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Expanding game to accommodate 6-7 players


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#1 Coldmoonrising

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 07:37 AM

Hello Descent fans and players,

I just have a quick question about expanding the game to play up too 6 or 7 players. I don't know about the rest of you players but I usually have 1 to 2 more friends that would love to play when I've already maxed the game out with 5 players. Now I assume the only thing I would need to do is:

1) Pick up more threat each turn for more heroes in play.

2) Compare the growth percentage of the monsters as the player number grows.

I'm guessing #2 will be the "hard" part comparing the growth of the monsters as there are more players, especially if they grow exponentially. If anyone else has done this before, please by all means let me know your thoughts and monster card data for 6-7 players.



#2 Steve-O

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 07:43 AM

The scaling of monsters is already inadequate from 2 to 4 heroes, going up to 5 and 6 heroes would only exacerbate the problem.  The number of extra attacks and LOS coverage that additional heroes will provide will make things way too easy for the hero players.  I'd suggest looking into Antistone's Enduring Evil variant, which is better designed to scale up to 5, and may be better able to accomodate a 6th.  It does require some art and crafts, though, and you won't be able to use the original quests with it.

Alternatively, you might check BGG for other variants.

I think a variant idea with two teams of heroes competing for victory (and the OL in the middle) might keep things interesting, but that's an idea I literally just had now so I don't have any ground work for it.



#3 Coldmoonrising

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 07:54 AM

 Wow Steve-O, I really appreciate the quick response and your thoughts with the problem of adding more heroes to the game. Monster scaling is definitely a problem as the beginning monsters (spiders, beastmen, skeletons) are very weak and just a speed bump as the game goes on. Being the Over Lord 90% of the time, I typically rely more on traps and heavy hitting monsters to kill the heroes. I'll still look into potential scaling of monster cards for 6-7 players.

What I really like is the thought of two competing teams to win the game. This could make for some interesting PvP involvement and what not. I'll keep this in mind as well. If I come up with anything, I'll definitely report back.



#4 Antistone

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 07:59 AM

As Steve-O said, Enduring Evil accommodates 6 players officially, and could probably scale to 7 reasonably well by just increasing monster health, though the scaling still isn't perfect, and adding more players will, at a minimum, make the game take longer.  There's an essay discussing player scaling in the Enduring Evil zip file.

The monster scaling in the official game is really easy to extend:  it's just +1 wound per player to all monsters.  But again, as Steve-O said, this is totally inadequate.  The game is significantly easier for a party of 4 heroes than for a party of 3, and it's virtually unplayable with a party of 2.  There have been a lot of ideas thrown around about how to make the game scale better, but it's hard to do without a major rewrite like The Enduring Evil, and the best (simple) ideas I've seen for boosting parties of 2 or 3 heroes can't really be inverted to make things harder for 5 or 6.



#5 Incendax

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 03:51 PM

All monsters gain one black power die for every character over 4 in the game.

This means that all monsters are rolling 2 black power die in addition to their normal amount if you are playing with 6 people. This makes combat faster (as opposed to slower if you simply added more health to the enemies) and offers a good balance to the increased abilities of the players since conquest tokens are a finite supply.



#6 Steve-O

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 04:15 PM

Incendax said:

All monsters gain one black power die for every character over 4 in the game.

This means that all monsters are rolling 2 black power die in addition to their normal amount if you are playing with 6 people. This makes combat faster (as opposed to slower if you simply added more health to the enemies) and offers a good balance to the increased abilities of the players since conquest tokens are a finite supply.

Interesting idea, but it misses countering the primary benefits of two extra heroes: more attacks and more LOS coverage.  Even with 4 heroes it's not uncommon to clear a new area of the monsters that started there once the heroes get up to silver and gold gear.  With 5 or 6 I imagine they could do the same in copper gear.  And with the extra LOS coverage afforded by 6 well positioned heroes, it will be next to impossible to get a spawn in within striking distance of the party.  Hell, depending on the distribution of hero types, they could afford to split up into two groups of 3 if they had to to cover all the spawn locations.

Sure, any monsters that get a shot off will do more damage, great, but the fact that the heroes can prevent monsters from having the chance to attack is the main problem here.  I doubt an extra one or two damage from the odd monster that survives long enough to strike will make up for all the lost damage from monsters that get killed before they have a chance.



#7 bneumann

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 10:50 AM

Steve-O said:

Incendax said:

 

All monsters gain one black power die for every character over 4 in the game.

This means that all monsters are rolling 2 black power die in addition to their normal amount if you are playing with 6 people. This makes combat faster (as opposed to slower if you simply added more health to the enemies) and offers a good balance to the increased abilities of the players since conquest tokens are a finite supply.

 

 

Interesting idea, but it misses countering the primary benefits of two extra heroes: more attacks and more LOS coverage.  Even with 4 heroes it's not uncommon to clear a new area of the monsters that started there once the heroes get up to silver and gold gear.  With 5 or 6 I imagine they could do the same in copper gear.  And with the extra LOS coverage afforded by 6 well positioned heroes, it will be next to impossible to get a spawn in within striking distance of the party.  Hell, depending on the distribution of hero types, they could afford to split up into two groups of 3 if they had to to cover all the spawn locations.

Sure, any monsters that get a shot off will do more damage, great, but the fact that the heroes can prevent monsters from having the chance to attack is the main problem here.  I doubt an extra one or two damage from the odd monster that survives long enough to strike will make up for all the lost damage from monsters that get killed before they have a chance.

This is the big problem.  Having 5 hero's is tough enough on the OL.  By the time a 6th hero is added there will be no good places to spawn on almost all of the quests.  The easiest counter to this is two part.  Part one is to dissalow the familiar Boggs the Rat.  Part two is to allow the OL to pay 3-5 extra threat when summoning to restrict the hero's line of site to 5 squares.

The other idea that I have used a couple of times is to increase the number of monsters each spawn card gets.  Add one normal monster to all spawns.  This gives more monsters to kill and forces the hero's to be a little more carefull about where they place themselves as well.

 

Brian



#8 honKYkat73

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 03:44 AM

One of the thing that my group did when we have more than 5 people is keep the treasure and coins limited as if the game still only had 4 hero so that not everyone gets the sweet sweet loot. This has helped out a lot. For the monsters we didn't up the health any but did  up the armor of them 1 point per extra player we still are not sue it helped any but seems to make them a little hard to take out.   



#9 Incendax

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 09:16 AM

This does not reflect my experience with the game. Unless the players have Boggs the Rat or Kirga none of the Overlords (myself, or other players if they desire to be the OL) have any problem spawning monsters in places that allow them to leap out and maul the players. In fact, murdering players in this fashion is a staple tactic for the OL in my group. It is not uncommon for me to have 20 monsters spawned and chasing the players by the end of a dungeon.

So additional black die work great for us, and I recommend you try it before you dismiss it.



#10 Lupin89

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 11:08 AM

What about some monsters that are able to summon more monsters or some elite monster able to call your spawned monsters next to him ?



#11 Steve-O

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 03:33 PM

Lupin89 said:

What about some monsters that are able to summon more monsters or some elite monster able to call your spawned monsters next to him ?

Creative solution, I'll give you that.  Play around with it and see how it works out for you.  In all honesty, though, I suspect this elite monster will just become the favoured target when clearing rooms.

You could make a monster that can teleport to any empty revealed space and then summon a beastman warparty for 8 threat.  All you've really accomplished is to create random damage that hits the heroes no matter what they do, which isn't exactly going to maintain the tactical appeal of the game.  You could make a new kind of trap card that dishes out an equivalent amount of damage and it would probably go over better.

 

 

I still think that the best way to accommodate more than 5 players would be the two competing hero teams idea I mentioned earlier.  Two competing hero teams will both have access to the same degree of attack power (ie: treasure cards) and they will (hopefully) have equivalent hit points and armor ratios, which means they'll be equally hard to kill off.  LoS coverage to cancel spawning is a non-issue since the heroes all come in through glyphs.  (You could declare inactive glyphs to be the "red team glyphs" and active glyphs to be "white team glyphs" and then distribute them around the map if you don't want both teams coming in through the same glyphs.)  Whatever monsters the OL can throw out will be roadbumps, as would seem inevitable with this many heroes, but that drawback would be lessened by the fact that the monsters are no longer the main attraction in the killing fields.



#12 Lupin89

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 11:53 AM

Would if i get game first.

Also one way to play more is to have 2 team where both teams have one overlord player and others with heros

i will try this when we first get game and play it some games



#13 Torin Negatia

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 04:33 PM

For a 5 hero advanced campaign, my group uses the following: all monsters receive +3 health per campaign level and +1 armor (just +1, not per CL,) gold piles worth 500gp, and treasure and loot rolls are 5 black dice, and the OL gains 5 threat each turn. Its not perfect, but it works ok.

 

I've actually been working on a 2 team game, but it doesn't fold in well with the existing quests so I've had to make a few, but I haven't finished play testing them fully.

 

I've also been working on a dota/lol style version of the game to put two teams of 5 against each other (with no OL.)






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