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Opinions on character death and resurrection


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#1 Mordjinn

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 11:34 PM

This might be the old school roleplayer in me talking, but the one thing I really wish the 2nd edition will fix is character death - resurrection rule. For me and my group the video game style "you die and resurrect in the town" rule is just silly and destroys the immersion of heroes struggling against the evil overlord and putting their life on the line to save the world. I understand that eliminating one player from the game completely after the death of his character is a poor choice, but maybe there could be some kind of other type of solution for the problem.

In Mansions of Madness a player can return to the game with a new character, which already is a much better choice. Still IF Descent 2nd edition is all about killing the heroes, then this will not work as it will be stupid for hero players to change their heroes constantly. I really don't know how to fix this if the the Overlord's only goal is to kill heroes as many times as possible. Maybe I should wish that there are alternative ways for the Overlord to win the game!?

At very least there should be an explanation why these heroes and undying and just bounce back from the grave. Must be very frustrating for the overlord to fight against these undying heroes.

What are your opinions on this?



#2 Steve-O

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 12:23 PM

Mordjinn said:

At very least there should be an explanation why these heroes and undying and just bounce back from the grave. Must be very frustrating for the overlord to fight against these undying heroes.

What are your opinions on this?

Ah, it's not that bad.  You kill them enough times and they begin to feel like they aren't making any forward progress.  Then they get demoralized and go home. =P

Regarding the "video game feel", I don't have any real problem with that.  Descent's game engine was originally designed to recycle the game engine from Doom: the Board Game into an IP they could actually use, so it's not terribly surprising to me that it ends up feeling like a video game rather than an RPG.  That's what the engine was designed to emulate, after all.  In fact, a lot of Descent's "illogical" rules begin to make more sense if you think about the game like a board game version of Final Fantasy, rather than "D&D lite."

That said, I'm certainly not opposed to the idea of 2e moving closer to the RPG side of the spectrum, so if they do end up changing the death rules to be something more like MoM, I won't exactly loose sleep over it.



#3 Galvancito1

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 01:38 AM

At first, I saw the conquest tokens as the quarters that players put into the arcade machine. Later, when the RtL came out I saw them as the power of the Obelisk of Travels: Every time the chosen heroes die, the Obelisk uses part of its power to resurrect them. If the Obelisk becomes powerless, it can no loger protect Tamalir and so the monsters invade the heroes village, so GAME OVER.

With this understanding some friends and me have sometimes played difficult quests adding the "false friend rule". That is if a hero dies, their "friends" can choose not to resurrect him/her to keep the tokens. They can resurrect any fallen hero at the begining of any round, and thy only win if at the end of the quest they are all alive. The OL threat income and the monster stats remain as if all the heroes were on the board. Thematically it looks good and it also gives the heroes the posibility to explore a bit more of the dungeon. It is also pretty funy when heroes argue because they don't want to resurrect a fallen comarade while this one calls them names from the afterlife.



#4 Scy800

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 07:05 PM

 I am hoping for a system similar to the one FFG uses in Gears of War. In that game, when you die, you are "bleeding out". Another player can however give medical aid to another character and resurrect him. The players lose the game if all characters are "bleeding out". 

Just imagine all the nice skills and items you could create to make heroes better at aiding their fallen fellows. Or monsters who could disrupt this process. Could give some interesting situations! 



#5 Mcmanus

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 12:09 AM

Scy800 said:

 I am hoping for a system similar to the one FFG uses in Gears of War. In that game, when you die, you are "bleeding out". Another player can however give medical aid to another character and resurrect him. The players lose the game if all characters are "bleeding out". 

Just imagine all the nice skills and items you could create to make heroes better at aiding their fallen fellows. Or monsters who could disrupt this process. Could give some interesting situations! 

I like it!

I had the same problem as the OP the first time I played Descent, the "feel" of ,I don't care if I die isn't great, but I get used to it.

I really would love the bleeding idea to be implemented.



#6 Archeantus7

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 06:05 AM

On a similar note, I have always hated the idea of chugging potions to heal yourself in the middle of combat. I mean who really has an opportunity to stop and knock back a redbull while someone is swinging a sword in your face? I'm more for the fluff of a rune of healing; an object bound with healing magic that only requires the owner to speak a word to activate it. That requires no digging in a backpack, popping the cork, and chugging. Same mechanic as a heal pot but different fluff. A bit more believable IMO.
Chugging potions is for in between fights.



#7 Mordjinn

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 07:49 PM

Great ideas! Gears of War Bleeding out Rule would be exactly the kind of system that I'd love to see in 2nd edition. It would also create a nice twist to the hero group dynamic as then the healer would be a nice addition instead of all heroes being pure killers. Also then the system would have to make it possible for some heroes to act as a bodyguard for the healer, this diversifing the roles of the heroes. Bleeding out rule would also cancel the silly "kill the weak hero ten times and leave the strong ones alone" -tactic, which is another mood killer.

False friend sounds great too. Might try something like that if the hero resurrection is implemented in the 2nd edition.



#8 z22

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 08:32 AM

Scy800 said:

 I am hoping for a system similar to the one FFG uses in Gears of War. In that game, when you die, you are "bleeding out". Another player can however give medical aid to another character and resurrect him. The players lose the game if all characters are "bleeding out". 

Just imagine all the nice skills and items you could create to make heroes better at aiding their fallen fellows. Or monsters who could disrupt this process. Could give some interesting situations! 

This is the perfect solution. We're also in the camp that thinks the DIE -> POPUP mechanic is beyond goofy. I REALLY hope they implement something along this suggestion. Make it so!



#9 Scy800

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 06:56 PM

 I believe the designer of Gears of War is also working on Descent 2e, so we can only hope... 



#10 Daggon

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 09:28 AM

Scy800 said:

 I believe the designer of Gears of War is also working on Descent 2e, so we can only hope... 

If that's true, this could easily end up being the best Dungeon Crawler EVER released. Let's hope that's the case ^^



#11 Frog

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 03:56 PM

I'm cool with the video-game style respawns of the original.  If they make it RPG like deaths...then that would drastically change the nature of the game (conquest points etc.).  I'm cool with more RPG elements, but in the end I want that Diabloish gameplay in tact.



#12 Mordjinn

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 07:00 PM

Frog said:

I'm cool with the video-game style respawns of the original.  If they make it RPG like deaths...then that would drastically change the nature of the game (conquest points etc.).  I'm cool with more RPG elements, but in the end I want that Diabloish gameplay in tact.

If you're for the Diabloish gameplay then we agree to disagree. I see absolutely no good sides on the die-resurrect-die-resurrect -system. To me (and my group) it is silly and childish. I see no reason why the nature of the game would drastically change with the hero death system being changed. Overlord still tries to kill the heroes and the heroes try to complete the scenario alive. And if I'd have my way also the nature of the game should be changed drastically anyways. I would like to see more winning conditions for both sides than just killing the last boss/the last hero. How about instead of just killing the heroes the OL needs to get the pieces of his infernal machine to safety. Then he has to allocate resources to that too instead of just single mindedly killing the heroes. And maybe also the heroes would have better time if there more to their adventures than just killing and murdering and maiming and... well you get the idea. Some of the 1st edition quests had an attempt to go this direction (some prisoners etc,), but to me they all fell short and became small gimmicks that didn't really bring anything new to the experience. Also you always needed to kill the big baddie in the end, there was no way around it.

If the sole purpose of the game is just to kill and die and be resurrected, then I think at least the 1st edition system was needlessly heavy and way too straightforward. If you compare Descent 1st edition and Claustrophobia systems they both deliver a similar kind of dungeon delving experience. In this comparison Claustrophobia wins hands down as it is faster and much better designed. You get to do exactly the same things, but Claustro offers more interesting tactical decisions and A LOT faster gameplay. Also the scenarios are way more interesting. Actually I wouldn't mind if FFG borrowed some aspects from Claustrophobia as it's only flaw is that it is only two player game.

I'm sure that Corey and the crew will do great job updating the game. I think the worst scenario would be that they try to please the Vanilla game fans too much and the Descent 2nd edition will be  "Descent 1st edition light". I think the old fans would stick to the 1st edition (as it isn't the readers digest version of their favourite game) and the new fans would get a diluted version of a good game. The best case scenario is that FFG changes the game big time, which will annoy some people, but majority of the players win.



#13 Frog

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 03:35 AM

I'm not saying it can't be done, but from a current 1E perspective death and respawning with conquest is a bigger deal than you are making it out to be.  It hugely drove the campaign system as well.

 



#14 Mordjinn

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 11:32 PM

Frog said:

I'm not saying it can't be done, but from a current 1E perspective death and respawning with conquest is a bigger deal than you are making it out to be.  It hugely drove the campaign system as well.

Hmmm...I don't see it. I mean does it really make a difference if instead of death and resurrection the 2nd edition would use bleeding and in need of assistance - system. OL gets someone to bleed and he gains conquest. Simple and more gritty and "realistic".  It would even add one tactical dimension to the game when people would have to protect the healer and/or choose whether to help their friend or kill the monsters first.

I admit that if the whole party ends up bleeding then either the campaing ends to OL victory or the heroes need to choose new heroes to continue the campaign. But maybe there's a way around it like some special support character who rushes in and drags the heroes out at the last minute, but you can only use him three times or something.

I'm pretty sure that 2nd edition will have the good old death and resurrection rule intact, but at least I hope they explain why the heroes are undying. 



#15 Steve-O

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 02:34 AM

Mordjinn said:

I'm pretty sure that 2nd edition will have the good old death and resurrection rule intact, but at least I hope they explain why the heroes are undying. 

They did explain that in 1e: magic.

I certainly hope that 2e is more thematically consistent than 1e was, but "realistic" is not something I care about.  High fantasy settings are unrealistic by default - magic defies reality by definition.



#16 Kartigan

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 11:14 AM

Mordjinn said:

 

Frog said:

 

I'm not saying it can't be done, but from a current 1E perspective death and respawning with conquest is a bigger deal than you are making it out to be.  It hugely drove the campaign system as well.

 

Hmmm...I don't see it. I mean does it really make a difference if instead of death and resurrection the 2nd edition would use bleeding and in need of assistance - system. OL gets someone to bleed and he gains conquest. Simple and more gritty and "realistic".  It would even add one tactical dimension to the game when people would have to protect the healer and/or choose whether to help their friend or kill the monsters first.

I admit that if the whole party ends up bleeding then either the campaing ends to OL victory or the heroes need to choose new heroes to continue the campaign. But maybe there's a way around it like some special support character who rushes in and drags the heroes out at the last minute, but you can only use him three times or something.

I'm pretty sure that 2nd edition will have the good old death and resurrection rule intact, but at least I hope they explain why the heroes are undying. 

 

 

I didn't mind the conquest system as it was in 1st Edition, but I wouldn't mind if they went for something a little more thematic (agree with Steve-O though, ultimately it's all High Fantasy so if I can accept that people are shooting fireballs from their fingertips resurrection isn't all that much of a stretch).

I think I'd have to agree with Frog though, conquest was at the very heart of the Descent 1E system and changing it would be a very big deal (it's not impossible and I'm not necessarily opposed so long as they come up with something that is balanced and works well).  It drove everything from hero stats, to hero rewards for pushing further into the dungeon, and the tension of the game revolved entirely around it.  And yeah it was even more vital (if that is possible) to the campaign.

The biggest challenge to changing it would be balancing harder to kill heroes versus weaker mage type heroes.  You'd either have to make them all the same (boring), or simply make hard to kill heroes flat out "better" in every sense.  They were already somewhat that way in 1E, but without conquest to try to balance them who would ever choose a Mad Carthos over something like Battlemage Jaes?

 



#17 Sausageman

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 12:42 AM

Mordjinn said:

Frog said:

 

I'm cool with the video-game style respawns of the original.  If they make it RPG like deaths...then that would drastically change the nature of the game (conquest points etc.).  I'm cool with more RPG elements, but in the end I want that Diabloish gameplay in tact.

 

 

If you're for the Diabloish gameplay then we agree to disagree. I see absolutely no good sides on the die-resurrect-die-resurrect -system. To me (and my group) it is silly and childish. I see no reason why the nature of the game would drastically change with the hero death system being changed. Overlord still tries to kill the heroes and the heroes try to complete the scenario alive.[/quote]

The propblem with this is you'd have to start awarding/accruing Experience Points in other ways - especially as the Overlord.  The game (and it's a board game, not an rpg - so abstract things like 'I convinced the Lord to reliquish his land for the good of the people = 10xp' thing just can't happen) centres around killing and being killed for progression.  Change the game to drastically alter the mortality of heroes, and everything changes with it.

Mordjinn said:

And if I'd have my way also the nature of the game should be changed drastically anyways. I would like to see more winning conditions for both sides than just killing the last boss/the last hero. How about instead of just killing the heroes the OL needs to get the pieces of his infernal machine to safety. Then he has to allocate resources to that too instead of just single mindedly killing the heroes. And maybe also the heroes would have better time if there more to their adventures than just killing and murdering and maiming and... well you get the idea. Some of the 1st edition quests had an attempt to go this direction (some prisoners etc,), but to me they all fell short and became small gimmicks that didn't really bring anything new to the experience. Also you always needed to kill the big baddie in the end, there was no way around it.

This would HAVE to be the case if the previous rules change happened.  You're almost suggesting the heroes need to accomplish X and the overlord Y (and hopefully not 'kill all the other').  X and Y are likely at cross purposes to each other, so the combat element gets introduced, but each side has a definite goal to concentrate on.

It's an interesting idea, and one I'm not totally opposed to.  Death in these sort of games has previously been 'it', and just because Descent 1e had a resurrect mechanic in it, doesn't mean the 2nd has to (I suppose).

In closing - I'm totally on the fence  :)



#18 ilikegames

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 05:00 AM

They could instill something similar to the D&D board games where the heroes have "healing surges". You could pay conquest tokens and heal that way. This could solve the magical death res system.

Of course they could always say, "the heroes leave their soulstones at the tavern. So when they die they can get a drink before heading back into the dungeon."






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