Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Road To Legend, Chapter

Jesse, Iveta, Laurent, and Alex joined me for our next chapter in the Road to Legend. This was Alex's first time playing this variant of the game, but he's played Descent on multiple occasions so there was virtually no prep involved. We started our second dungeon after the heroes were on their way to fight Sir Alric in Dawnsmoor and decided that game time wasn't affected by making a dungeon run, and they needed a little cash anyway. 

The first level was King of the Mountain, where each new tile is another level higher, giving the heroes an uphill climb (and a -1 to damage and range) as they progressed. Sadly, I completely forgot about the Undying ability the Master Skeleton had (and he even got to roll two dice for popping back up), so it wasn't too hard a level for them. However, I did manage to tag Laurent's character with a Curse after he killed a spawned Master Dark Priest, and he also lost his sword after it was Frosted by my Master Deep Elf. I then dropped a pile of rubble on him and he died, scoring the Overlord five conquest points, which was more than a third of what I'd earned so far. 

The second level started well for the heroes - they were in the Garden of Grazia, which features a bunch of what amounts to free potions (they're actually herbs in this underground garden), but you stand a chance that the Master Giant will get cranky if you take too much, based on a power die roll. The boss on this level is a Master Ogre, who also has Undying. This time, I remembered to roll the Undying attribute, and he popped back up. Given he has 6 armor and 18 hit points, that was a nice bennie. He also can throw characters with Knockback, and getting thrown over part of the garden has just as much chance of pissing off the Giant as taking them. I also dropped Astarra into a pit, then crushed her with the Ogre boss, so that was seven conquest points in two levels for me, an excellent start. 

We stopped a little more than halfway into this level, as it got to 10pm. Fortunately, I've learned to take a couple of pictures with the iPhone and the game sets right back up just as easily as if we'd cleared a level. That's good news, as we're likely to finish the entire dungeon on the next run through, maybe even get through another week or two. I have definite plans for the XP I haven't spent yet, too. 

Playing this once a month has been just about right - while the game has a certain amount of sameness from level to level, at this point people are just getting used to the various possibilities and discovering the various monsters, so that's been fun. As they start to customize and develop the characters, I suspect that we'll have enough momentum to get at the very least to Silver level, although I'd love for them to get all the way through the campaign. 

Oddly, the new D&D system probably feels quite a bit like Descent - the battle parts are very miniatures-oriented, with strongly sequenced play, maps and figures encouraged, etc. As I haven't gotten around to playing 4th ed yet, I can't say for sure but it sure looks like Descent's popularity had a hand in the new rules, just as the D&D genre had a very big hand in Descent. 

All in all, despite the time necessary to devote to a campaign, I'm saying this one is a winner.

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