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RtL heroes and campaign


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#1 Pimply

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 08:57 AM

Hello -

 

I have a couple of things I wanted to ask here.   

First, here is a quick background on where I am coming from.  My friends and I have played through the base Descent Journeys in the Dark quest.  We finished Well of Darkness, Altar of Despair, and are just about to begin playing Tomb Of Ice, and begin introducing Feat cards.

I wanted to start off by saying that we thoroughly enjoyed playing Journeys in the dark, however after playing WOD and AOD that has left a very bad taste in our mouths.  We feel that those two expansions are completely broken, and completely tilted towards the Overlord.  Out of all of the games in both of those expansions I believe the heroes only won 2 - 3 total quests (one of these quests was only won because we played going into negative conquest and won at the final boss battle).  The remainder of these quests were complete lopsided wins for the Overlord (the heroes were destroyed, many times not even getting to see the final boss room). 

We have one player in our party who enjoys playing as the Overlord, and will most likely be our Overlord for when we begin playing RtL.  We take turns playing overlord, so it isn't that the Overlord is just that good.  I am probably the weakest Overlord in my party, and I still was able to completely destroy the heroes.  We are really hoping that introducing feat cards will balance the game out, otherwise I fear we will lose interest in the game.  With that said I will move along, bringing me to my following questions (pertaining to RtL campaign).

1.  Since we are just starting TOI we have not read through all of RtL instructions, but I wanted to ask a few questions regarding some concerns we are having. I know there are many heroes to pick from, but what are some of the communities favorite heroes for RtL?  We are thinking about the heroes picking their own heroes and skill cards for our first crack at this.  We have never played this way before, but our thoughts are if we are going to play a campaign that may last several months, we would like to pick our heroes and not get stuck with crap cards and crap heroes.  So your thoughts on your favorites and why?  Any tips you can offer would be fantastic!

2.  A concern that we have with RtL is Acrobat.  Has this skill card been nerfed at all from the base game?  Our Overlord is completely against playing with this card, almost to the point where he does not want to be overlord if we play with this card.  Has anybody run into any issues with this card, or does it completely unbalance the campaign?  Any thoughts or opinions or work arounds on this?  I know from the little reading I have done that they have removed Poltergeist and Telekenisis from the campaign.

3.  Another huge concern that my friends are having is playing with the hero Tobin Farslayer.  We are all under the impression that he is broken.  He is literally able to hit for 15-17 damage with copper weapons due to his ability.  I personally like him (who wouldn't if you're a hero) but trying to keep the game as balanced as possible I can understand the distaste for him.  I know in RtL from what I have read that the Line of sight rule is no longer 8 spaces, rather 5 spaces.  If this is in fact correct, I know this would limit the amount of damage he would due, however is it enough to balance him out?  What have you folks done to balance him out.  Their biggest argument is that he is a promo hero and not part of any of the expansions, so we don't "have" to play with him.

Please correct me if I am at all wrong about any of the above information.  I'm sure I will continue to ask many questions as we progress, however I wanted to start with these.  Any tips in general on RtL or TOI would be very much appreciated as well!

Thank you for your time, and your help.



#2 Roy S

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 09:33 AM

How many people are in your group?

I've heard that with 3 players vs 1 overlord, it usually ends with defeat for the players.

With 4 players vs 1 overlord, it seems tipped in favor of the players.

 



#3 StayPuf

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 09:49 AM

I'm in the same gaming Group as Pimply.  We always play with 4 heroes and 1 overlord.  Even when we are light people, we still always play with that set up.  Although for normal play, we do randomly pick heroes and skills.

I do have a question for RTL and picking Hero Skills.  What do people suggest for hand picking hero skills as well as heroes?  We have decided on picking our own heroes, but not yet on hand picking skills.  Some of us feel this could be overpowered (me being one of them), but this could make for a more balanced team for our first playthrough.



#4 Steve-O

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 12:37 PM

Pimply said:

 

I wanted to start off by saying that we thoroughly enjoyed playing Journeys in the dark, however after playing WOD and AOD that has left a very bad taste in our mouths. We feel that those two expansions are completely broken, and completely tilted towards the Overlord. Out of all of the games in both of those expansions I believe the heroes only won 2 - 3 total quests (one of these quests was only won because we played going into negative conquest and won at the final boss battle). The remainder of these quests were complete lopsided wins for the Overlord (the heroes were destroyed, many times not even getting to see the final boss room).

 

 

AOD and WOD are definitely much harder for the heroes than the base quests. You want to play with 4 heroes, and even then it will be an uphill fight. That said, I wouldn't say they're "completely broken." I'm given to wonder if the heroes in your group are making tactical errors like trying to collect every scrap of loot in the dungeon, or maybe insisting on killing every monster the OL spawns. These are the kinds of things that will get a hero party slaughtered. The game designer is on record having said that some of the loot piles were positioned in out of the way corners as deliberate traps for heroes who couldn't keep their eyes on the prize.
Pimply said:

 

1. Since we are just starting TOI we have not read through all of RtL instructions, but I wanted to ask a few questions regarding some concerns we are having. I know there are many heroes to pick from, but what are some of the communities favorite heroes for RtL? We are thinking about the heroes picking their own heroes and skill cards for our first crack at this. We have never played this way before, but our thoughts are if we are going to play a campaign that may last several months, we would like to pick our heroes and not get stuck with crap cards and crap heroes. So your thoughts on your favorites and why? Any tips you can offer would be fantastic!

 

 

I would generally recommend against letting the heroes just pick any skill they want, especially if they also get to pick the hero. Descent randomizes basically everything the heroes get, and it does so for a reason - there are really good options and there are really bad options. Removing the randomness entirely will only lead to stupidly powerful hero parties who can't be beaten.

As far as skills go, each hero only begins with one in RtL. He draws the same number as usual, but he only keeps one. After that, learning skills is a mostly non-random process throughout the game - each city has a list of specific skills which can be learned there, so you can already pick and choose how the heroes progress once the game is under way. Drawing three (or four) skills and picking only one to keep should be enough that you can choose a reasonably decent option for your hero without resorting to completely non-random selection.

As far as heroes go, I'm a big supporter of the "draw three, pick one" method. Each player draws 3 heroes and picks one to play. This method seems to result in reasonably powerful parties without completely eliminating the random aspect, as long as the hero players know how to pick good heroes, of course. =P

Pimply said:

 

2. A concern that we have with RtL is Acrobat. Has this skill card been nerfed at all from the base game? Our Overlord is completely against playing with this card, almost to the point where he does not want to be overlord if we play with this card. Has anybody run into any issues with this card, or does it completely unbalance the campaign? Any thoughts or opinions or work arounds on this? I know from the little reading I have done that they have removed Poltergeist and Telekenisis from the campaign.

 

 

Acrobat is definitely one of the better skill cards for almost any hero, but it's far from being unbalanced. It performs about the same in the AC as it does in vanilla. If your OL is really threatening to not play if this card is in the deck, then I think he's either being melodramatic or he has a lot to learn about OLing. (Although, to be fair, if the heroes can just pick it non-randomly I would probably have a few sour grapes, too.)

Of course, he can always throw everything he has at razing the city that teaches Acrobat if he wants to prevent you from getting it (and as long as no one drew it during set up.)

Pimply said:

 

3. Another huge concern that my friends are having is playing with the hero Tobin Farslayer. We are all under the impression that he is broken. He is literally able to hit for 15-17 damage with copper weapons due to his ability. I personally like him (who wouldn't if you're a hero) but trying to keep the game as balanced as possible I can understand the distaste for him. I know in RtL from what I have read that the Line of sight rule is no longer 8 spaces, rather 5 spaces. If this is in fact correct, I know this would limit the amount of damage he would due, however is it enough to balance him out? What have you folks done to balance him out. Their biggest argument is that he is a promo hero and not part of any of the expansions, so we don't "have" to play with him.

 

Tobin is definitely broken. As a promo hero, his basic purpose was to be "so awesome" that players would feel compelled to go to the convention that he was offered at just to get their hands on him. Game balance was not a primary concern in his design. That said, most of the maps in RtL are generally smaller, so his ability would be more restricted just because of a general inability to draw LoS over long distances. I don't know if that would be enough to balance him out, though, and I haven't played with him myself in an AC game.

StayPuf said:

 

I do have a question for RTL and picking Hero Skills.  What do people suggest for hand picking hero skills as well as heroes?  We have decided on picking our own heroes, but not yet on hand picking skills.  Some of us feel this could be overpowered (me being one of them), but this could make for a more balanced team for our first playthrough.

 

 

The only way this idea will lead to balanced teams is if the hero players have no idea how to pick good combos. =P

See my above comments to Pimply on the subject.  Draw 3, pick 1 works well without completely disregarding the random aspect of character generation.  The AC already has some changes concerning skills that should help you get around the disfavourable aspects of skills in vanilla.



#5 Corbon

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 01:27 PM

First, everything Steve-O said gets a +1

Pimply said:

I know in RtL from what I have read that the Line of sight rule is no longer 8 spaces, rather 5 spaces.  If this is in fact correct, I know this would limit the amount of damage he would due, however is it enough to balance him out? 

I have no idea what the heck you are talking about here. There is no LOS rule about 8 spaces, and no restriction down to 5 spaces.
Spiritwalker skill, to which LOS is irrelevant, is reduced from 10 spaces down to 5.
Astarra's special glyph activating ability is reduced from 6 spaces down to 3.

Anyway, Tobin is broken and is a joke. I wouldn't touch him with a barge pole. Nor would I touch the female mage that came out with Tobin (although she has been toned down slightly in the FAQ, so I would object much less forcefully now) - the morons designing these heroes either didn't understand the game at all or, as Steve-O said, deliberately designed broken heroes to encourage people to want them. Either way they weren't made by FFG, though FFG copied them later due to fan demand from completists.

 

As far as general skill picking for ACs goes (from you starting set dealt that is, I certainly would not recommend just picking skills) I would strongly recoomend at least 3 heroes, including at least 1 mage, go for damage boosting skills if possible. You really need nearly all, if not all, heroes to be doing at least 6 damage minimum at least 80%+ of the time without adding in extra dice with fatigue or potions. And you really need at least 1 hero, preferably two, who can deal out 10+ damage reasonably reliably. The other 'cool' skills like Leadership, attack multipliers, spiritwalker, Wind Pact etc can be trained later, or chosen if you didn;t get a raw damage booster option.

 

As far as Acrobat goes, its useful, very useful, in ACs, but your OL is overreacting. It gives the heroes plenty of options, but in the end they still need to fight tough, hardhitting monsters in order to progress. It will help them loot and steal resources easier, but they still need raw fighting power to get through, and the hero with acrobat doesn't have a fighting skill. Also, in the end, the heroes only win by killing the OL's Avatar. Acrobat will help them get there, but it will be almost useless in the final fight.
If he hates it that much he should choose the Spider Queen for his Avatar, with Beast favouring upgrades (Naga's, for the grapple) and nasty traps. So much for Acrobat...

 



#6 HighRoller802

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 05:52 AM

 I'm the overlord in the group above and I think you guys may have convinced me on the ways of beating acrobat in RTL.  The things pimply was talking about being broken in the expansions were some of the mechanics they tried to implement in the maps that would lead to instant deaths for the heroes.  Also, the lack of silver and gold treasure chests until far later in the maps.  Feats seem to have helped even things out a little for the heroes, I know they are enough to annoy me as overlord.






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