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Poor Overlord (heroes OP?)


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#1 DocPanic

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 01:45 AM

For the start:

I did not play Descent V1 and I don't think comparing to the previous version would help.

So, my group and I were playing for some time now our several Descent V2 campains. (I have to explain, that we do own the first expansion) Unfortunately it was getting harder and harder for any of us as Overlord to win anything. Our heroes you kill nearly each monster in a hacking whirlwind of death. It even got worse in the second part of the campain!

Just to give you a clue: The heroes got to the final and killed the dragon (since they won previously nearly everything) in the FIRST round. And, just for fun, they killed the Lord in the same round. And I couldnt do anything against it (I never moved in this scenario).

But that is not the only problem, since you could always argue, that the OL just was played bad.

Worse, the Overlord does not have a "Wow" feeling. The heroes can buy cool stuff, which they get to use and to plan with. And what does the OL gets?

Cards. Which he may draw. Or not. This is not very encouraging, when everybody around you is looting, leveling and team playing and you only choose 1(!) card and perhaps you lose before getting to use it the next time!

 

This is just sad.

Are there any ideas? Is the second Addon making everything better?

Should the OL also get Skills, which he can lay out, use with Mana (e.g. with a limited amount of Mana each turn), get equipment, which he can give red monsters, and so on?



#2 Krawallburste

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 11:43 AM

Uhm - ok.

I'm the OL of my group too and i can understand ur frustration and anger very well. in our first campaign the heroes just melted through Gravorn turn 1, leaving my dull and angry.

Things i realized:

1) if i aim for it i can win every encounter flat. but that doesnt make the heroes feel good, nor does it make me feel good, since i'm 1 player happy vs 4 players being angry and frustrated. after all, you are playing together on an epic campaign. i found it to be good if the games were balanced. hell, my heroes even then started to cry over me winning 50% of the encounters accusing me of powergaming, ruleabusing and harcore plays, where they did nothing less. but thats the role of the ol afterall i guess, to give the players a well balanced game experience.

2) if u let your heroes grow strong soon, they will faceroll over your quests, try let them win 1-2 scenarios, or 1 scenario and 1 encounter. if they win too often and get too much gold they will be no match for your monsters too soon.

3) always keep in mind what your quest objective is. its not about killing heroes or spawning monsters. in most cases its something u mutch better achieve by beein stealthy, quick or disruptive. try to hold down the heroes (ettins?) and slow them down, while planning to kill all that npcs, or buying time for spligg, or turning around all the guests. ALWAYS keep in mind EVERY turn what ur abjective is and work for that. 

also keep in mind, that some cards are much more needed in the later encounter. a dash could save ur spliggs escape in (a fat goblin), so try keep it up your hand. also a frenzy enables him to move AND kick a hero out of his way with knockback. 

4) try to get an idea of what u get from killing heroes. if it is 2 ettin attacks perfect. but if u have to dash, frenzy dark might and dark fortune 1 ettin to get 1 kill, u just traded 4 useful cards for 1 and a dead hero, which is a rly bad trade. again: keep in mind what ur objective is

5) heroes have the abilities to melt through most of ur monsters turn 1 (which is frustrating, but important, if they couldnt the OL would be far too overpowered). try to postion them smart enough, so that 1 or 2 monsters see ur turn and then use them smartly again. try to buy time for ur main objective, or lay some waste on the heroes. a hit and run tactic is in most cases way more clever then to run for the squishies to deal the most damage. 

6) try to seperate heroes. most heroabilities rely on the heroes standing adjacent or within a range of 3. a nice ettin throw or a merriod immobilize fucks up their whole strategy. also a hero, which is parted from his group is a much more easy target 2 kill with ur respawns, traps or other stuff.

7) work with conditions. fatigue is a dire ressource which heroes will give up reluctantly, a low attributed warrior will suffer fatigue damage every turn if he is diseased, an immobilized melee can do nothing but rest, a poisened low powered mage will suffer 1 damage every turn (they **** up power rolls so often its hilarious). words of misery punches up ur damage enormusly, keep it in the back of ur hand and then, when the heroes are surrounded by enemies lay waste on them. if they suddenly start their turn full fatigued they will look quite shocked.

8) get the conversion kit. it will give u much more ressources (in form of monsters), which will give u dire needed viability. u can pick monsters which are (for the quest settings) much more appropriate and will turn the favours in your hands (and giants are just off the hook awesome).

8.2) use sentinel hybrids, they are above average, deal solid damage and are quite tanky. red one can even affect 2-3 targest (fire breath).

again: use disruption, move your heroes apart, use stealthy hit and run actions. and dont **** up your heroes, they will loose interest if u win every encounter


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#3 Steve-O

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 12:43 PM

Krawallbürste said:

1) if i aim for it i can win every encounter flat. but that doesnt make the heroes feel good, nor does it make me feel good, since i'm 1 player happy vs 4 players being angry and frustrated. after all, you are playing together on an epic campaign. i found it to be good if the games were balanced. hell, my heroes even then started to cry over me winning 50% of the encounters accusing me of powergaming, ruleabusing and harcore plays, where they did nothing less. but thats the role of the ol afterall i guess, to give the players a well balanced game experience.

That is absolutely NOT the role of the OL. =P  You are not playing "together," this is not an RPG.  You are out to KEEEEEELL the heroes, as they are out to keeeeeeel you, too.

The role of the OL is to crush those puny heroes mercilessly, and then laugh in their faces when they start crying.  Do it often enough and they'll stop crying about it.  (Or quit playing, but that just frees you up to find some better players who understand the concept of competition.)  Rotating who plays the OL helps to diffuse any complaints about who's powerhousing whom, I find.


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#4 DocPanic

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 08:31 PM

Krawallbürste said:

1) if i aim for it i can win every encounter flat. but that doesnt make the heroes feel good, nor does it make me feel good, since i'm 1 player happy vs 4 players being angry and frustrated. after all, you are playing together on an epic campaign. i found it to be good if the games were balanced. hell, my heroes even then started to cry over me winning 50% of the encounters accusing me of powergaming, ruleabusing and harcore plays, where they did nothing less. but thats the role of the ol afterall i guess, to give the players a well balanced game experience.

2) if u let your heroes grow strong soon, they will faceroll over your quests, try let them win 1-2 scenarios, or 1 scenario and 1 encounter. if they win too often and get too much gold they will be no match for your monsters too soon.

 

First of all. Thanks fpr the long reply, even it is somewhat not really helpful.

1) I was complaining, that I get totally crushed EVERY time, and you sey I should not let them win to often?! Oh, yeah, thanks for that.

2)I do NOT own the Descent V1, so i guess the conversion kit to V2 would not really help me.

3)It is easy to say to split the heroes when they kill everything what stands between them.

 

And most of all:

As Overlord you do not see any gain between the games! I am just not getting better, while everyone around me loots and levels up. I just get 1(!!!) card which I may draw, or draw not.



#5 Robin

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 08:52 PM

You seem very irritated.

Two forum members try to lend you a hand, and you still are angry.

It could be possible that this game is not made for you - I mean, that is does not meet your expectations.

After what I see, you are caught between not frustrating the heroes by beating them and not being frustrated yourself by losing all the time.

I don't think you will accept help provided much, because there is too much emotions in the way of communication.

When I stumble upon a game that finally does not satisfy me, I move to another one.
It is more healthy than to nurture a grudge: it only is a game, after all, and fun is the major element we are all looking for.
No fun? Find something better for that. comiendo


An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.
G. K. Chesterton

#6 DocPanic

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:24 PM

Hi,

and sorry if I seem angry, but I guess you get me wrong.

I am not caught between two things.

I dont have any problems if I beat the heroes. I really would like to beat them in every single game. The problem is: it is not possible. Lets explain this: We are a rather experienced group of players and the heroes can plan very well, so there is no chance in winning.

The totally other problem is, that the reward for the OL is just too small. You only get one card which you may be able to use, or not. Everybody else gets skills, gears and loot. Pretty unfair?

So, If you say I should move on. Could you recommend me a Dungeon Crawler Board game?



#7 magicWALLIS

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 03:52 AM

I have also felt the same frustration.  And the same as you, I came to Descent at the second edition.  I think the point about expectations is spot on.  This, I have found, is a very finely balanced game, and if your not 'on it' your gonna get your proverbials handed to you.  

I got landed as the OL on the basis that I bought the game and had read the rules, other than that none of us had played Descent before.  I think experiencing the game for the first time as the OL can be frustrating as the slightest error and you can get steamrollered .  We are just coming up to play the finale and I have won only two quests.  I think fudamentally I am a rubish OL, however looking back we made some minor rules mistakes which might have led to me winning a couple more quests.  I still love the game and while I'm not at all expecting to win the finale, I can't wait to play again as a hero.

I guess my advice would be, if you find it that frustrating, stop playing.  Or find someone else who wouldn't mind being OL.  Or brush up on your OL skills, there's loads of advice on these forums and on BGG that could help.



#8 Robin

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 04:43 AM

What is difficult to evaluate, is why it would be impossible to win with the OL.
I have read threads saying the exact opposite…
So, there must be quite a lot of factors involved, among which : level of skill of the players, heroes selection, luck, quests involved (and at what moment), etc.
Perhaps switching roles with a hero of your team could give mutual insight of the different type of challenges faced by both roles ?
The fact that the OL develops differently from the heroes is not a problem in itself, IMO.
I often read about the OL having a boost at start of Act II, with more powerfull monsters which are able to match the better skilled and equiped heroes.

DocPanic said:

So, If you say I should move on. Could you recommend me a Dungeon Crawler Board game?
I don't say that you should move on - but if Descent does not give you fun, it would be sad to keep on playing it.

Descent actually is not really a Dungeon Crawler, in that all players are aware of all elements of the quests - it rather is a skirmish game set in a fantasy environement.

I don't quite know what your tastes are, so the following are just ideas that you may perhaps find interesting (the fact is that I found what I was looking for with Descent 2, so I don't have a large experience with other "dungeon crawler" apparented games) :

- Munchkin Quest : funny, with unfolding map - but, well… it is Munchkin, some hate it, some love it (I have had good moments playing it - but it lasts quite long)
- Mansions of Madness : I haven't played it, but it seems to work quite like Descent - a team of heroes vs an evil Keeper
- Mice and Mystics : I am quite tempted to buy it (I am just waiting for the French version to be published)
- Mage Knights : I read that some players prefered it (I am not about to purchase it)
- D&D Ravenloft, etc. : seems more simple and cooperative.

 


An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.
G. K. Chesterton

#9 SolennelBern

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 04:49 AM

Steve-O said:

Krawallbürste said:

 

1) if i aim for it i can win every encounter flat. but that doesnt make the heroes feel good, nor does it make me feel good, since i'm 1 player happy vs 4 players being angry and frustrated. after all, you are playing together on an epic campaign. i found it to be good if the games were balanced. hell, my heroes even then started to cry over me winning 50% of the encounters accusing me of powergaming, ruleabusing and harcore plays, where they did nothing less. but thats the role of the ol afterall i guess, to give the players a well balanced game experience.

 

 

That is absolutely NOT the role of the OL. =P  You are not playing "together," this is not an RPG.  You are out to KEEEEEELL the heroes, as they are out to keeeeeeel you, too.

The role of the OL is to crush those puny heroes mercilessly, and then laugh in their faces when they start crying.  Do it often enough and they'll stop crying about it.  (Or quit playing, but that just frees you up to find some better players who understand the concept of competition.)  Rotating who plays the OL helps to diffuse any complaints about who's powerhousing whom, I find.

Steve-O said:

Krawallbürste said:

 

1) if i aim for it i can win every encounter flat. but that doesnt make the heroes feel good, nor does it make me feel good, since i'm 1 player happy vs 4 players being angry and frustrated. after all, you are playing together on an epic campaign. i found it to be good if the games were balanced. hell, my heroes even then started to cry over me winning 50% of the encounters accusing me of powergaming, ruleabusing and harcore plays, where they did nothing less. but thats the role of the ol afterall i guess, to give the players a well balanced game experience.

 

 

That is absolutely NOT the role of the OL. =P  You are not playing "together," this is not an RPG.  You are out to KEEEEEELL the heroes, as they are out to keeeeeeel you, too.

The role of the OL is to crush those puny heroes mercilessly, and then laugh in their faces when they start crying.  Do it often enough and they'll stop crying about it.  (Or quit playing, but that just frees you up to find some better players who understand the concept of competition.)  Rotating who plays the OL helps to diffuse any complaints about who's powerhousing whom, I find.

I had the same discussion in the Mansions of Madness forums and I completely agree with you Steve-O! The OL play against the Heroes, not with them. Your role is to melt their faces and their role is to melt yours, simple as that.  Hero players won't be on the brakes is they feel they're in control, no no no…they'll get even more fierce and agressive.  There's no reason why the OL should play soft on them.

I agree that this game is note for everyone.  Every game with an Overlord/Keeper/1 vs Many mechanic is not for the frail and everyone at the table should be fully aware of that and play accordingly.  By the end of the session, all players should feel they did their best in victory or defeat and already talk about the next session in a contageous manner.

Descent 2.0 is another game where you need the right players and i'm not saying this in a negative manner.  You don't need players that cry out loud that you cheat when they lose or players that get angry easily over a game.  Sure it'll happen from time to time but Heroes should be angry at them not at the OL and same with the OL.

It's the defeated fault is they lost, not the Victorious.



#10 Steve-O

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 01:02 PM

DocPanic said:

1) I was complaining, that I get totally crushed EVERY time, and you sey I should not let them win to often?! Oh, yeah, thanks for that.

I think what he meant was that you need to get on top of the heroes early.  If they win the first few quests in a row (which you may have let them do to coax them into the game) then they have a head start on you for whatever loot and gear they earned in those quests.  The OL needs to crush the heroes from the very start.

If you want to introduce the game to new players it's better to play one-shot quests, not the campaign.  Remember that the campaign game is an ADVANCED OPTIONAL rule.  One-shot quests is how the basic game was designed to be played.  That's not to say that the campaign is particularly complicated - it's really not - but that jumping into a campaign game right off the bat means that some players are going to make rookie mistakes early on that will skew their progress in a much longer-term game.

In this case, the heroes won a lot of early quests and got the upper hand, and now they've been steam-rolling you because they aren't idiots, tactically speaking.

DocPanic said:

2)I do NOT own the Descent V1, so i guess the conversion kit to V2 would not really help me.

You can still make use of the Conversion Kit monsters (and heroes) without owning V1.  You'll just need to find some proxy figs to represent the new monsters, but you have all the 2E rules and components you need in the CK.

Some people don't like playing with proxies, and if that's the case for your group then that's a shame.  The CK monsters really open up a number of options for the OL to deal with uppity heroes.  The CK heroes are pretty good too, of course, but with only seeing at most four of them in any one game, the OL has plenty of options to counteract whichever strengths they present.

DocPanic said:

3)It is easy to say to split the heroes when they kill everything what stands between them.

In my experience, splitting up the heroes is about luring them apart, not forcibly dividing them.  If your heroes love to kill goblins first, run a master goblin off to one side of the map and hope the warrior comes after him.  Plink them with arrows if they ignore him.  Leave a Search token in the far corrner of the map unguarded to taunt the thief into spending a turn or two going to get it (during which time he won't be around to attack your monsters.)

It may seem counter-intuitive, but making a stupid move that leaves an opening the players can't resist can sometimes go a long way towards undoing them.  At the end of the day, the OL performs much better if he focuses on "playing the players."  Not at the expense of yor own objectives, though. =P

DocPanic said:

As Overlord you do not see any gain between the games! I am just not getting better, while everyone around me loots and levels up. I just get 1(!!!) card which I may draw, or draw not.

There are also relics, which of course require you to win the relevant quests, but that will come with practice.

Also, if you're worried about not drawing the card you bought, always remember that you can pare down the OL deck to a minimum of 15 cards before each new quest.  Maximize your odds of drawing the cards you want by throwing out the ones you don't care about.

At the end of the day, you're not entirely wrong though.  The OL doesn't improve as much as the heroes do over the course of the campaign, but he has plenty of resources to counter them at every level of power.  You just need ot get the hang of how to leverage those resources.

If playing the OL is too frustrating, then perhaps suggest rotating who sits in the OL seat so you can at least win sometimes as a hero.  And focus less on campaign, more on one-shots, so you can try different combos and different tactics without a bad choice weighing you down for the next five game sessions.  And if all that still doesn't help, maybe this game just isn't for you.  Better to recognize that now than to go on banging your head against the wall.



#11 apbevan

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 10:52 AM

My experience is similar to the OP but comes from a background of very expericend Descent v1 players. I loved one off missions and RtL and felt that both sides had good strong options and victory actualy ment something.

In Descent v2 I find that the times I did win missions it did not mean much for my overloard progression and that the heroes seem to progress at a steady pace regardless of what  I did do. The only missions that really seem to mean anything are the ones that give up relics.

I got Descent v2 when if came out along with the CK and played most of the way through a campaing but as the overlord I was loosing interest as I found that my progression was very limited and felt meaningless while the heroes progress was interesting to the players and they got stronger and stronger. Each mission felt like I was placing mosters to try and delay the heroes  so that I could accomplish my goal 

I see that there have been soon to be 3 more expasions. Do any of these add much in the way of overloard customizeation and campaign changes to make it feel like winning means something?



#12 SolennelBern

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 07:25 AM

I just got a nice deal for Descent V1 base box + Road to Legend + Altar of Despair for 75CAD.  Great condition (only the base box have some wear, components are like new).  I also own D2E + LotW and played a campaign so far.

I really like D2E but can't compare to D1E since I never played…but soon will.

My hopes with D2E was mainly that the Heroes would progress DURING the quest and not after.  That you would get XP and loot as you progress and level during the session.  I still like the way D2E handled progression but it doesn't really feel right.  I get the point though that you complete the quest at a steady pace and after that you can take your time to shop and use your XP as you like.  This concept is cool and fun but I hoped for this kind of progression during the actual dungeon crawl.

An expansion purely designed with longer one-shot quests (still in the same 2 encounters pattern, maybe more maybe less) with XP per kill/objectives and level up during the game.  I know it would look more like D1E but with streamlined gameplay but it would scratch some itch imo.

I'm glad I now have both editions and both will get played equally based on what we're looking for and what kind of players we can gather.  I love the setting and love how FFG cares about Terrinoth franchise and i'm glad they have many expansions planned in the future.



#13 Silverhelm

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 01:29 PM

My group goes through the "ol no big deal syndrome" too. One thing that bugs me is when they get a condition card and just shrug there shoulders. I wish they where nastier. I want conditions to make them say "oh s*it" not that!


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#14 Naerys

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 05:43 AM

Me and my group had a the same problem. We are very well versed in the realm of Terrinoth and that includes the OL but none the less he´s bin getting steamrolled every time.

 

We have concluded that the problem is the fact that if the players win an encounter they get to choose the next encounter and can for that reason pick one that suites them. This makes for a very likely snowball effect since after every win the players get stronger and stronger but the OL doesnt progress as much. Our (untested) way to remedy this is to let whoever loses an encounter pick the next one. That should (in theory) make for a more ballanced game. If one side is winnng then the other side can pick an encounter thats suits him/them better.

 

   



#15 DocPanic

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:21 PM

@ apbevan:

Thats exactly what I meant! The overlord is just fighting againts windmills, which just keep on going and he doesn't get any nice reward, no feeling of "Now It will be hard for you puny little humans….muhahahahaha".

I guess you know what I mean. I would love a way for the Overlord to get some skills and really advance in using them. Perhaps even looting and enhancing the red monsters, or a Enhancement which gives every monster +1health or what so ever. There should be a progress to see! Please FFG, bring us some fun for the Overlord!

 

Silverhelm said:

My group goes through the "ol no big deal syndrome" too. One thing that bugs me is when they get a condition card and just shrug there shoulders. I wish they where nastier. I want conditions to make them say "oh s*it" not that!

Yes, that would be really great! The overlord should be able to make them suffer.

 

@ Naerys:

Might be a chance to do that, but I really dont think, that it will be enough to solve the case of a frustrated OL. And with no one whanting to play the overlord… there is no game, or no happy one, if one is always mad at the game (and the lucks, that he lost a bet and has to be OL).

 



#16 Silverhelm

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 05:35 AM

Avric is always played against me in are games and to me that guy to me,is OP vs OL. I already house ruled conditions like poison,burn to roll a grey dice for damage. Against Avric doesn't really matter but if your lucky enough for him to be out of range YAY! Lol grey dice rolls instead of one damage. Plus it's fair to me you can do 0-3 damage instead of the one. Plus burn can hit other heroes. Cool thing about it is they got to consider getting rid of that condition or suffer up to 3 wounds.



#17 Silverhelm

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 05:57 AM

I probably should change Alvric to Prayer of healing combos. Prayer of healing combos is my Downfall! The class plays well but it hurts the OL so bad lol. 



#18 DocPanic

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 02:47 AM

Silverhelm said:

I probably should change Alvric to Prayer of healing combos. Prayer of healing combos is my Downfall! The class plays well but it hurts the OL so bad lol. 

It is unfortunately not only Prayer of healing Combos. The last time we played we draw the chars at random, and they still steamrolled the OL (this time not me). I so much would like to hear a statement of where the Adons are going, from Fantasy Flight Games!

Please guys, if you are listening, will you introduce something which makes the Overlord 1.) happy because he advances, 2.)not feel like on a suicide mission.



#19 bringweed

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 01:16 AM

As an OL in my group i can say that i don't feel even the tiniest bit unhappy about my "loot" at the end of a quest. Indeed it's not much, but it's enough for you to work with and be able to cast your vengeance upon the heroes. I only finished one campaing so far with my group, which is admit i lost in the end but only because it was 5am in the morning and 4 minds are better than one and other reasons (i won't say which), but other than First Blood in act I i have one every single quest, and then because of my mistakes again i lost the Interlude. After that i was indeed pretty much steamrolled until the end of the campaing. But my opinion is not that the OL doesn't advance as much as the heroes do, in fact i think he is more versatile throught the campaing than the heroes are. 

Look at it this way, the heroes get to pick a class and a character at the start of the campaing and they play until the end with those, althought they do indeed level them up and get better gear; gear which is always randomly drawn from the deck and can never know if will be of anyhelp. True that you can hoard the gold for a few quests and hope for that overpowered item you were waiting and saving money for 3 quests ago, but if it never drops i don't see how the hero is OP over the OL. The OL on the other hand has a whole pool of spells, monsters, traps and w/e else he has in his sleeve to throw at the heroes at every single turn, and if you'll say "but bringweed, the OL has a whole deck of card to draw from", then i'll tell you that you can reduce it to a number of 15 (most powerfull or w/e you like) if you don't know how to put to good use every card in the game and increase your chance of draw. It is indeed true that later in the game a hero can one shot almost every monster on the map, but he OL should not play to have monsters alive on the map at the end of the day and try kill the heroes, because that is never the objective. The OL should always look at his monsters as a meat wall that can throw a punch at the heroes and make them feel hurt a little step by step. I think that a good OL will always look at what he has and think his moves 3-4-10 turns away in advance and always know what the heroes will do. As the OL, i would say your greatest weapon is not your "advancement" in terms of spells, monsters and w/e else the OL has in hand, but a great mind to help put to good use those means of making the heroes suffer. 

 

Hope this helps, just my opinion on the topic. Cheers. 



#20 Dalthor-san

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 10:09 AM

For my experience i can tell that our OL is a freaking mastermind! We've won one (!) encounter 2 quest. nothing more and we've played 6 quests i whole! It's not that we're bad heroes but with this OL you can't afford to do a singel mistake or he's all over you ass ^^






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