I posted this over at boardgamegeek, but thought this place might be better for feedback. See below...be gentle.
Hello Fans of Descent,
I am working to develop a variant for this game that as of right now I simply call "Story Events". My intent with this variant is just to simply add some fluff and flavor to the campaign phase of Descent 2E while at the same time give little boosts and banes to the Players and OL. Really just sprinkles here and there. The real intent is to just make the campaign phase even more entertaining for everyone playing the game.
Now, DISCLAIMER: If you're someone who thinks Descent CAN ONLY BE AND SHOULD ONLY EVER BE A "TACTICAL MINIATURES STRATEGY GAME" AND ANY RPG ELEMENTS TO THIS GAME UPSETS YOU, I would say to you, thanks for stopping by. Thank you for supporting the game and I hope you get what you want out of the system. However, that being said, I'm afraid that I am simply not looking for your feedback. I would ask that you please respect what we may try to do with on thread. Thanks!
However, if you think that Descent could be an awesome plug and play RPG/story game for busy people in this day and age who cannot spend hours GM'ing then maybe this is a good variant to develop for you. Also, if you've been a fan of Warhammer Quest but don't wanna spend $900 for the game system, please read on.
Okay, now as I was saying, to put it more simplistically and more relatable, I am creating a Warhammer Quest Style events table for Descent. I have developed 24+ event thus far and have reworked existing material from WHQ and several WHQ websites to recreate story events for the Shadow Rune campaign of Descent. I also tried to make the event more thematically specific to Terrinoth and Runebound world in general. I feel like there is still some work to do though and am now reaching out to the community here. Of course, this variant is 100% optional, it's more like a SPIN THE WHEEL! type of thing. Sometimes it could help players, other times it could help overlord.
I'm not sure how to break it down. I THINK that I would like to make it more Arch-type specific? I have 24 items listed, that could be 12 for Healer and Warrior and then 12 events for Mage and Scout. Or, it could be 6 events for each Arch-type. I'm still not sure.
Probably the biggest thing I need advice on is scaling the prizes and penalties of the rolls (or maybe call them Boons and Banes?). I haven't played the game much to know how it scales. I imagine the boons or banes being very minor in nature and have a low impact on the rest of the game, but I also think it should be a gamble for player and therefore think more results say 2 of 3 should favor the Overlord.
lastly, I imagine there being "sequels" of event for lack of better turns. For example, if you roll the same event twice in a campaign, there may be a note that instructs you to reference an "appendix" event rather than experience that event all over again.
I have a living document going on my google drive and would like any suggestions or constructive criticisms. Again, this is all mainly for fluff and fun.
If anyone has event to contribute, please share. Okay...I open up to all of you..
Here's what I have so far.
1 GOOD DEED
Leaving most of your gold carefully stashed away at the Inn, your Warrior goes out on the town, taking 1D6 x 10 gold with him. As you cross the street, you spots an elderly woman shouting from the second floor of a building that robbers have broken into her attic room and are stealing her few possessions. Quick to assist the less fortunate, you race up the rickety stairs to her room three at a time. As you enter her dimly lit room, a black bag is placed over your head, swiftly followed by a heavy iron bar. After several long hours you awaken in a nearby gutter, nursing a sore head. Not surprisingly, the gold he was carrying has all gone. (Test Awareness for Different Result?)
2 STEAM BATH
Your Hero spends the rest of the day in the heady atmosphere of a steam bath, sweating off the after effects of last night's sojourn at the tavern. You emerge feeling far healthier than you have for a good while, with +1 added to his Starting Health score for the duration of the next adventure.
3 STREET FIGHT
Today you decide to stroll about the Marketplace perusing over many exotic goods, spices and characters.While attempting to purchase some new equipment for the upcoming journey, your Hero begins to argue with a burly street trader who has tried to charge you far too much for some cheap, shoddy items. The argument escalates to a brawl very quickly.The trader’s strength surprises you as he sends you crashing into several merchant booths. A crowd begins to gather and shouts of angry merchants grows louder. You must Make a MIGHT test and consult the table below:
FAIL: Your Hero is bested after a hard struggle against the trader and his cronies and loses 50 gold. The merchants whose stalls you wrecked verbally berate you out of the market.
TIE: After a fierce struggle, your Hero knocks the impudent trader to the ground, where he stays to collect his teeth. While he is busy, your Hero takes 10 gold from his stall as a lesson. You lose sight of him as the other merchants swarm his stall for compensation.
PASS: A dozen evil-looking thugs - the trader's bodyguards leap out from the shadows, attacking your Hero with knives, coshes and cudgels. Unperturbed, you coolly dispatch them with a few well-placed sword strokes, empty their purses, and end up 50 gold better off.
Today there is a travelling circus in town that hails from Tamalir. Your Hero spends the day wandering from sideshow to sideshow seeing the jugglers, the oddities and the acrobats. Suddenly, you spot a dark and mystical wagon with an aura of magic swirling around it. The sign outside says “Have Your Fortune Told” and overwhelmed with intoxicating sense curiosity you enter.
Perhaps the sign above the door to that particular wagon should say 'Have your fortune stolen', as for a cost of 20 gold, your Hero is told nothing more than that his destiny lies with a tall, dark stranger from Frostgate!
Your Hero sees a city watch poster warning that a well-known murderer known only as the “Red Blade” is reputed to be in the city. The poster is offering a reward for his capture. The criminal in question is described as very tall, wearing a black cloak and hat, and having a heavy Dawnsmoor accent. Upon reading this, you realize that the description exactly fits a character you bumped into earlier this very evening skulking outside a Manor House. You rush back and manage to apprehend the villain just as he is dragging a gagged noble-woman into a dark alley.
You must Test MIGHT -1 or AWARENESS -2
FAIL: The murderer cackles at you and snuffs out the life of the young woman. He throws the knife at your feet and flees, shouting “Help, murder!” Soon you are surrounded by an angry mob, and only your best efforts (and 1D6 x 10) gold coins persuade them that you are indeed innocent. The Overlord Gains X Threat Tokens.
TIE: Your Warrior saves the young woman’s life, but the murderer slips away into the gloom of the night.
PASS: You quickly free the noble-woman and cunningly capture the murderer, for which you are proclaimed a hero and given 100 gold reward. The “Red Blade” curses you and vows revenge.
If you have previously rolled this EVENT, regardless of outcome proceed to EVENT Sequel 1 instead.
6 Tavern and Inns Event Table (this is still under development, but it's simple a short 12 item table of events taking place at a tavern, pure flavor and I will post it soon).
Visiting the local tavern in a rather seedy area, you partake of a curious drink offered to you by the bartender. After one swig, your Hero feels the effects of the liquid take hold. You have been drugged! You must test Willpower -1:
FAIL: You have been poisoned by one the Overlords spies and will be at -1 to all Attribute Tests for the duration of the next adventure.
PASS: The liquid in question is simply very strong dwarven ale, and you quickly get a taste for it. The only ill effect is a pounding head next morning.
8 AN HONEST DAY'S WORK
Your Warrior is employed by a local merchant to carry bales of cotton to the riverside area for the day. While this work may not be as heroic as thwarting the schemes of the goblin raiders it is still an honest days work and passes the time. This task earns you 20 gold.
9 RIOTOUS LIVING
Taken with the joys of hot food, strong ale and a comfortable bed after so long out in the wilds, your Hero overspends on such luxuries by 50 gold. However, you savor every moment you can.
Your Hero visits the local inn and gets involved in a dubious game of dice with some unsavory men from Carthridge. They speak fast with the rules of the game and cast the die.
Make an Awareness or a Knowledge -1 Test
FAIL: Your Warrior loses badly, and must forfeit one piece of treasure of your choice
TIE: Your Warrior comes out of the game evens
PASS: Your Warrior wins 1D6 x 10 gold.
While strolling along the main street, you hear a disturbance just around the corner. A moment later a huge runaway bull charges down the street, wrecking market stalls and causing panic. Your can let it pass by hiding down a side alley, or try to stop the enraged animal.
If your Warrior hides down the alley and lets the bull pass, you must test Awareness -1:
FAIL Your Hero skulks in the shadows, waiting for the action to die down. As you peep around the corner, a mugger's metal bar hits you over the head. When you regain consciousness, your purse is 50 gold coins lighter.
PASS: After waiting nervously in the dark for a few minutes, you see the bull roar past and career off down a side street. The danger is passed and you may carry on about your business.
If your Warrior tries to stop the bull, you must test Might -1:
FAIL: You wave the passers-by aside and leaps out in front of the bull, sword drawn. The bull hesitates for half a second or so, and then tramples you into the dirt before carrying on its way. The crowd then stomps all over you in the rush to follow the bull, leaving you to nurse you injuries alone in an empty street.You will be -1 Health at the start of the next adventure
TIE: A single sword thrust stops the bull dead in its tracks literally. As its carcass twitches spasmodically, the crowd roar in approval and shower you with 100 gold. Then the bull's enraged owner arrives, and relieves you of 50 gold - it was his prize stud, and he wanted it stopped, not slaughtered!
PASS: Your Hero gives the bull a hard stare and it skids to a halt, snorting and pawing the ground. Putting a rope around its neck, you lead it back to its stall. The crowd cheers and shower you with 50 gold.
12 Taverns and Inns Events Table
You have decided to take a shortcut to that runs through the slum quarter. You are accosted by a mob of beggars and, overwhelmed by the sadness of their plight, you decide to give each of the 1D6+2 pitiful wretches 5 gold. If you cannot pay or choose not to pay gold you must discard one item of your choice so that these poor souls may have something to sell for money.
A debt collector has finally caught up with you. He is demanding payment for money you borrowed years ago in River Watch. The sum you originally borrowed was not substantial, but the interest rates are astronomical. The outstanding balance is 1D6 x 20 gold, and if you cannot pay in full immediately the slimey debt collector and his thugs take all the gold you have available plus one piece of equipment of your choosing. If you roll this result again, re roll.
15 TEMPLE DONATION
Much taken with the teachings of the local priest of Kellos, you pledge 1D6 x 5 gold to his cause, selling equipment if necessary to meet the cost of the donation. The next time you are in a combat and fail to hit your opponent, the righteousness of Kellos will shine on you and you may re-roll the attack. You may only do this once for each donation you make (i.e., each time you roll this result on this table.)
As you help an old crone to cross the bustling main street, a beer wagon unexpectedly careens out of control and crashes into you. She carefully peels you off the heavy, iron-shed wheel, and takes you to the infirmary to be patched up. You cannot buy anything while you recover and cannot participate in the shop step of the campaign phase.
In the crowded marketplace streets, no-one notices the skillful fingers of the Thieves' Guild relieving the Heroes of their money. All of the heroes must test Awareness to determine which of the Warriors are pickpocketed. Each Hero that fails this test each lose 1 item of their choosing.
18 Taverns and Inns Events Table
Walking along a busy streets of the marketplace, the Heroes hear a frenzied voice, hurling insults at them. One of the heroes have been recognized by an old adversary who claims that they wronged him in the past, and he wants everyone in the city to know. Whether or not the Hero has ever seen the antagonist before is beside the point, as he latches on to them and loudly denounces them wherever they go. The agitator stays with the heroes unless they can collectively pass a Willpower test. If all heroes pass this test their commanding presence as tough adventurers convinces the antagonist to stand down and skulk away. However, if one Here should fail the test, he stays with them and all items the party tries to buy will cost double the normal price in gold this campaign phase.
20 STREET PERFORMERS
The Heroes are captivated by a particularly brilliant troupe of street performers from Tamalir, who are presenting their own rendition of a popular and contemporary play. The play the Heroes gather to watch is called (roll once on each of the tables below, taking a note of the numbers rolled)
1 Death of ..
2 The lost love of ..
3 A return to ..
4 No Solace for .
5 Cursed be ..
6 Drunken as ..
1 …The Latari
2 ... A love struck Minstrel
3 ... Solitude
4 ... Blackthorn Grove
5 ... The Baron of Nerekhall
6 ... The Ever bungling Gnome!
At the end of the performance, roll another 1D6 to see how good or bad the actors were.
1 Appalling! The Heroes have never seen such rubbish in their lives, and join in with the raucous crowd by pelting the unfortunate actors with rotten vegetables.
2·5 Entertaining. The Heroes each give the actors 10 gold.
6 Splendid! The Heroes are captivated, and shower the actors with well earned praise, and a lot of gold too! The Heroes collectively give the actors 50 gold.
21 DEAD BODY
While walking down the footpath you trip over and hit your nose. Cursing your clumsiness, you pick yourself up and turn around. Sticking out from a side alley is a dead body. You look around, thinking that people might think you have killed the poor blighter, but no one has noticed. You can either investigate or move along.
If you investigate Test Knowledge:
FAIL: As you bend down to look at the body, it jumps up surprising you and tries to steal your gold. A struggle ensues. Test MIGHT. If you Fail, the bandit wins and he manages to steal XX gold and runs away. If you Pass you give the bandit a kick up the backside and continue on your way.
PASS: The body is that of a well respected Nobleman of the settlement. You hurriedly search his body and find a note pinned to him that says, “Debt Paid, Courtesy of the Red Blade”. A few villagers notice you searching the body. Unwilling to cause an incident you move away.
If you choose to move along, Test Awareness:
PASS: As you pass the body turns over, it’s hand reaches up and clasps onto your arm. It sits upright, and you realize it is one of the Baron’s guards. “His agents are among us, the one behind it all is…” is all you can understand as the guard slips into death.
FAIL: Unwilling to cause an incident you move away as a crowd begins to gather around the scene.
22 OLD FRIEND
While checking out the wares at the local market, you spot Falzon Curtblade, someone known to you from your homeland. Falzon spots you and comes over. Grinning cheerfully, he shakes your hand and the two of you head off to the Alehouse to reminisce about old times. After talking (and drinking) most of the night, you must Test Knowledge:
FAIL: Falzon tells you that he is a member of a travelling circus which has made it’s way to this city. He is a famous juggler, his most amazing act is juggling five squiggly beasts while singing “The Goblin Witcher and the Razorwing”. He gives you a free ticket to the circus. Proceed directly to “The Circus” event next time you choose to roll on the events table. This is the only event you can experience that campaign phase.
PASS: It seems that Falzon had heard your were in town and had travelled here to repay a debt of 1D6 x 10 gold pieces which he borrowed off you many years ago. Amazed that he would travel many miles to this Settlement just to repay you, you thank him kindly and buy another round
23 FIRE AT THE INN
The Inn which your are staying has suspiciously caught fire. Attempting to be a good citizen, you race through the building, knocking on peoples doors and trying to evacuate the building. You must Test Knowledge -1 or Awareness -1:
FAIL: Thinking of elderly owner downstairs, you leap down the stairs three at a time. Unfortunately that happens to be more than you can handle and with a trip, you tumble head over heels down the rickety stairs until you land in an unconscious pile at the bottom. When you awake, you realize that someone else has saved your life, and not a moment too soon either. Your Hero will start with -2 Health due to smoke inhalation at the start of the next quest.
TIE: It appears to have been a false alarm. When you return to your room, you are angry to find that XX of gold has been stolen.
PASS: Burning timbers falling around you as you usher the inn patrons out into the street - just in time too, as the whole place collapses in a cloud of smoke and burning wood. You are congratulated for your good timing and in a ceremony given by the council is given a good citizen award.
24 Taverns and Inns Events Table