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Darkspell

RTL Scaling Leaders

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I often see comments about campaign levels getting too easy on the heros.  In response I am curious what everyone thinks about having dungeon leaders modified stats increment with campaign levels.  This would only impact stats that can increase with ranks or as an alternative have only the leaders health increment.  To be more specific:

Example Beastman Leader
Gains 12 health, 1armor and shadowcloak

Option 1
   Copper - Gains 12 health, 1 armor and shadowcloak
   Silver - Gains 24 health, 2 armor and shadowcloak
   Gold - Gains 36 health, 3 armor and shadowcloak

Option 2
   Copper - Gains 12 health, 1 armor and shadowcloak
   Silver - Gains 24 health, 1 armor and shadowcloak
   Gold - Gains 36 health, 1 armor and shadowcloak
 

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 In my own experience, it's not that easy for the heroes, far from a cakewalk. I wouldn't recommend boosting the monsters. The overlord just has to use his first experience points to make Eldritch, Beast or Humanoid monsters go Silver and the party will have a hard start.

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Darkspell said:

I often see comments about campaign levels getting too easy on the heros.  In response I am curious what everyone thinks about having dungeon leaders modified stats increment with campaign levels.  This would only impact stats that can increase with ranks or as an alternative have only the leaders health increment.  To be more specific:

Example Beastman Leader
Gains 12 health, 1armor and shadowcloak

Option 1
   Copper - Gains 12 health, 1 armor and shadowcloak
   Silver - Gains 24 health, 2 armor and shadowcloak
   Gold - Gains 36 health, 3 armor and shadowcloak

Option 2
   Copper - Gains 12 health, 1 armor and shadowcloak
   Silver - Gains 24 health, 1 armor and shadowcloak
   Gold - Gains 36 health, 1 armor and shadowcloak
 

The problem is, things can be too hard and too easy at the same time. So any big change could make things worse rather than better, for many people.

Eg, that hero that dishes out 22 damage per swing suddenly loses his fancy weapon and using the backup he is down to 12 damage per swing. Against armour 9/90 that's 7 (8-9 with Xs) attacks to kill becomes 30 (35-37 with Xs) attacks to kill.
Or, the 32/6 monster up against a party doing an average 10 damage per hit - hits, say three full rounds minimum (there will be some Xs), probably 2 rounds with some potions or feats. Boost the monster to a 44/7 and we are up to 5 full rounds minimum, probably 4, maybe 3, with potions and feats. That's plenty of time for the OL to spawn again or do other things to further drag things out.

Worse, the bosses don't all scale the same.

FFG playtested the game (there are obvious places where rules have changed from a first edition pre-release yet the editing has not caught up) and settled how they settled. I think that making significant changes could have large unforeseen impacts. The fact that we already have some groups saying teh game is too easy and others saying it is too hard is an indication that, if not necessarily perfect, it is actually in a good place.

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I currently run a campaign (for the second time).

I play as a player in another.

The overlord for the one in which I'm a player plays in a third.

 

People are very strategic and skilled boardgamers. They can invent stuff on the spot, like using knockback on themselves in order to reach a towngate and activate it.

 

In all campaigns but one where the players gave up (because of Tamalir siege), the players are all having it way too easy.

This game, though I have great love for it, is FAR from balanced. And in my opinion far from playtested in gold level.

 

In my last campaign, in the avatar dungeon, I had a dungeon level where I as the overlord didn't get a turn as my boss was killed and the players all got out 1st turn.

The problem lies in the gold items. Items get approxamately 3 improvements per level, so by gold level, they are a factor 27 better. Monsters do not get the same kind of love, so it should be evident how much more powerful the heroes are a gold level.

 

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NoNamium said:

In my last campaign, in the avatar dungeon, I had a dungeon level where I as the overlord didn't get a turn as my boss was killed and the players all got out 1st turn.

The problem lies in the gold items. Items get approxamately 3 improvements per level, so by gold level, they are a factor 27 better. Monsters do not get the same kind of love, so it should be evident how much more powerful the heroes are a gold level.

 

This is mostly likely a bronze or weak silver boss?

Do you still to the limit on fatigue tokens (total something like 24 max)?

I agree, gold items are too powerful, especially when the heroes have multiple of them. Crushing Blow. At every available opportunity.

In general, I find that the biggest problem in Gold is that the heroes are so fast. One-shotting monsters has always been around, but with smaller dungeons and increased fatigue, not to mention a plethora of Other items (Wings of Reggoroth, Elven Boots etc) available the heroes can zip through too fast. There are always going to be too many AoE items available too. Feats like Hustle and the Fly spell are critically useful in bronze but make a joke of things by Gold.
The removal of Telekinesis has helped, but clever heroes can still do things with, say, Eagle Staff and Water Pact that make them go faster.

I think that strictly sticking to the fatigue token limit helps too, but is not always enough.

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Anyone who says RtL isn't easy for the heroes on Gold haven't had good players or haven't played it.

We use the 24 fatique counter limit. Yes the dungeon level where I got no turn was a bronze monster, but I believe that I got about 8-9 turns total through to level 5 of the avatar dungeon.

My avatar got one-shotted after this (Spider Queen), even with full upgrades and about 30 extra life.

In my second campaign (as overlord) I'm already having trouble with the team. The first chance I got, I bought silver Eldritch for my Sorceror King, skeletons have sniper, but even so, my skeletons are having a hard time damaging the party members. I'm 3/2 ahead on points, but even so I know it's not enough.

The previous campaign, my players even complained that it was too easy.

 

"Eg, that hero that dishes out 22 damage per swing suddenly loses his fancy weapon and using the backup he is down to 12 damage per swing. Against armour 9/90 that's 7 (8-9 with Xs) attacks to kill becomes 30 (35-37 with Xs) attacks to kill.
Or, the 32/6 monster up against a party doing an average 10 damage per hit - hits, say three full rounds minimum (there will be some Xs), probably 2 rounds with some potions or feats. Boost the monster to a 44/7 and we are up to 5 full rounds minimum, probably 4, maybe 3, with potions and feats. That's plenty of time for the OL to spawn again or do other things to further drag things out."

Not even close. Crushing blow is one of the first things I get myself, but my team always carry backup weapons for the same reason, and this is easy as gold is plentiful.

at gold, the players should be doing about 16-19 damage per hit when they begin, sometimes more. At the end they're doing about 30-45 damage per attack, combine this with rapid fire/knight/leadership and spiritwalker and the team is getting about 14-20 attacks per turn, most with blast or some other effect. Using a power potion is cheap, and even though they're are limited, chests/using town potion buys every week makes that no problem at all.

Current campaign I already have Lord Hawthorne at a max damage of 17 in bronze per hit. Probably 14-15 average. He has Knight, and another has leadership, so I kinda already see where this is heading.

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NoNamium said:

Anyone who says RtL isn't easy for the heroes on Gold haven't had good players or haven't played it.

I'm certainly not arguing with that (although it may have looked like it - my bad).

The main problem is that early silver is possibly the most vulnerable time for the heroes. So adding a multiplier to bosses in SIlver/Gold might be acceptable most of the time in gold, but could give some groups major problems in silver.

My fault for not directing my argument better earlier, sorry.

I am surprised at the statement that gold is plentiful though. In every campaign I've played (on either side), cash has been the resource bottleneck for the heroes. Enough that they can't actually spend all (or even most) of their XP upgrading because they can't pay the cash for the upgrades.
Of course it doesn't help that rolling blanks for treasure chests seems to be a lost art in our games. Truly, both sides bat about .100 rather than .166 it seems. So we do tend to need more gold to pay for items rather than selling excess for extra gold.

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overlord 1 : players 2 ... fourth in progress

Razing of Tamalir was the win for the overlord. That is however not possible when the skill removing an overlord card has been taken, which of course the players must do and in my campaigns is done.

My heroes seem to have enough gold, though this time it may be better for me as we now charge money for feat cards. (50, 100, 150)

My heroes make sure they get the money, and a chest is minimum worth 400 gp (300 gp if you're silly and sell potions) , and goldpiles are 400 gp.

approximately 3x 400 gp minimum per level, thats 3600 gp per dungeon.

2-3 dungeons per campaign level = 7200  to 10800 gp.

Thats about a minimum of 30,000 gp total for the campaign not counting legendary and outdoor encounters.

Last campaign the heroes had a surplus of ~7500 gp after the game.

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Hitting the nail on the head!

After reading this post.  In my oppinion the scaling issue is simply the weapons are too powerfull.  Even in Vannila Descent.  which is what we played.  we abandoned our RTL campaign last year.  :(

I think the gold Items should be removed.   or even all 3 treasure decks re-thought out.    In vannila, once you've got gold, you aim shoot, and typically if you hit, it dies.

I know this isnt what the post was all about.

But It made me realize how much I hate when there is a gold chest to open.  as both OL and player.  After oppening a gold treasure, the game is over. 

& I counted up all the pieces on the backs of all my boxes.  I have all expansions.

I think its like 1995 pieces. not including RTL tuck-boxes.  which I think would put it up to 2000 pieces.

So setting up for a new OL on Saturday night took almost an hour and a 1/2

After playing for five hours, and not even half done, we called it.  This game is fun, but drags on.  sure we could have used the spawn marker, but I don't think it would have mattered.

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The increment of stats would be at the campaign level change not with the monster upgrades.  This would scale it in proportion to the availability of the treasure chests and town market.

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TheHunterBoy said:

 

Hummm...in your experience, how many times OL won the Campaign? Is really so improbable to win a RtL campaign as OL?

And...anybody out there who won the Final Battle with his/her Avatar??

 

pre-first campaign abandoned early due to player fragmentation.

OL (me) won our first real campaign, largely due to newbie inexperienced errors. They conceded in early silver.
OL (not me) won our second real campaign in early Gold after the Heroes fought Slaggoroth 3 times in 3 weeks and gave up in disgust before he jumped them again.
OL (me) is about to lose our third real campaign as the heroes assault his keep. They have been through the first three levels in 5 turns for very little loss, including killing a Boss who is tougher (with Boss bonuses) than the Avatar (with no upgrades) in two turns with just two heroes. The OL 3x through the campaign had rolls to win seiging Tamalir and is currently seiging Tamalir and rolling each turn while one turn away is the auto siege win special Lt. So it will be a win to the heroes but could have gone the other way.
Our 4th Real campaign has just switched from silver level to gold. There seems to be little to stop the heroes now, though the OL (not me), as the Titan, could make a real tough Avatar if he concentrates on Avatar upgrades from here on in - maybe. This campaign was fast-started in Silver and is our first with Feats and without Telekinesis and Bear Tattoo.

Darkspell said:

 

The increment of stats would be at the campaign level change not with the monster upgrades.  This would scale it in proportion to the availability of the treasure chests and town market.

 

 

Of course. But that still makes things really, really hard at the beginning of a campaign level. For example, at the beginning of Silver the heroes will be facing double upgraded Gold Bosses with Bronze equipment. For many groups that will simply be too hard. It's bad enough as is!
It's like the beginner hero groups that go through the first dungeon, get smashed and end up facing silver bosses in their second dungeon with no upgrades at all and almost entirely shop equipment, except that even veterans can't prevent that happening at the beginning of silver and gold levels.
As an example, a Gold Ogre (22/7) Boss (+12/1) becomes a 46/8 or 46/9. With Bronze equipment and an upgrade or two most 'heavy hitting' heroes are going to do something like average 12-13 damage (ie 3-4 wounds towards 46!) and the lighter hitters will often be struggling to get 10 damage (ie anything at all). (Lets ignore undying, but it could be even/much worse with a Troll, Giant, Dragon, Chaos Beast, Demon or Golem Boss.)

This is what I mean by needin to be careful about overpowering things while trying to up power things that need up powering. Possibly introducing the extra boost at mid level (300/500 mark) would be better?

By mid-late level, then the heroes will have had enough opportunity to get a reasonable sprinkling of better equipment, not to mention some extra training, and can probably handle the extra boost a bit more reasonably.

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Corbon,

That's not entirely true about Heroes taking on bosses at Silver level.  Smart Heroes can prepare for the level change by stocking up gold and hitting a market (preferably Riverwatch) before actually venturing into dungeons at Silver level and taking on Gold bosses.  There's no need to be hacking away at a Gold Ogre-boss with only Copper weapons.  Basically, if the Overlord can 'save up' resources to prepare for the level switch, then so can the Heroes.

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The_Immortal said:

Corbon,

That's not entirely true about Heroes taking on bosses at Silver level.  Smart Heroes can prepare for the level change by stocking up gold and hitting a market (preferably Riverwatch) before actually venturing into dungeons at Silver level and taking on Gold bosses.  There's no need to be hacking away at a Gold Ogre-boss with only Copper weapons.  Basically, if the Overlord can 'save up' resources to prepare for the level switch, then so can the Heroes.

While you might be technically right, I don't think that is a fair summation.

The OL only has one resource under consideration (CT), and it is the resource used to determine the campaign change point, so the OL can be very confident of what resources he will need, when he will need them and the probability of gaining them. He can also guarantee the availability of what he wants to buy when he wants to buy it (certainly as far as monster upgrades go).

The heroes on the other hand, have two determining factors.
1) They are trying to save the resource that is IME by far the most scarce - cash. It is possible for them to save cash, although it is rather expensive and financially inefficient because they have to save from a lower accummulation rate to spend at a higher cost rate. That means it is likely to cost them considerably in either bronze items they didn't buy (probably not too bad) or more importantly, training. However, whatever the cost is, they do have some control over this saving.
2) They still need to draw decent weapons from the silver deck. This they have no control over, and if they can afford the time to sit several weeks in favourable markets until they draw 2-3 really good weapons then they are already playing against a pretty feeble OL so have few concerns.
In one of my campaigns it took 11 silver treasure draws before a single weapon better than existing bronze weapons was drawn. There are a arge number of treasures, particularly in Silver IME, that simply don't help you hit hard.
Sure, they might be lucky. But they might not and there is no control over this factor.

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 You forgot to mention that fact that heros can not buy sliver (copper or gold also) treasures until they have opened a chest of that color first. So sitting in a market town after a level switch will do nothing for them until they explore a dungeon to pen that first silver chest.

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Bravo McWilley said:

 You forgot to mention that fact that heros can not buy sliver (copper or gold also) treasures until they have opened a chest of that color first. So sitting in a market town after a level switch will do nothing for them until they explore a dungeon to pen that first silver chest.

 

This was ruled by Kevin to only refer to the base game, not RtL.  You can always buy the current campaign level items in shops.  You could spend the first turn of the game shopping in Talimar if yoiu wanted to.

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@Badend

Where did you find the ruling by Kevin Wilson that buying treasures being restricted to the color of chest open is applied only to vanilla, not to Rtl-campaigns?

I can't seem to find it in the latest FAQ nor anywhere else I looked. Please give me a link or a page reference where I can check up on this.
 

btb: scaling leaders could be done not at the exact campaign level switch, but at the campaign mid-point (ie at 300, and 500 CT total). Thus it would remove the switching unfairness for heroes, while still allowing an automatic upgrade of the bosses. Maybe the OL could spend a small amount of XP to upgrade the dungeon leaders/ encounter bosses immediately (something like 3 CT at silver and 6 CT at gold).

You could also (or instead of) the upgrades given in the first post here give the leaders the boost as proposed by The Immortal on boardgamegeeks.

Check out his thread there

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/403388.

Under medium priorities: "Monster Toughness: bosses stay bosses. All Named monsters receive their listed HP bonus once for each campaign level (e.g. a Master Beastman with +8 wounds and +1 armor is +16 wounds at Silver campaign level and +24 wounds at Gold)".

If that were done automatically at the MID-point of the campaign level it would remove that first-week heavy hit-change, yet still give the OL a little boost later. Or you could get 1/2 of the upgrade immediately, the second 1/2 when reaching campaign level mid-point. Or couple it with the possibility of the OL paying xp to get the full upgrade immediately. Many options there.

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RustyDust said:

@Badend

Where did you find the ruling by Kevin Wilson that buying treasures being restricted to the color of chest open is applied only to vanilla, not to Rtl-campaigns?

I can't seem to find it in the latest FAQ nor anywhere else I looked. Please give me a link or a page reference where I can check up on this. 

I don't recall exactly where it was (possibly the previous forum to this one), but it was merely a confirmation of the existing rules anyway.

The market in RtL does not work the same way as the market in Vanilla. Note that RtL rules override vanilla rules when playing RtL if they clash (RtL pg5).

Vanilla Market
1. No 'drawn' treasures are available.
2. Any hero may purchase a randomly drawn treasure from any* treasure deck (DJitD pg18)
3. *This is amended by the FAQ (pg1) to limit the availability of purchased treasures to decks that have already been 'found' in the dungeon.

RtL Market
1. Has a specific number (varying according to the city) of treasures drawn each week. These, and only these, treasures are available for purchase.
2. All treasures found or drawn during a campaign are from the deck corresponding to the campaign level (pg 9). It is therefore not even an option to purchase or draw from a deck lower than the current campaign level.
3. All heroes who visit the market are specifically allowed to purchase the treasures drawn at the market (pg 22).
4. There are no random draw treasures available for purchase.

The FAQ rule about drawing treasures is a vanilla rule (note there is a RtL rule section later in the FAQ and it is not present there). Since it is a vanilla rule referencing buying treasures from the shop, and RtL completely changes the shop treasure-buying mechanism (thus overwriting the vanilla rules), it is not applicable to RtL.
If A is overwritten by B in circumstance C, then modifying A is completely irrelevant when circumstance C is in effect.

 

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Scaling leaders: I think someone mentioned that FFG learnt their lesson and bosses scale in SoB. I wouldn't mind it if they got a HP boost equal to the dungeon Level as well. This makes Dungeon levels a little more meaningful, if nothing else.

Avatar fights: I'm the Titan and I have a suspicion that our end of game fight is going to be a whitewash which won't satisfy anybody. I have Enhanced Speed, Fiery Armour, Proetctive Magics, Mountain Giants and Increased Toughness. Except for the Strength bonuses the Titan has about every bonus he can get. My monsters are Diamond / Gold / Gold and most of the world map lies in ruins.

My first move will be forced upon me. I can't reach the Heroes, even with my Speed and Reach bonus. Moving backwards would allow the Heroes to stay where they were and have Ronan pick me off at distance, much the same can be said for moving sideways. Consequently the only option is to move forwards one space and put on Dodge. This puts me in running distance of the Heroes, keeps me as far from the melee characters as I can be, and grants me the +1 Armour bonus for standing on the throne, unless another Hero chooses to stand on the throne as well, plus they can kiss Aim and Guard goodbye and Mr Leadership is going to have a nasty surprise.

The ranged attacks are likely to come in and hit me for some damage, I can take that. The real killer is going to be Battle + Fatigue, which will mean about eight to nine attacks before I can strike back! Even with Dodge doubling the miss rate and reducing the damage, I doubt I'll survive that barrage. I don't mind my Avatar dying but I think he ought to at least get off at least one attack off before he goes and the burning torches aren't going to do much good if he's already dead.

Loss of threat is an issue - If the LTs can get it I can't see why the Avatar shouldn't. If the Avatar zeroed out but got Threat at the end of the Heroes round equal to the number of Heroes, it would open up the possibility for a tactical retreat - take a step back, keeping the Armour bonus and forcing the melee fighters to chain Fatigue Potions (and hence not exposing yourself to Power Potions). If the party doesn't take the bait and advance, use the threat to rush into combat anyway.

Loss of Power Cards is another issue. I've got all four Avatars hanging around my keep like a bad smell (We have an agreement that the Heroes must reinforce Tamalir and in return I won't raze it. Constantly beseiging Tamalir would make for a dull game anyway) as a result I start with Hordes of The Things, Brilliant Commander, Doom and +15 threat. I won't miss Doom much (it doesn't scale so +1 Black Dice is pretty meaningless at Gold) but Hordes of the Things would at least allow me to pack the hallways with a couple of Bane Spiders or Beastmen so that the Heroes had to expend a few attacks on my cronies, though upgrading one to a Master monster probably wouldn't make much difference.

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I won't miss Doom much (it doesn't scale so +1 Black Dice is pretty meaningless at Gold)

From the FAQ

Q: When effects from “vanilla” Descent refer to black dice, how do they relate to silver and gold power dice? Does Doom! still add black dice at gold campaign level? Can Trenloe the Strong and Lyssa reroll silver and gold dice?
A: For Road to Legend, when an effect refers to a black die, read it as referring to power dice in general. If an effect adds a black die to a roll (such as Doom! or a power potion), it instead adds one “boost” as if the subject had spent one fatigue to enhance its attack. For example, a copper level Master Beastman, which ordinarily rolls 1 black die, could roll either 2 black dice or 1 silver die with Doom! in play. Lyssa and Trenloe the Strong may reroll power dice of any color.

but Hordes of the Things would at least allow me to pack the hallways with a couple of Bane Spiders or Beastmen so that the Heroes had to expend a few attacks on my cronies, though upgrading one to a Master monster probably wouldn't make much difference.

I don't have the map handy, but it's hard to believe that a gold or diamond master beastman wouldn't make a difference. Command 2/3 is really strong (assuming it's placed far enough back that it survives, and you get a turn to spawn something for it to command).

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