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Tartan Wolf

Making the Descent Experience

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Hi, 

I'm new to the board games world, but getting into it fast with a both my wife and a few friends really enjoying it. 

As the OL I was wondering what things other hosts do to make the Descent experience more fun. 

Such: Themed Food + Drinks, Music, Make up some lore, so it all makes sence? Role Play? Letting Heroes win. 

Or 

do you all just treat it like a game of chess and just play? 

T

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In my case it is all about spending a nice time with friends.

So there is a lot of social talk, beer and other beverages around, some food (depending on how long and on the moment of the day we are playing), etc.

I don't see why making the heroes always win would add to the fun, as Descent is a tactical game rather than a RPG.

Everyone tries to play at his/her best, without being overly serious about the outcome. We like fluid game and "overthinkers" are not the style of the players who meet at my place.

But deciding beforehand that the heroes shall win would kill a great part of the suspense and thus of the fun (not speaking of the hero players who could be p!ssed off by an OL not offering them a serious opposition or of the OL being doomed to loose all the quests).

Why would you think that ALL Descent players are like chess players and only concerned about playing?

I think there are as many ways to play as there are players.

Edited by Robin

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Dress in full plate armor and announce you are the Overlord.

 

No, don't do that.  I adlib a small amount of RPing into the game.  Some of the quest descriptions don't come in the best order.  The party has two that offer them chances to rescue Shadowbinders, but only Cardinal's Plight takes the time to explain why they're doing it.  I like to do a little section where the Barons explain the situation and what each of the quests are before I let them pick one.  Seems to help with immersion.  When they chose Fat Goblin, for example, they didn't do it based on difficulty or reward, they did it because they felt saving the food for the barony was important.

 

I also provide a dinner and pop.  Keep people comfortable.

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I generally use Descent as a substitute for RPGs these days, but that's not to say we role-play a lot. =P

 

Like Robin, we play by the rules, but we play to have fun.  We discuss what's legal (sometimes we laugh at what's legal), but we don't get all bent out of shape about one side winning or losing based on the outcome of a particular rules debate.

 

I haven't made any house rules yet, as I prefer to get a solid grip on the base mechanics before I start playing with them, but I definitely have a couple house rules in mind that may be introduced later.

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I'm an artist. I am also our group's OL. Therefore I get to draw everyone as their heroes, no matter what gender their hero is or what they are >}.

 

NotesFromTheOverlord.Tumblr.com <~~ Not all of them can see them every time they are made, so I post them here. My heroes look forward to the little jest every game day. I make at least one for each quest.

 

I HAVE dressed as the avatar I have drawn for myself. I am thinking about improving it and waring it for the final. We all enjoy that element, but it also very silly.

 

I have had everyone read the flavor, but one person really reads it well, giving all the characters great, often funny, voices. So, he reads all the flavor from now on.

 

We often eat before gaming, but I, as their evil Overlord, like to do something for the Interlude and Final, whether it's a full meal or just a cake. It's a huge accomplishment! This Interlude is spacial since it lands on the same day my youngest cat was born. He likes to help me brew my evil plots. Maybe a cake ^.^

 

I also make tea. If we get in early enough, maybe some liquor. It makes everyone is ready, or as ready as one can be, for the inevitable X.

 

They are all little things, but it really helps things for us. We are still very new at this. This is only our second campaign, so the story is still rather important. We really do push for an RPG like element when we can while braking the forth wall, because we can.

Robin13 likes this

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@Kunzite,

I like the way you enter your role quite a lot !

And the drawings on your blog are really nice !

 

It incites me to give a greater accent on role playing - which is compatible with playing the game along the rules.

Strangely, when playing wargames, I do indulge in playing the role of a given side (e.g. I recently had a series of my Japanese support weapons break down, and I expressed my frustrations about the Emperor's logistics or, when sending a banzai charge, I did cry some "Banzai !" making it, threatening my British opponents with the perspective of become minced meat under my katanas).

 

I think a game is fun, when there is some playing - even in complex, technical games like the wargames I play.

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Themed Food + Drinks, Music,

Make up some lore, so it all makes sence

Role Play

 

and

 

competitive gaming all against one

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It's easy to slip into the roll when everyone kinds of treats you like you are in that role. We have all kinds of jokes about the power that I have, and how evil I can be. I make the jabs right back. When everyone is into it, it isn't that hard. Also, me being the OL is consistent. One of the other players has been the OL in two epics. This last time, the other two players band him from the thrown, saying they are grateful that I play the role that I do. O.x not sure of that is a complement or not seeing how hard he thrashed them.

 

Slipping into the role and role playing are a little different, I think. We don't always act out everything on the board or actions, like you might in D&D, though there are things that happen that require a little bit of role playing (grease trap into a shadow dragon x.x, or a swarm of kobolds + overwhelm), but we do always crack jokes about who gets the worse beating this quest, or why the dice seem to favor me (this isn't always true, I promise!).

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Hi, thanks for all the replies. Some stuff to think about. Love the drawings. :)  

I wasn't presuming descent players tend to play like chess, just providing some suggestions and including an antonym so people knew what I was on about.  :) Also I don't let the heroes win, but I do find myself trying more to make the game fun for them, than I do trying to win for myself. 

Currently trying to make a Descent "playlist" foods and old fashioned drinks are common. Also keeping a record of all the "highlights" after a an encounter in case my wife fancies writing them up as fan fiction-esk . 

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Currently trying to make a Descent "playlist" foods and old fashioned drinks are common. Also keeping a record of all the "highlights" after a an encounter in case my wife fancies writing them up as fan fiction-esk . 

 

Oh! Please share the food play list! I am always looking for new things to cook for my group, if I can. Also, I would love to read your wife's writing. It's always fun to read those. ^.^!

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lol, i was missing a comma. :) I meant playlists; as in music :D (Mago de Oz works well). Food is normal food (with a touch of my very own "hope they don't spill it on the game" anxiety). Drinks anything from Mead to Ale. I'll see if I can think of themed food, but everything i think of results in sticky fingers :D 

And when she gets around to it, I'll share :) 

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I good song for the final, at least for LoR, is "Apocalypse Please" by Muse. >} I look forward to playing that. We don't normally listen to music. I, the OL, can't think and listen to words at the same time. I can't even read and listen to music with words. I don't think my group is as keen on classical music as I am.

 

Tonight was our interlude. I made everyone Lombard soup (added spinach to give it this odd yellow/green color. I then debated on having everyone role might to see if they withstood the "poison". Lucky for them, they all have decent might). I don't cook too often so it was nice.

 

As far as greasy hands, FFG produces card sleeves. That's how we deal with allot of shuffling and passably messy hands. And cats. My cats like cards. They are tasty. That does not save them from a spill, though. x.x

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