Jump to content



Photo

Descent Automated Overlord: The D6 Variant


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 nerdook

nerdook

    Member

  • Members
  • 10 posts

Posted 25 April 2014 - 06:30 PM

Hey everyone! I'd just like to share a variant I made for those times when nobody wants to play the Overlord, but the Heroes still want to have a challenging experience.Basically, you replace the Overlord with a single D6, aided by some additional rules that I've compiled into a document.

 

Whenever a monster figure is activated, roll a D6 and resolve the monster's actions using the chart below, triggering the first two actions you find from the top:

 

pic1999505.png

 

That way, the Overlord is still able to use Overlord cards, go for Objectives, etc, but without the hassle of finding someone willing to be constantly beaten up by four buffed up Heroes.

 

You can grab the file needed (or read more details on this variant!) from here:

 

https://www.dropbox....ariant v1.1.pdf

 

or from BGG here:

 

http://boardgamegeek...verlord-variant

 

Enjoy!! Feedback welcome... :D


  • Steve-O, SolennelBern, Xinael and 1 other like this

#2 RedJak7

RedJak7

    Member

  • Members
  • 2 posts

Posted 26 April 2014 - 06:18 AM

This is an excellent variant. I've been using it through the Labyrinth of Ruin campaign and it works great.



#3 Steve-O

Steve-O

    Member

  • Members
  • 4,553 posts

Posted 26 April 2014 - 07:15 AM

Good work, Nerdook!

I must say, having been into Descent since the launch of 1E, you've been a revolutionary influence in the area of automating the OL player.  I enjoy your previous variants, and this one looks equally ground-breaking. =)


  • SolennelBern and Xinael like this

#4 Wilko

Wilko

    Member

  • Members
  • 2 posts

Posted 26 April 2014 - 08:07 AM

Thank you greatly for this. As someone who cannot always find an opponent to play in Descent, this is a nice alternative for that solo run-through.



#5 amoshias

amoshias

    Member

  • Members
  • 98 posts

Posted 26 April 2014 - 11:15 AM

Interesting idea, but my first question would be does this present an actual challenge for a skilled player? The game is just about even to start with - the balance tips depending on player/group composition, but I think overall, a skilled player vs. a skilled overlord just about balances out. Here, the player knows the OL's hand, and the OL isn't making moves with any overall strategic objective - I would be pretty gobsmacked if this presented any real challenge. I don't disagree that it's an interesting idea, well executed, though.



#6 Steve-O

Steve-O

    Member

  • Members
  • 4,553 posts

Posted 26 April 2014 - 12:04 PM

Interesting idea, but my first question would be does this present an actual challenge for a skilled player?


I admit I haven't tried it yet (though I intend to.) However, I'm guessing this idea is based on the Forgotten Souls co-op rules, based on the layout. Just generified for all monsters and randomized. From what I read online, it sounds like the Forgotten Souls co-op can provide a serious challenge to players.

To be fair, in FS the tactics are still written specifically for each monster, so although you draw random cards to find out what each monster does every turn, the tactics employed are still tailored to that monster's abilities and strengths. So will the challenge hold up when the tactics are completely generic? Time will tell, I suppose.

#7 nerdook

nerdook

    Member

  • Members
  • 10 posts

Posted 26 April 2014 - 05:58 PM

Interesting idea, but my first question would be does this present an actual challenge for a skilled player? The game is just about even to start with - the balance tips depending on player/group composition, but I think overall, a skilled player vs. a skilled overlord just about balances out. Here, the player knows the OL's hand, and the OL isn't making moves with any overall strategic objective - I would be pretty gobsmacked if this presented any real challenge. I don't disagree that it's an interesting idea, well executed, though.

 

The moves are not completely random: if you check out the file, you'll see that Quest-specific actions are added for the various monsters in different Quests, which enables this variant to be adapted to the different Quest objectives.



#8 gravaillon

gravaillon

    Member

  • Members
  • 3 posts

Posted 29 May 2014 - 02:22 PM

Fantastic work really ! I will certainly test it very soon... But, have you planned to make also the quest specific actions for the labyrinth of ruins campain and for the others mini expansions that are already released ? It will be awesome ! Anyway, thanks for the good work, I think I will translate it in french (if you allowed me to do so) for the french descent community...


  • Albrafeust likes this

#9 nerdook

nerdook

    Member

  • Members
  • 10 posts

Posted 29 May 2014 - 09:47 PM

Sure, go ahead and make a French version! That would be awesome.



#10 gravaillon

gravaillon

    Member

  • Members
  • 3 posts

Posted 30 May 2014 - 02:04 AM

Thanks ! But what about the adaptation of the labyrinth of ruins to this system ? Will you do that or not ?



#11 nerdook

nerdook

    Member

  • Members
  • 10 posts

Posted 30 May 2014 - 07:32 AM

Not at the moment, I'm busy with a game release on Steam/GOG, and will get back to Descent variant stuff afterwards!



#12 gravaillon

gravaillon

    Member

  • Members
  • 3 posts

Posted 30 May 2014 - 07:45 AM

Ok, I understand... but i'm happy to see that you will do that anyway even if it's 6 months later. Now, I have to translate your work in french. Thanks again !



#13 nicks

nicks

    Member

  • Members
  • 13 posts

Posted 06 June 2014 - 01:46 PM

can this varian be played with the campaign included in the box. I have been meaning to get this game but will mostly be playing solo. I'd like to play the campaign solo, will these rules work.

 

 



#14 Groovus

Groovus

    Member

  • Members
  • 27 posts

Posted 19 June 2014 - 02:16 AM

  Hey all, just my 2 cents, but first off,, GREAT JOB on this!! I'm DL'ing it now to try it out. I also just got into Descent. I LOVE it and am playing it solo. Here's the thing about Descent, it lends itself pretty easily to "playing both sides", and still not interfering with rooting for the heroes. Here's my approach, and what I've found that might help out. Now, this might sound a little nuts, but hell, were gamers right? When I started soloing it, and learning the rules, I plopped my D&D Balor figure (google that mini and it looks like a wicked a$$ overlord BTW) next to the overlord deck! :) On the overlords turn, I pick up the overlord cards, and figure, if this Balor figure was a overlord, what would be a few HIGHLY logical moves he would do, to waste these heroes. I find maybe 2 or 3 REALLY great moves on the overlords turn, then assign them to a D6 and roll. For instance, on a roll of 1-3 these goblin archers are going to stack up, and commence a full assault on 1 hero, 4-6 these goblin archers are going to go for a quest related object. So in a way, it's an  A.I. on the fly for the quest I'm trying to beat, or situations that arise. So you really don't "know" what the overlord will do in a sense. For overlord cards such as "tripwire" and others of the such, where they have to be played when a hero moves, I play with this rule: Everytime a hero moves as 1 of his actions (without using exertion) I roll a D6 on each of his steps. . On a 1-4, the overlord doesn't cast tripwire. 5-6 the overlord, Balor :) casts it. Certain other cards like tripwire are held until there needed, or when a overlord would play them.

 

     Quick example of what I played tonight and how perfectly it worked. I ran the Fat Goblin quest part 2. Late in the game, I had 3 heroes, and the overlord (Balor) had Splig and 4 goblin archers left behind a closed door. On the overlords turn I thought of 2 scenarios that a overlord would do. A) Send the goblin archers through the door to attack the heroes. or B) Stack up in the hallway a few spaces back from the door and wait for the heroes to open it. (The heroes HAD to kill Splig for this quest so I had to get through that door). So on the overlords turn the "dark charm" card was drawn. That card lets you take control of a hero and move or attack with it). So I thought, what would the evil Balor do? And so dark charm was casted on Widow Tarha, she was moved right in front of the door, one of the goblins then opened it, and...it wasn't very pretty. 3 goblins unloaded and knocked her out, and the last one wound another hero for 3 wounds.

 

   So bottom line, for me Descent isn't like playing chess solo. It's pretty solo friendly. If you think of a few well thought out moves a overlord (Balor) would do, let a D6 decide it, so there's that element of surprise and turn of events, it's a ton of fun. I REALLY have been loving descent, and have expansions on the way already. So if you jump in, make sure you grab a D&D Balor for your personal overlord.  Have a good one :)


  • rfisha likes this

#15 Groovus

Groovus

    Member

  • Members
  • 27 posts

Posted 26 June 2014 - 09:48 PM

   Hey all, I hope everyone is doing great. I wanted to share with you my Descent solo variant that I  uploaded on YouTube. The intro is here >>>

   I'm playing encounter 2 of "A Fat Goblin" quest, but wow, what a turn of events this game has had. I think anyone with a interest of Descent and wants to pick it up to run it solo should most def watch how this game unfolded. I think it will hold your attention. (I hope!)

 

       I notice there were alot of people like me, that wanted to take the plunge and get Descent, and this easy variant/mod let's you play Descent with everything the overlord would use. I'm still perfecting a few things as I learn more about the game, but this game session came out honestly pretty good using this method. When the videos are done I'll put them in a playlist.

 

     As boardgamers, we like the "element of surprise" in our games.  So what this mod/variant accomplishes (to me) is just that. Every time you play a scenario, and come up with a few different strategies, and the way the overlords "brains"(dice) will choose to run it, it's something different every time you play. I think with all of the twists and turns from running Descent in this manner, the more fun it becomes. Bottom line: The more you can get out of your head what the overlord will do, it provides a more fun and challenging time for playing the heroes.

 

    What this mod/variant is in a sense is a dynamic A.I. (in a way) that you create on the fly, from what is happening in the game you are playing. Here are but a few quick examples to consider on the overlords turn or things that could come up. This mod/variant can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it. It tests & inspires your creativity to come up with possible outcomes and ways the "A.I." overlord would choose to handle things:
 
    Example 1: A goblin archer has 2 heroes in range. Hero 1 has pretty low health. Hero 2 has just a few hits. Grab a D10. (or what die YOU choose to pick)
Hero 1 is assigned 1-7,
Hero 2 is assigned 8-10.
Roll for who the goblin archer will attack.
 
    Example 2: A monster has rolled 4 damage and a surge. On the monsters card, it says you can spend 1 surge to poison the hero, or spend 1 surge to add +1 damage to what you rolled. Get a D6. (or what die YOU choose to pick)
1-3 poison,
4-6 +1 damage.
Or change the numbers a bit.

   Example 3: A group of 3 zombies are 3 spaces away from 2 heroes. Behind the monsters there are 2 master monsters 6 spaces away. Get a D12. (or what die YOU choose to pick)
1-4, 1 of the zombies goes after the heroes, while the other 2 zombies use both of there actions to move to the master monsters for a huge upcoming attack.
5-8, All of the zombies charge the heroes.
9-12, All of the zombies use both of there actions as movement to move to the 2 master monsters and prepare for 1 HUGE attack on the heroes.
 
      Example 4: 4 goblin archers are racing to pickup the crops in encounter 1 of the "A Fat Goblin" quest. 2 heroes are 5 spaces away. Get a D10. (or what die YOU choose to pick)
1-5, All 4 goblin archers go for the crops.
6-8, 2 of the goblin archers go for the crops, while the other 2 attack the hero with the least health.
9-10 All 4 of the goblin archers attack the hero with the least health.
 
   By playing this way, everytime you play it will be a very different experience and keep it fresh.
 
      The final thoughts video is finishing uploading right now and does a better job of explaining what I'm trying to convey. Also, at the end of the final thoughts video, I introduce an idea I thought of called lifeforce. In solo play, I would put 2 of these red crystals by each of the heroes cards. This is there lifeforce. Everytime there knocked out, and are either revived by a fellow hero or stand up, a lifeforce crystal is removed from there card. If there are no more red crystals on a heroes card, that hero dies. I'm still messing around with it. Would heroes regain all health by using a red crystal or not? Anyway, just an idea for this solo mod.
   In the meantime, I'm going to work out some instructions to upload to BBG.
   Have a great day all...talk to you soon! :)

 


Edited by Groovus, 26 June 2014 - 10:10 PM.


#16 rfisha

rfisha

    Member

  • Members
  • 216 posts

Posted 28 June 2014 - 06:45 AM

I tested out Nerdook's D6 variant, but as we played on the there are times when the common sense aspect over rules the dice (which i believe is pretty much specified in the variant anyway).  What we started to do was to play with what strategy we thought the OL would do primarily first, if there was any indecision then run with the D6 to make the decision on the OL

's behalf.  That worked out well, but sometimes the results were wayward, but can easily be discarded (ie attacking the furthest hero would get the monster smashed next turn and open the game up for an OL defeat)

 

Groovus, I enjoyed watching your videos and it made me want to go away and have a solo game.  I really had a lot of fun with the variant.  I randomized the OL's monster choices to allow me the chance to play some combinations I have not had the chance of playing before, which added to the challenge of playing the role of OL.  I also randomized Plot card choices and utilized spending threat randomly as strategies during the game also.  

I ended up playing all the way to Act II and have really enjoyed it.  

 

Thanks for posting these lads, they have been a lot of fun.  I am keen to get Nerdook's other co-op/solo variant printed out as well so I can give that a try!






© 2013 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Fantasy Flight Games and the FFG logo are ® of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact | User Support | Rules Questions | Help | RSS