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Antistone

The Enduring Evil - Descent, Rebalanced

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Antistone said:

 

The paper sizes I used are standard sizes in my part of the world, but I can probably reformat the cards onto different paper for you.  What's your maximum printable area?  (Most printers can't print right up to the edge of the paper, but the closer you can go the more cards I can fit on a page; individual cards are 2"x3", I believe.)

 

 

Thanks for the quick answer and the offer. The printer margin is around 0.5 cm, thus 0.22 inch. Thanks a lot again.

I suppose your part of the world is America and I know mine is Europe. :-)

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I've put up an alternate download on my web site that contains all the files formatted for A4 paper.

The card's didn't translate entirely evenly, so I moved some hexes into Overlord 1 and added some extra copies of shop items in Items 2 in order to cut down on the number of half-pages you waste.

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Antistone said:

I've put up an alternate download on my web site that contains all the files formatted for A4 paper.

The card's didn't translate entirely evenly, so I moved some hexes into Overlord 1 and added some extra copies of shop items in Items 2 in order to cut down on the number of half-pages you waste.

Many thanks. Keep up the good work.

I will print them immediately. Some of my regular playing group are probably quite happy to hear. :-)

 

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We finally got around to play the Enduring Evil yesterday evening. We really liked it. It is really fun to see monsters staying around for a bit longer and inflicting damage.

One question that came up was: Why did you not just use the existing item/monster/treasure/skill cards and just replace the text on the cards?

 

 

 

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You mean, why not use the same backgrounds and layouts and stuff?

It was a combination of things, but the biggest was probably that I wanted to write out all the dice colors in English to enable black-and-white printing, and there's just no possible way to cram those into FFG's templates.  They also didn't reserve enough space for all the abilities I'm using on some monsters unless I made the text incredibly small.  With the items, I didn't have any pictures to use anyway, so I didn't see a reason to have a big empty space on the card when I could instead make the text bigger and therefore easier to read.

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Antistone said:

 

You mean, why not use the same backgrounds and layouts and stuff?

It was a combination of things, but the biggest was probably that I wanted to write out all the dice colors in English to enable black-and-white printing, and there's just no possible way to cram those into FFG's templates.  They also didn't reserve enough space for all the abilities I'm using on some monsters unless I made the text incredibly small.  With the items, I didn't have any pictures to use anyway, so I didn't see a reason to have a big empty space on the card when I could instead make the text bigger and therefore easier to read.

 

 

Thanks for the quick reply. I see the problem with FFG's templates they tend to be small.

Yes, I meant these things but in another way. Why did you not just modify the items/treasures at hand instead of creating new ones (i.e. just replacing the numbers and abilities and nothing else)?

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A combination of reasons.  A big one being that I enjoyed making up my own cards, and I thought I could make more interesting ones than FFG did.  But also, I think that several of the official cards are philosohpically flawed or otherwise not balancable simply by tweaking numbers.

For example, the large number of skills usable only with a single attack type tends to hurt heroes with mixed skill draws; that can't be fixed simply by changing how large a bonus is.  "You ignore speed maximums on armor" can't really be made stronger with any sort of numerical buff, so it had to either be dropped or combined with another effect.  Aura 1 is too weak to be a skill, and simply adding more ranks makes it scale poorly to different game sizes.  Shop weapons that become awesome only if you roll a huge number of surges at once (Sunburst) are too volatile, and can't be made balanced for Landrec/Prodigy without making them useless to other heroes.

I also needed more AoE weapons to be available (at least at silver/gold level) as part of the overhaul to the scaling rules, to ensure that small parties couldn't be overwhelmed by massive numbers of kobolds, and I wanted armors to be a higher percentage of the treasure decks than in vanilla so that heroes would have a decent chance at upgrading their defenses without going through RtL-scale numbers of treasures (though I compromised on that last one by adding some "late-game" defensive items to the shop).

Nontheless, you'll find many cards are very similar to some of the official cards, and in some cases even have the same name.  Lots of weak skills survive as one of multiple effects on a new skill card, too.

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Thanks for the answer that explains it.

I will ask the guy in the group who complained about the cards whether or not he is able to graphically enhance the cards as he is working in design professionally. I will let you know.

By the way, is it correct that the ' on shop items merely signifies that they are one side of a shop item?

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Yeah, the prime is just so that you can tell that it's the "back" of a shop item, in case they get mixed up and you want to put them back in their original order.  It has no game effect whatsoever.

The number of items in the shop is intended to be unlimited.

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I have an apology to make, perhaps a double apology.

About 4 months back I promised a full writeup of a great EE session for Quest 2, won by a single CT, a single wound, and a single space of movement by the heroes.
I had three pages of notes and planned to write it all up while on holiday.

Unfortunately, I lost the notes. Sorry, no write up.

We played quest 3 on Sunday. 4 heroes vs the Master of Beasts.
The heroes made a critical mistake when opening area 4 by not sending a runner through to the glyph. Although they opened area 5 and got the runekey and gold treasure they were soon squeezed between Master Ogre, Master Naga and Master Dragon and went down, hard (although they did get the Ogre and Naga), without getting to the final room.

But it was a good, fun game.

Unusually for EE, this one was close all the way through. Usually we have found the heroes get a big early lead in CT then come crashing down, badly.
Heroes were Corbin, Thorn, Steelhorns and Kirga.
As OL I used early Frostballs and Fireballs (space traps that explode WY Pierce 5 Blast 2 Burn/Freeze 1) to hurt the heroes badly. Between those blasts and the normal monsters I was able to kill all the heroes except Corbin relatively easily to stop the heroes building a lead. Spawns were held back mostly.

Corbin was extremely difficult to hurt with Ceramic Armour, Evasion (really useful for him as only very powerful attacks can get through, and mostly those are melee) and later not one but two blood charms! He also benefited from Steelhorn's Pillar ability a few times (though Steelhorns forgetting to use it much of the time was overall quite important for the heroes loss). I had him down to three wounds for a while, including a healing pot that was poison (wasting a second healing pot), but I just couldn't get him, even though for much of the game if he died it was game over.
Kirga also had Sprinter ability so wasn't wearing any heavy armour. That meant I had three decent targets (Thorn - Armour 1, Steelhorns - Armour 3 and Kirga - Armour 2+Shield) for the monsters. Steelhorns even died to kobolds!

The Treachery Power that gives all monsters Entrap 1 and Aura 1 (for just 11 threat) was once again a dominant feature (except Corbin ignored the Aura happily, just like he ignored Burn, Bleed (always rolled 1 wound) Daze (resilient got rid of it every time) big nasty attacks (Deflection - RGY from Deep Elf could never get 3 range against him) and anything else that I inflicted him with - except poisoned potions.
It really is too powerful IMO. It totally destroyed Quest 4, and dominated quests 2 and 3. I don't remember now if it even came up Quest 1.

We have now played quests 1-4 and thoroughly enjoyed them all.
Quest 1 with 2 very weak heroes (Red Scorpion and Ispher?) who got thrashed.
Quest 2 with 5 heroes who just barely won a very tight game.
Quest 3 with 4 heroes who lost without getting into the final room but had a great time and probably should have done better.
Quest 4 with 2 heroes who got smashed (fast light party utterly destroyed by Entrap 1 and Aura 1 - just couldn't get anywhere or do anything)

 

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Sounds exciting.  Spawning a dragon in area 4 looks challenging...

This probably wasn't how your naga entered play, but when we were testing that quest, my playtesters had a gleeful laugh at the idea of using Hordes of the Things to reactively spawn a Naga in area 5 when it gets opened.  Instant grapple, monster sitting on top of the chest and runekey.

Area 2 in that quest can be a lot more dangerous than it looks.  Hordes of kobolds become a lot more dangerous with a Command bonus, and Krag's got a lot of wounds.

 

There's a good chance you're right about Black Aura.  It was one of my later additions, and I think the only time the overlord played it in my test games it got canceled by a feat.  One of my playtesters also commented (based purely on reading it) that it seemed powerful.

Didn't you say in an earlier post that you played 3 heroes in quest 4, though?

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Antistone said:

Sounds exciting.  Spawning a dragon in area 4 looks challenging...

This probably wasn't how your naga entered play, but when we were testing that quest, my playtesters had a gleeful laugh at the idea of using Hordes of the Things to reactively spawn a Naga in area 5 when it gets opened.  Instant grapple, monster sitting on top of the chest and runekey.

Area 2 in that quest can be a lot more dangerous than it looks.  Hordes of kobolds become a lot more dangerous with a Command bonus, and Krag's got a lot of wounds.

 

There's a good chance you're right about Black Aura.  It was one of my later additions, and I think the only time the overlord played it in my test games it got canceled by a feat.  One of my playtesters also commented (based purely on reading it) that it seemed powerful.

Didn't you say in an earlier post that you played 3 heroes in quest 4, though?

The Dragon in area 4 was spawned when area 5 had been opened and the gold chest just looted (one hero not in LOS), one hero was foolishly near the door to area 6 (another away from LOS), one hero heading back to the blue door to get to the red runekey (3rd hero out of LOS) and the last hero near the first, fighting off the Master Naga and trying to stay out of potential LOS of the Master Sorcerer (who is trapped by water and blue runedoor).
The Master Dragon had a large portion of the NS corridor in which to spawn.
Bad play on the heroes' part IMO, far too spread out and unfocused.

I generally find that threat is at a premium in EE for the OL and the only power that regularly sees play is the underpriced Black Aura. Brilliant Commander I used in an earlier quest when I knew a normal Demon would be ungradeable, but otherwise powercards cost too much and provide too much when discarded, at least so far. Their effects are nice, but I almost always have some even nicer treachery cards I would like to play...
The exception is when I can get out the Corrupted Terrain card - 12 spaces of corrupted terrain is... awesome. Especially in conjunction with Shades (disruption) and Razorwings (Entrap) so the heroes really struggle to get out of the corrupted area.
That has only happened once though - it did earn me an awful lot of threat though - either 16+ or 30+, I don't recall which.

Area 2 was pretty much fun for everybody. Koblads are at the outer range of one-shot kills for shop-equipped heroes who are not pathetic, so it makes the heroes feel good to be taking some out. But there are enough monsters there that the OL gets a chance to take a few heroes out as well - especially with the Frostball spell giving all the heroes -1 armour!.

Yes, my mistake. Quest 4 was with 3 fast but weak heroes totalling 32 wounds, 2 armour and one melee dice.

 

Black Aura aside (or even included), EE games have been far more enjoyable than vanilla games, even (especially?) when losing.
The vibe, especially, with monsters being tough and taking a fair amount of effort to take down is a big improvement for those that like the feel of the game. For those that love the tactical intricacies, EE is richer and more interesting that vanilla due to the plethora of minor shop items, more interesting and varied treasures and (mostly) better balanced skills.

Good job Antistone, thanks.

I'd recommend EE to anyone who is even slightly interested.

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Suggested rule change: Sharr Brightwing may only place a Burn token on a monster if her master was in the dungeon at some point during his turn.

 

This hardly ever matters, but prevents the heroes from hiding in town while Sharr slowly burns the boss to death.

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Hello, I've downloaded EE and took a look at it, I have to say I'm really impressed.  It looks like you did a great job of making the game balanced, but still made everything interesting, and varied.  I do have a small favor to ask of you though if it is possible and you have the time.  Could you possibly convert the files into 8.5" by 11" or legal size (8.5" by 14") so they could be printed on a home printer?

I live in a rural area and it is quite a long distance to anywhere with a good print shop, and it'd be really nice if I could make up the cards at home.  My friends and I like the looks of this and I'd love to give it a try.   If you could convert the files to something my home printer could print I'd really appreciate it. 

If you can't or don't want to that's okay, I can take it with me the next time I head up to a city with a Kinko's or something, I just don't want to make a special trip for it so it'd be awhile before I could print it out and play it .  Thanks again, when I get to play it I will try to post back with a session report.

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Antistone said:

Can't help you with translations, sorry.  Though if someone else wants to translate it, they're welcome to do so.

I will do the translations myself then. However is there not a tool to create cards? happy.gif

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If you're thinking of Iam's editor, it has certain hard-coded restrictions that Enduring Evil cards don't follow, you can't change the text size (and there's sometimes not enough room at the pre-determined size), and I thought reserving a big space for a picture was rather silly when I don't have any pictures to put there.

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I've posted a session report of my first game of Enduring Evil over on Board Game Geek in the Journey's in the Dark forum (it's pending approval right now), if anyone is interested in seeing how the game plays (though it was just the intro quest).  It was just a quick sort of "test" game between me and my wife to try and get used to some of the new mechanics and cards of The Enduring Evil.  We just played Quest 1, with two heroes she managed to win but was down to 3 conquest and had two attacks left to kill the boss.  Had she failed to do so she would've assuredly died and lost as the room was loaded with monsters.  We both made some mistakes in our tactics, a combination of inexperience with Enduring Evil and it being late bostezo.gif .

Thanks a lot Antistone for your work on this, we had a great time.  I really enjoyed it and can't wait to get my regular Descent gaming group together to try quest two.  I'll try to post more session reports as we play more quests.

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Antistone said:

If you're thinking of Iam's editor, it has certain hard-coded restrictions that Enduring Evil cards don't follow, you can't change the text size (and there's sometimes not enough room at the pre-determined size), and I thought reserving a big space for a picture was rather silly when I don't have any pictures to put there.

Okay thanks! I will do the translation without one then. gran_risa.gif

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Antistone said:

Oh, I could get you the Microsoft Word versions of the files, if that would be helpful.  I assume A4 would be the most convenient size?

Absolutely!!! olivier.prevot@numericable.com

Many thanks!! gran_risa.gif

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