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DAMaz

Manor of Ravens Mini Campaign imbalanced against the OL?

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Yesterday I played the first quest of this expansion as a mini-campaign. The heroes were Avric the Apothecary, Quellen the Geomancer, Reynhardt the Beastmaster and Thaiden the Shadow-walker.

Quellen only spent 2 of his 4 XP and Avric spent 3 of his 4 XP whereas everyone else (OL included) spent all their XP. The heroes picked up mana weave and a strong Axe for the Beastmaster. (so the heroes didn't even spend all the resources they had)

The game lasted 2 turns and was one of the shortest Descent-games I played.

Only one hero failed the initial test (Quellen), but the OL did not roll 2 surges, so he only did a little damage.
In the first round 3 heroes manage to kill Skarn in the Rookery although one attack was a miss. (First hero to attack was the Shadowwalker placing his Shadow Soul with Otherworldly adjacent to Skarn, ensuring +2damage for each attack). This means Skarn falls down, Quellen follows him and attacks him one time leaving Skarn with 10 HP, stunned and only able to attack one hero (as only Quellen is not in the Rookery anymore).

Skarn takes a movement action, the monsters are nowhere near the heroes.

In the second round the rest of the heroes jump down, the Scout summons yet another Shadowsoul (can he just discard the old sould when summening a new one?), the Apothecary attacks one time, Quellen 2 times and Skarn is dead (and immobilized).

The OL played no OL cards throughout the encounter, but he said the quest was unwinnable, when he managed to throw no hero out of the window (and how should that be guaranteed with only 1 attack, as he didn't even survive the first round).

Long story short, he sort of gave up because he didn't manage to throw one hero out of the Rookery.

How do you feel about this? I was arguing with him for some time after the game, that the game wasn't lost at this point in time, but he was so pissed that "this game is a luck simulation and you blame me for this?" that there wasn't an argument to be had.

What's your expiriences with this encounter, was my friend right in giving up after the first round or do you think he would've had a realistic chance at winning this encounter?

 

Last but not least I do have the impression that mini-campaigns seem to be much easier on the heroes, as they play 3 Act I quests, with gear and XP they would normally only have in Act II. How do you feel about this?

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Could you clarify how "otherwordly" ensures +2 for each attack? Are you referring to the initial damage from the shadow soul (which only applies if the target suffers another damage first) or the pierce (which ignores a shield but does not actually add damage, or the one while recovering (which still requires a surge and only works for the shadow walker himself)?

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Could you clarify how "otherwordly" ensures +2 for each attack? Are you referring to the initial damage from the shadow soul (which only applies if the target suffers another damage first) or the pierce (which ignores a shield but does not actually add damage, or the one while recovering (which still requires a surge and only works for the shadow walker himself)?

 

I meant in the grander scheme of things, it basically boosts the attacks for 2 damage, if the defender rolled at least one shield and the attack deals damage after shields are subtracted. So yes it's not technically +2 damage, but practically it works like that in ~80% of the cases.

Edited by DAMaz

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Ok,understood. I haven't played Manor of Ravens through in mini-campaign format yet, but I can say from the individual quests I've played that the OL can certainly have his day depending on the hero party he's up against. I wouldn't say that all of the maps are slanted against the OL for sure.

Edited by Zaltyre

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I can't remember the party composition but I do remember smashing the heroes in every quest of this mini-campaign. We still played each through and had fun though - no dummies were spat.

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Runemaster always makes things hard for the OL, but this quest is hardly unwinnable.

 

I've won it every time I've played it as the overlord.

 

There is no Runemaster in the party, only Quellen as a Geomancer. In fear he might be too strong I only used 2 XP for new skills so far.

 

Did you ever win this quest, when you weren't able to throw at least one hero down the Rookery?

Because my friend is sure that the quest is unwinnable for the OL, if this happens.

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Runemaster always makes things hard for the OL, but this quest is hardly unwinnable.

 

I've won it every time I've played it as the overlord.

 

There is no Runemaster in the party, only Quellen as a Geomancer. In fear he might be too strong I only used 2 XP for new skills so far.

 

Did you ever win this quest, when you weren't able to throw at least one hero down the Rookery?

Because my friend is sure that the quest is unwinnable for the OL, if this happens.

 

 

I don't know why I read that as Runemaster the first time. Geomancer should be easier for you on this quest.

Yes I've won when I wasn't able to throw at least one down the Rookery, although that one was bloody close.

It helps to engage in luck manipulation with a good plot deck.

One of the main things to remember is that most quests are designed to be played primarily as part of a main campaign. As the overlord, it is your job to figure out what the heroes are good at and bad at, and always try to force them to play quests that are in your favor. Some quests are designed to be hero favored, although I don't think this is one of them. It is your job to do your best to avoid hero favored quests and pick OL favored quests.

Mini Campaigns aren't actually easier for the heroes to be honest, they are in fact a bit harder I think. The reason why is you don't have a lot of gold available to buy act 2 items and you don't get the large amount of act 2 shopping steps before the finale that a normal campaign makes available to you. The end result being that since only the finale truly matters, the act 2 monsters are pretty strong relative to the mostly act 1 geared heroes.

Edited by Whitewing

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DAMAZ, my party have the same experience, OL was able to throw one hero down (champion Reinhardt). But other heroes with some lucky rolls throw him out debuffed and with hex token on him right near Reinhard. One the very first OL turn he tried to kill Reinhard with Wraiths, Reinhardt survived and activated his ability to perform attack after monster activation for two glory tokens

 

With one strike he finished the game. So it was over on the very first OL turn. OL was new to game, and with more intellegent approach he could try to win it, but it still feels like hard quest to OL and nobrainer for heroes

 

well, everything feels like nobrainer for heroes when they are geared up =D

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I have a different experience.

 

I played the OL. I won the first quest but my friend totally underestimated the use of XP. He didn't use any of them, not the gold. None of his heroes were geared up to fight Skarn in the rookery. Result --> Skarn is able to survive. In the mean time, the other monsters closed in and blocked the exit. No chance to win for the hero's.

 

The next quest: my friend gears up all his hero's and (if I remember correctly) he manages to win this quest.

 

The third quest: i have posted a session report on BGG. https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1422011/my-house-my-rules-exciting-quest-manor-ravens

This one was really close. The quest was won by the OL but it was close :-)

 

P

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Thx for all your answers

 

We already started the next quest and luckily this seems to be much closer. I guess it helps that I ignored Quellen's Hero Ability, used his Heroic Feat suboptimally and allowed the RavenFlock to move out of the pit of the first room (I think normally it has to be resummoned).

 

Although we haven't finished the quest yet, I think the OL is having more fun in this quest.

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My biggest beef with the first Manor of Ravens quest, and the Manor of Ravens mini campaign in general is that the first quest is exploitable if the heroes take a Disciple with the Prayer of Peace skill.

 

Turn 1 the Disciple activates this skill, and then Skarn gets completely stuck in the rookery unable to attack and the heroes can  wail on him without any threat to themselves. Then, they can time it so that he dies and revives when most of the heroes have their actions this round, and proceed to follow, and smash him up again at his reinforcement location before the Overlord gets another turn.

 

Pretty lame, and has made me want to house rule that Prayer of Peace still allows a monster to attack if they cannot move away from the effect.

Edited by Charmy

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Pretty lame, and has made me want to house rule that Prayer of Peace still allows a monster to attack if they cannot move away from the effect.

It doesn't work in this particular quest, but the Gargan Mirklace plot card "Ynfernael Bonds" can bypass "Prayer of Peace" very well.

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Pretty lame, and has made me want to house rule that Prayer of Peace still allows a monster to attack if they cannot move away from the effect.

It doesn't work in this particular quest, but the Gargan Mirklace plot card "Ynfernael Bonds" can bypass "Prayer of Peace" very well.

 

 

Hm, I don't know if that works. Prayer of Peace says that the monster cannot perform an attack while adjacent to the Disciple.

 

If you wanted to use Ynfernael Bonds, note the trigger for that card states "Exhaust when a monster performs an attack." Because of the prayer, the monster can never enter the state of "performing an attack", and thus the rest of the Ynfernael Bonds effect could never trigger. That is how I read it anyway.

 

In addition, Skarn is a lieutenant in his own unique monster group, so he would not be able to use Ynfernael Bonds anyway in any quest, because it requires using another monster in the same group.

 

If we did want to come up with creative Plot Card solutions, something like Valyndra's Massive Bulk card might work to reposition the Disciple out of adjacency within the Rookery. However, in a mini campaign you will not have any threat to start with, and thus won't be able to purchase the card, let alone use it.

Edited by Charmy

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