Really i have just a few questions…and oif course would like opinions on what they think of this first expansion. I own DE2, but have been waiting to play it, because I'm thinking it's going to continue to fill out. I also know my group pretty well, and we'll only play Shadowrune Campaign maybe only one time.
If you're thinking that your group will only want to play the campaign once because then "the story will be ruined," you may be surprised. The fact that everything's revealed up front in a quest means that there aren't really any surprises, story-wise, once each quest begins. If anything, I suspect your group will want to play it again to make sure they've seen every quest (you play less than half of them in any single campaign.)
when I saw that Lair of the Wyrm is more of an Augmentation to the existing game than a new campaign, I was a bit let down. Then, I saw that there is actually very little to bolster the existing game as far as Shop Cards and Search Cards, I was a little let down by that as well. However, side quests and rumors was a big redeemer and got me looking forward to this expansion.
Well, as you noted yourself, FFG did release rules for playing the LoW rumour quests as a "mini-campaign" so if you're really really sure your group won't want to play the Shadow Rune a second time, you can just play it as a second campaign by itself. Considering how short it is, you could probably play it with the same set of heroes who just finished the Shadow Rune without too much imbalance (you probably want to use Act II monsters for the whole thing though.)
Also, in case you haven't noticed, FFG just released an open beta of their new Quest Vault program so that fans can make their own quests/campaigns, and it seems to be filling up at an incredible pace already. Even if you only play the Shadow Rune and Lair of the Wyrm mini-campaign once each, I imagine that the Quest Vault will keep you rolling in new quest content using both the core game and the expansion materials for a good long time.
But then I have to ask, is the Lair of The Wyrm quests meant to REPLACE some Shadowrune quests? That's what I thought I read. For example, in Act 1, if you complete 1 Shadowrune Quests and 2 Lair of the Wyrm Quests then you move right on to the Interlude? So you miss out some of the Shadowrune Campaign? I don't understand how these 'side quest' work, or are they called Advanced Quests?
No, the rumours DO NOT count toward the limit of quests per Act, so the heroes will always take on 3 of the Shadow Rune Act I quests before the interlude.
If you play the LoW quests as rumors, they're broken into 3 "Act I" quests, of which the heroes will ultimately play one, and 2 "Act II" quests, which they also only play one of, depending on which Act I rumor they played. Like the Shadow Rune itself, the rumour set is designed to branch out when added to a longer campaign.
If you play LoW as a mini-campaign, you basically string all the rumor quests together into a self-contained storyline.
I think that Lair of the Wyrm looks like a solid expansion (and I'm speaking as one who had his doubts when it was initially announced so close on the heels of the core box.) Seriously, though, I wouldn't underestimate the replayability of the campaign game in Descent. The story is good (much better than it was in 1E), but it's still secondary to the focus of the game, which is essentially tactical fantasy combat. As such, quests don't really get old just because you've played them once already.