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Fiendcleaver

DUNGEON CRAWL AND ROLEPLAYING

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While I love the new descent system, so far (I admittedly have not played all the encounters) scenarios are time/maneuver based, rather than traditional dungeon crawl type encounters.  On the positive side, this adds a refreshingly new element to roleplay-ish type games, but it also leaves us wanting more…i.e. more traditional solvel the puzzle, overcome the traps, and pray that you can "just barely" overcome the monsters. 

Once I have playtested all of these scenarios, and determine how a kill or be defeated scenario might be playbalanced with the provided monster groups, I will be creating dungeon crawl scenarios.  One of my initial impressions, for such scenarios, is that these missions will cause the heroes to be knocked out/defeated for the duration of the encounter once they have been defeated/knocked out twice.  It would, in my estimation, be too unbalancing to allow the characters to be knocked out for the duration of the encounter after only one defeat.  To many powers and rules involve helping the players return to health.

If I succeed in comming up with such dungeon crawl type encounters, I will, believe it or not, be using the basic decent 2nd ed. rules as the basis for a roleplaying campaign.  I happen to prefer simple, quick, unencumbered systems such as 1st edition D&D.  Descent 2nd ed., with some tweaking, would make an excellent system, since it is much more tactically interesting than 1st edition D&D.  The fact that the Overlord and The players are actually competing against each other adds additional tension and interest for some of us.  Determining proper play balance will be a challenge, but not overwhelming, since the system already has an inherent playbalance to it.  The biggest challenge will be encorporating the effects of roleplaying and NPC social interactions within the descent system.  My initial thought is that i will borrow the "you win this encounter, you get a small advantage for some future encounter" mechanic that is already an excellent part of the descent system.  If my players sucessfully roleplay a political intreague-based roleplaying encounter, for example, they might get an advantageous price at the market, or one of those militiaman tokens from the castle scenario, for example, might help the characters fight.  Other options for successful roleplaying might involve allowing the characters redraws from the overland card deck.  

While players who enjoy the newer Warcraft style roleplaying systems that offer an orgy of endless special abilities and powers, those who prefer simpler roleplaying systems may enjoy the possibilities that descent has to offer.  Once I have had a while to play through everything and put some rules together, I will let you guys take a look.  

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Fiendcleaver said:

While players who enjoy the newer Warcraft style roleplaying systems that offer an orgy of endless special abilities and powers, those who prefer simpler roleplaying systems may enjoy the possibilities that descent has to offer.  Once I have had a while to play through everything and put some rules together, I will let you guys take a look.  

I find it interesting that you don't consider Descent to be an "orgy of endless special abilities and powers," when that is exactly what the class cards seem like to me.

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KristoffStark said:

 

I find it interesting that you don't consider Descent to be an "orgy of endless special abilities and powers," when that is exactly what the class cards seem like to me.

Maybe there's just not enough volume for it to qualify as an orgy yet.  I'm sure that will change as expansions start coming out.

All nit-picking aside, though, I am very intrigued by the OP's proposal, and I look forward to seeing what he comes up with.

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Steve-O said:

KristoffStark said:

 

 

I find it interesting that you don't consider Descent to be an "orgy of endless special abilities and powers," when that is exactly what the class cards seem like to me.

 

 

Maybe there's just not enough volume for it to qualify as an orgy yet.  I'm sure that will change as expansions start coming out.

Agreed.  It's a threesome, for sure.  Bloody great fun, and I can't wait to experience it again, but I certainly wouldn't object to an orgy of class abilities and, more importantly to me, upgrade options for the Overlord (because, adding a card to a deck is frankly, really boring…)

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While I probably wouldn't go so far as to say I find adding a card to a deck really boring, I do find deciding which monsters to use in an encounter a much more engaging task. Maybe if certain monster groups had an XP cost to unlock during the campaign…

But I digress. I am also intrigued to see what the OP comes back with. I do feel that some of the quests seem a little short (for the record I've never played first edition) but that might be because we're only playing with two heroes. I still thoroughly enjoy it though.

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 Being able to purchase dark relics might be an option for OLs in future expansions. More than just a deck card, but still not so over powering. Must have a Lt. to use it. Maybe monster enhancers that require a specific trait (such as cold or cave) that attaches to a monster group. I think that would make it less boring for OL players and give heroes second thoughts about "knowing what a monster can do".

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In a dungeon crawl, I would modify the action "stand up" so that it can only be accomplished if you are holding a health potion.

In this way, the heroes can revive each other as much as they want.  But if they don't, then any hero that starts their turn knocked down and without a health potion, is removed from the encounter.

To balence this play style, the dungeon crawls can be more agressive with the ammount of monsters placed in a kill all encounter.  And gauntlet style events, where the heroes have to make it across the dungeon to an exit, can have very libiral respawn rules to simulate hoards of non stop monsters pouring in on them.

Another thought to keep in mind when designing dungeon crawls is the overlord classes.  If all encounters are beat fests, there will be little or no desire to pick any cards other then warlord. 

Youll need some good puzzle/trap encounters with lots of search icons and doors for sabatour decks.  Not sure what magus decks are ideal for … but make something for them too.  =P

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D2ed reminds me a lot of D&D4e in how it's structured into "encounters" that are strung together loosely into "delves". A series of delves becomes a campaign.

 

It's like they figured out that to make dungeoncrawlers appeal to today's busy gamer, you've got to get rid of the dungeoncrawling. Keep everything else, but just skip ahead through the story to the action scenes. It is actually hardwired into D&D4e's rules that the game be played in the "encounters" fashion. How hardwired this method of playing is in D2ed remians to be seen for me… must get this game!!!!!!!!

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Kracky McKraken said:

It's like they figured out that to make dungeoncrawlers appeal to today's busy gamer, you've got to get rid of the dungeoncrawling. Keep everything else, but just skip ahead through the story to the action scenes. It is actually hardwired into D&D4e's rules that the game be played in the "encounters" fashion. How hardwired this method of playing is in D2ed remians to be seen for me… must get this game!!!!!!!!

Based solely on having read the rulebook, mind you, I don't think that D2e is really that "hard-wired" to the encounter model.  Removing it would require you to re-evaluate how players earn XP (and how quickly) in order to keep the rate of advancement within your desired parameters, but that's probably the only other thing you'd need to change, besides the maps, of course. =P

As an aside, I don't see how D2e's model is "skipping ahead through the story" (unless by "story" you mean "even more combat.")  Compared to D1e, the quality AND quantity of "story" elements has only increased in D2e, and dramatically so from what I can tell.  Perhaps your complaint is that the second edition still hasn't reached the level of "story" that a full-fledged RPG can muster, but frankly, it is still a board game at the end of the day.

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