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liquidsnake1989

Rolling 'X' makes the game dreadful, any advice?

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I don't know if its bad luck, karma, or some chakra that's awefully wrong where we play. But all of us (4 hero players and the OL) tend to roll an X a LOT. Statistically speaking this has only a 1/6th chance, but it feels more like 50%, looking at the last couple of encounters.

Not only can it be pretty frustrating (you're about to take down a key monster while buffed thanks to Lie in Wait and a Prayer of Healing buff, so you can roll with a blue and 4 yellows, only to see a MISS), but it just makes each encounter take soo loong. Apart from that, usually the longer an encounter is in progress, the harder it is for the heroes to win. In our group, Act 1 was won by the heroes and OL at aprox. 50/50 rating, but the OL has won every single Act 2 encounter from (and including) the interlude so far. 

So I was wondering, has anyone of you implemented some sort of houserule to work around the miss-factor? I was thinking about the possibility to spend 2x[heart] or 2x[surge] or any combination rolled, to 'ignore' the X. If you for example rolled with  a blue, yellow and red, and the outcome was:
Blue: X
Yellow: [heart][heart][surge]
Red: [heart][heart][heart]

You could spend 2x[heart] to ignore the X, making your attack have a total of 3x[heart] and 1x[surge] and 0 range. Obviously this would work for both the hero players as the OL player.

 

Would love to hear your ideas or experiences!

Edited by liquidsnake1989

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Learn how to roll dice.

Anyway, consider that the odds to roll an X are the same for heroes and OL, and this is how the game is balanced. That said, whenever you take an action in order to attack, always consider that there's a 17% chance to miss and think if there's something better you can do in your action. Try to leave attacks to characters who can reroll or change Xs with passive, items and heroic feats.

From my point of view, the X unironically brings fun and frustration at the same time, and it makes the game less straightforward, so you shouldn't remove or tweak that mechanism.

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The X factor is part of the fun of descent and should be taken with as it is.

You have many ways to counter it :

- fortune tokens
- some hero skills and feats
- some items
 

As the Overlord can uses
- some plot deck
- basic 1 overlord deck

 

So, just play more with thoses :)

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Agreed. The X is annoying sometimes, but it's a necessary part of the combat system. 

I've done a weight analysis of the blue die to calculate if it is unintentionally loaded (based on the volume of the symbols cut out of each face) and determined that it's not significantly loaded toward the X. Therefore, if you roll enough your misses will probably end up close to 1/6. If you truly suspect you are bad rollers (it's possible) I recommend a dice tower. You can buy one or construct one, they can be very cheap and/or simple, and will at least give you assurance that you're not throwing a bunch of X's on purpose.

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My group bought 3 sets of dice.  Every campaign we actively shame certain dice and move them to the special "Shame Coaster" with its X side facing up. We then pull it out when rolling for monsters (or if playing against OL, the OL will actively attempt to switch the dice).

I have tested all the dice, none of them appear to be weighted towards the X any more than others, but damned if my wife can just say 'wait...', grab the die from the shame coaster (when rolling for a monster), and then roll an X.

The shame coaster also tends to accumulate Red die that roll too many single hearts.

For defense dice, my wife will make separate piles over the course of the campaign, defense dice for her, and attribute test dice.

 

I can't tell you how many times I have rolled an X as the OL on a critical roll, played "Dark Fortune", and then rolled another X.  But part of the fun of descent is that you have to MAKE it fun... scream really loud, curse the gods, and exile the die to the shame corner with dramatic flair.

Edited by Silidus

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I can also join the group of the 4 X's in a row (more than once!) ;-P
But one of my Hero's.. he can't... he is in the group above (I think it was even 6) !!! ;-P

the more funny on this story : 3 of the 4 heroes had the X came regularly... sometimes more than it should ... all along the campaign..
The last hero, he didn't roll a single X during all the campaign.. not even one !!!

Well the luck of one is balanced with the unluck of others.. heu wait not exactly.. the last hero was Reynhart !!!!!!!

So was he lucky or not ?

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I saw a friend rolling 5 X for the same attack

Reynhart, X, hero ability, X again, then Feat, X again, then search potion to reroll, X again, finally a threat token, X ...

He was so angry that he went off at once !

 

We all were so laughing that I can understand his lonelyness ... But, the game is at it is.

And the same day, I saw the first round of a quest : 8 attacks of heroes, 7X, 6 of the Overlord, 5 X.

So, after 1st round, 2 damages on 1 heroes, 3 on 1 monster ... Epic !

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I prefer the way they have solved this in Imperial Assault:

The defender can dodge instead of the attacker rolling a miss. Its a lot harder to get angry at someone else´s lucky roll, then missing yourself IMO.

But of course: The amusement I get from others missing is priceless. :P

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Just now, Sidious78 said:

I prefer the way they have solved this in Imperial Assault:

The defender can dodge instead of the attacker rolling a miss. Its a lot harder to get angry at someone else´s lucky roll, then missing yourself IMO.

But of course: The amusement I get from others missing is priceless. :P

Yeah I did like that change in IA, especially since its only on one die, and its generally weaker without the total dodge.

It makes you feel like you did something good, rather than did something bad.

 

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That sounds pretty interesting indeed!!! So I thought of a alternative and came up with this:

Alternitive%20Dice%20descent.png

So the miss is changed to a "1 with a heard" and I took the grey defense dice for the miss "X". So every roll for a defense you must use the grey die with the X. 

I choose the grey because that is the most common and the monsters with a brown dice are usually slow and weak and therefore to dump to dodge...

I wonder if this will break the game? Because both sides are using the same attack method, so it shouldn't be any different except for the game speed...

I would buy those dice if the ever produced any kind of those ^^

Edit: But some feats from some hero's would become useless....

Edited by TryFal

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It would certainly break some abilities, since there are many abilities in descent that are specifically meant to reroll misses, or negate them.

 

Also you are going to inadvertently make some hard monsters very difficult, like the shadow dragon rolling 2 grey, which now has a 30.56% chance of rolling a dodge.

Edited by Silidus
Math

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I think removing the X will have to many implications. However, I do hope  (and think) this IA system will be considered for Descent 3rd Ed., if it ever is made. Along with the "cancel surge" ability on defense dice, which also adds a lot of dynamics in battles. 

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I've played in a full IA skirmish tournament with 5/6 of my deployment cards rolling the white die in IA and had 1 X rolled total in 4 matches, then had 8 in the final match, lol.

It really is just the luck of the die. I do find the blue X to be especially frustrating though, at least in IA you can avoid attacking white die defenders if you are looking for something guaranteed to hit, in Descent that just isn't possible as the blue is the 'attack' die. I understand the mechanic of it, but it doesn't make it less frustrating lol.

I hate to house rule it out though, feels like it would mess with the flow of the game. Each scenario is probably designed with keeping in mind you will whif a few attacks.

Edited by FrogTrigger

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As people have already mentioned to some extent in this thread, there are plenty of ways to reduce the frequency of misses for parties plagued by the dreaded 'X'.

- Play characters with powerful reroll abilities, such as Reynhart the Worthy or Widow Tarha
- Play as Prophet and take Battle Vision
- Play as Bard and take Rehearsal (one of the best options of all)
- Play Skirmisher and take Unstoppable and never miss
- Play as a Monk and take Vow of Freedom and never miss
- Play as Spiritspeaker and use Tempest on a high willpower character. The odds of this attack failing with 4+ willpower are lower than rolling the 'X'.
- Play a character that gets to make lots of attacks, to make up for the misses. (e.g. Challara the Necromancer can consistently make 4 attacks per turn using her Reanimate and Brightblaze)
- Equip the Golden Mask Act II item or find the relic Fortuna's Dice (campaign dependent)
- Use abilities that do damage indirectly (e.g. Andira Runehand's heroic ability that damages monsters every time they damage the heroes)

The 'X' is an important part of game balance and allows for both excitement and frustration when a series of misses swings the tide of battle one way or another.

I hate missing as much as the next guy. Thankfully the designers created options for both the heroes and the OL to mitigate their effects.

Some people prefer IA's 'dodge' mechanic, but personally I think that just limits the defense pool possibilities. As someone pointed out above, it would make characters with a bunch of gray defense dice way too hard to injure.

Heck, if a party is committed enough, they could take a bunch of the above options and make misses almost non-existent, but they are improving their consistency at the cost of their top-end potential. Seems like a balanced trade off to me.

Edited by Charmy

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1 hour ago, Charmy said:

As people have already mentioned to some extent in this thread, there are plenty of ways to reduce the frequency of misses for parties plagued by the dreaded 'X'.

- Play characters with powerful reroll abilities, such as Reynhart the Worthy or Widow Tarha
- Play as Prophet and take Battle Vision
- Play as Bard and take Rehearsal (one of the best options of all)
- Play Skirmisher and take Unstoppable and never miss
- Play as a Monk and take Vow of Freedom and never miss
- Play as Spiritspeaker and use Tempest on a high willpower character. The odds of this attack failing with 4+ willpower are lower than rolling the 'X'.
- Play a character that gets to make lots of attacks, to make up for the misses. (e.g. Challara the Necromancer can consistently make 4 attacks per turn using her Reanimate and Brightblaze)
- Equip the Golden Mask Act II item or find the relic Fortuna's Dice (campaign dependent)
- Use abilities that do damage indirectly (e.g. Andira Runehand's heroic ability that damages monsters every time they damage the heroes)

The 'X' is an important part of game balance and allows for both excitement and frustration when a series of misses swings the tide of battle one way or another.

I hate missing as much as the next guy. Thankfully the designers created options for both the heroes and the OL to mitigate their effects.

Some people prefer IA's 'dodge' mechanic, but personally I think that just limits the defense pool possibilities. As someone pointed out above, it would make characters with a bunch of gray defense dice way too hard to injure.

Heck, if a party is committed enough, they could take a bunch of the above options and make misses almost non-existent, but they are improving their consistency at the cost of their top-end potential. Seems like a balanced trade off to me.

 

Thanks for the long list of ways to mitigate the X-factor. I'm afraid we can't use much of them:

- Reynhart is in Lair of the Wyrm expansion which is out-of-stock everywhere;
- Prophet class is in Trollfens expansion which is out-of-stock everywhere;
- Bard is in Shadow of Nerekhall expansion which is out-of-stock everywhere;
- Skirmisher class is in Shadow of Nerekhall expansion which is out-of-stock everywhere;
- Monk class is in The Chains that Rust expansion, we don't have that one yet but its a possibility;
- Spiritspeaker is considered a pretty weak class as far as I'm concerned. Played with that class once and didn't really like it;
- Challara is in the Bonds of the Wild hero pack, we don't have that one yet but its a possibility;
- Golden Mask is in Shadow of Nerekhall expansion which is out-of-stock everywhere;
 

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the possibilities you pointed out. We've been trying to get our hands on some expansions for some weeks now, but they're simply extinct, it seems. Some shops do offer them, but for rediculous prices (like €70 for an expansion that is normally €52,50), and purchasing them abroad is also costly due to shipping cost and import duties. 

I've had my eyes on Reynhart, the Prophet or Bard class and Golden Mask for a while (along with other cool things that these expansions offer) but there's no (realistic) way of getting them at the moment.

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Yet another X thread! The X is very debatable, but I think everyone here agrees that it is a necessary mechanic. I think that within the current set of rules, there is no alternative possible. A lot of skills/abilities/rules etc. are centered around the current dice system. in would be totally in favor of a more general 'attack' stat as in a lot of rpg's but that makes the game more 'number crunching' and reverts some of the 'streamlining' that they did with the 2nd ed.

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7 hours ago, liquidsnake1989 said:

Thanks for the long list of ways to mitigate the X-factor. I'm afraid we can't use much of them:

- Reynhart is in Lair of the Wyrm expansion which is out-of-stock everywhere;
- Prophet class is in Trollfens expansion which is out-of-stock everywhere;
- Bard is in Shadow of Nerekhall expansion which is out-of-stock everywhere;
- Skirmisher class is in Shadow of Nerekhall expansion which is out-of-stock everywhere;
- Monk class is in The Chains that Rust expansion, we don't have that one yet but its a possibility;
- Spiritspeaker is considered a pretty weak class as far as I'm concerned. Played with that class once and didn't really like it;
- Challara is in the Bonds of the Wild hero pack, we don't have that one yet but its a possibility;
- Golden Mask is in Shadow of Nerekhall expansion which is out-of-stock everywhere;

I don't know in which language you're playing, but all of theses are avalaible in English on FFG, right here.

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Hello Rugal,

I think the problem is not the language but the place.. he is in Europe (like some of us ;-) )... the shippings can become high ! and it's not unsual it take 'soooome' time to arrive ! ;-)

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