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Have you had anyone want to stop playing the campaign?


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#1 kerred

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 02:51 PM

Have you had anyone that just wanted to stop playing a campaign?  Either starting over, or wanting to play something else?  What was the reason?

 

 

I don't have a steady group, so I have been introducing Descent and played the campaign several times with several groups of people over the past year.

 

Lots of people were excited, as they had played my Descent 1e: Cataclysm campaign previous (I had over 80 character campaign sheets for everyone I met).

 

The first group stopped playing as they kept using a dominant stragety over and over.  One wanted to stop playing so he could design his own Druid class cards, the other lost interest.  Probably due to one player telling them what to do, taking over for their heroes, and kept thinking of ways to 'break' the game, so to say.

 

Another group gave up after they lost the first two Act I quests and said they didn't like that they kept losing.

 

Another group (I was a hero this time) no longer wanted to play after they lost the first quest in Act II.  They won all the Act I and Interlude.

 

Another group, someone didn't want to play the campaign anymore after losing the Act I and only wanted to keep playing if he had a different character (he filled in for someone that could no longer make it).  He never returned though.

 

 

In case you are wondering, I play Descent as the Overlord more like a D&D GM.  I try to create epic and exciting positions and moves with my monsters, making it look dangerous, but trying to make the heroes win at the last minute.  I constantly drop sublte hints to what my plan is, and may suggest against moves they may make that would cause them to lose the quest.  I also offer people to play as the Overlord in the middle of the campaign and I will play as the hero if they feel familiar enough with the game.  Anything to make some exciting stories to tell and just have fun :D

 

 

 

With that said, I try never to make the 'best' moves as Overlord, but scale the difficulty for the heroes to make it winnable but challenging.   However I make them think I am playing the best moves.

 

I NEVER try to act like I am opposing them.  That there is this evil Overlord that we all hate, like I'm possessed more or less to control the enemy, as if it was a co-op game, but one player progresses the bad stuff.

 

-

 

I am playing the campaign once again, but this time just me and another person who owns the game as well.  This seems to be going MUCH better because despite him losing (he chose to be heroes, lost the firat Act I and lost a rumor) he is still eager to play!


Edited by kerred, 21 November 2013 - 04:31 PM.


#2 rugal

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 03:20 PM

i'm interrested in the druid class, though !

 

But sorry, never saw players who wants to stop, maybe only one, but it's not his type of game in the first place, so nothing surprising



#3 Kunzite

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 06:28 PM

Almost once. My group of heroes are pretty hard about not wanting to stop something they have started, but we did have one person that just didn't have a good feel for the game. She was very good with her character, but just not her cup of tea.

 

The group that I have does not like to leave things undone even if it looks grim.

 

I do not play as the DM. I play to win. My heroes would feel cheated if I did not. That piece of hero in me that is rooting for them would love to dumb down my hand to let them win sometimes, but it's not fair for them. Heroes would be upset, I think, if I gave them the win.

 

I wonder if the one group that won all and then lost the one just doesn't like to lose. Being an RPG oriented group, they may not be orientated for a game like this as well. If the OL does not choose to try to win then the game will always have the same ending, with Shadow Rune anyways. It was always be Gryvorn getting his butt kicked x.x.

 

The game is very nitch. It might be hard to find the right group.


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#4 Steve-O

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 08:58 PM

Sounds like most of your groups gave up because the heroes lost.  Ordinarily I would file this under "sore losers," but it sounds like you deliberately throw the game so the heroes will win (which is fine if that's how you like to play.)  In this case, the only thing I can say is you need to stop trying as hard as you are - clearly you're still winning some of the time, but if you want to heroes to win, just stop trying to beat them at all.

 

Maybe you should institute a common RPG standby - the DM's shield, so you can roll dice in secret and fudge the results as necessary to ensure the heroes never actually lose, but feel like they've been challenged along the way.

 

This is all assuming that you want to continue playing the game more like an RPG, of course.  If you're ready to ditch that mode of play and make it a proper competition, you could also do that.  With a proper mindset that either team might win, hopefully people won't walk away just because the heroes lost once.



#5 Silverhelm

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 10:45 PM

Only time we ever stopped a campaign game is when we where playing a 3vs1 campaign. One of are usual players wasn't able to play one week and was able the following week. So we reset the game.

Edited by Silverhelm, 20 November 2013 - 10:48 PM.


#6 C2K

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 12:03 AM

I've only ever had one person quit so far, and it was because the player using the scout in the hero group decided that instead of doing everything possible to prevent me (the OL) from winning to instead search a search token and then use their second action to try and stop me.  The search card turned up nothing(this was before LotWQ was released) and he failed to stop me from completing the objective.  It was an epic fail moment.

 

Add in how the other 3 heroes started screaming at him for not devoting all of his resources to prevent me from winning the quest, he doesn't really like the game.  I think it also had to do with how some people think Descent is exactly like "board game DnD", but it really isn't because the heroes are clearly in a struggle against the OL whereas DnD has more of a negotiation element and the DM can make it as easy or hard depending on how those negotiations turn out. 



#7 griton

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 11:19 AM

I actually give every new player the opportunity to call a "mulligan" any time before the second session. At that point, we'll start over and they can choose a new hero / class, but once that next campaign gets started, they are no longer a new player, so can't call a mulligan.

 

You may want to look at why they are quitting. It does sound like it's from a loss, but is it because they lost or is it HOW they lost? Did they feel like there just wasn't any hope or chance of winning? Did they feel like the mechanics allowed the Overlord to "cheat"? You may want to ask the ones why they didn't come back. Preface it with something like "I'm not trying to convince you to come back, but I would like to know why you left so that maybe I could improve the experience for others." After you get an answer, you might have information about things you could change that maybe would encourage them to come back; but you'll have to make that call after you find out why and if it sounds like they would be interested.



#8 Ilaneth

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 04:08 PM

We have ended campaigns a few times due to the "snowball effect."  The OL will go 3-0 in Act One and keep the players from getting search tokens, which means low money and less gear.  The heroes are then facing Act Two monsters with starting weapons, or no armor. 

 

Playing out the rest of the campaign seems pointless as it turns into a massacre map after map, which is very bad for morale.


Edited by Ilaneth, 21 November 2013 - 04:10 PM.

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#9 kerred

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 04:11 PM


You may want to look at why they are quitting. It does sound like it's from a loss, but is it because they lost or is it HOW they lost? Did they feel like there just wasn't any hope or chance of winning? Did they feel like the mechanics allowed the Overlord to "cheat"? You may want to ask the ones why they didn't come back. Preface it with something like "I'm not trying to convince you to come back, but I would like to know why you left so that maybe I could improve the experience for others." After you get an answer, you might have information about things you could change that maybe would encourage them to come back; but you'll have to make that call after you find out why and if it sounds like they would be interested.

 

Actually yes :)

 

Group 1:

First one, teenager: "I want to start over so I can play as my Druid class I made up"

Second one: "its too easy" (tends to get argumentive when saying a rule he doesn't agree with, so I house rule to his favor to avoid arguments and just have fun)

 

Group 2:

"It feels like we aren't getting anywhere, I liked [Descent] Cataclysm better", where they lost each quest.

 

Group 3:

First one:  "i'm just rage quitting".  One always wishes to quit games he is not winning in, or if someone attacks him.  i.e. when playing Vegas Showdown, he didn't want to play anymore.  I took his spot.  I had to explain another game, so he reluctantly came back when he saw his position was better than he thought.  He finished third. 

Second one: "I didn't get good stuff" (he searched instead of defeating a monster, causing them to lose)

 

Group 4 is working out great.  One owns the game, and the other just likes strategy games and having fun, so we all have a blast despite the heroes not being able to win at all.  :)


Edited by kerred, 21 November 2013 - 04:13 PM.


#10 kerred

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 04:21 PM


I do not play as the DM. I play to win. My heroes would feel cheated if I did not.

 

The game is very nitch. It might be hard to find the right group.

 

I definitely agree.  I would play all the best moves at the start, but realize that I could win very quickly, and when I hear complaints, I will ask if they either wish to play another game, or continue.  So I would just get "that monster is too overpowered" or "this quest is too overpowered".  Its usual to hear from those people, but in a campaign game it sticks out moreso. 

 

And glad to here it is a niche game.  People wanted to play the 2nd edition after playing my modified 1e, but didn't seem to go over as well as 1e with those.  Others its still great to play 2e with.


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#11 kerred

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 04:24 PM

Sounds like most of your groups gave up because the heroes lost.  Ordinarily I would file this under "sore losers," but it sounds like you deliberately throw the game so the heroes will win (which is fine if that's how you like to play.)  In this case, the only thing I can say is you need to stop trying as hard as you are - clearly you're still winning some of the time, but if you want to heroes to win, just stop trying to beat them at all.

 

Maybe you should institute a common RPG standby - the DM's shield, so you can roll dice in secret and fudge the results as necessary to ensure the heroes never actually lose, but feel like they've been challenged along the way.

 

This is all assuming that you want to continue playing the game more like an RPG, of course.  If you're ready to ditch that mode of play and make it a proper competition, you could also do that.  With a proper mindset that either team might win, hopefully people won't walk away just because the heroes lost once.

 

I never try to let others know I am throwing a game, even for children.  I always try to play the best moves, or if anything, "experiment" by trying new things, even if they aren't the best, or make them think I am making the best mvoes.   Personally I love a challenge and like when others do the same :)

 

And I like the idea of hidden results, that would go great with certain people!

 

So far the latest 1-2 people I play with are compeitive, and its nice that we take losses as a fun learning opportunity :D

Lots of laughs too!



#12 griton

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 10:08 AM

Honestly, I just try not playing with people that quit like that in Groups 1-3. (The custom class idea not as much, but only having a partial bit of knowledge to go on, I'd be really reluctant to trust any homebrew stuff from him at the moment). I'd consider yourself lucky that they chose to leave your gaming group. Some people can make great friends but aren't good people to play games with.

 

Congrats on finding an awesome group in #4, though.



#13 Ringskipper

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 10:18 AM

Unfortunately, I have had quite a few of my friends not want to play after a few quests. I'm not sure why... I mainly just play with my boyfriend now. It's a little less exciting playing with only 2 players, but it does allow us to be more strategic against each other since we don't have (some of my rather clueless) friends interfering in the game.



#14 kerred

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 11:18 AM

Unfortunately, I have had quite a few of my friends not want to play after a few quests. I'm not sure why... I mainly just play with my boyfriend now. It's a little less exciting playing with only 2 players, but it does allow us to be more strategic against each other since we don't have (some of my rather clueless) friends interfering in the game.

 

I used to play with my wife and her brother-in-laws in Descent 1e a lot, but harder to get us all together nowadays.  We just stick to Elder Sign :)



#15 Kunzite

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 04:21 PM

Unfortunately, I have had quite a few of my friends not want to play after a few quests. I'm not sure why... I mainly just play with my boyfriend now. It's a little less exciting playing with only 2 players, but it does allow us to be more strategic against each other since we don't have (some of my rather clueless) friends interfering in the game.

 

My Bo and I played a campaign once as well. I really enjoy it almost as much as groups. I guess what I like about groups and the chance to hang out with friends. Each of them bring something new. And each of them really like a particular class. There is never any fighting over characters or classes. It's really nice.


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#16 Radish

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 08:02 AM

To the people that play with only two people, if you are going to do that how many characters should the hero player use?  To me I get the feeling the game is balanced around four heroes but that's a lot of stuff for one person to keep track of.



#17 JBouthietteJr

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 08:24 AM

While I've not done it, I imagine four heroes can't be that much crazier than everything the Overlord has to deal with. I know my girlfriend and I were discussing doing a campaign between just the two of us (before we found a third player) where I'd OL and she'd be three heroes. Granted, she's OL now and is struggling with it, so I think it really depends on how capable you feel as a player. In a two player game, I wouldn't throw away the possibility of being four heroes, I think it'd be fun.

 

 

Related to the original thread, my group has stopped halfway through a couple campaigns, but only because I'm a bit crazy about playing Descent every game session while a campaign is in progress. While my group would rather switch between Descent, Arkham Horror, Flux, etc. my mindset is DESCENT DESCENT DESCENT DESCENT. In this case, I usually lose, so we stop the campaign for a few weeks, which becomes a few months, and finally no one wants to jump back into the half-done campaign, so I break it down and weep in the corner until my group shows interest again.

 

Luckily, I have a nice three person campaign going that just hit Act II last week  :D Once we finish, my group gets a nice break till post-Christmas, because I don't want to do another campaign till I have Trollfens and *hopefully* the first six Lieutenants packs.


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#18 BsnOne

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 09:59 AM

When starting a campaign, the players need to realize that the ultimate victor is the whoever wins the Finale. Your heroes can lose all of the Act 1 and Act 2 quests, but if they somehow pull it off and defeat the OL in the Finale, they win. Yeah, it seems a bit hollow after getting your butt kicked quest after quest, but that is how the game works. So far my group has played through Shadow Ruin and Labyrinth and the OL has had the edge in most of the quests. However, when it came to the finale (which are basically hack and slash encounters) the heroes have emerged victorious, battered and bruised, but the overall winner. Something of a pyrrhic victory, and perhaps not as epic as we all thought, but we all shake hands afterwards, say we are going to take a break from Descent for a few weeks, and start planning the next campaign, rotate the OL position, and get back to it.

 

This isn't the best game for people who expect to only have a good time if they are constantly winning.



#19 Radish

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 10:10 AM

Descent is definitely about the journey, not the destination. I recently won as the overlord and after like three days worth of sessions getting there is was kind of "yaaay I win..."

With a normal game it's over in like one to two hours and when you win you can feel good about your minor accomplishment then move on to something else. With Descent a campaign takes at least eight hours to play and you can dominate it up until the finale and if through bad rolls or some gimmick of the map that doesn't favor a choice you made much earlier without knowing it's all for nothing. Winning in Descent is a way to get all players to try and do their best but the actual fun of the game is the moving around stuff and figuring out combos while experiencing the narrative. Anyone that goes in with the attitude that fun will only be had if he or she wins is not going to have a good time.

The times in Descent where I'm having the least fun is when I just can't do anything, typically because a quest is poorly thought out and one side just dominates to the point where models are put back on the board to just be immediately removed. Losing when the encounter is a seesaw between the heroes and overlord is much more fun than just face planting into victory.

Edited by Radish, 25 November 2013 - 10:29 AM.


#20 SolennelBern

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 10:59 AM

I'm glad I got my hands on a "like new" set od D1E (Base+Altar+Road for 80CAD and bought Well+Tomb+Quest book after that).  Didn't played yet though but I plan to when I can find the "perfect" 4 other players and ultimately one to play as OL.

 

I'm currently Overlording a new campaign and i'm having a blast.  Only Intro + 2 Quests done so far but I won everything except Intro.  Got myself two shiny Relics (Staff and Bones) to help me in my future domination or Terrinoth so that'll help a lot.

 

Me too I have a weird group like I explained in a previous post.  Four completely different players: one that doesn't like confrontation too much, one that think the OL is a DM and shouldn't care to win, one that is a loner and doesn't coop well or at all and one other that will denigrate a game if he plays badly or doesn't have much luck with the dice.

 

And myself, the thin-skinned clown that get irritable easily :P

 

So you can see how some nights it can get a bit moody around the table but nothing seriously ambiance-breaking.

 

@Kunzite: You're absolutely right about D2E being a niche game.  When one side starts to win a lot it start to weight heavy on the losing side and can become a bit boring.  That's what the campaign mode does imo...but that's also what make this game a blast when you can have tight games and everyone is one their toes.  So finding the right group and especially the right OL is certainly a plus.

 

Concerning Overlording: I think it's a hard job.  Not hard to win quests but hard to keep everyone in the game and be the bad guy.  The OL being a player with a win condition clarified it's role, you play to win VS 4 heroes who play to win.  But i'm starting to think of a new approach about my role.  If I see i'm stomping on the Heroes should I pull my punches a bit and let them progress?  Should I not care about them as they don't and simply do what I can to win?  Like I said in my earlier post, i'm starting to feel sympathy and pity over the Heroes not because I win most quests easily but because they doesn't play as a coop group.  They're simply four individuals that do what they want and doesn't care for the others (well 2 of them).  They're simply the four loners of Terrinoth that accidently got together.

 

So my first reflex is trying to help them, as a chaotic being, and giving so genuine pieces of advice.  Nothing too compromising for me but enough so they can progress a bit when the morale is down.  Things like: "Just so you know, if you place your figure there I might have some troubles getting to this room" or "Don't forget to search for the key and leave my monsters alone, you're only helping me".  But as you may guess, the negative player will chime in quickly and say to the others to not listen to me as i'm the OL.  So it puts me in two weirdly opposite moods at the same time: Satisfaction & Pity.

 

I'm now thinking about GMing a bit more, pulling punches and letting them win a few quests because I know what's coming for me: When the campaign will end i'll get lectured by the one player that i'm a GM and not a OL, that I should have let them won some quests and don't care about winning and i'll reply to him the same thing I say when he says that: "What if the Heroes won every quests, would you have told the group to pull out a bit and let me win?"

 

I guess not...

 

Gotta love being the Game Lord Over Master! ;)






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