Not sure if anyone's interested, but just in case I thought I'd share the results of my first playtest of my own scenario, "Darkness under Deepwood." Storytime!
So, a friend offered to run through it with me, and he preferred to be the overlord, so I found myself playing my own scenario. o.0 Because this wasn't a "normal" game, I decided to go with some more unusual characters than I normally would have picked, winding up with:
Brother Glyr - This guy confuses me. The low health and high conquest seems terrible, but high armor makes it quite hard to knock off those few hit points, and his ability makes him very flexible and deadly in close combat--but his low max speed makes it hard to get him where the action is. I got a couple nice swings, but he probably did the least of any of the four characters.
Runewitch Astara - I've never liked her ability that much, but it did turn out to be kind of fun and useful getting those conquest tokens and feats at the beginning of a room rather than the middle-end. Also, she's just got really solid stats, with high movement and fatigue, three dice, middle tier hp, and only 2 conquest.
Kirga - His ability always makes the overlord cry, and he's got remarkably good armor/hp for 3 conquest, with a full 3 dice for ranged. But somehow I always feel like his moderate speed and low fatigue make him kind of hard to use as a ranged character. He was solid, but unremarkable.
Zyla - CRAZINESS! I realize this is not representative, but in this game, Zyla drew Berserker as one of her skills. The OL (for some reason) then proceeded to knock her down to 1 hit point and never attack her again for the rest of the game XDXDXD Meaning she attacked with +4 damage with all attacks!
Scenario: The scenario was of course very short. Maybe too short. But it still took us all evening, and one of my goals was to provide a game of Descent that could be played through in a reasonable amount of time. Certain things were missing that I'll need to add in the re-write, including Treachery for the OL and a description of how the campaign works.
Gameplay: I kinda breezed through this scenario, with only one hero death (Runewitch Astaara). Brother Glyr put an axe between the eyes of the Master Bane Spider who serves as greeting committee, without even using the second attack of his battle action. The others moved up and opened the door. When I saw the kobolds, I put Zyla in front as the only hero within reach of their melee attacks, so they wouldn't be able to do much. The skeletons landed some arrows in her, but that just made her mad... Literally--they took her down to 4 hp, which is 1/2, giving her a +2 damage bonus from berserker. We pretty much stormed the rest of the room. OL summoned some dark priests, but my guard actions on Kirga and the Runewitch took care of them before they could do much damage. I had Brother Glyr finish of the Master Dark Priest so that he would get the curse token, figuring if he dies with his juicy 4 conquest, I'm screwed anyway. What's one more?
We pushed on into the side room and laid waste to the skeletons there, with Kirga lingering behind to prevent the OL spawning behind us. People got some nice copper treasures, including an ideal Elven Robe for Zyla (she's already immune to melee, so it just gave her +3 armor). Runewitch took some damage, and so did Zyla, bringing her down to 1 hp and increasing her Berserker damage bonus to +4. Yes, that's right, +4.
Heading back into the hall we were ambushed by Blood Apes on one side and shades on the other. The shades attempted to bring down Brother Glyr, but even with their pierce 2, they couldn't hurt him. The Blood Apes managed to shrug of the Runewitch's guard attack and bring her down--barely. Glyr couldn't do much because he was on the Shade side, but Kirga took a shot. Then. Zyla. Killed. Them. All.
Last but not least we kicked down the final door. Kirga opened the door and used Crack Shot and a feat to nail the Master Beastman, despite the wall of bodies in front of him. Glyr battled and killed 2 kobolds. Runewitch Astaara used a feat to get extra surges, letting her do a blast and clear out the room a bit. Then Zyla put them all to shame by flying up with a Hurry feat and laying out the boss in two solid hits for about 10 damage each, ending the scenario.
We had a lot of fun, but it's hard to judge how balanced the scenario was because Zyla was doing so much damage due to the Berserker. Some test rolls with other characters indicated that the master sorcerer boss, Krecible Scorn, should have been fairly hard to bring down for an average group, especially with the chance to be undying.
Some points of consideration:
* Should the level be longer? I considered making the first room a bit longer, with a few bane spiders instead of just the one staring you in the face on the heroes first turn, but he pointed out that even if you had three or four, the heroes go first. Most likely they would still wipe the room before any of the spiders go. It might make the scenario appear longer, but wouldn't actually change anything.
* Given that, is there any point even to having that Master Bane Spider glaring at the players as soon as they enter the scenario?
* We found that having the chance to have one of the chests give you 2 copper treasures on such a small dungeon did not feel right. If you're going to have a chance of getting two, you should feel like you bloody earned it.
* Should the dungeon be more difficult? If so, how? As the players, I didn't feel challenged much except for by the spawns, but isn't it normally that way in Descent? The last room has a bunch of monsters, enough that I was actually worried about overwhelming the heroes. But I didn't really get to see how that would play, because Zyla-monster killed the boss before the overlord even got to go, ending the scenario.
This scenario was mostly designed to be quick and solid, no-frills. The other two scenarios in this series have more going on to add tactical depth. Together, the idea is to create a mini-campaign, giving players a chance to develop the same characters over multiple sessions, without having to plunge into the months-long endeavor of Road to Legend.