Deeper into the Dark

Preview the Gameplay of Road to Legend

#Descent

We recently announced Road to Legend—an upcoming companion app for Descent: Journeys in the Dark that offers a revolutionary new way to experience the vibrant world of Terrinoth. By taking on the role of the overlord player, the Road to Legend app allows you to play fully cooperative games of Descent, where every player controls a hero over the course of a thrilling campaign. 

Although Road to Legend uses almost all of the rules of traditional Descent, there are several changes that have been made to create a true cooperative experience. In today’s preview, we’ll take a closer look at each of these changes, and what they mean for your journeys in the dark!

Stand with Your Friends

The first and most obvious change is that Road to Legend invites you to play a fully cooperative variant of Descent. While playing a game with the Road to Legend app, each of the players takes on the role of a noble hero. The Road to Legend app instructs you as you play, telling you which tiles to add to the dungeon, which monsters, search tokens, and objective tokens to place, and how the monsters opposing you can move and attack.

As monsters appear in the game, they are tracked by Road to Legend and appear along the right-hand border of the screen. Whenever a monster activates, the app tells you how the monsters act, and you’ll quickly find that the monsters you fight are guided by a cold and malevolent intelligence. Far from rushing blindly into combat, these monsters may attack and then retreat out of range of melee attacks. They may concentrate all their efforts on a weakened hero to knock him out, or they might use their special actions to cause maximum pain. Road to Legend even provides a hierarchy for each monster’s surge abilities, telling you how a monster prefers to spend its surges whenever possible.

When a monster activates, you’ll see a screen like the one above, telling you whether minions or masters are activating first, and a list of actions to perform. For each monster, you’ll begin at the top of the action list and work your way down, performing any applicable actions until the monster has performed two actions. In the example above, the Road to Legend app offers the following three actions to your minion zombies: engage (move to) a space within three spaces with the most adjacent heroes, attack a hero, and engage the closest hero. Once the monster has carried out two actions from the list, following any relevant penalties or bonuses, that monster’s turn is over. 

In addition, each monster activation contains a special bonus that benefits the monsters or harms the heroes. As you can see above, during this activation, after all zombies have activated, each hero must test his Might or Willpower, adding a number of shields equal to the number of adjacent zombies. All heroes who fail receive the Terrified condition from the Mists of Bilehall expansion. Because in our example, we informed the Road to Legend app that we had access to the Mists of Bilehall expansion, it has drawn upon just one of the cards or monsters included in that box. The bonuses that monsters receive change from turn to turn, and they replace the Overlord cards that would be played by the overlord player during a traditional game of Descent

At the Bottom of a Rotting Staircase…

While playing Road to Legend, you’ll also immediately notice that Road to Legend is able to truly simulate a feeling of tense, thrilling exploration. At the beginning of the game, only your current tile is revealed, along with any search tokens or monsters in the chamber. Other exits from the tile are closed off with doors, hiding what lies beyond. New tiles and new monsters are only revealed after one of your heroes opens a door and sees what lies in the room beyond. 

Because every bend in the passage and every moldering door could hide untold treasure or the most terrible monsters, your Road to Legend experience is filled with constant curiosity. Even search tokens offer a variety of effects. The corpse of a long-dead hero might hold treasure, a healing potion, or a lethal trap to incapacitate one of your heroes. Whether you’re stepping down a dimly-lit flight of stairs or investigating something shining beneath the water, Road to Legend is filled with exploration and moments of discovery.

Your Doom Will Find You

During a traditional game of Descent, your hero may be knocked out countless times, and although it’s irritating, there may be no other long-term repercussions. In Road to Legend, the stakes of allowing your hero to be knocked out are much higher.

In the upper left-hand corner of the screen, you’ll notice a number in a red circle. This number is your hero party’s current morale. Whenever a hero is knocked out, your morale decreases by one, and if your morale ever falls below zero, the game is immediately lost! Keeping your heroes from being knocked out is of paramount importance, but this task is harder than ever as monsters assail you relentlessly. 

You may think that you can simply clear a chamber of monsters and take a few rounds to heal your wounds. Unfortunately, time is not a luxury that you have. Behind the scenes, Road to Legend tracks your increasing peril. Your peril increases every round, but if there are no monsters in play, your peril rises much faster. There are a number of thresholds for each quest, and when your peril passes one of these thresholds, you’ll see the evidence as sudden, dangerous effects begin to occur. These peril effects may be manageable to begin with, but if you delay too long, they quickly become deadly. Since you never know exactly how high your peril is, it’s crucial that you don’t waste time without an exceptional reason! 

Finally, Road to Legend also makes a change to the traditional turn structure of Descent. Standard games of Descent are divided between the hero players’ turns and the overlord player’s turn—first, all of the heroes activate, then the overlord player activates all of his monsters. Instead of adopting this same approach, Road to Legend interlaces the turns between heroes and monsters. At the beginning of a game round, one of your heroes takes a turn. Then, Road to Legend activates one of its monster groups. After the monsters have activated, another hero takes his turn, and so on until all heroes and monsters have activated. 

Walk the Road to Legend

Road to Legend offers a completely new way to play Descent, and the more physical Descent expansions you have, the more content Road to Legend can draw upon in your quests. Keep watching our website for more Road to Legend news, and get ready to download this free app in just a few weeks!

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