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A more cooperative Descent?


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#1 Nabikasu

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 11:31 PM

I've ran Descent several times, and had to change groups as many times. The change always comes when a specific thing happens: the heroes lose a quest. For some reason, even if I caution them at the start that the Overlord can and does win sometimes, they always get frustrated when they lose a quest and stop playing.

 

Now, I admit myself I'd prefer a role similar to a GM in a tabletop game.  The winners aren't one side or another, it's everyone for having fun, that sort of thing.  I toyed with the idea of just giving everyone, win or lose, all of the rewards listed for their respective victory conditions and then just playing less aggressive in general, with Heroes receiving all Relics they go for, but I wonder about the balance, then.

 

What say you guys? Something other than 'get a new group', hopefully. :)

 

(I'm aware of the Forgotten Souls co-op and have played it at my FLGS, but I'm hoping for something akin to this for for the campaign.)



#2 Chav

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 12:30 AM

I think its more the mentallity of the group that needs to be changed. We are are group that plays the game regulary, and we also play RPG together, at least some of us, and when we play board games we play to win. But with descent, well, we play to win, but in the end, nobody really cares who wins or looses, as long as we have had fun. Of couse its never fun to loose everything, niether for the players nor the OL. If your players is only interested in winning and leaves when they looses, its really an issue with their understanding of a games. 

 

Giving everybody the win effect dosent seem to make it up, as they have still lost the quest. But if it works, then go for it. It will proberly make it harder for you as the OL, but isnt that worth if you get to play? I carnt answer that, only you can. If it makes it to hard for you, say that every time you down a character, draw an ekstra overlord card, gain an ekstra threath token everytime you get one or something like that.

 

To me, this makes no sense, as the only thing that happens is the power level increases. It seems you have to make the players win every time, but that just not fun for you (i guess?), so that would proberly kill the game in the end as well, if it is, then it not really balance you need to get the whole stuff working :D

 

But as i said, i think its the mentallity of why the players that play this game play it. 

 

Well, that just my 2 cents



#3 Nabikasu

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 12:44 AM

I think the mentality is less 'aww man, we lost' and a sense of frustration over putting in the effort, and getting nothing for it. As a tabletop RPG GM, you kind of know your encounter of orcs is going to die. Same thing with the Overlord--monsters end up being more speed bumps than they do serious threats. So we're used to it and don't really mind.  With a person who primarily plays instead of GMs, however, they become attached to their heroes, and see the loss as a personal failing on their part.

 

Mind you, I don't know that's actually what's going on, but it seems like it'd be a fair assumption.

 

In the suggested fix for this, the 'play less aggressively' idea would mean that the heroes would pretty much always win. However, I assumed that with the usual rules of win/lose, Overlords would end up really ineffective because they'd get way less XP and no Relics. Mind, this is only my experience because we've never gotten out of Act I. I always manage to beat my groups at least once.

 

Adjusting their mentality probably isn't going to work, though it'd certainly be nice...



#4 Indalecio

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 12:54 AM

This man (Chav) summed it up very well. At the end of the day, players need to accept that they're going to lose a certain % of the quests they're going to play. Look, this game is built around this very concept, and still you get your XP even if you lose plus another shopping round, You lost the last quest? Too bad, now buy this Whirlwind and this Halberd and go slice some Goblins in the next quest. Look at me in the eyes when you say it isn't something to look forward doing. You get my point.

 

You still get to develop your character, and I would push this even further and say that the only quest that truly "matters" is the Finale. But hey, lose the Finale, so what? Look at the past 30 hours of gaming and tell me you didn't have any fun at all. If your playgroup has severe objections to this then this game might not be suited to them. I don't know what kind of games they would enjoy playing though. 

 

I hope for you they will come to the realization that this game is about something else. It is a fierce battle, yet you can still get tons of fun out of it and being able to put up a decent challenge every quest you play regardless who won the previous ones.

 

I would NOT recommend that you dumb down your strategy/choices as the OL to let them win more quests. The only thing you could do imho is making them play rumor quests if you want to give them a little push.

 

Good luck


Edited by Indalecio, 11 April 2014 - 01:32 AM.

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#5 Robin

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 12:56 AM

Why not have one different previous hero player switch roles with the OL ?

If the group can integrate the idea of living the unscrolling of an adventure, it could work.

 

But, perhaps, rather than change your group, you could find another game, which fits its expectations better.


An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.
G. K. Chesterton

#6 Chav

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 05:56 AM

I think the mentality is less 'aww man, we lost' and a sense of frustration over putting in the effort, and getting nothing for it.

 

Well, if thats the mentallyty i carnt see this game being for them tbh, i mean if they dont see they get tons of stuff out of loosing. Usually (for us) a loss still gives around 100 gold and 1 XP, meaning we will be back better and meaner in the next quest. Maybe thats how you have to sell it to them, "look you just got the Great war axe of DOOM now you deal more damage, you can use that skill to heal yourself and you over there, you can now do XXX with that gear. Maybe you can sell the game that way


Edited by Chav, 11 April 2014 - 05:56 AM.


#7 BentoSan

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 12:20 PM

Tell them to watch this video here:

 

http://youtu.be/Bn6hZ7i34u4?t=12m3s



#8 Steve-O

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 05:51 PM

I toyed with the idea of just giving everyone, win or lose, all of the rewards listed for their respective victory conditions and then just playing less aggressive in general, with Heroes receiving all Relics they go for, but I wonder about the balance, then.


If you're just going to throw the game and let the heroes win every quest, then "balance" isn't really an issue. I mean, you can do it if you want to, but I wouldn't worry too much about how the game plays in that event.

You say you've switched groups several times already - I'm surprised there are that many people in your area who can't grasp the idea that the heroes won't always win, to the point where they're not prepared to play again after it happens.

I would second the idea of offering other people the chance to play as OL, though. If everyone gets familiar with how the Overlord plays, maybe it will give them a better appreciation of the fact that it's not the end of the world when he does win.


Edited by Steve-O, 12 April 2014 - 07:17 AM.


#9 Whitewing

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 06:09 PM

If you can't find a group to play with that understands that heroes win sometimes and lose sometimes, then Descent probably isn't the game to be playing. It is designed to be competitive.

 

You win some, lose some. If losing discourages you, you shouldn't be playing games where you can lose. That's pretty much all there is to it.

 

Definitely take turns as overlord though, the people I play with stopped whining about the overlord being overpowered once they took over and got their asses kicked by the heroes.



#10 Robin

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 12:18 AM

Remove the monsters and OL cards.
Your players should be extremely happy about the "challenge".
And serve them some antidepressants.
It should help them face this hard life.

Edited by Robin, 13 April 2014 - 12:20 AM.

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An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.
G. K. Chesterton

#11 Himmelweiss

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 12:59 PM

Descent 1st Edition's Campaign System was so much better...

 

The Road to Legend ftw., i miss it.

 

 

I hate the 2nd edition, it's boring and feels like a quickie dumbed down super casual skirmish game :/

Even calling the 2nd edition's campaign system an campaign is just wrong.

 

I could rant about the 2nd edition endless. But i won't as it wouldn't change anything anyways.



#12 Steve-O

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 06:34 PM

Remove the monsters and OL cards.
Your players should be extremely happy about the "challenge".
And serve them some antidepressants.
It should help them face this hard life.


For someone who has historically been easily miffed by "pill jokes," you sure aren't shy about dishing them out. :P

#13 mjfilla

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 08:30 AM

The Road to Legend ftw., i miss it.

 

I'm pretty sure your copy of Road to Legend didn't spontaneously disappear when Decent 2E was published.



#14 BentoSan

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 12:56 AM

 

The Road to Legend ftw., i miss it.

 

I'm pretty sure your copy of Road to Legend didn't spontaneously disappear when Decent 2E was published.

 

 

Didnt you know? this happens to all members of the cult of the new !



#15 Robin

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 12:18 AM

Remove the monsters and OL cards.Your players should be extremely happy about the "challenge".And serve them some antidepressants.It should help them face this hard life.

For someone who has historically been easily miffed by "pill jokes," you sure aren't shy about dishing them out. :P
Am I meant to be coherent now? ;-)
An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.
G. K. Chesterton




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