Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Sidious78

Two Overlords

Recommended Posts

Hey.

My gaming group is growing in size, and we have been talking about adding a house rule allowing to players to assume the role of the overlord.

As an OL-player, I´m thrilled of course. But is there a downside to this?

Has anyone tried out such a house rule? What is your experience with this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well downside is that it may slow down the OL turn as both players would need to discuss movement, squares, card usage very carefully.  Having another person paying attention to the OL team might help, since usually the burden is on the OL to play very efficiently (also another person checking the heroes rules from the OL perspective might be valuable, since the OL is usually to busy rolling defense dice or checking cards to catch sneaky heroes mis-interpreting ability cards).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the biggest problem is giving away which cards the OL players have. There will be a point when one of them wants to play a card and must interrupt the game to discuss is with his fellow OL. This could be done in a way that the specific card is not given away but if this is happening during a move action the heroes are given important clues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I´m thinking more like four heroes and two overlords. There should be no need to disclose any OL cards, since they are not shown to the players. And I would make a sheet with the hero names and conditions and just point on the stun icon and suggested target while discussing with my fellow overlord. "We can do that to him?", and no one will know what we would be talking about. :P

The main problem with playing the OL is not having three other players to remind me of things to do, special rules etc. I´ve lost an encounter or two by simply forgetting stuff. :S 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A very obvious upside to playing with 2 overlord players is that you are indeed less likely to forget something. Also you can discuss tactics which increases the odds to pull off a very succesful OL turn. We are also discussing the possibility to add a 2nd OL player, next to 4 hero players. 

The only possible downside I can think of is that OL turns can take longer since you will most likely be discussing the 'next best move' quite often. This doesn't have to be a problem though; our OL became crazy with how long we (as heroes) can sometimes discuss how to play a turn so we simply set a timer at 10 minutes and that's our window. The same could be done to the OL's turn.
Another possible downside could be that the 2nd OL player might feel obsolete, since he/she doesn't really add anything. But adding a 2nd OL player in and of itself is a houserule so you might even specify it a bit more: Like the OL's can freely discuss whatever they want, but one OL is in charge of the OL cards and one OL is in charge of the monsters/lieutenants/reinforcement. It's all up to you really.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I heard that the question compendium for the fist version has a quest with two overlords, and I guess they compete against each other, but not sure. Never had the book.

IMO playing with two overlords can be cool, as everyone is stating, if you're not too much experienced in teh role, you can forget easily a lot of things to put the heroes down. Two head usually thinks better :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I like the ideal of two Overlords. However, since the game was not designed with that in mind, you'd run into problems as stated above.

But it would be cool to have a specifically designed Campaign for that.

Either: Both OLs are allied but have access to different groups/card decks.  Both have their own hand. Adjustment need to be made to keep the balance.

Or: The second OL is a third party with an agenda of its own. Might align with the other OL sometimes, but may play agains him.

In any case, proper balancing would be extremely hard.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always liked the idea of 2 OL, not only because of a better ratio for OL side, but to share the taste of victory properly. Winning a campaign as an Overlord is a lonely joy and having someone else to be happy with you is something thats makes some sense.

The real downside of having 2 OLs at the same time is that the OL plots will cease to be secret. The schemes are all in one mind, no one knows what is coming. Sharing strategies can be positive to avoid gaps and miscalculations, but is not good when accidentaly reveals a sneak attack beforehand (like which OL card to use etc etc).

My opinion? The OL must embrace his solitude and be resigned to it. Heroes will always be heroes, and the evil that lurks in the dark does not share power! (I heard it somewhere :huh:)

Edited by Dommus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried it once and it was a disaster. It ended up letting him doing everything, because I wanted to own my decisions, which I couldn't possibily do in that setting. Dice rolling was okay, but holding cards and deciding what to play caused problems. It also increased the length of a playthrough dramatically. So I stopped caring, which I regretted in the end because it looked like I gave up, but I was truly overwhelmed by this feeling of not being part of the game.

I think the game is just not designed for a good experience when playing with multi-overlords. We´ve had a 5th hero player once who played familiar, interchanged the control of hero figures too, and just helped strategize. It was okay to play it like this, as the hero players played as a team and all informaton is visible all the time.

There is a dungeon crawler game they presented in Essen 2016 by a spanish company, where you had one hero and up to 4 overlords trying to take him down. It was a cooperative game for the overlords. "Alone" was the name.  I haven't heard of it for a long time now, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No offense intended, but if you feel like you didn't "own" your decisions, is that not just a matter of you having a complete different vision on the encounter than your companion? If you feel like your tactic differs too much from the other OL, you have to discuss about that. You can't play two different strategies at the same time, not even if you would decide to switch the player who takes the role of OL every turn. The same goes for heroes; if some want to rush to the objective to complete it ASAP, but others want to play more greedy and find treasures, you'll have to reach consensus. 

So long story short I think 2 OL's will only work if you, beforehand, discuss what tactical approach to use. Or, like I said earlier, you could decide to divide the tasks of an OL, so that one OL player is in charge of the OL cards, and the other controls the monsters, lieutenants and reinforcements. You'd still need to be on the same page as to how you want to play that encounter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

None taken,

I agree completely with you, although I was referring to the co´nstant stream of small in-game decisions rather than the high-level strategy for the encounter (which you could discuss beforehand). Since we couldn't realistically take 2-3 minutes every time to decide whether a card should be played or not, or even moreso what each monster figure should do or what space they should go to, it ended up being like I described. The heroes do have that exact talk, that much is clear, but having to mirror that situation on the OL end made the game way too long (for us), and on top of that it was much more unpractical compared to the heroes because of the card secrecy in the equation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand the issue. We've tried the 2-player OL yesterday, and we encountered pretty much the same issues (although to a lesser extent). We eventually came up with an idea. For every quest, one player takes the role of 'real' OL, while the other "OL" player takes an advisory role. This worked out pretty well for us, as the 'advisor' OL can be of pretty good value to the 'real' OL ("Hey, don't forget this ability", "I wouldn't go there because that hero can immobilize you", "You could play this card now since ....", etc..), but the 'real' OL is still in charge of all decisions. So the two OL's can discuss freely whenever they want but in the end it's the 'real' OL that makes the decisions. We switch the advisory and real OL every quest. That way you still have the benefits of having two persons keeping an eye out, but you (can) prevent too much hassle and discussion for each OL action.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess that could work, indeed. Out of curiosity, how much do you think it extended the duration of your game session having it this way? I guess some of that extra time could potentially decrease as the overlord team get up to speed, if decisions can be reached faster, and/or if preparation is made beforehand. I guess that supposes that both have no problem letting the other one rolling the dices, though. My hero players would never allow somebody else to do that for them :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a pretty relaxed group, no-one really cares who rolls the dice. If someone goes to the bathroom and he/she is attacked, someone else will just roll the defense dice in his/her name. 

I think, after getting used to it, every quest takes about 10-15% longer. The debating between the two OL's make each OL turn take longer, but once they are onto something, the OL turns will only go faster. Being with two OL players decreases the odds that you miss something so each OL turn is also more efficient. Last but certainly not least, it is just WAY more fun to have two OL's (at least, in our group). Being able to discuss your tactics with someone else is very valueable. Yes in an Utopia the OL knows the entire CRRG by his head, but we're not such a group :P. Also the shared victory (or defeat) makes it all a bit more bearable! 

 

All in all, we're happy with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 15.3.2017 at 8:46 AM, liquidsnake1989 said:

I understand the issue. We've tried the 2-player OL yesterday, and we encountered pretty much the same issues (although to a lesser extent). We eventually came up with an idea. For every quest, one player takes the role of 'real' OL, while the other "OL" player takes an advisory role. This worked out pretty well for us, as the 'advisor' OL can be of pretty good value to the 'real' OL ("Hey, don't forget this ability", "I wouldn't go there because that hero can immobilize you", "You could play this card now since ....", etc..), but the 'real' OL is still in charge of all decisions. So the two OL's can discuss freely whenever they want but in the end it's the 'real' OL that makes the decisions. We switch the advisory and real OL every quest. That way you still have the benefits of having two persons keeping an eye out, but you (can) prevent too much hassle and discussion for each OL action.

This sounds like a pretty good idea. I play with a very skilled group, and I've lost quests simply by forgetting some tiny quest-effect or special rule. The Descent quest-rules are like a tiny book, and are usually very different from quest to quest. I think I would benefit greatly from having an "advisor" to remind me of stuff... :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...