroes don't need to map out every individual space they go through, but they should make sure the overlord can respond to each action. I find it perfectly fair to tell the hero to map out their movement when they do move if I'm going to play a trap. (If they try to game it and start rethinking their moves after I tell them to map out movement, I can just start acting like I have a trap even if I don't, to keep them off balance.)

But if the hero is going slow enough to give the overlord time to play something, then once he does something after the move action is over, the overlord has lost his chance to play the trap
 
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R N
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I would try something like:
Traps can only be played on a hero who enters a previously unexplored tile and only on the turn they enter the tile.

That way you don't have to keep track of exactly which square has a given trap, but you do get the thematic feeling that the trap isn't springing up after the heroes have already explored an area.

In any case, the traps are balanced around the OL using them on a hero with weak saves. Whatever scheme you use to limit the OL's ability to play them on such a hero will weaken traps as a whole. Consequently, you may want to give traps a little boost to make up for your houserule. For instance, you could allow the OL to draw a card if a trap is not successful.
 
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Raphael Pigulla
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Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) » Forums » Variants
Re: Changes to Traps
Sethala wrote:
The heroes don't need to map out every individual space they go through

Actually, they do. This matters greatly for Web Trap which hits everyone adjacent to the target hero, if I remember correctly.
 
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