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HavocDreams

What kind of Descent rules resource do we really want?

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I think, most people here agree that FFG has done a "suboptimal" job when trying to provide rule updates and clarifications in the past. The ruleset was not easy at the beginning of the 2nd edition and it got even more complicated when more and more expansions got published. 

 

People like Zaltyre and others here and at BGG did try to fill this gap by creating great resources for some of the most difficult concepts of Descent (LOS, movement, etc.). Still, a comprehensive up-to-date FAQ that addresses many problems that Descent players have to deal with almost every day is still missing. I am not too sure if in the future FFG will allocate the necessary resources to provide an updated ruleset that will satisfy the needs of the community. To some extend, we might be on our own here.

 

I would like to ask you guys, what a good updated rule resource should look like. Is it a pdf document or an online resource? Is it an errata/FAQ as published for X-Wing, or a resource that includes all the basic rules (e.g. as given in the rulebooks of the core set) along with explanations of corresponding problems, special cases, unofficial FAQs etc? Is it a "living" resource or a static one with regular updates.

 

In short, what is the Descent rules resource of your dreams? And do you see any possibility to make your dream reality?

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I want sooooooooooooooooo badly to post an answer to this question, but I think I have vented enough about this topic this year.

 

Quite frankly, I think I have thrown in the towel.

 

EDIT: 10 minutes after posting the above, I just realized that FFG released yet another X-Wing FAQ.  Because, you know, it was already 4 days since the last one.  :P

Edited by any2cards

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Personally, I am not sure, what type of resource would be best. Although Zaltyre's approach using separate documents for difficult topics helps a lot, having many different places to look up rules is not optimal in my opinion. For me my "dream resource" should include rules of all expansions + published FAQs + unofficial FAQs added to the corresponding sections. I think FAQ and uFAQ should not be included as questions and answers but the "spirit" of the answer should be integrated into the text itself. Maybe in form of a separate text box or something similar.  

 

I guess the following two options would appeal most to me:

 

Option 1: PDF document

Advantages:

  • printable, gives you one complete and up-to-date rulebook at your gaming table

Disadvantages:

  • difficult to keep up to date
  • no crowd-editing possible
  • will be a fairly long document, not necessarily easy to search

 

Option 2: Online Resource (Wiki etc.)

Advantages:

  • hypertext structure keeps it well-structured and clean
  • easy to add/modify content
  • made for crowd-editing
  • with the right tags and search engine easy to search      

Disadvantages:

  •  players need to have a laptop or other mobile device at the gaming table to look up rules

 

What do you think? Could the community put such a thing into existence? What are the main problems whith this? Would there be  enough people willing to contribute? Or do you feel it is just not our job? Also, please add to advantages or disadvantages section or propose another option.

 

@any2cards: I would love to hear your opinion on your dream resource! Maybe after you "recovered" a bit :)

Edited by HavocDreams

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Just a couple notes:

1) There is already a descent wiki, but it mainly has pages listing the text of the card. FAQ could be incorporated into that.

2) The documents wouldn't necessarily have to be separate- my plan was not originally (and still isn't firmly) to make more guides, but it could be done.

3) Crowd-editing is not a feature at the top of my wishlist. The unofficial FAQ already has a thread where individual answers are posted, but there is no organization (as you know). If the unofficial FAQ wiki were edited by everyone, I think we'd see a good deal of misplaced questions, as well as duplicates across sections. In short, I think the smaller the group that produces something, the cleaner it is.

4) Maybe this is why I've been content with the FAQ's we've had- but a more complete FAQ (like what the unofficial FAQ offers) is also not my dream document. Not a huge surprise maybe, but I'd rather have clear and complete rules, including errata where quest rules or cards depart from what their text would imply.

I think it's less valuable to have answers for individual questions than it is to have a good explanation of how answers are found (that's why I made the glossary)- sort of "teaching to fish" rather than "giving a bunch of fish". Instead of a vast list of "how does this card work?" My dream document lays out how all cards work normally, with a shorter list of "this works differently than the text would imply" (example, Reflective Ward).

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For me the ideal FAQ/uFAQ is a wiki (doesn't necessarily have to be wikia).

 

Since there already are pages for most cards, it's easy to put relevant questions/answers on this page.

Given that categories are correctly set it's easy to generate automatically aggregated lists of FAQ for a given category.

 

The basis for this is that categories are correctly set and there is a defined structure how to add question/answers.

This was my motivation to create the Infobox Card template (http://descent2e.wikia.com/wiki/Template:Infobox_card) which automatically sets the categories based on what kind of card it is and the information of the card.

 

I'm still in the process of converting all the existing pages to use this template.

Some categories are complete (skills, overlord cards, tainted cards, servants, familiars)

I'm working on plot cards right now.

 

One of my next steps will be to add support for heroes and monsters.

 

I also need to rewrite/redesign the template for FAQs.

 

After that i need a new template for quests/campaigns.

I'm not sure right now how this template will look.

 

Only when all these pages are in the correct form will FAQ/uFAQ templates work reliably.

 

This is what I'm working towards, no matter if there will be other forms of FAQ/uFAQ.

I would welcome if others help :)

 

 

PS: if someone wants to talk to me/coordinate on what I'm doing on the wiki;

I can be reached via gTalk (hangouts: gruensfroeschli@gmail.com)
or mail: descent@may.nu

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I guess that we have two different kinds of FAQs:

 

1) Those that relate to a specific card (i.e. updated cards, how a skill works or special situations with a certain weapon etc)

 

these are in my view best addressed using a wiki. If the FAQs beneath the entries of each card are up-to-date, the people will start to go to the wiki at first and we would avoid some double posts.

 

2) Explanations of concepts like LOS, movement etc.

 

Here I believe that a pdf document is better; one could use documents that explain a concept in more detail as an extended rulebook.

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I think, the best way to clean up Descent rules mess is to print the new, rewritten rulebook and a rule reference guide. As already done with almost every ffg game (SW:IA, for example) (standardized card wording would be plus)

But there is one problem: I believe, this will be implemented only with third edition.

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Re-Written rulebook that acts as a stand alone rule-set without confusing the rules for the current campaign with the core rules.

 

Provided online, but also made purchasable in a package with card re-prints encompassing all errata cards from the first release version.

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Re-Written rulebook that acts as a stand alone rule-set without confusing the rules for the current campaign with the core rules.

 

Provided online, but also made purchasable in a package with card re-prints encompassing all errata cards from the first release version.

This. If they can make a full-on conversion kit for 1st edition characters and monsters they surely can create an "update" package that includes new prints of cards that have been errata'd.

Edited by cdj0902

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