Started playing Descent about a month ago and my group and I are loving it. We did however adjust some of the rules to our own liking. Mostly because of thematic reasons. I was wondering if any other playing groups have done the same and what kind of adjustments did you make? And of course… We're they successfull or did it change the balance of the game too much?
The houserules we use during our sessions are:
- Extra fatigue can be used for extra movement points but only if at least one of your actions is a move action. This was the houserule I was most afraid would penalize the heroes too much, but it doesn't seem to make to much of a difference for now. Reasons for this rule change was thematic, because we felt extra fatigue did make sense when adding to a moveaction (think of it as using just a little more energy and literally sweat, to move those extra steps). When standing still it just felt weird to be able to move anyway.
- Your player tokens count as the amount of lives you have. When knocked out a hero replaces his figure with his hero token and when this hero is revived the token goes to the Overlord. When all tokens are owned by the Overlord and the hero is knocked out, the figure is removed from play until the current quest is over. The hero is revived and regains all it's player tokens when returning to Arhynn. Again a thematic choice, but this also makes being knocked out a lot more suspenseful.
- The losers choose the next quest. The winner already gets more xp, money or an artifact. It is just more fun that the losers get some choice in how the campaign plays out. And they have more hope of revenge in this way.
- The attacking player rolls attacking dice first and chooses how to use his surges and extra abilities before the defending player rolls their defense dice. Unless specifically noted on an ability nothing gets added to the attack after rolling defense dice. Again the reason for this was thematic, because it felt weird that you can adjust your attack after the defending player puts up his shield/ defense. This also makes for a slightly more strategic choice of attack powers and use of fatigue, in my experience. And it keeps the combat neat as well (attacking player goes first, defending player next. Count the difference, that's the damage. )
Very curious to hear what other players think of these rules and if you have house rules of your own.
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Sounds cool! The only thing I would consider questioning is the loser choosing the next quest house rule. If there is a certain class not being played (i.e. in my current campaign, none of the hero players chose a yellow caster class) it would be kinda lame if players were forced by the Overlord if he lost the previous quest to be forced to play a quest where the reward was a relic nobody could use.
I do like the idea of the hero tokens being used as "lives." I might just use this when my group starts Act 2 quests just to ramp up the tension!
You are right that a quest could be slightly useless when you'd get an item nobody really wants to have, but still any item is nice right…
The most important reason for that houserule is that morale can be seriously undermined if you lose again and again. This way it still gives you a feeling of being in control and having a chance to set things right. Descent is very much about rewarding the winning team and penalizing the losing side, which seems to tilt the balance to the side that is already winning. This is the least we could do.
And you could always add the rule that any relic can be traded for 1 extra XP for 1 player when recieving it. Or something like that.
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