Don’t Know About DS

What don’t you already know about DS?

I’ve been trying to write something interesting about DS and failing. Not because there’s nothing to say, just that I think I’ve already said it all already. A combination of articles here, Mantic blogs, interviews, seminars, podcasts and many, many individual conversations at events leave me feeling like it’s ground we’ve covered before. Obviously there are lots of details we’ve glossed over, but you want something left to discover when you get your shiny box(es) of goodies, right?

Given that there have been a number of events, seminars and interviews since I last asked this question, and given that I’ve entirely lost track of what you do and don’t know at this point (you may have seen all of my burblings or none of them), what doΒ you want to know? What is there left for me to cover?

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60 Responses to Don’t Know About DS

  1. Samick says:

    I’ve missed much of the burblings, all of the seminars and much else besides, I’ve also only had one brief crack at the Beta rules so my knowledge cup needs filling!
    The thing I want to know most about is how much depth there is for people with a table top roleplay back ground. While I appreciate this is a board game and so is a very different experience from roleplay I still want choices when I level and masses of loot! Will i be a happy bunny?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      There are two kinds of choices. The first is during play, when you have a load of detail tactical options for individual Heroes, plus interactive options regarding how the Heroes work (or don’t) as a team.

      The second type of choice comes in a campaign game, when you have different places to choose to visit, and different skills to pick between when you level up. Again, how you work as a team should inform most of these decisions.

    • Pikaraph says:

      Same here, I didn’t follow for some time, I hope Jake will make some summary about what will really be in the box ^^

  2. For those of us unable to attend the various conventions and public tests all we have been able to go on is the beta rules which covers the four base characters, and the villains, with no real understanding of what equipment they have etc. I have hunted down every video and blog I can manage and haven’t seen much more than a couple of photos of the miniatures. Yes I want surprises when I get the game, but at the moment I don’t have much other than a hand full of photos, we don’t even have a list for the contents of the box beyond the minatures.
    we have no concept of anything from the advanced rules.
    Even a description of how the experience system works – at one point experience could be earned in several ways including healing other players or unlocking chests.
    What are the ways a demon hunter differs from a fighter. Or even a run down of a few of the other classes
    How will the AI cards work?
    Will we get printed decks of the cards in the journal ?
    How traps are implemented?
    What mechanism is used for dungeon creation? Cards with common edges made from multiple tiles or one told at s time?
    Or as I asked before pick a race and profession and show us one complete experience option tree

    • Quirkworthy says:

      OK. I’m surprised you’ve fond so little, but I’ll see what I can do to fill in some of those blanks.

      Your suggestion of working through one combo is a good one, so I’ll do that as a start.

      Don’t know about printed cards from the Journal.

  3. S. says:

    A bit more stuff about the adventurer’s companion would be cool. We’ve had the leveling up system and downtime. But I’d like to know about the random dungeon generator (how are the rooms and their population generated) and a bit more about how the KI works (do we draw cards for every monster and follow some instructions?).
    How is the difficulty increased for leveld heroes?

    Thanks for your effort!

  4. Tyr says:

    We currently know very little about the different kinds of magic, how the various classes and races work, how random dungeon generation and AI were implemented, what sorts of skills there are, stuff like that. And sure, some people like to find that kind of stuff out when they get the box, but Im not one of those people. If they dont want to find out, theyre unlikely to read your posts anyway. πŸ™‚

  5. Chris says:

    Hi
    I’ve only seen the surface stuff mantic has put out there, not dived too deep into anything else.

    Like most kickstarter backers, it’s the advanced rules I’m interested in. Others have already asked about dungeon creation. How does monster creation work? Is there some sort of points system I can spend on bad guys? (For example, my 4 friends all have level 3 heroes, does that mean I get to spend X points on monsters for a custom dungeon for them?). AI is cool, but I’m more interested in creating bad guys, traps and dungeons for my friends to fight against. Is there options to make bosses (Like you do with heroes, picking race and class etc)? Anything you can tell us about the evil dungeon master side of things would be awesome.

    Cheers for your time,
    Chris

  6. crimsonsun says:

    As bookkeeper says really its mostly advanced rules and development stuff we have no idea about. In response to my previous questions you still ‘owe’ (I use the term jokingly) me articles covering magic and traps specifically in terms of variety and how they are implemented.

    While I’ve not got any doubt that you will have answered these questions a dozen times already the information online via videos, updates etc is very much about the basic game and literally nothing on the expansions while the advanced rules have been touched on in terms of character development that’s about the limit of the information we’ve been provided.

    Thanks Crimsonsun

    • Tyr says:

      True, I forgot about the expansions… So theres another question, how does their gameplay differ from the basegame? Summoning undead is pretty important for a necromancer, but less so for an orc warchief. for instance…

      • crimsonsun says:

        So I’ve been putting some more thought into the information I know about Dungeon Saga and thus what I don’t know becomes more apparent.

        First up is a very simple and basic question which is has basic/mundane (non Magical) equipment made it into the game (basic or advanced) beyond consumables. I could see why you’d keep it out of the basic game a fact I’m fairly positive of being the case but personally I’d find it disappointing to be missing from the advanced game and progression rules for fairly obvious reasons. While it would leave me saddened to have mundane equipment (not just weapons and Armour) excluded from the game, I’m currently under the impression that this is actually going to be the case as I’m not seeing it as being something you could easily incorporate in terms of effects without coming into issues/conflicts with balance in terms of the advanced game compared to the basic one due to the limited statistical range you’ve placed upon the game as I’m not seeing a way of doing it that would allow you to make such variable qualities on weapons/armour be worth having without being game breaking at the same time (actually that’s not strictly true in a literal sense but the actual difficulty is in terms of how it would break the pre written scenarios used in the basic game when introducing equipment upon the Heroes and monsters because of the unbelievable amount of increased variables involved).

        Another question is relating to something that’s been niggling at the back of my mind for some time but I’ve not been able to think of a way to communicate what the niggle is effectively. So we have the Overlord (The side of play I actually have the most questions about overall, as some things that have been explained or stated simply just don’t make sense in isolation apart from currently known facts) whom is initially a Necromancer but in the expansions and advanced game there are options to play alternative Overlords with there own Class based (I assume) cards to add to the basic Overlord deck. Now as the mechanics I know about work the Overlord is restricted in the number of actions its allowed to make during each turn, this applies to playing cards and moving monsters. Now in regards to the Necromancer I can see how this makes sense in a narrative sense but in terms of Bosses and living dungeon inhabitants monsters not being able to respond to invaders to there home due to the Overlord not having enough actions is very gamiest and is exactly the sort of mechanic I talk about when discussing what I dislike about boardgames. So my question is, has this been addressed at all or is it simply a element where the board game structure is more important in your eyes than the loss of player immersion such a mechanic brings to the table.

        There are other places I’ve noticed board game mechanics stepping in where its not going to damage immersion and I’m generally trying to avoid being critical of such systems as this is a board game with RPG elements and not the other way around. As an example the Zombie Troll seems to me like its missing the most fundamental aspect of being a Zombie but I can understand why this is the case because if the Zombie Troll gained the ignore the first two hits part of being a Zombie it would either need to lose the wounds aspect (which I like, I just feel narratively speaking it should have the ignore 2 hits part as well) or risk becoming impossible for the Heroes to kill. So for the benefit of the games balance one of the above needed to go and doing so does little to harm the narrative or games overall immersion. Now there are ways the limited actions of the Overlord player could be narratively explained via minions or fear/psychological responses but personally they get thin/old very quickly and what I’m left with is a feeling/concern of a gamiest mechanic that’s going to feature that is going to take away from the game experience (at least in my eyes). A second example would be if (and I don’t know if this is actually true or not) Portcullis’s work identically to normal doors in the Advanced rules not only because it would feel silly from a narrative focus but also because it makes there production and 3D model seriously underwhelming in terms of a missed opportunity that could be solved via a relatively easily incorporable set of mechanics to make them work differently. Now I could happily see things like this ignored in the basic game but in the advanced game I’m hoping such aspects have been addressed or acknowledged in some way. Of course I could be jumping the gun completely on these concepts but this is always a issue with only having snippets of various parts of information available to us as it leads to people like myself taking 2 + 2 and getting 6.

        Now building off of what I mentioned above in that I’m a little confused by the information I’ve had about the advanced game overlord I’d appreciate some more explanation to how the Overlord uses Gold and Heroics. Previously you mentioned that the Overlord levels up in the exact same way as the Heroes now to an extent of how that would work in terms of the actual levelling process I’ve got no pressing questions (I’d like to know the Overlords town options and advancement paths but its nothing I can’t wait for) its more the actual practise of the bosses in particular gaining XP or levelling. The Overlord itself makes sense as its not physically involved in the majority of adventures so its gaining of abilities and increasing power as it achieves its diabolical aims is a fairly simple aspect to grasp conceptually.

        On the other hand Bosses in terms of the information we have been given are in essence just another monster with a higher number of tactical options and resilience to provide a more challenging opponent but they are expected to be slain and thus there ability to gain experience is non existent. Originally I had considered the possibility that perhaps the Overlord uses its experience to level these bosses up but even that seems somewhat limiting and short sighted by the Overlord player being as a 1 use item (which is effectively what the currently presented bosses are) is never going to be as effective as a constant use in every dungeon advancement. Now there are plenty of ways it could be handled if there is a fully developed set of mechanics for branching scenarios/dungeons where in Bosses are resources that can be committed by the Overlord into a dungeon where in the out come if the Overlord wins is not limited to just repeat or skip at the cost of time. This way the Boss can gain meaningful experience and it has a purpose that will alter the campaigns flow that makes the risk of said bosses death far more meaningful in terms of its required investment on behalf of the Overlord in terms of Gold, Downtime locations and feasibly Heroics. Again this could be further enhanced by the inclusion of mechanics (downtime) where in the Overlord can give tasks assignments to its bosses that can provide additional boons or advance the overall story in the Overlords favour.

        Personally how you’ve handled the Overlord in various aspects becomes critically important to the roles as a player in terms of approach to the game. If the Overlord winning has only negative consequences (narratively – stopping the campaigns flow by forcing repeating levels) and its advancement options are those that have a scope limited to a one use Boss, a very serious question arises in my mind which is what was the reasoning in making this a competitive role why not instead simply have the role be that of a GM, especially since you’ve got rules for making the game a full Co-Op and thus if groups don’t have a willing Overlord making the position itself one that’s entirely optional. I’m not saying having a competing Overlord is not a great concept as it was something I was truly excited about and it was the concept that got me looking into Decent as a game I’d possibly enjoy playing in the past but instead I’m questioning if the role being competitive is actually viable in the design parameters of Dungeon Saga as seen by what Mantic want to produce.

        Its a highly complex question and one I’m sure you’ve had to put a lot of thought into but from the information I know at present I’m not sure enough has been done to make the Overlord a viable competitive player especially in the Advanced Game or when creating custom campaigns. I know in the core game the heroes are timed and have just 15 hours to get to the last level failing to do so gives the victory to the Overlord, that’s fine in itself especially as the timed Overlord deck as a victory condition builds upon this experience BUT and its a pretty big BUT that’s one campaign with one focus and I’ll be brutally honest I don’t like the timed deck if its a constant feature as its very Gamiest and incredibly limiting in terms of Narrative back story as well as massively reducing game play experience in terms of exploration. Worse however would be the timed hours/days/weeks as a fixed mechanics as a ‘Win’ Mechanic beyond the basic game, its too weak and while it works within the focus of the core campaign it still feels as if the focus is on the Heroes being victorious and not the other way around. I realise that there’s a huge amount of work involved in creating the Overlord as a competitive player and the greater the variation in terms of hazards, traps, monsters, bosses the far greater the difficulty in making such a role work, let alone once you start to add in progression systems, however its something that if being done needs doing properly and fully otherwise its going to lead to negative gaming experiences from all sides of the table. I also feel that its the incorporation of a competitive Overlord that have forced gamiest mechanics into the base game and thus if the position is not one that been fully invested into becoming thematically and mechanically interesting then it not only brings a negative experience but it also have created needless forced mechanics that detract from the games overall immersion.

        Regardless of the form it takes I hope I’m explaining what it is I’m not following and to put it into a question how have you handled the above in the advanced rules. A final question though you’ll be glad this is another brief one at least in the terms of asking it though the answer may or may not require a longer response depending on what the answer is. Previously when discussing Heroes experience you mentioned side quests, now leading on from that there was considerable conversations about the possibility of gaining side quests in specific locations the are specific to the Hero in question (or not) or general side quests for the whole group picked up in the tavern. So my question is this, firstly did side quests make it into the advanced game (or basic), if so in what context? What about town generated Side Quests? (I’ve got another question god damn, think about a aspect of the game in too much detail and more questions than answers spring up) If so how are these handled?

        So Finally the additional question that sprang into my mind while thinking about side quests was if you have included rules or even discussion within the Compendium for having locations being limited (or the number of them) by settlement type. Obviously this has repercussions in terms of world building for those (like myself) who like to create a region for narrative focus in which to set my games in and that region will have fixed settlements and thus locations become fixed and therefore if a specific location is desired by the Overlord or the Heroes then travelling must be undertaken which again can have repercussions in how the overall story progresses.

        To conclude this post I feel I should express that while I’m asking these questions specifically as they are the ones in which I have concerns about or simply do not understand the information as its been presented to me the majority of areas in which I’m lacking knowledge are not of concern in terms of how they will be handled and as such I can wait for the information about the specifics of how they are incorporated within the game (My concerns/worries are the minority is what I’m saying poorly and I’m pleased with the majority of what I’ve learnt thus far). Now I also know that the compendium is 96 pages, though 24 pages of that are repeating the basic rules and the compendiums was also promised to feature lots of background material and a comprehensive bestiary (which with background material on all the creatures could easily have been 96 pages by itself) so I’m fairly sure that there will be aspects that will be underwhelming for my tastes in terms of depth but I’ve never been under any illusions from the start that it would be any different really but as we are relatively close to the finish line I would appreciate some more final knowledge of what’s made it in and what’s not simply so I can put my concerns to rest (stop thinking about them) and get on with the getting excited that I’ve only got 6 or so weeks left to wait now.

        Another essay from crimsonsun, though I’m sure you thought you’d gotten off lightly by my original response to the thread so when you saw my name in the comments originally I’m of no doubt you’d expected something much more in line with this, so you knew it was coming πŸ˜‰ I just took a little longer than normal to get there.

        As ever thanks for reading
        crimsonsun

  7. Danny says:

    Hi Jake,

    I guess a good starting point for you would be to simply put yourself in our shoes, and give us detailed explanations on the same things that you would like to read about if you knew nothing about the game and had blindly invested several hundred dollars in it.

    A few things off the top of my head I would be interested in hearing about, in detail.

    1) How AI works.
    2) How the random dungeon creation system works.
    3) How visiting towns work.
    4) How Hero progression works and what choices will be available.
    5) How big of a range of weapons will be available for Heroes to use.
    6) Will there be rules to create stats for monsters/models that are not Mantic (i.e. the huge collection of mini’s we all have sitting in our cupboards). So will I be able to stat-up a Gelatinous Cube for instance.
    7) A picture of the “Contents” or “Index” pages of the advanced rulebook, or at least a transcribed list of entries.
    8) Do the Heroes stay the same in the advanced rules as they do in the basic rules (i.e. do they gain anymore stats etc to their profiles).
    9) You’ve previously mentioned that in the advanced rules, the movement/combat rules will likely be different, could you provide more detail on this (i.e. Heroes will be allowed to attack -> move…anything else that you may have “freed-up” (or added) ruleswise.
    10) Will there be any/much RPG-like skills based mechanics in the advanced rules (for instance – Heroes may need to navigate obstacles and will have skills to climb, jump, swim etc)

    Cheers,

    Danny

    • Quirkworthy says:

      As I suggested in the post, I know what I like to see about games, but I don’t know what you don’t know. Now I do πŸ˜‰

    • Psychopomp says:

      I second this entire list. Especially 1, 2, 6, 7, and 10.

      I’d also like to add
      11) Please list out the monster entries included under one, some, or all of the monster “families”, plus the dungeon critters!

  8. Nakano says:

    AI co-op mode is the topic I would be the most interested in hearing. It can be implemented in so many ways. For example, in theory it could be a whole different game mode which focus is more towards exploring and discovering than combat versus time.

  9. Matt price says:

    Another call for a thorough run down of the advanced game. I have been following the blogs, videos etc but unless I missed a big post, I know very little about the *real* game yet!

  10. kenshi says:

    Dungeon exploration for advanced rules?, the game system will have a real dungeon exploration like HeroQuest style, advanced HeroQuest, WHQ, sob, or will only discover a scenario where this everything in sight up to the door of another stage, style descent 2e, d&d 4e or DS core rules.

  11. Is the tile description (and the rest of the contents for that matter) in this link correct http://www.waylandgames.co.uk/dungeon-saga/24072-dungeon-saga-dwarf-king-s-quest I assume not as it would be inconsistent with the play test and everything else we have been told (single sided room and corridor peice) also 50 clips would be excessive for 8 boards

    • And it has only 4 heroes listed unless Ronnie has gone back to the hidden bonus models

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I was in the Mantic office yesterday and asked for a final version of the contents. I’ll let you know when I’ve got it.

      Last I heard, the room/corridor tiles were are all double-sided. This means you can match the art across larger sets once you start mixing them with the tiles in the expansions.

      8 tiles is less than a third of what I’d expect in the box. There should be somewhere in the high 20s individual pieces (you need that many for the scenarios). Can’t say exactly how many in total as I never saw the final cutter for the card sheets and I suggested that they use any spare space on the card sheets to add duplicates of the smaller corridor pieces (always useful for making new maps).

      • Quirkworthy says:

        It’s 8 sheets of card (tiles and counters), not 8 tiles.

        • crimsonsun says:

          Surprised by the double sided tiles to be honest, as during the campaign it was said these would be avoided as it reduces the amount of combinations you can essentially create. Its not a big concern and I know a lot of people wanted double sided tiles but I was surprised to see this change as it hadn’t been mentioned.

        • crimsonsun says:

          I should add I’m really not worried about having enough tiles as I’m in for the game +4 expansions + black fortress and have loads of tiles from Dnd kicking around I’m more concerned that the tile quality and art is up to scratch, guess I’m seeking something in the middle of DnD tiles which are too thin in my mind and Space hulk/WHQ which are on the other end of the scale (I’d love space hulk quality embossed and all but I’m trying to be realistic with my expectations)!

          I’m assuming the base game has the unlocked boss room tiles for the zombie troll cave and the Throne room etc included as well.

          Also loving the look of that furniture!

        • Quirkworthy says:

          The double-sided bit was a case of feeling like we might as well. The tiles are almost all symmetrical, so turning them over doesn’t change the shape. What it does do is allow us to have tiles in a variety of appearances. So, if you get the sandstone tiles from the Demon set, then you can expand that set with more from the basic set by turning them over. Of course, you can use them anyway, it’s just that turning them over makes the art match.

          Doing double sided took away nothing. You get as many tiles as you ever would have πŸ™‚

          All the tiles needed for the first Mortibris campaign are in the base set, so yes. Like I said, there may also be some spares. The double sided thing is on top of that, and is really just about being pretty.

          I put up a pic of the sample tile card thickness in an earlier post.

        • Nakano says:

          Nice that Mantic decided to go with double-sided tiles. It was a firm no, when I previously asked. I would also hope that in the Black Fortress tile set, there would be outdoor tiles on the otherside to allow creating outside areas and not just dungeons (I think dragon has a few outdoor tiles included, though). Are the tiles coded (similarly to Descent) so it’s easier to build the area?

          One suggestion for Mantic if you, Jake, talk with them. There could be a reader app / or rather mp3 files to read the thematic scenario stories. At least in Descent the stories are relatively long and I don’t know if any of us (non-native English speakers playgroup’s) spoken English contributes towards the theme πŸ˜‰

        • Quirkworthy says:

          The samples of art I’ve seen make it pretty obvious which set each side belongs to, so I don’t think codes are necessary. It’s a visual thing anyway, so if you’re happy with the way they look then it does’t matter what set they are officially in πŸ™‚

          Voice acting is surprisingly hard to get right. The topic is far more complex than you’d think to start with, and I don’t expect you’d see this any time soon as the cost and time involved in getting anywhere near doing it well are prohibitive.

        • Nakano says:

          I just have a feeling that it’s more convenient for me to search for a tile coded A47 than finding it based on shape alone. Coding would also potentially make it easier to share campaigns online (not sure if we’ll see user made campaigns or if I would play them; probably official scenarios are quite enough). But at least the coding won’t distract with the tile art. Thank you for the reply!

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Coding tiles is mainly useful when the internal details of identical shaped tiles is important, which it isn’t here. Personally I’ve never found it very onerous to sort through to get the tiles I needed.

  12. Danny says:

    I hope for those who use them, the tiles turn out great, and it would be good to have double sided. I’ll be using my own 3D Hirst Arts tiles cast in resin with 1.5″ spaces as I really find 1″ space annoying.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I did try 1.5 and even 2 inch squares when I started out. However, I like the smaller squares as it gives the whole game a nicely claustrophobic atmosphere (when you want it) to contrast with the big, open rooms. Mind you, if you’re willing to put in the time to make a bunch of Hirst tiles I’m sure it’ll look very striking πŸ™‚

      • Danny says:

        My only problem with 1″ tiles is that, in my experience, the models end up being too close together, especially when you have a bunch of them all in adjacent spaces. This can quite often cause them to hook up on each other, especially so if you have large models or models with weapons or body parts (like wings and tails) extending far out from the base.

  13. I made my printed boards with 29 mm squares based on the outer edges but the inner squares get as small as 26mm allowing me to have steps and other features without stealing the space required for a model base (and obviously the range rulers are scaled based on the 29mm)
    I think images work in replies …

    If not the link is
    https://bookkeepergames.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/board-update/

  14. Rasmus says:

    what is the time line with the expanisons???
    and can you give us any other info about them??

    thanks for all the info you have given us

  15. Shane says:

    1)I’m mostly curious as to the break down of the 3 fighter classes (+ barbarian). If they all have different skill trees I’m curious how they distinguish themselves from each other. (Ideally a non abstract response with situational example of where one fighter class excels over the others)

    2)how do the different classes stack up tactically(for lack of a better word). The wizard has already been shown to have the most to think about which is fine and makes sense. But I’m curious how the various classes rank in terms of decision making. (Ideally show examples of another classes ability similar to the Wizards buff stones)

    3)I was a little concerned about the number of “skip a turn” mechanics present on the beta cards and in some cases their repeatability (ie one was a minor spell). With 5 people playing it doesn’t seem like much fun for 1 player to get pinged with a Not Today spell every round. This can obviously be mitigated by limiting the overlords number of activations for a turn. To make this long comment into a question — do you just put this in the category of if it’s a problem it’s a problem with the playgroup not the mechanic? I suppose this is more of a generic game design question than dungeon saga specifically.

  16. Psychopomp says:

    So now that the reveal week is over and we’ve seen some info on random dungeons and co-op play, I’m still very curious to to know more about how the Overlord can design dungeons and specifics about what’s in the Bestiary.

  17. CK Lai says:

    I do second the question about solo play (aka. AI implementation).

    What’s it going to be like?

  18. Tyr says:

    Btw, could you clear up some confusion about the AI rules? The blog entry sounded like there was no hero AI; and you mentioned youd had trouble implementing it…so, did it make it in, or did you cut it? If so, why? (“I wasnt satisfied with it” doesnt count as a reason btw. <.<)
    πŸ˜›

  19. S. says:

    Hey Jake,

    I know it’s been quiet for while here, but I was wondering about myhow to create my own adventures. When it was anounced that we could play as a party of anti-heroes I had in mind a party of heroes infiltrating a basilean stronghold.
    The way I want to create this is, that I want play a randomly generated Dungeon. When I’m finished with that I draw a map of that dungeon and will propably modify it (I’ll see what ideas pop into my head) and then on another evening I play that dungeon as an OL against my Gaminggroup. Maybe I create a bit of roleplaying around that (it come to my mind that the Adventurers don’t have to be evil – maybe it’s an basilean Order that has been corrupted by the abyss and now kills anyone they don’t deem worthy – and that’s everyone (spanish inquisition)).
    Do you think thats a good aproach. Will there be a stats for basilaean troops to do that. And if so: How does the dungeongenerator decide wich troops I will encounter?

  20. J Barreiros says:

    I seems Jake has left the building… πŸ™‚
    Anyway, I’ll give it a try. One of my main concerns about this is what I consider to be a dissonance between the stated objectives of the game and the way it actually plays out. Let me start by saying I find RPGs fine, and I have fond memories of playing them (it’s been years). So, I know they can generate a perfectly satisfying experience, based on moderation / arbitration / guidance of the GM. That’s great.
    What I don’t find so great is that when a boardgame, that is presented as a competitive affair between two sides, both in terms of rules and description, ends up requiring the same type of GM moderation so that it actually remains “fun” for the rest of the players. The problem I have with this is not only one of misaligned expectations, but that if you actually require GM like intervention, then you are actually playing an RPG and lots of the typical boardgame stuff then just ends up getting in the way of fun. In synthesis, if I want to play an RPG, i’ll play an RPG, not a boardgame.
    From my understanding, this has been a traditional problem with similar games that promote long campaigns with evolving antagonists (Descent, looking at you)… As one of the sides begins winning more, out of luck/skill/divine intervention/devil’s pact, it gains more rewards and starts steamrolling the other side. Since that isn’t fun for anyone, the winning side then feels compelled to hold back his punches to allow the other players to be still involved the game, and that is when the game starts losing me… Basically, I want it to be fun AND not to have to hold out punches.
    Are these things addressed in any way in DS? Do you have any mechanisms that prevent one side from achieving significant advantage over a longer campaign, thereby making the games less interesting? Have you considered any of the above when designing DS?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Left the building? No, it’s my building πŸ™‚

      DS doesn’t have a GM, so I’m not really sure what your comment refers to. The Overlord isn’t a GM in the sense that I understand that term in an RPG. In DS he’s the “bad guy” player, and Overlord is just a convenient term for that.

      An RPG GM takes a neutral role in control of the world and everyone in it that isn’t a player. In DS there are no neutral models, and the Overlord plays against the players. RPG GMs do not play against the players because they control the rest of creation, which means the players are instantly dead every time if they want them to be, which would be pointless. It’s a very different concept.

      • J Barreiros says:

        How, thanks for the speedy reply.
        Yes, I understand the differences. My point is, in a game like Descent, although it is more or less the same premise than DS, you find that one of the sides (usually the Overlord, but not always) must typically demonstrate a certain leniency towards the other side as they fall behind on the experience/equipment race, due to campaign play. In that way, one of the side has a tendency to indulge the other so that they have a “good experience”, much in the same way that a GM is there for facilitating a good time by providing a reasonable, but not unsurmountable challenge.
        Do you believe the same thing may happen/be necessary in DS?

        • Tyr says:

          I dont think it will, at least not with the core scenarios. They seem to be pretty restrictive, so heroes gain levels, equipment etc at a fixed point in the game. The only problem might be a large skill imbalance between heroes and overlord, but thats to be expected with any game. Mind you, Im only going off the beta rules, so who knows…

        • Nakano says:

          I guess it’s possible for the Overlord to give handicap in this game too if he wants to. However, if I’m overlord in Descent, I haven’t given any mercy to players. Though I did allow them to give up on one quest, collect all the treasures and move to the second part of it since due to the hero abilities they had no chance of winning.

  21. Psychopomp says:

    Dungeon Critters: In the Kickstarter, there was the option to pick up some rats and spiders to use in the game. How are these handled in the Bestiary? Are there other small critter options? What sort of range of animals have rules provided?

    • Teskal says:

      As I know they said during the KS that they will be in the advance rules and you can use them for your own scenarios.

  22. Nakano says:

    Regarding pre-made scenarios, does the adventure companion offer an easy way to create power levelly balanced custom heroes? For example, Return of Valandor campaign might be tougher and I can’t probably bring core game heroes to there as-is. I would somehow need to adjust their power level. I am planning to create custom heroes for the campaign right from the beginning and develop them through it.

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