Descent

I love a good dungeon crawl, and my favorite way to experience one is not on a computer. While I love Dungeons & Dragons (yes, even 4th Edition which die-hard fans seem to despise), my game of choice is a table top board game called Descent.

Made by Fantasy Flight Games, the board game is now in its 2nd edition. I discovered this game about eight years ago through a close friend. It came in a giant box and was filled with dozens of plastic figures of monsters and heroes. Since that time, I’ve bought every expansion, and (yes, I admit it), become a regular on the manufacturer’s forums.

Descent  Descent Sorcerer

The basic premise is that 2-4 “heroes” play against an “Overlord.” The Overlord controls a dungeon and all the traps and monsters inside it. The heroes go into this dungeon and try to achieve some objective. In the original edition, the objectives were generally things like “Kill the boss monster.” But in the newer second edition, the objectives are far more compelling and complex. Second Edition dungeons are split into two parts, so whoever succeeds in the first part will have an advantage in the second.

Most of the games I’ve played over the years were with my brother. He and I had some great times playing 1-on-1 using the first edition. Recently though, I convinced some people in my writing group to sit down and play a full 2nd Edition campaign with me. After we recruited a nice husband-wife couple from our local gaming store, we had a full table for our campaign!

Let’s meet everyone:

Meet Andira Runehand. She’s played by Kristin, onoe of our pals I met through the local gaming store. Her character is a Healer by trade, and has already proven that she’s a tank who can hang in the middle of even the toughest fights.

As the Overlord, I get worried when Arvel Worldwalker shows up. In our campaign, she’s played by Laura, one of the the writers from my local gaming group. Arvel is truly a jack of all trades, but her ability to ruin my monsters from long-range is what makes her so deadly. Laura seems greatly amused each time she dodges my attacks and slams a crossbow bolt through another monster skull.

Descent: Jaes the Exile The guy who plays Jaes the Exile, Peter, is a Descent veteren just like me. Except he also has a photographic memory and more overall gaming experience than me. So when you combine that along with an optimized and high-damage damage character like Jaes… I’m screwed.

Andrew, my pal from my local writing group, loves elves. I’m not sure if he’ll admit it, but he wrote a novel featuring one, and now he’s playing a tough-as-nails she-elf named Syndrael. Syndrael is a beserker, which means she runs absoltely shit-brained on my poor little monsters. The biggest thing she has going for her is that the first time I attack her each round, she hits me back. Ugh! Frustrating.

That’s right. I, Jason Denzel, am the Overlord. At least, I’m the Overlord in the dining room of my house once a month when my friends come over to play Descent. I own an actual Evil Cloak, which would add to my already ominous nature, but I’m afraid they’ll laugh at me if I actually wear it. It’s for this very reason that I truned to evil to begin with, and how I descended to the depths of becoming an Overlord.

If you’re familiar with Descent, here’s the status of our Second Edition campaign so far after two sessions:

    Act I

  • First Blood: won by the Heroes
  • The Cardinal’s Plight: Won by the Overlord
  • The Masquerade Ball: won by the Heroes
  • Forthcoming Quest
  • Interlude: Forthcoming Quest
  • Act II

  • Forthcoming Quest
  • Forthcoming Quest
  • Forthcoming Quest
  • Finale: Forthcoming Quest

Some more pictures from our last session:

Swarmed!  Beastmen  Descent  Laura tosses the dice  Andrew has a plan