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dark glyphs overpowered?

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Using dark glyphs from AoD we found it really difficult for the heroes. Especially green ones can, for only 2 treachery steal 2 CPs and make the game much more difficult. Also, i don't think that a 2 treachery card can do that much damage. So why would the OL choose a card if he could get a dark glyph? What do you think?

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Style of play? Lack of experience? I've never actually used a dark glyph in a game yet, so not sure of their usefulness. Is there a limit to the number of dark glyphs you can get?

-shnar

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You presumably can't get more dark glyphs than you have tokens for, but the practical limit in most quests will be the amount of treachery you have.  I believe there's 2 tokens for each type, so you'd need 6 treachery in one category before that limit matters.

I was already testing Enduring Evil by the time my copy of AoD arrived, so I haven't played with the (official versions of) dark glyphs, but I thought that sundered glyphs, at least, were overpowered ever since I read the rules for them, and no one has made an argument to change my mind.

I'd probably avoid using them if the heroes have Sharr Brightwing, though a straight trade of 2 treachery for 2 conquest isn't too bad, even without making the glyph unusable for transport.

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shnar said:

That glyph takes away 2CPs? Doesn't that effectively mean 5CPs, the 3 they would normally get is gone plus an additional 2 more?

-shnar

No, it means that you should probably read the rules for dark glyphs before trying to read a discussion of whether they're balanced or not.

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Jonny WS said:

When using the dark glyphs in the advanced campaign, you still spend the two points of treachery and may place that ONE glyph on any ONE level that is drawn. 

Huh.  Where's that rule?

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Antistone said:

shnar said:

 

That glyph takes away 2CPs? Doesn't that effectively mean 5CPs, the 3 they would normally get is gone plus an additional 2 more?

-shnar

 

 

No, it means that you should probably read the rules for dark glyphs before trying to read a discussion of whether they're balanced or not.

Wow, it would have taken less time to simply correct my understand (as James did) than being a jerk...

-shnar

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shnar said:

 

 

Wow, it would have taken less time to simply correct my understand (as James did) than being a jerk...

And it would have taken even less of my time if people who didn't have a clue what they were talking about didn't try to correct me in the first place.

You are actively interfering in the discussion because you felt the need to correct my analysis based on your guess at what the rule might be based on the analysis you were trying to correct.  The only way that would make even a tiny bit of sense is if you thought anything I said was more likely to be wrong than right, and were in fact so confident I was wrong that you didn't even need to read the rule in question in order to correct my mistake.  Either you didn't think about your post at all before making it, or you think I'm such a collossal moron that the negation of what I say is more likely to be right than what I say.

And that's ignoring the part where participating at all in a conversation when you lack even a basic knowledge of the topic being discussed is seriously rude.

So I think I have a little more reason to be offended by your behavior than vice versa.

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I wasn't trying to correct anything, I was trying to understand. If you look at what I said, everything was a question, me probing to understand properly how it works. What was said about the rule gave made me wonder if what I was understanding was correct, so I was replying to make sure my understanding was right or wrong. Instead of correcting my understanding, you took it personal that my knowledge on the subject wasn't as great as yours and got offended?

Sorry that the limitations of communication over a web forum didn't express that, offense was the least thing I was trying to convey.

-shnar

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I honestly don't think they are overpowered.  The treachery cost is for the OL to put it in the deck (while removing a card they don't want) and it also relies on the OL to have the card in hand when the heroes activate a glyph.  Also in plain RtL if heroes have Sharr in their party, I would rather spend the treachery on other cards instead. 

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Sharr doesn't exist in RtL, does she?

I don't think they're overpowered, though I've never used them to be sure. A sundered glyph means you're not getting 2 Crushing Blows (or a Crushing Blow and one other event if playing RtL). Glyphs are used so infrequently in RtL that green is really the only option unless you know ahead of time what your level will look like and can be sure the heroes will want to glyph around a lot.

Outside of RtL, spawning is incredibly easy, which makes 2 red treachery a tough choice. 2 Trap treachery to draw maybe 2 extra cards and get up to 10 extra threat (if you're lucky) is also kinda hard to want to do, because it means giving up a second Dark Charm and another trap of your choice. Or giving up an Animate Weapons or Dance of the Monkey God, either of which is a TPK and an Overlord Victory in the right circumstances.

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uhchewie said:

I honestly don't think they are overpowered.  The treachery cost is for the OL to put it in the deck (while removing a card they don't want) and it also relies on the OL to have the card in hand when the heroes activate a glyph.

No, the dark glyphs don't use cards at all.  You set them aside at the same time you customize your deck, and then you can use them any time you're setting up an area; no chance involved.

You could conceivably be thinking of the modified dark glyphs I created for Enduring Evil, which do involve actual cards, but my personal homebrew mod is probably not nearly popular enough for people to make that sort of mistake.

shnar said:


I wasn't trying to correct anything, I was trying to understand. If you look at what I said, everything was a question, me probing to understand properly how it works. What was said about the rule gave made me wonder if what I was understanding was correct, so I was replying to make sure my understanding was right or wrong. Instead of correcting my understanding, you took it personal that my knowledge on the subject wasn't as great as yours and got offended?

 

Sorry that the limitations of communication over a web forum didn't express that, offense was the least thing I was trying to convey.

 

I'm not offended that you didn't already know how sundered glyphs work, I'm offended that you thought that it was reasonable to put the original thread topic on hold in order to ask people to explain to you something you could easily find out for yourself.  That implies that you're more important than everyone else.  You should have checked to see if the information was already easily available, and if you couldn't find it or if you didn't understand it, you should have started a separate thread to ask questions on that topic.  Then I would have happily answered you.

I'm also offended that you decided to phrase your question in the form of "is Antistone wrong?"  You could have asked if I was right, or you could have asked for explanation without suggesting any theory at all, but you didn't.  Would you be offended if I made a post saying "is shnar an idiot?"  It's only a question, after all.

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From a theoretical point of view, a green dark glyph is two green treachery that automatically kills a 2 CT hero. The no transport part is comparable to the hassle of losing half of the hero's money (of course how bad that is depends on group). For this reason when I overlord I never use them because the point of the game is to have fun smashing heads in and green dark glyphs border on "victory points denial" from war games and "resource denial" in European games.

From experience, one time (so take this as anecdotal evidence at most) we were playing the execution one from the quest conpendium (sp?) where the overlord rolls to see if one of the four gates full of monsters open every turn. We had Sharr the Brightwing. Not being the metagaming type, the overlord spent his treachery on two sundered glyphs and did NOT take out door traps with his other treachery (heroes cannot open doors on this dungeon). Despite this we lost mostly because of the sundered glyphs.

a.) Even with Sharr we will still lose the 2 CT each time they appear.

b.) This dungeon was quite big and even with Sharr, the amount of time necessary for Sharr to get to a glyph was excessive.

The worst part was that we grabbed two glyphs (both sundered) then lost after three hero deaths in a game where the heroes actually played quite well.

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Dude, Antistone, get over it. Your supposed complaint is that he wasted time iderailing thread, but you've spent tons more time pissing, moaning, and being rude about someone asking a question then it took to resolve the question in the first place. If you want to whine about time being wasted, tear into yourself or admit to being a hypocrit.

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Tepes said:

and did NOT take out door traps with his other treachery (heroes cannot open doors on this dungeon).

This is not necessarily a bad thing. There are usually some fairly useless cards that can be taken out (such as some of the spawns), and leaving behind door traps at least means that drawing them is worth 3 threat. For instance, if the choice is between pulling out a Bane Spider Swarm or an Explosive Door, I'd go for the spiders almost every time. Both are pretty useless, but the door trap gives an extra threat when you discard it.

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Green Glyph in the advanced campaign is somewhat of a gamble for the OL if its not a Rumor or Legendary Area. You could get the glyph and have no good maps to use it on....but if luck is on your side, a map like the secret garden is totally rude for the heroes with a green glyph. 

Its a matter of taste and style.  If the heroes are giving you too much trouble then things like that will make it more balanced. 

 

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 uhchewie, I suspect you were thinking of Dark Relics, which do require a card to be added to the overlord deck.

Sundered glyphs are unquestionably overpowered. They are far superior to any green-treachery card, and from a pure play-to-win point of view, an overlord should *always* take as many as possible (note, I'm discussing standard Descent; I've never played the campaign expansions). Note, the removal of a transport option is *far* worse than the loss of half of a heroes money if used correctly, and 2 treachery for a single 2-conquest kill would be an excellent deal in and of itself. We never play with them as written.

The other two types are less clear cut. I tend to feel that they're both quite weak, though, by comparison with many treachery cards. The purple glyph has a relatively weak effect, certainly compared to the others. The red one has a stronger effect.... but red treachery cards are by far the best, so you;re giving up rather more by taking it. Generally I wouldn't use them as an overlord, though I'm not certain this is the correct decision.

The dark glyph mechanic mostly just doesn't work, and I'd certainly advise not using the rules as written.

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Animate Weapons and Dance of the Monkey God are also 2 green treachery each, and both can result in a TPK. In vanilla Descent that's almost certainly a win if it happens. I've never used Sundered glyphs in vanilla, but I don't understand how they can be better than that?

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Firstly, both cards cost purple treachery, not green, but that's not actually the point.

Dance of the monkey god costs 25 threat! That is an enormous additional cost. The beauty of dark glyphs is that they *don't* cost threat, and you can use the threat for something else. Animate weapons is 20 threat. In each case, you're sacrificing 3-4 spawns to play them, and that's probably at least a tpk right there.

Secondly, neither card is an automatic kill of the entire party by any means, and in each case a tpk is the *best* you can really hope for.

Animate weapons has only fractionally more than a 2/3 chance of working per hero (1/6 chance for the spell to fail, 1/6 chance for the hero to miss), and there's likely at least one hero with a weapon far too weak to kill themself (the party runner, for a start), and probabaly one with 16 health who'll also fail to kill themselves. Also, you'll can only usefully play it late in the game: heroes won't kill themselves with shop weapons. Frankly, you're lucky if you can get 6 conquest out of it, and that's assuming a four-hero game. I actually like Dark Charm better than Animate Weapons, because it's cheaper and more flexible, and it's rare you can play animate weapons for its full potential.

Dance of the monkey God is probably better, because it slows the heroes down and makes them waste turns as well as allowing you to kill them, and it's useful at any stage in the game, but still, 25 threat is an enormous cost, and you still need to, you know, actually kill them: the card does no damage by itself.

Incidentally, there are two approaches to placing Sundered Glyphs. One is to Sunder the first few glyphs of the dungeon, reducing their early conquest, and forcing them to repeatedly walk back from the starting glyph when you kill them: if you go this route, you're hoping for an early win. The other is to sunder the *last* few, making the boss fight really tough, as a kill knocks a hero out of the fight for several turns: this is probably weaker in most cases, as there's every chance they can kill the boss in one turn, but may be preferable on some maps. 

In any case, a properly-placed Sundered Glyph can easily be worth more than a whole party kill by itself, but the threat cost is the really important point.

My advice on spending treachery is (assuming RAW), spend all green treachery on Sundered Glyphs, spend all red treachery on substituting weak event cards (Gust of Wind) out of the deck for powerful spawns (Elite Beastman War Party, for a start), and spend any remaining green treachery and all purple treachery on an increased starting hand.

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YellowPebble said:

and spend any remaining green treachery and all purple treachery on an increased starting hand.

Really?  2 treachery to start with 1 extra random card in your hand always struck me as an insultingly weak option.

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