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Descent - Road to Legend

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Descent - Road to Legend

Post by Smoove_B » Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:20 am

Figured this was worth its own thread as I imagine there are people with dusty copies sitting around. It looks like they're going to be releasing an app in a few weeks that supports true cooperative play by taking over as the Overlord. I know there was an attempt to create an AI system and we tried it (and failed miserably) but it didn't really work out. This, however actually looks pretty damn good.

Because it’s taking over the role of the overlord player, the Road to Legend app will display the introduction to each quest and tell you which tile to place as the entrance, as well as any monsters, search tokens, and objective tokens that you’ll need at the beginning of the game.

You’re not just fighting monsters as you move through a dungeon in Descent. You’re exploring dank corridors, peering behind moldering doorways, stepping past the broken skeletons of former heroes. Road to Legend allows you to truly explore the dungeon by hiding its full extent at the beginning of the game. When you start a quest, the app only tells you the first chamber to place your heroes in, with doors closing off the entrances to other rooms. As soon as you open a door, the app tells you which new tiles to add to the map, as well as any search tokens, monsters, or objective tokens that your hero sees.

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Re: Descent - Road to Legend

Post by hepcat » Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:50 pm

Excellent! I have the base 2nd edition set and one of the expansions. They've been releasing these mini "coop campaigns" that remove the Overlord role and make it into essentially a 1 to 4 player game. Sounds like this is an extension of that. I can't wait to grab this!

Addendum: While perusing the Descent 2nd edition forums on BGG, I discovered that someone named Redjak has created a gloriously deep AI engine for Descent 2nd edition. The cards (all 300 or so of them) are available to print from printerstudio.com. It apparently covers the base game campaigns, as well as most (if not all) of the expansions. :shock:
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Re: Descent - Road to Legend

Post by LordMortis » Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:08 pm

I really need to get the 1st to 2nd edition conversion. I have $300 sunk in to the abandoned first edition, which I assume is the entire thing and a few tackle boxes to organize it. It was just too much to think about replacing it.

But if I can solo the game and let the computer track separate campaigns run by a computer... I don't see what the ap is supported on. If it's windows compatible I may break down and judge cost of upgrading.

... conversion kit is $30...

https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/p ... d-edition/

...Only second edition doesn't carry over any 1st edition expansions. :?

Holy hell, a whole set of 2nd edition is well over $700 retail. :shock:

Has it been that long since I played?

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Re: Descent - Road to Legend

Post by Scoop20906 » Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:39 pm

Id be very interested in seeing someone try this out and hear what they think.
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Re: Descent - Road to Legend

Post by Smoove_B » Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:54 pm

I think my buddy is interested as he's mothballed his Descent 2.0 collection over general frustration. I still don't really care for the system, but if the App takes care of the heavy lifting and lets us co-op an adventure, I could be convinced. I'll certainly update this post if it hits the table.

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Re: Descent - Road to Legend

Post by Smoove_B » Fri Apr 08, 2016 4:37 pm

Apparently this is due out in a few weeks for iOS and Android and then STEAM by the end of the month? Solo Descent play that is run off my laptop? That sounds...interesting.

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Re: Descent - Road to Legend

Post by Scoop20906 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:53 pm

Yeah. A steam version. That seems like they way to go.


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Descent - Road to Legend

Post by Scoop20906 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:54 pm

Hopefully the include a gloating overlord AI.

Our old overlord loved to run it on everyone he killed a pesky hero.

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Re: Descent - Road to Legend

Post by Smoove_B » Thu May 12, 2016 6:18 pm

App came out today on Google and iOS - and there's even a Kindle version. Here is the link to the 14 page PDF guidance document from Fantasy Flight.

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Re: Descent - Road to Legend

Post by killbot737 » Thu May 12, 2016 7:25 pm

Hmm seems I need a bigger screen. I put it on my phone and it's microscopic. :)
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Re: Descent - Road to Legend

Post by Smoove_B » Sat Jun 18, 2016 11:21 am

Finally managed to play for the first time last night - the first scenario with the Goblins. We set it on the easiest difficulty level, played with three characters and it was absolutely punishing. The Overlord AI is relentless and does a really good job of managing the attacks and whatever extra fun special bonus the monsters get that turn (extra speed, piercing attack, disease on top of poisoning, etc...). When we would play human characters vs human overlord I felt the game was a bit difficult. We only managed to do a side quest and lost because one of the characters was knocked out 3 times. I don't know if it is the characters we are using (Paladin, Ranger, Dwarf Berserker) but we barely made it into the last room and that's where everything went sideways. The AI also dishes out extra punishment if you "linger" too long on the map without doing anything. In our case, 3x in a row it hit us with some "magical green fire) that forces you to either take 4 health damage -or- lose one of your equipped items for the rest of that scenario.

Regardless, the AI is absolutely awesome in terms of running the game for it. Not a single problem and all the additional flavor sounds, audio narration, keeping track of XP and gold, etc... was fantastic.

EDIT: Forgot to mention, we used a laptop and the STEAM app, ported over to a 26" LCD TV with an HDMI cable. I think that worked out quite well.

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Re: Descent - Road to Legend

Post by Scoop20906 » Sat Jun 18, 2016 2:51 pm

Ok. I have hit to try this out!!!


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Re: Descent - Road to Legend

Post by LordMortis » Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:20 am

Is the road to legend campaign available?

So tempted. I spent so much on the last edition (I have the whole thing) it just feels like such a money grab to replace it all again. And being a completist and tracking down $700 worth of game seems nuts.

And yet here I am thinking about it.

Edit: $700.... That another month of not saving a damned cent. First the dishwasher, then a new computer, then medical bills, then summer taxes, then RtL. Oi. Maybe it's not such a good idea.

And yet I wants it.

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Re: Descent - Road to Legend

Post by Smoove_B » Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:32 am

LordMortis wrote:Is the road to legend campaign available?
There are two included campaigns, Kindred Fire (a full campaign) and Rise of All Goblins (4 quest mini-campaign).

I have to be honest, my buddy is insane with the materials he owns - he went bonkers at one point and purchased what I think is a bulldozer bucket filled with stuff. He also purchased the conversion kit a while back and he's irritated because he said they're now releasing updated character and monster packs that fix things the conversion kit never addressed. I think he said the conversion kit came out when the 2E stuff was released and now this updated stuff includes information that was changed based on balancing, FAQs or other updates since 2E was published. It sounds like a total money sink.

There is likely a cheap and easy way to play and it's a pretty nifty experience to have the AI manage the monster behavior, that's for sure. Based on what I've seen, converting $700 worth of 1E stuff to play is likely overkill. He has so much stuff and I honestly think it's what made the Goblin campaign side adventure so punishing. The AI was randomly picking from all his stuff -- monsters and creatures that were likely way more difficult than our lowly characters with mostly starter gear could handle.

I'm still not 100% sold on the Descent system (which is still strongly timer based, i.e. do this quickly or you lose) but I'll keep playing.

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Re: Descent - Road to Legend

Post by LordMortis » Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:44 am

In the last edition, I liked the pressure of keeping the overlord from drawing too many cards.

I think I may need to take an inventory of everything I need. I think I need to run to Steam and see what's up.

I'ma download this tonight and see what I can see. I fear I'm sunk.

Edit: And next question is who is a good discounter for ordering by mail?

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Re: Descent - Road to Legend

Post by Scoop20906 » Mon Jun 20, 2016 6:38 pm

I have a few questions, Smoove_B. First, how exactly does the Overlord AI control the monsters. I tried watching some reviews of the App and surprisingly none of them are that clear on the point. I understand the Overlord App tells you about events and what monsters to place but it doesn't seem to track the locations of the monsters and player's pieces.

From what I remember of Descent, the overlord can drop traps on players as move around the map so how does that work also?

I appreciate your response.
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Re: Descent - Road to Legend

Post by Smoove_B » Mon Jun 20, 2016 7:05 pm

I was confused about the app as well, but I think it does a great job of running the game.

The App:

(1) Provides a campaign map for you to interact with (you select where you want to go)
(2) Keeps track of party gold and all inventory items
(3) Keeps track of individual characters and their skill selections
(4) Provides town market inventory for you to shop
(5) Tells you what tiles to pull and how to populate them (search tokens, monster types, doors, dead ends)

The biggest change to the original board game is how the turns work. Instead of all the players going then the Overlord (monsters) going, everyone takes a turn. Players decide which character to activate, that character takes a turn and then the AI activates a monster group. Then the players go, then monsters until all sides are finished.

What happens during the monster turn is the app tells you which monster group to activate. Here's an example:

Image

The top of the box (right under the monster name) is like when the Overlord would play a card - it's some additional problem you'll need to deal with or take into consideration when using this monster for this round. In this case you need to do an additional check to see if a character is terrified after being attacked. We saw things like being diseased (after also being poisoned), additional movement points, free surges and piercing attacks.

So now you go to your zombies on the board (populated earlier when you first pull the tile) and you pick one of them. The app tells you how to play it. Here, you want to engage within 3 spaces the most group of heroes - it moves towards a group of the players, and then goes to the next step -- attacks the heroes.

After you complete two of the listed actions, that monster's turn is done and you go to the next zombie. When all the minion zombies are done, you then click on the app and indicate their turn is "finished". The AI then prompts you to activate a player and notify it when that players turn is done. If you defeat a monster group, you tell the app and it removes it from the turn order.

If you look at the top of the box (right above the name) there's a little skull. When you click on that, it tells you what happens when the monster rolls a surge (i.e. how to apply it - extra damage, piercing attack, added range, etc...). Everything you need for reference is provided.

So the app isn't really handing the really specific details -- as players we were moving them around the board and rolling attack and defense dice for them. All the app was doing was telling us how to do it and what bonus conditions or situations we had to deal with.

For monsters with different attacks (for example, we saw a few waves of Ettins), the app tells you which attack to use. So it will be clear (for example) that the Ettin will engage and try to smash you with a club -or- the Ettin will attempt to pick you up and throw you. We had similar options for Sorcerers as well. Sometimes they'd get close enough to hit you with a ranged attack and then try to retreat, other times they'd teleport monsters in the room to your location. You just never know what's going to happen.

Sorry, that was a bit long, but that's how it works.

We also got hit with a trap courtesy of the app. While moving toward one of the search tokens after clearing all enemies, after one of the characters moved (and we told the app his turn was over) it popped up a message box indicating that the character stepped on a stone that opened up pits in the room and the other characters needed to check a skill or take damage.

I'm not sure if it was a trap, but when my character tried searching one of the tokens it was apparently covered in webbing so I needed to do a skill check in order to avoid being stuck and immobilized. I passed, but had it occurred during combat, it would have been ugly.

Not sure if that's all clear, but I'm happy to answer more questions. We spent a solid 4+ hours playing and I feel like it was all rather intuitive.

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Re: Descent - Road to Legend

Post by Scoop20906 » Mon Jun 20, 2016 7:59 pm

Thanks!!! This absolutely clears this up. It reminds me of another co-op board game where you fight aliens. The alien's cards give instructions on how they attack the heros. It makes total sense now. Thank you for sharing.
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Re: Descent - Road to Legend

Post by hepcat » Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:25 pm

Grabbed it on Steam this morning. I'm going to force the Chicago gang to set a table up in my living room in front of my 65 inch tv and play this. :D
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Re: Descent - Road to Legend

Post by Smoove_B » Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:28 pm

I was actually a bit surprised how it all came together. For us playing the traditional 2E boardgame, the guy running the Overlord position was on overload the entire time we were playing. Between managing the monsters, the tiles, reading through his card options, preparing for the adventure...he never really was able to fully take advantage of his role because his mind was on tilt. Every time new monsters would pop in, he'd need to learn what their special powers were and then remember to play specific cards in his hand to enhance whatever it was they were doing. Now the app does all the heavy lifting and we all were able to just move the monsters around as instructed and roll dice.

I definitely think they have a solid product on their hand here and it's impressive that it is free. If they can develop similar apps for games like Mansions of Madness or Arkham Horror it could get real interesting in the board gaming world.

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Re: Descent - Road to Legend

Post by hepcat » Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:37 pm

...oh god, don't make me rebuy mansions of madness. I've avoided ever doing that. I'd hate to start now.
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Re: Descent - Road to Legend

Post by Smoove_B » Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:41 pm

My copy was mothballed because it was a pain in the Gulliver to run as the keeper (or whatever they called it). I would play the HELL out of that as an app - running the mysteries and puzzles. It feels like it would be perfect.

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Re: Descent - Road to Legend

Post by hentzau » Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:31 pm

An app like this would probably bring me back to Imperial Assault.
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Re: Descent - Road to Legend

Post by Daveman » Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:20 am

Still more support for the app is coming!

https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/n ... orruption/

So it looks like this is how they'll continue to develop the app... "free" campaigns provided you have the physical content, Core set + Shadows of Nerekhal in this case. I'm thrilled as I've been slowly building up my Descent collection and am nearly finished (just 8 hero/monster collections to go). More content for the app + encouraging sales of the physical game is a good sign they're going to keep up with the franchise.

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Re: Descent - Road to Legend

Post by LordMortis » Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:29 am

You're a better wallet than I am. ;)

I am so in love with the idea of having a huge set in basement with an epic (or multiple epic) RtL campaigns running in my basement, but I am completest and I just can't warrant dropping that kind of cash (again. I have the whole last edition including the sea maps, which only kinda sorta and updated)

If the campaigns get vast enough to actually be like the original RtL, I may revisit my position, which may suck because a lot of stuff is already nigh on impossible to find, though maybe someone will have ebay set in great shape or something.

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