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TheFamousECCLES

replayability

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I'm tempted to get this but I don't want to be stuck as the overlord all the time; can players alternate roles without spoiling the secrets next time we want to run a scenario? Can it be played solitaire?

Cheers.

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There are no secrets, all players (heroes included) gets to know all the scenario specifics (unless otherwise stated in the quest rules).

The game is at its best played in campaign mode and I would not recommend changing the roles during a campaign.

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You can do mini-quests rather than a full campaign if you like. As the guy above said, it's not the best, but it is an option.

 

You can switch off who plays the Overlord but it's really not the best. The Overlord is a role, just like all of the others, and the most enjoyable part about it is building up and customizing them.

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If you're going to play a full campaign, as people have said, those roles are set- it doesn't really make sense to be "changing sides" during a campaign, because the objectives are competitive, and have effects lasting longer than any single quest.

 

However, I see no harm in switching roles between complete games, whether it's campaigns, mini campaigns, or standalone quests. I have routinely played a hero, and recently got another group of friends interested in the game, and became the Overlord- seamless transition. 

 

The game can't be played solo, but as long as you've got at least two people, the second person can control up to 4 heroes by himself. And while it's true that the full experience of the game is in campaign mode, I have really enjoyed mini campaigns (they're just a little shorter,) and single play maps are my favorite at the Act 2 level, because you really get a chance to test out a class by spending a good number of XP points, which you otherwise don't get to do until several missions into a campaign.

 

In terms of general replayability, this game is very good. There are 5 act 1 quests, and 1 of 2 act 2 quests are available for each based on which ones you do (or don't) pick, so a campaign can play out multiple ways. Also, there is a rich collection of expansions, including (at this point) two mini campaigns, AND two additional full campaigns. Excepting the conversion kit, you've got 25 (hero/class) combinitations for each archetype, and there's a free tool on this website to make your own quests. As long as you have people to play with, there's a lot to do with Descent.

Edited by Zaltyre

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The quests were designed in a "open information to all" mindset, so from a technical perspective there are no secrets the OL needs to keep, but that's assuming you share the quest info to your heroes (which you should be doing anyway). It's not only about the quest objectives, but also all special mechanisms and abilities the heroes need to understand in order to plan accordingly. Just like yourself as the OL.

 

Otherwise if you follow the campaign story then yes you do have some unexpected events occuring, and these should better be kept under silence if you haven't played the related quests, but these have no direct effect on the quests aside from explaining the purpose of said quests and why certain characters are present or absent, I recommend that you keep your heroes informed about the story and not just play quests without knowing the purpose of it. It adds some value to your gaming experience. Moreover bear in mind if you run a campaign then you won't be playing all quests, therefore you won't know about every branches of the storyline. Nothing prevents you from reading it all, it has zero impact on the game itself, but I find it thrilling to leave them uncharted so we get the motivation to start the campaign again and play these branches at some point.

 

As for solo play, I don't think it would be very satisfying at all. If you have spare time between your normal game sessions then I suggest you dedicate this time to paint the minis :)

Edited by Indalecio

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Id recommend running a couple different campaigns at once and switching between them on different gaming sessions.

This is what we do when we have a different group of players (e.g. sometimes when one person can't make it).

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I find the replay value is very high in that, like mentioned above me, the game has no secrets and is more a tactical battle. I typically play the overlord (I'm normally GM for Pathfinder and any other game of that kind anyway) and even when playing a quest I may have played multiple times before, it's all about planning out to win the scenario. Different heroes, different abilities, but the SAME map/scenario is actually really fun for me. I know the map and situation and so does my opponent, it's only the other factors that I have to adapt too, and sometimes it drastically changes the fight.

 

Funny story actually. My friend and I recently played the errated version of the "Castle Darion" quest with him as overlord and me as 4 heroes. It was a hell of a close fight but I barely won (changlings guys.... changlings can win that quest for OL). It was such a good match we actually sat afterwards and started talking about it, then decided to just play it again right then and there(we kept my victory notch for campaign purposes though;)). There's a ton of fun to pull out of those quest books and if you end up going crazy and getting all the expansions, the full list of quests is pretty big.

Edited by Carbini

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I'm tempted to get this but I don't want to be stuck as the overlord all the time; can players alternate roles without spoiling the secrets next time we want to run a scenario? Can it be played solitaire?

Cheers.

 

Yes, you can alternate roles without ruining anything.  IMHO it would be a bit weird to swap who's playing the OL within the course of a single campaign, but it can certainly be done that way if you want.

 

In general, I recommend that groups rotate who plays the OL to let everyone see what it's like to be OL.  Not only does it give the owner of the game a break from always being OL, but it goes a long way towards settling those ridiculously intense rules debates that Descent has a way of generating.  When everybody knows how the OL works, it becomes a lot easier to remain objective during such discussions.

 

There is no option for solo play in the core box, but there is a co-op system coming down the pipeline.  Right now there's only one such campaign, which will be available for retail sale "later this year."  (Currently it's available as a promo for special events.)  FFG has said more co-op campaigns will be coming, too.

 

Note that the co-op system being developed only appears to work for its own campaign - ie: you can't use it to play the core game's Shadow Rune campaign solo.  That said, I'm sure some enterprising fans will find a way to homebrew the co-op rules into existing "vs campaigns" in due time.

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There are some adventures which can get partially spoiled. Not because there's information you don't know, but because there are a limited number of tactical options, and multiple playthroughs give the heroes an advantage. For example, one of the trollfens quests - don't remember the name, there's a sinking carriage - has two paths the heroes can take to the objective; in my opinion, the obvious path is a huge mistake, and once you know that the adventure is much easier.

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