Most props used in Descent: Journeys in the Dark are obstacles that hinder movement. However, there are also staircases that allow rapid movement across the board and glyphs of transport that allow easy access to the town.
Obstacles tend to block movement or line of sight. They can be frustrating to heroes trying to reach the other side of a room in a hurry.
|Block Line of Sight||No|
|Effects||Monster eggs can be attacked as if they were normal monsters, using the wound and armor values described in the quest.|
|Block Line of Sight||No|
|Effects||Frozen Sarcophagi have additional effects that vary by quest.|
|Block Line of Sight||Yes|
|Effects||It costs two movement points to enter a tree space. A figure in a tree space is considered to have the Shadowcloak ability. Large monsters only need to occupy one tree space to benefit from this ability. Spaces containing more than one tree have the same effects as a space containing only one tree.|
|Block Line of Sight||No|
|Effects|| Pit markers do not block line of sight, but if a hero or monster moves so that the figure is only occupying pit spaces, the figure falls into the pit. The figure immediately suffers one wound that cannot be reduced by armor. A figure in a pit may climb out for two movement points, and is then placed adjacent to the pit in any legal, empty space(s) the owner chooses.
Figures in a pit can see into the spaces adjacent to the pit. This prevents a problem from occurring with the Grapple ability. Other figures may trace line of sight to a figure in a pit normally.
If a hero or monster is aware of a pit, it may jump across the pit for three movement points for each space crossed. Simply place the figure on the other side of the pit after spending the movement points.
Rubble markers represent a type of obstacle that blocks both figure movement and line of sight.
Water does not block line of sight, but like rubble, it does block movement.
Lava markers do not block line of sight, but if a figure (hero or monster) moves on to a lava space, the figure immediately suffers 2 wounds that cannot be reduced by armor. In addition, 2 burn tokens are placed on the figure. Large figures are affected by lava, but only if they make a move that results in the entire figure occupying lava spaces. If a hero or monster is aware of lava, it may jump across the lava as though it were a pit.
Mud markers do not block line of sight, but a small figure (hero or monster) must spend 2 movement points instead of 1 to move onto a mud space, or from one mud space to another. It costs only 1 movement point to move from a mud space to a non-mud space. If a small figure only has 1 movement point, then it cannot move onto a mud space. Large figures are affected by mud, but only if they make a move that results in the entire figure occupying mud spaces.
If a hero or monster is aware of mud, it may jump across the mud as though it were a pit.
Many quests present unique encounters that the heroes must confront and resolve. When an area with an encounter is revealed, the overlord places an encounter marker on the board in the space designated by the Quest Guide. If a hero ends his movement in the same space as the encounter marker, the encounter is triggered. The effects of triggered encounters are described in the appropriate entry in the Quest Guide.
As the heroes explore the dungeon, they will find treasure that can aid them in their quest. This treasure may be new weapons, armor, potions, or other special items.
The following rules apply to all treasure tokens and markers.
- Only heroes may pick up treasure tokens and markers.
- During his turn, a hero may automatically pick up a treasure token or marker in the space he is occupying (it does not cost him any movement points to do so).
- During his turn, a hero may give items to heroes in adjacent spaces at the cost of one movement point per token or card given. A hero who receives an item from another player may immediately equip it, place it in his pack, or drop it.
Healing Potion Markers Edit
Healing potions are elixirs with magical healing powers. When a hero picks up a healing potion, he may immediately equip it for free if he doesn’t already have three equipped potions. He may place the potion in his pack if it isn’t already carrying three unequipped items.
A hero may drink one of the healing potions he has equipped by spending one movement point. A hero who drinks a healing potion recovers three wounds (not to exceed his maximum wounds).
Fatigue Potion Markers Edit
Vitality potions are elixirs with magical restorative powers. When a hero picks up a vitality potion, he may immediately equip it for free if he doesn’t already have three equipped potions. He may place the potion in his pack if it isn’t already carrying three unequipped items.A hero may drink one of the vitality potions he has equipped by spending one movement point. He then restores his fatigue to its maximum value, just as if he had used a rest order.
Invulnerability Potion Markers Edit
Invulnerability potions are elixirs with magical protection powers. When a hero picks up an invulnerability potion, he may immediately equip it for free if he doesn’t already have three equipped potions. He may place the potion in his pack if it isn’t already carrying three unequipped items.
A hero may drink one of the invulnerability potions he has equipped by spending 1 movement point. A hero who drinks an invulnerability potion places the potion marker on top of his hero’s picture on his hero sheet. Any time the hero is struck by an enemy attack, he may discard the invulnerability potion from his hero sheet portrait after the attack roll is made to gain +10 Armor against that attack. This effect is canceled if the hero drinks another potion before using it. Otherwise, the potion remains in effect until the hero discards the token or dies.
Power Potion Markers Edit
Power potions are elixirs with magical strengthening powers. When a hero picks up a power potion, he may immediately equip it for free if he doesn’t already have three equipped potions. He may place the potion in his pack if it isn’t already holding three unequipped items. A hero may drink one of the power potions he has equipped by spending 1 movement point. A hero who drinks a power potion rolls all 5 power dice on his next attack. The attack does not have to be made on the same turn that the potion is drunk, but the effect is canceled if the hero is killed or drinks another potion before making an attack.
Heroes may purchase power potions from the town shop for 50 gold.
Money Markers Edit
When a hero picks up a money marker, the marker is discarded and every hero immediately gains 100 coins (including dead heroes or heroes in town).
Chest Markers Edit
Chests found in the dungeon contain both good and bad surprises. Heroes do not pick up chests. Instead, a hero must move into the space containing the chest. A hero cannot open a chest if the chest is in the same space as another figure. Next, the hero must spend two movement points to open the chest. When a chest is opened, the marker is turned over to reveal a number on its “opened” side. The overlord then consults the Quest Guide to determine what the chest contains.
Some possible contents are as follows:
- Money: Each hero gains the indicated amount of money, taking the money markers from the pile of unused money markers in the common play area.
- Copper Treasure: Each hero draws one card from the copper treasure deck and may either keep it or immediately discard it and receive its money value inst
- Silver Treasure: Each hero draws one card from the silver treasure deck and may either keep it or immediately discard it and receive its money value instead.
- Gold Treasure: Each hero draws one card from the gold treasure deck and may either keep it or immediately discard it and receive its money value instead.
- Conquest Tokens: The heroes immediately gain the indicated number of conquest tokens.
- Curse: For each curse, the overlord immediately gains threat tokens equal to the number of heroes. The overlord player may spend these tokens to help pay for a trap card triggered by the chest being opened. After the overlord has resolved any curses and played any trap cards, the heroes may distribute the contents of the chest.
Heroes gain treasure from opened chests no matter where they are (even if they’re in town). If a treasure deck runs out of cards, it is not reshuffled. The heroes simply cannot gain any more treasure of that type this game. Items gained from an opened chest may immediately be equipped, placed in the hero’s pack, or dropped. A hero may immediately re-equip his items, place items in his pack, or drop items in order to equip the new item.
Once a chest has been opened, remove it from the board and return it to the game box.
Relic Markers Edit
Relic markers represent one of four extremely powerful items. Relics are each represented by a double-sided item card. Any hero that picks up a relic marker takes the corresponding item card and may use it like any other item. However, a relic may never be sold, and if dropped, the card is returned to the pile of relic cards and its marker is placed on the board where it was dropped. Unlike other items, relics are never lost.
Other Props Edit
Staircases allow instant movement from one part of the board to another. By using one movement point, a hero (but not a monster) may move from a space containing a staircase to any space containing another staircase of the same color.
A hero may move via staircase even if the other end of the staircase has not yet been revealed. In this case, the new area is immediately revealed by the overlord player (see “Exploring”). If the new area is not yet connected to the rest of the map, simply keep the two parts of the map separate until an area is revealed that joins them (assuming one exists).
Attacks may be made through a staircase just as if the two staircase spaces were adjacent. A figure standing on one end of a staircase has line of sight to the other end of the staircase and its adjacent spaces, while a figure standing adjacent to one end of a staircase has line of sight to the other end of the staircase.
Small Monsters and Staircases Edit
By using one movement point, a small monster may move from one space containing a staircase to any space containing a staircase of the same color.
Glyphs of Transport Edit
Glyphs of transport are an example of the mighty magics that the heroes are attempting to recover and reactivate. Glyphs allow a hero to move between the glyph and the town (see “The Town”) for one movement point. However, glyphs must first be activated before they can be used. They are initially placed on the board with their red (inactivated) side up. Once a hero moves through a space containing a glyph, the glyph is flipped over to its white (activated) side and the heroes gain three conquest tokens. Since heroes who die are returned to the town, activating glyphs will allow the heroes to return to battle much quicker. A hero may only use a glyph once per turn—he may not use a glyph to go to town and then return, or vice versa. Glyphs are not items and cannot be picked up or moved.
Important: Monsters may not end their movement in any space containing an activated glyph of transport, although they may move through or attack into such a space.
In addition to spending treachery on customizing his overlord deck, the overlord can also purchase dark glyphs. These glyphs have been corrupted by the overlord and typically have an unpleasant side effect for the heroes when used or activated. Each dark glyph costs 2 treachery of the appropriate color (see below). At the start of the game, if the overlord purchases any dark glyphs, he mixes them in with the normal glyph markers, turning all the glyphs so that their red (unactivated) side is face-up.
Summoning (Red): When this glyph is activated, as well as each time a hero uses it to move to or from town, the overlord may spawn 2 monsters (any combination of beastmen, skeletons, bane spiders, razorwings, hellhounds, and/or sorcerers), following the normal spawning rules. Otherwise, this glyph functions as a normal glyph.
Sundered (Green): This glyph only provides 1 conquest token when activated, and cannot be used to move to or from town like a normal glyph.
Power (Purple): When this glyph is activated, as well as each time a hero uses it to move to or from town, the overlord may draw two cards and look at them. He then keeps one and discards the other for threat. Otherwise, this glyph functions as a normal glyph.
When a new glyph is placed on the map (usually as the result of a new area being revealed), the overlord chooses the glyph from his pool of glyphs. He is allowed to look at their face-down sides to select exactly the glyph he wants.
Fog markers do not block movement. However, they do block line of sight. Figures have line of sight into adjacent fog spaces. A figure in a fog space has line of sight to all adjacent spaces, but not to any other spaces.
Altars are places for the heroes and monsters to interact with their gods, calling down great and powerful forces to aid themselves or hinder their foes. One side of the altar marker shows a good altar, while the other side shows an evil altar. The Quest Guide will specify which type of altar to use.
Altars do not block movement or line of sight. Altars have effects that vary by quest, but the method to activate them is always the same:
Good Alters Edit
To activate a good altar, a hero must stand on top of the altar, spend 2 movement points as a movement action, and spend 250 coins. The altar’s effect then takes place as described in the quest.
Evil Alters Edit
To activate an evil altar, the overlord must move a monster on top of the altar and have the monster spend 2 movement points. The monster is then killed and the altar’s effect takes place as described in the quest.
Corrupted terrain does not block line of sight or movement. However, each time a hero spends a point of fatigue when on a corrupted space, the overlord gains 1 threat. Worse, each time a hero loses a wound while on a corrupted space, the overlord gains 2 threat. If a hero is struck by an “instant death” effect like a crushing wall while on a corrupted space, the overlord receives 2 threat for each wound the hero had before being killed.
Crushing Walls Edit
Crushing walls block line of sight and are treated as a wall for purposes of blocking line of sight, attacks, and movement. Unlike other props, crushing walls move through the dungeon, crushing everything that gets in their way.
Crushing Wall Movement Edit
At the start of the overlord’s turn, before he does anything else, he must move all crushing walls in play. To do this, he simply moves the crushing wall one space in the direction indicated by the quest. If a figure is caught between a crushing wall and either a wall, a crushing wall, or a closed door, the figure is instantly killed, regardless of wounds, armor, or special abilities such as Undying.
Any figure in a space that a crushing wall moves through is pushed along in front of the wall, taking 1 wound (ignoring armor). The only exception to this is figures in a pit when the crushing wall moves overhead (see below). Crushing walls remove rubble obstacles from any space they move through, but ignore most other obstacles (other than pits, see below). Once a crushing wall has moved into a wall or a closed door, it is removed from the map.
Crushing Walls and Pits Edit
Crushing walls move across the top of pits. Any figure in a pit that a crushing wall is moving across is safe from being crushed by the moving wall and is not pushed along in front of it. A figure moving from one pit space to another may move through a crushing wall as if it were not there.
Scything Blades Edit
Scything blade markers do not block line of sight, but each time a hero or monster moves so that any part of the figure is occupying a scything blade space, it risks being hit by the scything blade. The hero or monster must then roll 1 power die. On a surge, nothing happens. On any other result, the figure immediately suffers 2 wounds that cannot be reduced by armor and gains 1 bleed token.
Scything blades cannot be jumped over.
Dart Fields Edit
Dart field markers do not block line of sight, but each time a hero or monster moves so that any part of the figure is occupying a dart field space, it risks being hit by a dart. The hero or monster must then roll 1 power die. On a surge, nothing happens. On any other result, the figure immediately suffers 1 wound that cannot be reduced by armor and gains 1 daze token.
Dart fields cannot be jumped over.
Boulders block line of sight and are treated as a wall for purposes of blocking line of sight, attacks, and movement. Boulders roll through the dungeon, crushing everything that gets in their way.
Boulder Movement Edit
At the start of the overlord’s turn, before he does anything else, he must move all boulders in play. To do this, he selects a boulder and rolls 1 red die and 1 yellow die. He then adds up the range shown on the two dice and moves the boulder that many spaces in the direction shown by the arrow on the boulder. He then repeats the process for each other boulder in play.
Any figure in a space that a boulder moves onto is instantly killed, regardless of wounds, armor, or special abilities such as Undying. The only exception to this is figures that are in a pit when the boulder rolls overhead (see below). Boulders remove rubble obstacles from any space they move through, but ignore most other obstacles (other than pits, see below). Walls and closed doors will destroy any boulder that attempts to move through them. If one boulder collides with another boulder, the boulder that is currently being moved is destroyed.
Boulders and Pits Edit
Boulders roll across pits unless the boulder moves completely into the pit. Any figure in a pit that a boulder is rolling across is safe from being crushed by the boulder, but cannot climb out of any space covered by the boulder. If a boulder moves completely into a pit, it falls in. If this happens, any figure underneath the boulder is crushed and killed, and then the boulder shatters and is removed from the board.
Boulder Ramps Edit
Boulder ramps do not block line of sight or movement. However, if a boulder moves into any space containing a boulder ramp, it is turned in the direction indicated by the ramp.