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One Fist and a Tale of Woe:

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 04:07 PM

My brother just picked up Descent II and the gang I were excited to have an adventure together like the good ol' days when we played the original Descent.


We passed out characters at random, realized the deck was not shuffled very well because we all had rogue types and then shuffled again.


My buddy Brad ended up with ONE FIST, a classic guy from the first go around and it began to feel like olde times.




We looked at the character classes of Knight, Berserker and Champion and scratched our heads a bit.  The Berserker and the Champ both had 2 handed weapons to start with and the Knight had a sword and shield.  Giving out starting equipment so people could not buy items and stack one character into a superhero is a good idea, but the lack of options made handicapped One Fist ready to file a class action law suit.


It seemed like One Fist's fate was a hand dealt to him... lack of a hand made the knight the only real option. 

However my friend decided to go with Berserker and try his hand at boxing until he picked up a melee weapon or could buy one in town.  Things started to go wrong soon after.


Here is a few questions I have about One Fist.


Can he use his hook for a regular melee attack?  A Blue and a Yellow dice is better than just a Blue dice punch.


Is One Fist for all purposes equipped with a sucky mace that has no surge abilities?


Can One Fist use his hook for his "I am going down but I am taking you with me" attack?


My guess is the answers to those questions are no, No, and NO!!!



In our first run of the game we did not realize that you could not pick up treasures in the dungeons (no copper chests!) so One Fist was basically without a weapon the whole game.  He had an axe that he could not use.  The good news is we found out later that was worth 25 gold.


After we won the scenario we hoped we could spend our gold on gear, but we got 4 random gear cards... and of course no one handed weapons.  We got some stuff that was 150 gold a pop and out of our budget. 


So we were wondering if and when poor Berserker One Fist would ever get a weapon he could use. 


One Fist did get knocked out by the Big Ettin and did give him a claw to the face for 3 damage as he went down ending up saving the day.  Even though this move was probably illegal it was the only bright spot of the dark journey.


After the scenario was done tempers flared and our journeys in the dark ended.


For good?


That remains to be seen, but hopefully not!


I think that there should be a few options open for beginning characters and they should not just be handed to you. 












#2 PlainWhiteBread



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Posted 06 November 2013 - 04:29 PM

Labyrinth of Ruin, the next 'big box' expansion has all the tools to help One Fist out. Outside of that, you'll have to get your (one) hand on the Steel Broadsword, Light Hammer, Iron Spear or make use of the Sling or Crossbow until Act 2. Act 2 gives you a chance to use the Dawnblade, the Dragontooth Hammer, or the Mace of Kellos. Everything else is two-handed.

The expansion comes with the Beastmaster class, which starts with two one-handed weapons, so he can use them in conjunction with hook-handed attack, plus a wolf familiar that rolls Blue/Red as well. In addition an Act 2 Weapon, the Rage Blade, is a one-handed weapon that rolls Blue/Red/Yellow, and if you attack (with anything) more than once per round, you add an additional green die (the green die has 1 damage max, but has surges on 2/3rds of its faces).

His hook-handed attack is a free action, so don't be so hard on the guy; If you need to move in and attack but just can't close the deal, you can always hook 'em for Blue/Yellow. Also, don't forget that a surge rolled on any attack can be used to recover one fatigue, too! Where this ties in to the aforementioned Rage Blade is that you can always get the bonus die if you hook 'em first and follow up with the weapon strike.

He's really not as limited with his one-handed restriction with some of the additions to the game. We may disagree with having to spend cash to get sets that make characters more useful, but at least Labyrinth of Ruin is a whole 'nother quest, with plenty of new content.

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 04:37 PM

I am a big fan of people (or orcs) with disabilities trying to do their best to make the world a better place and the dungeons a little less populated with monsters.


We are big fans of One Fist and want to make sure he gets a fair shake.


Enough hand puns to last a lifetime.


Thanks for your input PlainWhiteBeard!


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#4 Domsterlord



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Posted 06 November 2013 - 05:08 PM

In our campaign I allowed a Berserker one-fist to use the knight's sword.


Simple as that...



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Posted 06 November 2013 - 05:25 PM

That seemed like a good idea Domsterlord and was explored but the idea of starting out with HOUSE RULES even before the first dice was shook was making waves.


I wanted One Fist just to be able to swing with a yellow and blue (much, much less lethal than the knights sword) and that was also frowned upon.  He got in a lot of punches on the ettin, but none of them had any effect.  He actually clawed the big brute once for three though. 


I would like to see one fist have that as part of his starting power and hopefully nobody else ever will be up in arms!









#6 No Hero

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 06:42 PM

Can I suggest agaisnt using the Conversion Kit in the first place? Both monsters and heroes are written as if the authors were trying more to evoke the feeling of familiar figures than any concern for whatever little balance Descent 2nd ed has. (Hello Castle Daerion and kobolds!)


I'd suggest sticking to the box heroes and monsters, at least for the big campaigns, and using the CK for mini-campaigns ( the two small expansions, played as standalones) or epic play oneshots.

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#7 griton



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Posted 07 November 2013 - 10:37 AM

Yeah, unfortunately, you are correct on all three points.  The Blue+Yellow can only be used as a free attack and not a separate melee attack. The big problem I see is that your players knew going in that One Fist was limited and instead of choosing a class that would work from the get go, they chose something that would risk them having to wait until they found an appropriate weapon and then heatedly complained when they didn't get lucky. Granted, they didn't realize that loot was normally acquired between quests, which is an understandable mistake.


Something to keep in mind with hero selection: According to 2nd Edition rules, hero players get to freely choose their hero characters; it isn't a random assignment. In 1st Edition, it was random by default, with choice being allowed with Overlord consent. This was generally fine because if they didn't like what they got, they really only had to play one quest with it. In 2nd Edition, campaign play is standard, so if they get stuck with something they don't like, they are stuck for 9–11 quests (around 16–18 encounters). So in essence, you've already started house-ruling things.



Here's a few recommendations:

1) Definitely consider starting over. You've only played the first quest, so you won't have lost much, and will be able to attack the campaign with a better understanding of the rules on both sides. (I usually allow any new players the ability to call a mulligan after the first session and for the following session, we'll start from scratch now that they have a feel for things. At that point, they aren't a new player any more, so can't request a do-over.)


2) Consider not using the conversion kit for the first campaign. On their own, the individual parts of the conversion kit aren't particularly overpowered, but there are a few specific combinations (if you put the right hero in the right class, or play with a specific pair of monsters, etc.) that can make things seem a little crazy.


3) If you do want to use the conversion kit, but are wary of your players ferreting out the best of the best and putting together a super-team, do random assignments, but deal out more than one card to each player and let them choose from that. However, if you do this, I would recommend that the overlord has the same restrictions for monster choice (after separating out what monsters are available for open groups based on encounter traits, he has to abide by the same rule: deal out random cards per open group and choose from them). 


Here are a few examples of how to handle random draws:

1) Deal out 2-3 hero sheets per player and everyone chooses from the same pool. Overlord gets 2-3 monster cards per open group and chooses all from that one pool.

2) Let everyone choose which archetype they want to play and deal out 2-3 hero sheets from that archetype to each player based on that choice. Overlord gets 3-4 monster cards (1 greater to make up for there not being defined groups) per open group and chooses 1 from each set.

3) Shuffle the whole pile together and deal out 3-4 hero sheets to each player and they must choose from what they got. Overlord gets 3-4 monster cards per open group and chooses 1 from each set.

4) ALL THE THINGS! Shuffle everything together and divide them evenly. Overlord divides available monster cards into an even number of piles, 1 for each open group, and then has to choose 1 from each pile. This gives the most freedom of choice but helps to prevent crazy combos.




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Posted 07 November 2013 - 01:07 PM

I think that if we do play again that we might have to use the standard game without the converted characters from Decent 1 until we get a better feel for the climate.  We did not even get to the second mission, so we are still unclear what we are dealing with. 


I have been perusing the forums and see that this game does get people up in arms... and that is not necessarily a bad thing.  Having passion  and emotion in what you do is not a bad thing.  This game does help develop a thick skin.


However, I think that One Fist is going to have to be the exception to the rule and he will probably still be part of the heroes.  Looking at the list of heroes he does not seem overpowered to me... his special power is kind of "bleh" and towards the end of the campaign a blue and a yellow is going to make uber lieutenants giggle. 


This time around though?  My guess is Ol' One Fist will be a KNIGHT!


Thanks for all the input guys- it is good to see people making the community a better place.