From the introduction:
Rather than being a single ‘block’ variant, this is a compilation of modular, multi-tiered variant rules. The majority of these are original; others have been borrowed but significantly altered or expanded. The modules have various objectives in mind: some address Descent exploits, many address balance, some immersion; others, predictability; complexity; play time; and so on. DA modules assume that you are playing according to the latest official Fantasy Flight FAQ, and should be taken to overrule it wherever implied.
I decided on a modular format for DA because currently nearly all of the variants for Descent that are worth employing require a total game conversion. Many people will be understandably unwilling to go to such lengths. Modularity means DA can be applied as desired, in concert with Enduring Evil and other such sweeping revisions.
Where I have knowingly borrowed significant amounts of content from other variants, I have cited those variants as follows. If you are the creator of one of these variants, and I have misused your content, please let me know immediately.
Enduring Evil: [EE]
Fast Tactics: [FT]
German variant rules: [DE]
Most of the variant rules introduced in DA have optional facets (indicated by Roman numerals) that increase or decrease the complexity and scope of the rule as your group desires. I’ve attempted to quantify the advantage given to the Overlord or the Heroes (as compared to playing with vanilla rules).
These values are approximations generally based on subjective tests and playtesting, and should not be considered authoritative. If your group needs to weigh down the Heroes a bit, use modules that have a net “advantage: Overlord” effect to bolster the Overlord’s chances; vice-versa if the Overlord wins too often. In theory, modules of equal and opposite ranks should roughly balance each other out.
DA makes use of (but doesn’t require) the “Well of Darkness,” “Altar of Despair,” and “Tomb of Ice” expansions. DA does not make use of Road to Legend or any of the campaign rules.
For additional details and explanations for each module, please read the Descent Augmented FAQ.