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Hidden Treasures

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 07:21 AM

The release of Lair of the Wyrm, the expansion for Descent: Journeys in the Dark Second Edition, is coming later this month! With new heroes, classes, monsters, quests, and more, Lair of the Wyrm lets heroes discover secret rooms and investigate suspicious rumors, while the Overlord equips himself with deadly never-before-seen tricks and fields a powerful new lieutenant.

In the past two previews, we have seen the Rumor card system and the valorous new Champion class. Today, we’ll continue our series with a look inside the secret vaults, sanctuaries, and other chambers hidden throughout Terrinoth. Within these secret rooms lie treasures that may prove a benefit to any hero, but guarding these artifacts are terrible creatures, puzzling riddles, and formidable feats of strength.

Secret Rooms can be found in any quest, and begin with the simple addition of the “Secret Passage” Search card to the Search deck (it replaces the “Nothing” card). If a hero draws the Secret Passage Search card during an encounter, he places a secret room entrance token in his space; this door into the secret room will stay there until the room is resolved.

Of course, entry is totally optional. While on a quest in which time is of the essence, wise heroes should perhaps eschew the material rewards of the secret room in favor of completing their main objective hastily. On the other hand, who can resist the promise of wealth hiding beneath their feet?

"But wait! What about...?"
(other details regarding secret rooms):

  • Monsters cannot use secret room entrances. What’s born there stays there, and what’s born outside stays outside.
  • A monster revealed by a challenge token does not count against the overlord’s monster group limit.
  • At the start of each overlord turn in which a hero is in a secret room, the overlord may discard one challenge token or monster figure from the secret room. This way, the overlord can partially govern the time heroes spend in a secret room, if he wants to.
  • If a hero is knocked out while in a secret room, his hero token is placed above ground, in the secret room token’s space.

A Wealth of Possibilities

Once the secret room entrance token has been placed, the hero who placed it has the option of immediately entering. Thereafter, the cost of entering a secret room (referred to as “exploring”) is one movement point. But what’s inside? This is determined by the Secret Room deck. The first hero to enter draws one card from the Secret Room deck then follows a few simple instructions to create the secret room. Often, this involves placing the 4x4 secret room tile near (but not connected to) the board, to represent a small chamber beneath the entrance token.

For example, let’s imagine that after drawing the “Secret Passage” Search card, a hero player draws The Dragon Shrine as his Secret Room card. Reading the flavor text, he learns of a small cult of monsters engaged in the unholy worship of dragon idols. Seeing an opportunity for profit, the hero descends into the room.

First, following the instructions at the top of The Dragon Shrine, the hero player places secret room tile S1B faceup near the map. Next he moves his hero figure from the main map to the secret room entrance space on this small 4x4 tile. Finally, the overlord player randomly draws challenge tokens equal to the number of heroes and, without looking at them, places each one facedown in a corner of the secret room tile.

The challenges in all four corners of The Dragon Shrine must be met before this secret room is resolved, and its prize awarded. But what are they?

These challenge tokens share a common back. Each token represents a threat or obstacle that must be overcome, and by performing a search action when on or adjacent to such a token, a hero player may flip the token faceup to reveal its challenge. Perhaps a hiding monster will spring to attack, or arcane runes will require a test of knowledge. No matter the challenges, the heroes must overcome all of them if they hope to reap the rewards of the secret room. Those rewards run the gamut from gold and equipment to temporary boosts in combat. Destroying the foul dragon-worshippers in their shrine, for instance, gives the party a temporary boost to the fatigue they can suffer.

What else lies hidden beneath Terrinoth? Venture into the secret rooms and find out. In the meantime, keep checking back for more on Lair of the Wyrm, and look for it on store shelves later this month!

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