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Antistone

The Enduring Evil - Descent, Rebalanced

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I'm thinking about just implementing the skills portion of EE because it will be less to print and teach to my friends, and because I have none of the pertinent expansions for EE.  Since it seems like most of the skills are more powerful on average than the vanilla skills, i was thinking that each hero would draw 4 skills and choose 2.  Please comment on your opinions of the applicability. 

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Wild-Duck:  Sorry, I'm not familiar with that error.  Since several other people have been able to open the zip files, though, there's a decent chance it's something wrong with your software.

 

Eric!:  I would probably use the normal number of skills:  in Enduring Evil, a lot of weak skills are improved, but a lot of strong skills are also weakened.  Don't forget the free redraw at the start of the game means heroes tend to have better-than-average skills, so dropping the ceiling is more noticable than raising the floor.

A number of skills use new special abilities I created for Enduring Evil (e.g. Arcing), or special abilities from the expansions you don't have (e.g. Leap), so you'd need to learn the rules for those (or remove those skills).

A number of skills also use components from the expansions for status effects or familiars:  Bloodletter, Spin Kick, Furr the Spirit Wolf, Shadow Soul, and Sharr Brightwing will need improvised tokens (if you don't remove them), unless you have the appropriate expansions.  There's more information about playing with expansions in about.pdf.

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Hey, I had a random balance question concerning EE.

Since Power Potions are half price and Aurim can change any kind of potion into any other kind of potion, this essentially means he can buy all potions at 12 price (buying them as power potions then changing them to whatever he wants).  He could also then pass them to other heroes, which though it'd cost some movement essentially means that all potions for the entire party are half price.  Is this intentional? 

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It wasn't intentional, but I've had it come up in in two of my own games so far, and I don't believe it's a problem.  It means Aurim's a rather good hero in Enduring Evil, but I think he's still within the normal range of variation.  Spending 2 movement points to hand a potion back and forth and let him convert it is occasionally worthwhile, but 2 movement points is pretty close to half the value of a potion anyway, so it's not terribly exploitable.  Plus, potions are already limited about as much by inventory space and the one-per-turn rules as by their actual cost, and Aurim's ability doesn't help with either of those.

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I haven't played EE myself, but having played Aurim in regular Descent, I don't think this tactic sounds especially broken.  Being able to swap one potion for another is the kind of ability that sounds really cool in general, but like so many other "Jack of All Trades" heroes (*coughcoughredscorpioncoughcough*) the ability doesn't make up for the fact that he only has one natural trait die in each category.  In vanilla Descent, attempts to exploit his potion-swapping quickly ended because it wasn't worth the time when town was only a short glyph-hop away and whoever wanted potion X could just go buy it himself.  In AC mode it might be more worthwhile (getting to town is slightly more difficult since you have to start beside a glyph) but probably not too much more.

If his ability lets heroes get all potions for cheap, then it sounds like he's worth playing in EE.  As Antistone mentions, the time invested in swapping everything around balances out for the money they're saving.  Time is - as they say - money, friend.

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Steve-O said:

the ability doesn't make up for the fact that he only has one natural trait die in each category.

Well, yes, but Aurim's build is substantially better under Enduring Evil even before you consider the ability to get potions for half cost, due to a couple of stealth-buffs to weaker hero builds (because I didn't want to rewrite all the heroes).  First of all, he picks up one of these from the shop:

Ring of Skill (Other - 25 coins)
When making an attack using a trait in which you have less than 2 dice, add one black die to your roll.

...which lets him roll 2 black dice in all attack types.  Secondly, his split skills are better, and combo with his traits better, because there are fewer attack-type-restricted skills in Enduring Evil (both proportionately and absolutely).

So that leaves him with fairly decent traits and skills, plus higher-than-average stats (sum to 13), and he retains the ability to swap potions on the fly to suit the tactical situation.  When you add the ability for him to buy potions (at least for himself) at half cost, I think he's actually a notably good hero, which one might pick in preference to a lot of others.  (Though still not top-tier.)

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Yes; same as the Dodge card.  I found in vanilla that Aim seemed very much weaker than Dodge (except perhaps on a troll), and I wanted to rectify that.

Yes, that means that you can use it after rolling a miss and usually turn it into a hit, or after a roll that's just one or two damage short of killing a hero to try to finish him off.  That might even make it good enough for the overlord not to swap it out of his deck with treachery.

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Any update or patch to Enduring Evil card?

Look good overall. I only feel that Entrap is abit powerful. It become an item based grapple skill.

But i will never know whether it is overpower before i try out EE. Thanks for the great varient.

 

I going to table it this coming weekend.

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It wasn't precisely a goal, but it wasn't an accident, either.

Dark Priests are balanced in a somewhat unusual way, statted to be a threat similar to two ordinarily tier 1 monsters (because I thought they'd overlap too much with sorcerers if I just made them tier 2, and because I was worried that there weren't enough tier 1 options).  Because of that, it would be overpowered to put them as an alternative on a card that would normally spawn a single tier 1 or even tier 2 monster, but underpowered to offer them as an alternative to a tier 3 monster, so I could only put them on spawn cards that normally spawn multiple monsters at once.

Blood apes and wendigoes are in similar positions.

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Recently took the time to print this out, cut it up (nearly broke my papercutter in the process!) and am just about to finish the second campaign. All I can say is, well done! At first the heroes were shocked that my beastmen didn't go down in one round, but soon we found that the balance is extremely tight. Spawning monsters is now great and can really slow the party down, giving me enough time to build enough threat to play even more dangerous cards.

We've only been playing with the Vanilla set of tiles and tokens, but using liberal amounts of miniatures from other games I've managed to replicate some of the monsters used in those expansions that you have rebalanced.

 

Our first game was with 4 champions, the second with 5. I've found because the monsters take the same number of ROUNDS to die at the different player sizes, the more heroes you have the longer the game takes proportionally. So we've come to the conclusion that 3-4 is probably a good number, since 5 was just taking much too long we've had to split our game into 2 nights. I just noticed you got some feat cards up, and I think that will be quite the boon to our heroes who have made quite the mistake in opening all the chests in this second campaign ;)

I can't wait to play more campaigns of this balance mod, I only with there was a way I could get higher quality cards produced of these!

 

Thanks for all the hard work,

Insy

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That would be really cool. We've been planning on buying some expansions by chipping in some money each, but just haven't gotten around to it. Do you have the campaign editor files? If so, I could also work on making them more in line with the components we have, though really being able to use other miniatures and markers is making it totally possible to play all the quests you've made.

I'll let you know how this second game resolves with the new feats you've made, I'm really looking forward to it tonight.

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You can download some quests I'm working on here.  There's currently three there; two of them should be playable with no expansions.  They're designed to be shorter than typical.

I'm glad you're finding that substitute pieces work OK, but you may find that you don't have all the map tiles required for some of the maps:  WoD includes extra copies of some map pieces, and ToI includes several new shapes of map pieces (AoD also has some map pieces, but they're all of corrupted terrain and aren't used in any of my quests so far).  I tried to give a complete list at the start of each quest of the expansion components that would be required.

 

As for the editor files, I'm not using the FFG-endorsed editor by Mike Z - it's got some troublesome bugs, and hasn't been updated since before Altar of Despair came out.  Also, I discovered when I was using it before that it takes a long time to load when you have a campaign file containing a lot of quests.

Instead, I'm now using avianfoo's WART tiles for TileSysem to create the maps, then using MS Word to add text to the maps and write up the quest rules.  I'm not sure if my maps are even using the most recent version of the WART tileset, so it might be just as easy for you to recreate them as to try to edit my files.

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Man, using this editor shows me that there are definitely some expansions I need to get, just so I can make more interesting dungeon layouts.

When I was using their editor to make maps for my group to play on, I ended up adding lots of monsters to try to achieve balance. Of course, weapons with blast would extinguish that plan in one fell swoop or in 1 round 4 heroes would clear a whole room.

Trying to achieve balance with this rebalanced game is a different task for me. I may just use your quests as examples as to how powerful to make each subsequent room based on how much treasure they've been given so far. Do you have any tips or guidelines you use?

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Take a look at the "scaling" document included in the Enduring Evil archive.

Basically, monsters are grouped into "tiers" that are balanced against different levels of equipment; so, for example, the challenge presented by a bane spider when you're using shop equipment should be pretty close to the challenge presented by a sorcerer with copper treasure, a naga with silver treasure, or a demon with gold treasure.  A typical monster is supposed to go down in an average number of attacks equal to the number of heroes in the party, if they're using weapons of the appropriate tier (e.g. a 3-hero party using silver weapons should take down a naga in about 3 attacks).  That includes miss chance, undying, stealth, etc. when calculating the average number of attacks.

Each tier is roughly a factor of 1.5 above the previous tier.  Master monsters are also about 1.5 times as strong as regular monsters.

Those are only loose guidelines, but it means you should be able to calculate the approximate relative strength of different sets of monsters and the approximate duration of a given fight.  Then you can compensate for higher-level equipment by basically just replacing monsters with higher-tier equivalents.  Don't forget that 1 treasure draw of a given level doesn't guarantee that the entire party now has weapons of that level, though.

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My group and I started The Empty Nest with 3 heroes and after about 3.5-4 hours (had a new overlord) we're through about 3/4ths. Needed call it a night due to people being busy the next day, though. We should be completing it this weekend. It's been neck and neck: we've had two deaths so far, two of the three heroes have cursed weapons so it will only take 2 more deaths to end us, and the overlord has been carefully hiding his boss Manticore off in a difficult to access area filled with several spawn cards worth of monsters. (he better spread them out if he wants to avoid being hit by my Bolt attack from a custom hero I created using your generator)

The heroes are surprisingly resilient. It comes as a surprise if the overlord actually manages to injure any of us, just from copper armors and shields/skills. He does have some pretty good powers, +1 armor and trapmaster that have contributed to the wearing down of our party, but potions are a big help. The dungeon's second room is difficult for our slow/low fatigue heroes to get through in a couple turns without the overlord blocking off the path, but that is a pretty good way to lengthen the game, as well as having the two chests be on the opposite side of the dungeon forcing the heroes to split up.

All in all I like it and next time I hope to play Conflux, though I think it might take a little longer than this one.

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I have completed around 7-8 quests from your EE including the 3 new quests you have just created. I would say very well done. Is there anymore quests you are uploading? I am dying to try more.

I only feel that overlord is weaker in EE. The reason is due to the lack of threat and the high cost overlord cards. The event Threatary card is not as strong in the original Descent. Some combo in weapons and skill cards create unstoppable hero. EE have lesser monster around the map. This make disabling effect stronger.

We realised Spin kick is abit weak in term of all the melee skill card. Our group change it to deal a white die damage ignoring ammor to all adjacent target.

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Antistone,

     I've noticed that while many of your cards are designed so that they can be printed back to back to form the two-sided cards we're familiar with, the shop cards listed in "Items 1.pdf" and "Items 2.pdf" do not line up correctly.  Since so many of the other cards line up well, I must assume that this is intentional to restrict the number and availability of certain items.  I'm not saying that's a bad thing, just trying to understand the mechanic involved.  Is my assumption correct, or should the fronts of the shop cards be identical to the backs?

-XmenDynasty

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XmenDynasty said:

Antistone,

     I've noticed that while many of your cards are designed so that they can be printed back to back to form the two-sided cards we're familiar with, the shop cards listed in "Items 1.pdf" and "Items 2.pdf" do not line up correctly.  Since so many of the other cards line up well, I must assume that this is intentional to restrict the number and availability of certain items.  I'm not saying that's a bad thing, just trying to understand the mechanic involved.  Is my assumption correct, or should the fronts of the shop cards be identical to the backs?

-XmenDynasty

They are intended to be different just to create more options for the heroes.

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Shop items in Enduring Evil are not intended to be limited.

 

There's no reason to print an identical back on shop items.  At that point, you might as well leave it blank - that would at least give you the option of hiding it or representing another state if you wanted to.

Thus, I figured if you're printing double-sided anyway, you might as well have a different item on the back - that increases the total number of equipment permutations for a given number of printed cards.

 

By the way, quest "Private Collection" added to the short quests zip.  It hasn't been tested at all, though.

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To Whom It May Concern,

     gran_risa.gifFantasy Flight Games is proud to announce the availability of new, professional card decks specifically designed for "The Enduring Evil"!!!gran_risa.gif

 

     Oh, wait.  That's just me who's proud to announce it.  Also, you have to pay for them and wait 3 weeks for them to get shipped to you.  D'oh!preocupado.gif

     I made these for my group and give ALL credit to Antistone.  He's the man!  We wanted to share them with the rest of you, so here ya go.

     All 10 decks are necessary.  D'oh!preocupado.gif  The last deck needed about 8 extra cards to fill it out, so I just added some more shop stuff, which Antistone has already said that he never intended to limit (as far as quantities are concerned) so that should be just fine.  There were minor editing changes made throughout for clarity etc..., but always, the original intent was preserved as much as humanly possible.  Many/Most of the cards are Antistone's words verbatim.  Some editing was done to allow the possibility of an Advanced Campaign application, though neither I nor Antistone have any intrest in persuing something that grandiose at the moment.

     Other than that, only 3 changes of any significance were made: 

1. Another copy of Crushing Block was added to the Overlord deck.  (I needed to add another card to fill out the deck and have an affinity for Crushing Block.  You guys can just tear up the extra card when you get the decks if you like.)

2. The name of the Gold Treasure "Hurricane" was changed to "Arctic Hurricane".  (I tried to use as many of the original Descent item pictures as possible and this card ended up with the "Crystalize" picture.  D'oh!  It was necessary.)

3. The Name of the Wizardry Feat "Kinetic Throw" was changed to "Telekinetic Throw".  (I am done constructing another small Character expansion for Descent and am polishing the documentation before I publish it here.  I have named something in my expansion a name that could, potentially be [and in THESE forums definitely would be] confused with this Feat.  Sorry, Antistone.  I gave mine precedence and changed the name of your Feat.lengua.gif)

That's it!  Enjoy!!!   (or not, I really don't care)

www.artscow.com/gallery/card/Enduring-Evil-Shop-Overlord-remainder-qwch6lb0mfuc

www.artscow.com/gallery/card/Enduring-Evil-Overlord-06p1gkffhxf9

www.artscow.com/gallery/card/Enduring-Evil-Shop-s72ubowc7vfn

www.artscow.com/gallery/card/Enduring-Evil-Gold-Relics-Shop-0320bpnxvm5r

www.artscow.com/gallery/card/Enduring-Evil-Overlord-Copper-zie8f4yqvdlb

www.artscow.com/gallery/card/Enduring-Evil-Skills-Overlord-rbilud851at5

www.artscow.com/gallery/card/Enduring-Evil-Feats-Skills-yvvnf052nt0s

www.artscow.com/gallery/card/Enduring-Evil-Feats-3sr5mmcg2bj3

www.artscow.com/gallery/card/Enduring-Evil-Copper-Silver-afhqofwnkd95

www.artscow.com/gallery/card/Enduring-Evil-Monsters-Gold-a7oo99k9bav7

-XmenDynasty

P.S.  I did all my own proofreading.  So let me know if anything needs to be corrected.  We all have blind spots.

Edit- By the way, I'm not converted to the whole "Shop items should have different backs" philosophy, so on the Shop items in my decks the Fronts and Backs are identical.  Hope nobody's offended....sonrojado.gif

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