Hey folks! I am one of those people who was looking to pull the trigger on getting descent + road to legend to start a campaign with friends.
Question since I am very unfamiliar with the actual game play of road to legend vs someone who has played a lot,
Would road to legend work with descent 2nd edition?
Almost certainly not. There might be 2e stat cards for the LTs and Avatars in the conversion kit to use as boss monsters or something, but I would be very surprised if there's even that. I expect it will just be the actual hero and monster figures from the base game and various vanilla expansions.
Edit: Actually, now that I think about it, they have been pumping out LT figures sold separately (I haven't got around to buying them myself), so maybe there will be stat cards for LTs after all.
Also, if I understand your statement correctly, you are intending to buy Descent 1e and RtL and start playing the Advanced Campaign right away. From experience over the years of owning Descent 1e and remaining active in these forums, I can assure you that's a BAD idea. Descent 1e is a complicated game and Road to Legend adds an entirely new and even more complicated layer on top of that.
If you want to buy 1e for its own sake and play that without any consideration of 2e, then go nuts. I'd still recommend playing just the base game for a while before you start using RtL, though. Even if you buy them both at once.
If you're just thinking of picking 1e so you can bring the components from that game into your 2e games after picking up 2e, then I would strongly recommend only getting the base game and vanilla expansions (Well of Darkness, Altar of Despair and Tomb of Ice,) since those are all I'd expect you'll get a significant amount of conversion out of. Road to Legend will have the outdoor tiles which may be of use to you in homebrewed quests for 2e (assuming the tiles will interlock between editions) but that's about all. I doubt anything else from RtL will convert nicely.
Edit: If there are in fact stats for the LTs, you can buy those figures separately anyway to use in 2e with their stat cards. There are no figures for them in the RtL box, only cardboard tokens.
(Also note that 2e appears to have at least a handful of outdoor tiles based on the pictures we've seen so far, so don't go paying full price for RtL "just for some outdoor tiles." 2e looks to have its own set of them.)
P.S. anyone think the new campaign mode with 2nd edition would replace road to legend?
I expect that's exactly what 2e's campaign mode is designed to do. What's more, since the campaign mode is part of the base game for 2e, I expect it will integrate much better and be much easier for new players to jump into a campaign game from day one, if that's what you're inclined to do. As I mentioned above, the 1e advanced campaign adds a whole new layer of complexity to an already complex base game. If you don't already know the tactics and pitfalls of the base game when you start an advanced campaign, the hero players will almost certainly shoot themselves in the foot early on and then spend the better part of 30+ hours watching the Overlord dominate the world.
(You may think "I know a lot of boardgames and that won't happen to me," but trust me, I've seen it happen over and over again to people who assumed they knew what they were doing.)