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Shall I buy Descent? YOU DECIDE.


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#1 ReNeilssance

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:08 AM

Firstly, this game sounds rad.


I first heard of Descent watching the great Shut Up and Sit Down special on it, and I decided I really wanted it about 10 minutes into the 30 minute video. Google swiftly revealed the coming of 2nd Ed, and I decided rather than splurge on something soon to be out of date, I would sit on my hands and wait for the update to come out before buying it. My friends all loved Mansions of Madness, which seemed to be essentially the Lovecraft version of Descent (that's probably wrong) so I thought it would go down really well with my group.

That was a few months ago.


Since then, my chums have started playing D&D4E (I worry about posting that name on the Internet for fear of bringing down the wrath of D&D fans. It's like saying Candyman 3 times in the mirror) and I am concerned that for them, Descent isn't going to provide a different enough experience to justify getting out on the table too often. On the other hand, the competitive aspect, as well as the mechanics, seem very different to D&D, and Mansions of Madness certainly complements Call of Cthulhu rather than competes with it. Does anyone play both? Do you think both can peacefully coexist or will one replace the other?



#2 KristoffStark

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:32 AM

ReNeilssance said:

Firstly, this game sounds rad.


I first heard of Descent watching the great Shut Up and Sit Down special on it, and I decided I really wanted it about 10 minutes into the 30 minute video. Google swiftly revealed the coming of 2nd Ed, and I decided rather than splurge on something soon to be out of date, I would sit on my hands and wait for the update to come out before buying it. My friends all loved Mansions of Madness, which seemed to be essentially the Lovecraft version of Descent (that's probably wrong) so I thought it would go down really well with my group.

That was a few months ago.


Since then, my chums have started playing D&D4E (I worry about posting that name on the Internet for fear of bringing down the wrath of D&D fans. It's like saying Candyman 3 times in the mirror) and I am concerned that for them, Descent isn't going to provide a different enough experience to justify getting out on the table too often. On the other hand, the competitive aspect, as well as the mechanics, seem very different to D&D, and Mansions of Madness certainly complements Call of Cthulhu rather than competes with it. Does anyone play both? Do you think both can peacefully coexist or will one replace the other?

To me, Descent in no way competes with D&D (of any edition) because it is not a Roleplaying game.  You are not encouraged to develop your character beyond Archetype/Class combination, and there is nothing to the game other than shopping and fighting.  Now, if that's all your group does with D&D, it might be too similar to play both, but that is certainly not the case in my expirence.



#3 jwdenzel

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 11:28 AM

 I've played Descent and D&D 4E for several years now. They definitely have similar combat systems.

(I actually think the Descent 1st edition combat system is more realistic than the D&D4e combat, but that's a different story…..)

As the person said above, D&D is a roleplaying game. The DM is supposed to facilitate an adventure for the heroes. You can use spells in creative ways. You can make up stuff as you go. You can adapt the system to supplement your adventure.

Descent is pure combat and rules.  There's no character development.

Different animals.

Descent 2nd edition will play MUCH faster.  You can compete the entire campaign in a few (4-5) sessions. 



#4 Bindlespin

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 12:26 PM

 Buy it and if you don't like it give it to me :)

 



#5 Tromdial

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 05:46 PM

Having years of DnD experience, I can attest that my free time limitations and disappointment with player commitment in dnd has led me to board gaming, which I feel is the superior experience anyways. If you have loads of free time, then why not pick up Descent 2e? If you don't have lots of free time to the point that DnD is hard to schedule: again, choose Descent 2e. Otherwise if you guys have the DnD commitment and consider only playing a round of mansions every so often, I would stick to that bit until the group tires of DnD. Right now there is some debate over Stun and Necromancer mechanics, respectively, and when the errata hits, I think that will be a good time to pick it up for sure.

If you can't resist however, Descent 2e is way worth the buy. If you would like something quicker and as zany as 3.5 dnd spellcasting in boardgame form, I highly recommend Wiz-War. I love that game.



#6 Sausageman

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 12:20 AM

Just to echo what others have said, these are two different beasts.  I've roleplayed for years, and am currently playing a D&D 3.5 game.  There are only the vaguest similarities between the two games (being character customisation and getting loot, and even then, D&D as an RPG has FAR more options in both).  D&D takes far more effort to play, certainly as the GM, whereas Descent is essentially pick up and play.  It's also significantly shorter - an RPG can span into years, Descent will be in the 20 hour range.

They're Apples and Oranges  really, and the two can co-exist fine.  If you're interested and can afford it, then go for it.

Just a warning though, Mansions of Madness it ain't - don't go into it expecting that and you won't be disappointed.



#7 MasterBeastman

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 02:12 AM

I play Descent and D&D4E.

Currently I DM two D&D4E campaigns which both meet weekly. My Descent group plays every other weekend, and one of those players has been hounding me to run a D&D game instead.

They can be apples and oranges, but they don't have to be. D&D4E's combat is quite a lot like Descent in that it has squares and your players can hash out tactics and work as a team to overcome an encounter. Where the big differences come up is outside of combat. D&D is meant to have a storyline and some roleplaying.

If you and your friends like bashing monsters and getting loot then I'd say either platform will work quite well. However, if you have the time you might find D&D4E more satisfying in the amount of options available to both DM and players. Plus, D&D grants you a lot more control over those options.

The biggest difference is between the DM and Overlord. The Overlord is a player and is trying to win the game. The DM gets assigned homework :)

I'm only half kidding. If you're playing D&D4E as a bash'em game then your DM could just get the Dungeon Delve book and you guys can have a great time as it has enough combat encounters to take a party from 1-30. It spends about the same amount of time on storyline as Descent does - a couple paragraphs of flavor text. Then it's on to the fighting!

If you have plenty of time on your hands and a person who is willing to be the DM then I'd say there's probably not room for both games. If either of those aren't true then there's probably room for both.



#8 Columbob

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 05:19 AM

Tromdial said:

 

 Right now there is some debate over Stun and Necromancer mechanics, respectively, and when the errata hits, I think that will be a good time to pick it up for sure.

 

 

 

If a simple little rule query is what's preventing you from playing or enjoying a great game…no comment.

 

I'll be enjoying the game long before any errata drops. IMO the errata is not needed at all, if it's there then fine we'll play it that way, otherwise come up with a solution yourselves.

 

D2 isn't the mess that the Quest compendium was (vol. 1, what a laugh). Nobody even bothered to proof read it before sending to the printer, as was evident by the number of crap a simple cursory reading brought up.



#9 Tromdial

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 05:48 AM

Columbob said:

Tromdial said:

 

 Right now there is some debate over Stun and Necromancer mechanics, respectively, and when the errata hits, I think that will be a good time to pick it up for sure.

 

 

 

If a simple little rule query is what's preventing you from playing or enjoying a great game…no comment.

 

Simple rule query, yet I know a player or two who would call that grounds for the game being stupid and not playable. Some people can be very sensitive about rules being perfect, so I suppose I reflected that experience in my commentary. Otherwise, I still believe waiting for an errata is a fair advisement, as it clears up any rules confusion for all players.

As a suggestion perhaps, don't play with the Necromancer class until errata hits, and because the stuns affect everyone equally, go ahead and use them as you best understand them, should you buy the game.



#10 Columbob

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 01:24 AM

I don't play my games in a tournament setting. A little rules query that's easily overcome by a 30 second discussion amongst friends won't stop me from playing anything. If it bothers someone that much, maybe they're not playing games for the right reasons, and I wouldn't waste my time playing with them.



#11 radiskull

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 06:59 AM

Columbob said:

If it bothers someone that much, maybe they're not playing games for the right reasons,

The right reasons, of course, being the ones that you say they are.  Not trying to troll, but to point out that expressing absolute opinions cuts both ways.



#12 Tromdial

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 02:37 PM

So what it be, ReN? Did you get Descent 2e this weekend?



#13 ReNeilssance

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 10:40 AM

Tromdial said:

So what it be, ReN? Did you get Descent 2e this weekend?

 

I did not, I'm afraid. I still might at some point, but I think the issue I'm going to have is pitching the high concept of the game to my friends. Saying 'who wants to play a game where you are cyberpunk thieves running a data heist on an advanced corporation' sells everyone on Infiltration for instance, but saying 'who wants to play a game where you are various heroic characters raiding a dungeon in a fantasy world' is, I think, not going to sell it over just playing with everyone's hand-crafted, much-beloved D&D characters, even though it is a different gaming experience.  Am giving serious thought to your suggestion of Wiz-War instead though, have read up on it and it sounds brilliant. And so much cheaper!



#14 Tromdial

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 04:32 PM

Wiz-War is brutal fun, but there is also many card questions. It is very well worth it though; likewise, I expect there should be an errata anytime but I believe many questions have been pretty well answered in the forums alone. I would see this as a great alternative to Descent 2e and you can always try D2 in the future too.



#15 Sausageman

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 12:14 AM

ReNeilssance said:

I did not, I'm afraid. I still might at some point, but I think the issue I'm going to have is pitching the high concept of the game to my friends. Saying 'who wants to play a game where you are cyberpunk thieves running a data heist on an advanced corporation' sells everyone on Infiltration for instance, but saying 'who wants to play a game where you are various heroic characters raiding a dungeon in a fantasy world' is, I think, not going to sell it over just playing with everyone's hand-crafted, much-beloved D&D characters, even though it is a different gaming experience.  Am giving serious thought to your suggestion of Wiz-War instead though, have read up on it and it sounds brilliant. And so much cheaper!

I wasn't a huge fan of Wiz-War.  It was one of those nice theories, but the execution wasn't a patch on it.  Shame, but I suspect nostalgia is playing a big part in it's success.

As for pitching Descent, why not go for 'a dungeon bash game that we can finish in an hour or so' (campaign aside).  If you're ever short on time, you'll get far more done than you would in a D&D game.  And who knows, they may actually get hooked and what to play the campaign then (where they sort of craft their own characters.  Sure, the customisation will never compete to an RPG, but it's a board game, it never will).



#16 d4rkwing

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 08:31 PM

Our 4e group played Descent 2e and liked it. Or at least I did and I think the others did too. We played it because 2 of our players were out for the week and couldn't play D&D. The guy who DMs really liked the way the quests were written and is planning on incorporating some of the mechanics (specifically encounters with objectives other than killing everything) into our game.






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