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The best OL asset is the lack of table talk from the Heroes


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#1 SolennelBern

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 03:33 PM

Sup! 2 weeks ago we started a new campaign with full player count.  At first my friend wanted to do the Overlord but after some talking I understood that he wanted to play a Hero a bit more and that his OL "playstyle" was more of a DM than trying to win.  He did not cared to win at all which I was totally not agreeing with.

 

Quick story: In May 2012 we were playing a game of MoM.  I was the Keeper and was trying to set the mood for the game during setup.  I warned the Investigators in a RP manner that i'll make them suffer.  That's when one of the biggest argument started.  It lasted all game long.  For him the Keeper was a DM and was not there to win.  For me, the Keeper was a player that while setting the atmosphere had to try to win the game.  Here's a post I made the day after while I was still boiling from the events of the night before: http://community.fan...-keeper-how-to/

 

Now back to the topic.  When my friend (which is my best friend, we've known each other for over 15 years) started to talk about being a "soft OL" I proposed to be the OL myself.  I also told him that the OL as an objective and that he HAVE TO try his best to win every quests, as the Heroes have to do to.  He agreed which relieved quite a bit heheheh.

 

It is my first time as the Overlord, a role that I thought i would not like at all, and that i'm starting to love tremendously.  I thought the OL options were few and he only moved monsters and play cards, which it is, but all the timing, the decisions, shich card to play and which cards to keep for later...everything is just really fun and involving.

 

So, first session the Heroes won First Blood so they got to choose the next quest.  Surprisingly they chose Cardinal's Plight.  BTW we're all still newbs so we don't really know which quests are more in favor or each sides.  What I observed was this 4 kinds of players:

 

- Player 1 is the quiet one and will do what others ask him to.  He won't really talk about strategy and will simply act when it is his turn.

- Player 2 is the lone wolf.  Doesn't relaly talk to others and loudly will declare that it is "his turn" and proceed without really consulting his feloow heroes.

- Player 3 is the negative one that when his rolls bad or when things don't go how he want to will blame game design.

- Player 4 (my best friend) is the "good" player.  Before taking his turn he will try to regroup people and make them talk...which fails most of the time.

 

All this while i'm sitting there, grinning and playing cards and grinning even more.  At least once per quests I will remind them about their objectives, what they should concentrate on and what they should leave alone.  I know I shouldn't but I do, especially when i'm pulling my punches and still win encounters.

 

So after playing Cardinal's Pight, which I won and yesterday playing Masquerade, which I still won i'm sitting on my throne with two shiny relics while the Heroes act as four individuals that don't really care about each other.

 

I keep suggesting them to strategize, talk more and think about the best move to do that would help them get their objective done.  But having alpha solitaire players is not really helping them.

 

Last thing I wanted to discuss is about quest description.  One of the players, which I could call him a bit lazy, stated that it was the OL role to explain the objectives of quests.  What I replied to him was that each sides as his own set of rules and each side should read is part so if I forget one thing I couldn't be blamed or labeled as a "cheater".  That worked for some time but this topic always come up at each encounters.

 

What's your take on this? Should the OL do all the work, read everything and explain everything to the group or should everyone do their part?

 

As you may see, i'm with the later option.

 

Thanks everyone!



#2 No Hero

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 04:01 PM

As the OL, I always read the quest aloud and explain to the heroes what they have to do to win. It's more of a matter of me wanting to get the play to go faster than anything else: it's faster than four heroes passing the quest book to each other, and I'm the most skilled in english in my group. (We're italian but I purchased Descent in its original language)

 

However, I'll read the objectives aloud, ask them if they need any clarifications and then shut up about it. When play starts it's their responsibility to strategize and remember what they have to do to win.

 

As for players organizing, I have various group of players. In one of them there's a guy who usually does almost all of the strategizing; one who is loud and not too bright and just likes to shoot at things he's pointed at, so he works well with the strategizing guy; one who is pretty bright but also pretty quiet, goes along with the general strategy and often adds some ideas of his own; and the last guy who sometimes gets tired of being directed and tries to do his thing, but so far it's not been a problem for the heroes. It's overall a solid group, and up until the Interlude I didn't win a single quest, though I came close with Death on the Wing. (My fault for not hoarding Dark Fortune cards and missing on the last attack needed to kill the last watchman, really)

 

The other group is both a little less versed in the game and a lot more uncoordinated, but until they were playing the mini-campaigns they didn't realize this due to how overpowered character can be during those. But I massacred them playing Labyrinth of Ruin, including on the Interlude, so much that I decided it would be more fun overall if we scrapped that campaign and now I'm about to OL Shadow Rune for them - Descent with training wheels on.

 

Last thing, about the OL/DM divide: hahaha no. You'll find that the general opinion here, an opinion I share, is that the OL plays to win like anyone else - and since Act I quests tend to be so easy for the heroes, the OL has to be a mean bastard or let the heroes' power snowball beyond recovery. Your players need to understand this as well. If they wanted to play a cooperative storytelling game, you'd play RPGs, right? Or maybe a cooperative boardgame with an automated DM would be more to their tastes.


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#3 Kunzite

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 05:39 PM

Your heroes have a long, hard road ahead of them. If they don't start working with each other and working as a team, they will never get anywhere. You have a huge heart, Mister Overlord, to remind them as much as you do. Protect your thrown. ^.~

 

As far as rule reading, it's not any one person's responsibility to know all of the rules. You are not the DM. You are a player, just like the heroes. Like your other game, your job is to make them suffer. You are there to win. Leaving ALL of those rules for one person to remember is insanity. Trust me, I tried doing that and we are STILL finding things I had wrong. While it is assumed that the OL knows the game best (because they have to work with only themselves to win) it should not be on the OL alone to be responsible for over all rules or quest rules.

 

What we do:

 

Often times I (the OL) read everything before hand and plot. I know my objective pretty well by the time we meet. I should know theirs pretty well, but early on in learning the game I did not plot out their moves. I didn't know how the heroes worked hardly at all. When we come together I put the quest before them and I put on my headphones. It is now their job to read, out loud, the rules and plot without me hearing them. This is the only time they have to talk about things without me "being there" to hear them.

 

Sometimes we read the rules aloud before we go forward. We have two heroes pretty good about remembering rules and pointing out some of the critical rules. We have another hero really good at flavor, and so it's up to him to entertain us with the flavor and all his array of fun voices.

 

After that we ALL hold each other responsible for everyone's rules. Often my heroes will stop me and say "you can't do that," or "don't forget you can do this."  I do the same for them. We have a few campaigns under our belt at this point, so that happens less often, or if it's said there is this side ways glance and a wonder what the other is up to. hehe.

 

Hope this helps.


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#4 SolennelBern

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 09:10 PM

Great posts, thanks! I just didn't wanted this to become an issue with our group, which is far from, but still wanted to get some ideas and to know how some of you are playing the game.  It helps quite a lot and I see that everyone has it's own style and none are bad.

 

An Overlord shouldn't feel pity in his career ever but after only 3 quests i'm starting to feel some for those adventurers.  I just can't control myself and have to help them when I see them focusing on killing my beasts instead of getting those guests out (Masquerade Ball)...I just can't help myself looking at those poor adventurers focusing on searching instead of trying to stop me raise zombies even though they found the thing that opened the portal...I FEEL the need to help them and remind them what they should focus on.

 

But having done that too many times in Masquerade I now feel relieved of this role.  I'll let them sink in their own misfortunes while I laugh at them.  Evil gotta be evil right?

 

I'm really LOVING the Overlord role.  But i'm aware that this feeling is greatly enhanced due to my winnings but I feel that i'm at the right spot, that it's my role and that i'm good at it.

 

BTW I had some prejudice about the Magus class but i'm relaising how great of a tool it is now.  Basic I + Magus is just so much fun to play with!



#5 Steve-O

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 09:14 PM

What's your take on this? Should the OL do all the work, read everything and explain everything to the group or should everyone do their part?


The OL shouldn't have to do "all the work" as you say. However, in your situation, I would be perfectly content to do all the work if the heroes were too lazy to read up themselves.

Every time they miss something, I would remind them that they're free to read the quest guide whenever they want. Every time they complain that something wasn't explained clearly I would tell them to read the rules themselves. And every time they make a stupid tactical error because they aren't paying attention or working as a team, I would use the opening to punish them.

I know you said you're pulling your punches and still winning, but if you really want them to take the game seriously, perhaps you should stop doing that. Don't be content to merely win the quest, but focus on CRUSHING THEM AS QUICKLY AND AS MERCILESSLY AS POSSIBLE. Maybe then they'll begin to consider doing their own homework. Either that or they'll quit in a fit of nerdrage. :P


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#6 SolennelBern

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 10:04 PM

Hahahahahha Steve-O I love that part: "Don't be content to merely win the quest, but focus on CRUSHING THEM AS QUICKLY AND AS MERCILESSLY AS POSSIBLE."

 

I think that's how i'll play from now on.  Read them the quest détails and rules and forcefully encourage them to read their own bits themsleves while Frenzying my way through victory.

 

I like your approach my good sir! :)



#7 Kunzite

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 09:40 AM

An Overlord shouldn't feel pity in his career ever but after only 3 quests i'm starting to feel some for those adventurers.  I just can't control myself and have to help them when I see them focusing on killing my beasts instead of getting those guests out (Masquerade Ball)...I just can't help myself looking at those poor adventurers focusing on searching instead of trying to stop me raise zombies even though they found the thing that opened the portal...I FEEL the need to help them and remind them what they should focus on.

 

But having done that too many times in Masquerade I now feel relieved of this role.  I'll let them sink in their own misfortunes while I laugh at them.  Evil gotta be evil right?

 

I'm really LOVING the Overlord role.  But i'm aware that this feeling is greatly enhanced due to my winnings but I feel that i'm at the right spot, that it's my role and that i'm good at it.

 

BTW I had some prejudice about the Magus class but i'm relaising how great of a tool it is now.  Basic I + Magus is just so much fun to play with!

 

Alright... here it is. As the OL... I have a small bit of hero in me that cheers  for them every game. I have read way too many books where out of the black of almost certain death the heroes rise up and save the day! I am a relentless OL, don't get me wrong. And sometimes that puts strain on the workings of the game. Kind of meh when the evil wins four times consecutively. Epics are killers(but great to test out silly things). They always come back for a mighty swing though. So will your heroes when they get a swing of the game.

 

BTW, Magus with a splash of web traps was my first class I played. Super useful. Magus gets you those critical blows and dark charms back when you need them. My heroes expect me to have Dark Ritual anymore. It's just SO good! <3 When my heroes showed me how to play Magic the Gathering was when they showed me to usefulness of card advantage and sand bagging combos.


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"Bide your time and hold out hope."

~Count of Monte Cristo

 

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#8 SolennelBern

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 09:55 AM

Heheheheh I'm cheering too when they do something good that help them.  I'm always "Good job guys...but don't get used to this feeling too much, i'm coming for you".  That give them some boost while taking in the mood to beat my face.  That's what happened in Cardinal's Plight and it was a close call, great fun!

 

But in my OP I described the 4 types of players I play with.  When I try to "help" them and guide them a bit, reminding them when they don't really focus on the right element I always get some funny responses from Players 2, 3 and 4 like "Don't listen to him guys, he just want to misguide us" and right after that Player 2 (the loner) declare "It's my turn now", don't plan anything with the others and do some weird actions, block LOS of other Heroes and laughing at them and saying "Hey, that's my Hero and that's what I want to do".  Denying 2 Heroes out of 4 from attacking and using skills that requires LOS is just damn hilarious.

 

So, how do you think that makes me feel as the evil entity that I am? Seeing those Heroes chaotically trying to accomplish something but getting hindered by their own comrades?

 

LOOOOOVE IT!

 

Seriously I feel great being the solitaire evil entity especially when I have Heroes minions literally helping me with my objectives.


Edited by SolennelBern, 21 November 2013 - 09:56 AM.


#9 Kunzite

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 02:09 PM

I know the feeling. My favorite part of being this character is listening to my heroes. All my heroes are close friends, so there is rarely discord (except the time they convinced the warrior, who has counter, to go into an area for their objective token where two ettins where waiting to punch face. Can't counter a space away with a non-reach weapon. He still brings up that moment from time to time). It's normally them trying to figure out what I might or might not have in my hand, or if I say something they then go into this debate on if I am trying to help or hurt their cause. I normally sit there with a grin on my face. I even have an "overlord pose" I take from time to time.

 

I love the physiology behind the game. I have a feeling that is what you are relishing as well.


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"Bide your time and hold out hope."

~Count of Monte Cristo

 

NotesFromTheOverlord.tumblr.com


#10 griton

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 10:03 AM

I love the physiology behind the game. I have a feeling that is what you are relishing as well.

I think you mean psychology. Physiology is the study of the physical body. Psychology is the study of the mind.



#11 SolennelBern

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 10:41 AM

 

I love the physiology behind the game. I have a feeling that is what you are relishing as well.

I think you mean psychology. Physiology is the study of the physical body. Psychology is the study of the mind.

 

 

Could be applicable too seeing how the Heroes get nervous the more the quest advance and when they get nervous they can't stop twitching with all sorts of weird spasms...:P



#12 Kunzite

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 04:12 PM

 

 

I love the physiology behind the game. I have a feeling that is what you are relishing as well.

I think you mean psychology. Physiology is the study of the physical body. Psychology is the study of the mind.

 

 

Could be applicable too seeing how the Heroes get nervous the more the quest advance and when they get nervous they can't stop twitching with all sorts of weird spasms... :P

 

 

Sorry, I did mean psychology is what I meant. I should not comment when I am both drawing and studding my anatomy Woot art.

 

SolennelBern: Only one of my heroes twitch ^.^;; Though I have another one that fiddles with tokens, but all this is normal for them. Has nothing to do with nerves. Now when they start standing up and walking around ^.^;; I best be careful.


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"Bide your time and hold out hope."

~Count of Monte Cristo

 

NotesFromTheOverlord.tumblr.com





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