|A Turn for the Worse
Preview the Power of the Overlord in the Shadow of Nerekhall Expansion
|Descent: Journeys in the Dark Second Edition | Published 10 February 2014|
The heroes of Terrinoth enter the city for the first time in Shadow of Nerekhall, but the overlord lurks within, preparing to make his power play for the city. In this upcoming expansion for Descent: Journeys in the Dark Second Edition, the overlord gains not only new monsters, but an entirely new class of Overlord cards as well.
In our first preview, we looked at two of the new heroes from Shadow of Nerekhall, as well as the Shadow Walker and Conjurer hero classes. Next, we examined the potential of two other heroes – Orkell the Swift and Rendiel – alongside two more hero classes: Skirmisher and Bard. Today, we’ll explore the darker parts of Shadow of Nerekhall by previewing some of the overlord’s new monsters and Overlord cards from this expansion!
Although some of the overlord’s monsters battle the heroes in the open, other monsters are more covert in their activity. One new monster group introduced by Shadow of Nerekhall is the rat swarm. Rats are common throughout Terrinoth, and although they have been known to spread disease and spoil stores of food, they are otherwise quite harmless. At times, however, they swarm together, as if controlled by a malevolent force. In such great numbers, rats are no longer mere nuisances, and many a hero has vanished beneath a horde of rats, never to be seen again.
The power of a rat swarm grows with the swarm itself, and a weakened rat swarm will deal much less damage than a complete one. In combat, a rat swarm only rolls one green die, and although this die has less damage than other dice, it does have a high amount of surges: four out of six dice sides have a surge. If you roll a surge during a rat swarm’s combat roll, you can trigger their Feast ability, allowing you to deal additional damage equal to the rat swarm’s remaining health.
The rat swarm’s other abilities maximize its chances of dealing damage in combat. By spending an action on the Rend ability, a hero must test his Might. If the test fails, the hero gains the Bleeding condition, forcing him to suffer a fatigue for every action until he spends an action to remove the condition. Bleeding heroes are more vulnerable to your monsters then normal, because master rat swarms have the Ravenous ability, granting them an automatic surge when attacking a Bleeding hero, allowing you to guarantee triggering Feast! And if a rat swarm is close to death, you can simply use the Merge ability. One rat swarm loses all remaining life, and an adjacent rat swarm recovers an equal amount of life, keeping your rat swarms at the heroes’ throats.
From the Shadows
One of the overlord’s most powerful monster groups from Shadow of Nerekhall is the changelings. These monsters are fast and strong, possessing powerful attacks and defenses, but their true menace lies in their special abilities and the power they gain through Corrupt Citizen cards.
These monsters use their surge abilities to limit the heroes’ options: Bleed allows a changeling to inflict the Bleeding condition on a hero, and Wither forces a hero to suffer a fatigue, reducing his options for his next turn. As an action, a changeling can trigger Whisper, forcing each adjacent hero to test Willpower. Any that fail are moved one space by the overlord, keeping the heroes away from their objectives and putting them into greater danger. Finally, master changelings possess the Hideous Laughter ability, diminishing the attributes of every nearby hero and making them more susceptible to all of the overlord’s traps.
Your master changelings become even more formidable when you play a Corrupt Citizen card to bolster them. These cards are received as rewards for winning a quest and are played when a master changeling is placed on the map, granting him added health and other special bonuses. For example, if you play The Mage Corrupt Citizen card, your master changeling gains the Ranged icon, as well as a green power die for its attack pool. The addition of this surge-heavy green die means that your changeling will be triggering its newly gained Blast ability with almost every attack. Other Corrupt Citizen cards offer all manner of bonuses and special abilities, and The Hero card even allows a master changeling to mimic a hero’s weapons and attacks!
In addition to the monsters the overlord gains in the Shadow of Nerekhall expansion, he gains access to an entirely new class of Overlord cards – the Shadowmancer class. Like the changelings, the Shadowmancer waits until the opportune moment to strike, hiding behind the cover of shadows until the heroes least suspect it. The Shadowmancer eliminates the heroes’ options, one by one, turning them against each other and sowing dissension before suddenly striking and shattering the hero group. This new class offers you a variety of tricks to surprise the heroes, such as Imploding Rift. By playing Imploding Rift, you can force a hero and all adjacent heroes to test Willpower. Any that fail suffer fatigue up to their stamina, dramatically reducing the amount of options for movement and abilities available to the heroes.
Other Shadowmancer cards turn the heroes against each other. If you play Out of Darkness when a hero is revived, you can immediately make an attack with that hero, damaging the very hero that just revived him. By playing Mistrust, you punish the heroes for moving near each other, possibly splitting them up and making them easy pickings for your monsters. Finally, Treacherous Shadows makes every hero test their Willpower. For each hero that fails, you can make an attack with them as if they were one of your monsters!
A City Besieged by Shadow
The powers of the overlord will only grow stronger with the release of Shadow of Nerekhall. Are you prepared to enter a city besieged by shadow? Will you strive to save the city, or crush it beneath your power? Preorder Shadow of Nerekhall at your local retailer today!
Descent: Journeys in the Dark Second Edition is a story-driven board game for 2-5 players that takes a party of adventurers deep into the dungeons of Terrinoth for adventure, treasure, and glory. Players will embark on a campaign of linked quests as they develop characters based on four fantasy archetypes.