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Descent: Journeys in the Dark» Forums » Variants

Subject: Descent + Warhammer Quest = Descent Quest rss

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Mark Thomas
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I've been quietly working on a mod for Descent that makes it play much like Warhammer Quest. I call it Descent Quest, of course. The primary changes this brings are the removal of the Overlord, which allows for true co-op play or even solo play. The goal is to have a game that is balanced for any reasonable number of heroes, and is easily expandable.

Okay, version 1.0 is here. Still 136 cards, but a couple of them are different, and there are now sheets of card backs. The card art was done by Jack Reda. Thanks Jack!
Descent Quest Rules

Descent Quest Gold Rules

You can also get it from the files section now, but in two parts:
part 1- http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/45121
part 2- http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/47108

Enjoy, and there is more coming!

UPDATE:
Professionally printed decks for Descent Quest can be purchased from artscow. These decks are by The Warp and contain a few cards not found in the PDF. I really should get them myself...

Dungeon Areas and Objectives Deck

http://www.artscow.com/share/5z09rndhkfdm

Door Deck

http://www.artscow.com/share/xktht11k6ell

Event Deck

http://www.artscow.com/share/5641ubl2huwo

Monster Spawn Deck

http://www.artscow.com/share/sdux34g2ap0o

Link to Descent Quest Gold thread: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/475978/descent-quest-gol...
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Pelein de Cratia
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Awesome work, I want more!!! surprise
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Joel Glidden
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UPDATE 2009-07-06:
The current version of the VASSAL Module I created for the DQ cards is available here:
http://www.thegelatinouscube.com/descent/Descent_Quest_Cards...


Right on! I will definitely give this a spin. Thanks for all of your hard work thus far. I'm really looking forward to seeing this project mature, and I will be sure to provide feedback on my experience.

I wonder if we couldn't set up some sort of web based / electronic card system for this effort. I don't want to go to the expense or effort of producing a lot of cards that are likely to be superseded by post test revisions.
 
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Thank you, looks promising. There is a similar package in the files section for this game that i looked at that allows no Overlord and solo play but only with one hero, and only includes the Well expansion I believe. I've been wanting to try Descent solo for awhile now so thanks again!
 
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Brian McLeod
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I have wished all along that Descent played a little more like WQ. I think this is a great idea and will give it a try.
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Mark Thomas
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D D- I've played that one. I liked it but it left me wanting more. So here's more...a lot more. Once this is "finalized" I'll also add it to the files section.

Joel- I feel your pain about not wanting to print a bunch of cards. I mention in the instructions that only the dungeon cards and quest guide really needs to be printed in color. B&W works for everything else.
 
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Justin N
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Wow. This is pretty neat. I've thought about doing something similar for a while. Perhaps I'll print some out and give see if I can convince my game group to give it a whirl. Everything looks like it should work, though.
 
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Joey H
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Our group is very interested in giving this a shot.

I did find one typo/omission:

The treasure table: row 1 and 3 show the same dice.. but different rewards.

 
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Joey H
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Here's a few suggestions/clarifications. Sorry if I missed something and ask/say something silly, I usually have to read a rulebook several times before I get it ;)

Monster placement:
Instead of including the clause about always placing melee first, I would just reorder the spawn cards; Listing the monsters in the order they should be spawned (melee, then ranged). Also how does morph fall into this scheme?

Combat:
How would a guard order work? I'm guessing that the guarding hero could attack any time, except during the combat step (or just the heroes half of the step?)

Monster Attacks:
"... if only one hero is visible, he will be attacked by all the monsters!"; Is this statement evaluated when a monster initially activates, or through out it's actions? For example (using the dungeon/monsters from page 4 of the pdf), if a hero is standing in the corner north of the golem (4 squares above him), a second hero is standing around the corner, 4 squares above, and 1 square right (hidden from view); which hero would get attacked by the golem? the hero around the corner is as close as the corner hero, but at the start of the golem's activation he can only see the corner hero. (I may need to draw this out to get my point across :)

Monster Stats:
Which monster stats should be used (for the monsters' speed, armor, health, abilities, etc..) the corresponding rtl stats? the base game with 5 players?



I suspect some of my questions are due to the fact that I've never played warhammer quest... sorry if that is the case ;)
 
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Stefan Daniels
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This looks fantastic! Sometimes I just don't want to be the Overlord (I'm always the Overlord in my group) as I want to join the party and slay me some monters.

Once you get all the card texts complete you might want to consider getting one of the many talented graphic artists on here to help you do them up proper with backs and everything.

Very well done, sir. My gaming group will definately be giving this a few test runs over the summer and I'll be sure to keep notes as to what works and what potentially needs improving.
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Justin N
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lindelos wrote:
Once you get all the card texts complete you might want to consider getting one of the many talented graphic artists on here to help you do them up proper with backs and everything.


I'm not particularly talented, but I've already decided to give that some effort.
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Mark Thomas
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snacknuts wrote:


Monster placement:
Instead of including the clause about always placing melee first, I would just reorder the spawn cards; Listing the monsters in the order they should be spawned (melee, then ranged). Also how does morph fall into this scheme?

Combat:
How would a guard order work? I'm guessing that the guarding hero could attack any time, except during the combat step (or just the heroes half of the step?)

Monster Attacks:
"... if only one hero is visible, he will be attacked by all the monsters!"; Is this statement evaluated when a monster initially activates, or through out it's actions? For example (using the dungeon/monsters from page 4 of the pdf), if a hero is standing in the corner north of the golem (4 squares above him), a second hero is standing around the corner, 4 squares above, and 1 square right (hidden from view); which hero would get attacked by the golem? the hero around the corner is as close as the corner hero, but at the start of the golem's activation he can only see the corner hero. (I may need to draw this out to get my point across

Monster Stats:
Which monster stats should be used (for the monsters' speed, armor, health, abilities, etc..) the corresponding rtl stats? the base game with 5 players?



Thanks for all the great responses, everyone! And thanks for finding the errors in my documentation. You touched on some things I intended to get in there and just forgot. I will get these points in the documentation when I update it.

The treasure dice... good catch. I just messed that up.

Regarding the monster placement- I should go back and re-order all the monsters so that melee is always first. I was going to do it, but realized that I needed the rule in there anyway, since I am hoping that this gets popular enough that other people want to make their own cards, and I couldn't guarantee how they would do things.

A guard order would be usable at any time during the monsters' activation time.

For your example about who monsters would attack, I suppose my intent was that a monster would move in the direction of the heroes, and once he got LoS on a hero, he would target that hero. If multiple heroes come into LoS, then you try to even things out. I need to clarify that stuff with more documentation / examples. It's tough trying to get monsters to behave when no one is "running" them.

Stats- it was my intent to use the cards that list the number of heroes plus 1, so if you only have one hero, use the 2 set, 2 heroes use the 3, etc. Standard game cards.

If anyone wants to do some graphic work, that would be fantastic. I can supply the photoshop files I am using. I also intend to publish the blank card files so that other people can produce cards easily.
 
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Joey H
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Just finished a two hero venture into descent quest. First impressions: Loved it. There were a few question that came up though:

"Current area":
A few environment cards cause things to happen in the current area. Does that mean the last area revealed? Specifcally: A new area was drawn, built, and populated with monsters; all ranged/magic monsters. The party stood their ground, blasting the new bad guys. The bad guys then moved closer to the heroes, firing at them, then stepping back a bit. This exchange repeated itself a few turns, eventually resulting in all the figures standing in the original room. An event was then rolled (muddy feet was drawn) causing the "current area's" center to fill with mud. meaning the empty room had mud. I guess it was a lucky break?

Guarding:
More generally, how the heroes move when no monsters are present. I found myself moving my heroes to the edge of an area, guarding, then revealing the next room. I would then attack whatever I could asap, even if ambushed. Which I feel this is legal, It did leave a guilty aftertaste ;) Is this how moving around without monsters is intended?
As an aside a situation developed where all the heroes were in town when the monsters were to activate. since they see no heroes, what should they do? I just had them stand their ground since I wasn't sure.

Rewards:
When the dice are rolled to check which reward is given for defeating all the monsters on a card, does each hero roll seperatly getting their own reward (or trap!), or does the party roll, and each hero gets their copy (each hero gets 100gp for example)?


Suggestions:
Treasure rolls- Something similar to the RtL method: blank = treasure, surge=potion, enhancement=$$. Although this request is mainly due to laziness ;)

I'm sure I'll have more feedback tomorrow, after my regular descent gives it a shot.

Thanks for the hard work :)
~J
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Mark Thomas
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I did intend current area to mean the dungeon card that was last played. Even though this can sometimes mean that one or more heroes will avoid a nasty trap, in most cases (including the mud card) you'll eventually have to deal with it anyway.

After all monsters have been killed, it's still advantageous to keep moving (although I usually do take a rest turn). Each turn you still have to roll a power die to see if you get an event, and with a 33% chance, you'll see a few come up. Most are unpleasant. It had to be that way to make up for the lack of an Overlord. Anyway, the more you move, the less chances of having monsters spawn on you via event cards.

The rules talk about what happens when all heroes are in town. If there are less than 3, you can basically laze about town, not drawing event cards. The monsters just stand still. If you have 3 or more heroes, you still draw event cards, so the dungeon will eventually fill up if you don't get back there. I did this to make things a bit easier for 1 or 2 heroes.

There is only one treasure roll for the whole party. I wanted to provide a decent variety of outcomes so I used all 5 power dice. Treasures start showing up if you get 2 blanks, which gives you about a 20% chance if I recall. When revealing a new area you have just over a 25% chance to get a glyph (rolling two duplicates). I once did a run-through with one hero where I didn't get a single glyph or treasure until the last room! That was tough. While treasures themselves are hard to come by, money isn't, so you can usually just buy them.

I'm glad you like what's there so far.
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Joel Glidden
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jmglidden wrote:
I wonder if we couldn't set up some sort of web based / electronic card system for this effort. I don't want to go to the expense or effort of producing a lot of cards that are likely to be superseded by post test revisions.


Mark, I went ahead and took the bull by the horns on this issue. I've started a VASSAL module to handle the cards (and perhaps treasure rolls). I don't know if you use VASSAL at all, but I think it'll be a big help for managing cards while testing something like this. It'll save a lot of printing and cutting while you test and tune the rules and cards.

I only had time tonight to do the Dungeon Cards and the Event Cards. I also threw in the Treasure Chart under the Help Menu. I'll try and get the rest of the cards added in tomorrow night (it would save me a lot of time if someone could provide individual card images for the Spawn Cards and Objective Area Cards in 240 x 380 pixel GIFs).

After I get all the cards in the module, I'll see about automating the treasure rolls.

I've sent the module in its present state to your email. Feel free to play with it and / or host it for the greater BGG community. You never know, someone may decide to pick up the ball and finish the module before I can get back to it after work tomorrow.

Ref:
www.vassalengine.org
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Peter Folke
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Great work.

Haven't tried yet, but isn't it a bit tough to have Demons and giants as wandering monsters even when heroes haven't yet found any treasure?
 
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Mark Thomas
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Joel, I've never used vassal but have downloaded it and will take a look. Thanks for your effort!

Peter- Yes, I realize that some of the event cards can be very challenging. Maybe testing will show that I went too far, but there are two reasons for this-

1. I wanted there to be some apprehension when having to turn over that event card / making the event card roll.

2. In our testing, we often steamroll the monsters. It became apparent that the reason Descent is tough is because of the Overlord himself. With him gone, everything else needs to pick up the slack.
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Mark Thomas
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I've updated the link to the rules. I have implemented some clarifications based on this thread, and re-ordered the monsters on the spawn cards so that melee creatures are always listed first.

I also added a quick reference for the sequence of play.

The most significant rule change is that if you are ambushed, any guard orders are removed. This eliminates the tactic of always guarding when exploring. While such a tactic is fairly normal during regular Descent, using it here pretty much negates even checking for an ambush.
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Joel Glidden
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UPDATE 2009-07-06:
The current version of the VASSAL Module I created for the DQ cards is available here:
http://www.thegelatinouscube.com/descent/Descent_Quest_Cards...



I'm pretty happy with the VASSAL module right now (my first ever effort at creating anything in VASSAL). It has all the cards and everything seems to work. I even included a tutorial that explains how to set up the Dungeon Deck (tutorial available at start of game or via the Help menu).

I decided not to automate the treasure rolls. I think it's fun to roll the bones for real.

I have no good way to host the module for any interested BGG people to download, but I have emailed it to Mark. It's as finished as it's going to be, and I'll try to keep it in sync with any updates as Mark posts them. If anyone else wants the module, just let me know and I'll email it to you.

Here are some screen shots:


 
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Mark Thomas
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Here's the vassal module. http://www.thegelatinouscube.com/descent/Descent_Quest_Cards...

Thanks!
 
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Joey H
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We gave descent quest (v 0.83) with 4/5 of our normal play group (4 heroes).
The Heroes drawn were:
One-fist: Skilled, Acrobat, and Battle Cry
Trenloe: Tough, Enduring, and Ox Tattoo
Sahla: Vampiric Blood, Sharr, Fire Pact.
Vyrah: Lucky, Ranger, Burglar.

We managed to get a good hero draw.
A few skills could be considered useless in DQ. Burglar being the most ovious, we only had 1 chest appear (in the objective area).
Item wise we were forced to chose a few sub-optimal items; We are currently in a RtL campaign, the items used by the heroes in that game were not in the DQ venture. There was no chainmail, axes, etc.. We also did not include feats, as recording that from the campaign would have been tedious (recording the discard piles, decks ,and carried feats)
Our objective was “Crypt of the undeath”. We randomly draw it, and didn't look at which was chosen until we drew it during the crawl.

The game itself was fun, taking about 4 hours or so (we're not known for our speed in Descent). The objective area ended up being the eighth card drawn, making the chest within gold level. We completed the quest with 14 conquest (starting 5 + (9) 3 glyphs flipped). No hero died, with the closest dropping to 6HP (one-fist). This seems to imply the game is too easy, but there were a few caveots.
Understanding how the monsters would act allowed us to position the melee (tougher) heroes in front of the weaker. Also trenloe's slow speed, allowed him to unintentionally guard the groups flanks when monsters would appear behind. We also would place glyphs (when they appeared), and obsticales (Underground Spring event card, for example) in beneficial (to the heroes) places. We did get a few nasty wandering monsters (master demon), but they really only caused the party to lose a few invulnerability potions. We got zero treasures from monster card population control, but managed to buy several in the shop.
We had a few monster activations we weren't sure about. Usually interactions with the 1-1 rule, LoS and ranged creatures. For example, a skeleton that could shoot hero A or B and a second skeleton that could shoot B or C, deciding which ones would get attacked ended up being decided by a die roll. We also noticed the hit-and run tactics weakens swarm (kobolds). Unless they happened to be 3 squares away, they would attack then step back, not helping their kobold brothers in a swarm. It might be worth while to mention that swarm monsters don't step back, and may violate the 1-1 rule if it will allow for a bigger swarm.
We also were sure if a monster card should be drawn when the objective level is reached; We decided not to. Since there was 6 monsters present already, we figured we had plenty.

Aside from those issues, the game seemed easy for the following reasons:
1)We had ample potions. For a few turns, we seemed to drink one potion a turn, just so we would have room to pick up more.
2)Never dieing meant never losing half our money, so we each bought several treasures throughout the game. No one purchased extra trait dice or skills, we really didn't have the need.
3)Most spawns we draw were often weak monsters, one-fist's three attacks made short work of them. We also had the 'problem' with several spiders spawning behind a group of 5 kobolds. The spiders were stuck, allowing up to take them out at our leisure. Just the interaction of random areas with random monsters.
4)During the boss battle, Trenloe picked up the stone cutter sword (I think that's the name; the stealth rolling one from ToI) doing 20+ damage a swing (aimed with a power potion) made short work of the boss (even with him passing 2 undying rolls.)
5)We were also only ambushed once, We were guarding at the time, and did not remove the guard (I only mention this as it fixed in version .84)
6)We drew healing items (and skills) this allowed up to stay near full health between monster encounters. Perhaps these should be removed like they are in RtL campaigns.


This post is long winded enough, I'll add more when I think of it. :P
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Mark Thomas
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That sounds like a pretty epic dungeon crawl! I've not had a game go that long before. Good point about swarm, it does negate the usefulness to have kobolds retreat. I'll change that.

The treasure issue worked the way I planned, at least in theory. I knew that there was a decent chance that people wouldn't get treasures, so the money offset that. You ended up luckier than I've been in testing, in that you go so many glyphs it was easy to go to town.

Do you feel that potions should be given less frequently on treasure rolls? The only thing they can be replaced with is money, and you could of course just go buy them. I'm not sure.

I did in fact expect you to keep drawing event cards during the final encounter. An overlord would spawn whenever possible, so there is no reason not to draw. I'll clarify that in the future.

As you point out, several things went your way that just as easily could have gone against you. Having the boss skeleton come back twice would have been pretty unpleasant if you had been stuck at the copper stage.

But, as I was afraid, it does sound like 4 heroes makes things pretty easy. Maybe conquest should be reduced as heroes are added. Even that would not have helped in this case.

Ideally I'd like the party to win, but just barely.
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Joey H
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I'm starting to consider modifications that would have made things more difficult for us. I have a few in mind, but I think I'm jumping the gun.

I think our cruise through is mainly due to lucky rolls and draws. I think I'll play a few more games and then start making suggestions.
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Joey H
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I didn't answer any of your questions. Sorry, I'm at work and multitasking :-P

We did get more potions then I think we should have. Giving money instead might help things. This would force the heroes to purchase potions, requiring them to spend more time (event rolls) walking to town. It would also (potentially) divert funds from treasure deck purchases.

I do like the fact that the treasure chart gives specific potions, less popular potions (stealth, health) see more use that way.

We did continue to roll for events during the final battle. What we didn't do was draw a monster spawn when the area was revealed. I didn't state that clearly enough before; My mistake ;)


It's possible that the +1 health adjustment the monster stat cards give for monsters isn't enough to compensate for the additional hero. In the standard game the overlord also gets extra treat every turn, allowing him to throw more obstacles at the heroes.

What about this: Instead of rolling a single dice each round, having an event on a surge. What about rolling a die per hero, and having an event if the result is ______: Maybe if a blank appears, maybe if two surges are rolled among them, etc..
Having a few back to back encounters would have changed things greatly.

Just a thought (and I said I wouldn't do that without more play testing, opps ;)


EDIT: didn't pass this through spell checker this time :-/
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Filip Stenbeck
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Fantastic work! I used to play alot of WQ and I always missed the chance to play cooperative in Descent. I have read the rules and will hopefully playing this on Monday.

But reading the manual I did find something that I think should be handled, in the beginning of the manual you write that DQ is playable with only the base Descent, but when I look at the monster & event cards creature from other expansion frequently are showing up.

This is of course the way you would design it for maximum variety, however I think You should include some sort of a "monster replacement matrix" in which you state how to switch monster if you do not own the required game. You think should always switch to monsters from the base set in so the matrix would work with any kind of different sets. The switch would not nececarly be 1-1 but could be for example 1 Ferox to 2 beastmen.


When we play on Monday we will make up the switch of monsters as we go, based on the Descent "monster stats player aid" found here on the geek, but I still think it would be nice to have the a matrix in the manual.
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