Descent: Legends of the Dark
For years, your journeys have taken you across the fantasy realm of Terrinoth, venturing into dark forests, shadowy cities, ancient crypts, and misty swamps… but your true legend is about to begin.
Forge your own legend together with your friends as you adventure across the vibrant fantasy realm of Terrinoth! Powered by its fully integrated free companion app, Descent: Legends of the Dark puts you in the role of a budding hero with their own play style and abilities. Together with your unlikely companions, you’ll begin an unexpected adventure—an adventure told across the sixteen quests of the Blood and Flame campaign. Throughout your campaign, you’ll face undead lurking in the mists, demonic barbarians stalking the wilds, and even more terrifying threats. With 46 pieces of 3D terrain and 40 stunning hero and monster miniatures to draw you into the game, your greatest adventure is yet before you!
Is this the third edition of Descent: Journeys in the Dark?
Descent: Legends of the Dark is not the third edition of Descent: Journeys in the Dark. Although it shares the realm of Terrinoth and the top-level identity as a dungeon-crawling board game indicated by the Descent title, we see Legends of the Dark as a new addition to our catalog, rather than a third edition of Journeys in the Dark.
Although Journeys in the Dark featured the Road to Legend companion app, that game was always designed as a competitive experience, pitting one to four hero players against a single overlord player. Legends of the Dark harnesses its integrated companion app to deliver a cooperative game from the very beginning, freeing you and your friends to fully focus on becoming the heroes of Terrinoth.
Core gameplay mechanics such as combat, fatigue, skills, items, and more have received completely new interpretations with Legends of the Dark, while a new approach to scenario layout and 3D terrain creates striking multi-level scenarios.
The app also brings new changes to gameplay, introducing enemies with adaptable strategies, complex status effects and triggers fully managed by the app, and the ability to develop your heroes based on the choices you make in scenarios. You’ll also uncover a wealth of activity between scenarios, such as crafting, shopping in the city, upgrading equipment, and more.
Because of these various differences, Descent: Legends of the Dark is not compatible with Descent: Journeys in the Dark content.
Heroes of the Realm
Descent: Legends of the Dark invites you to become one of six heroes, each eager to adventure across Terrinoth and brought to gorgeous life with stunning art and a beautifully crafted miniature. More than just their visual style, each hero boasts their own tactical approach to combat and their own virtues that you can choose to pursue during quests.
For example, you may play as Vaerix, the Dragon-Hybrid Outcast. A strong-willed survivor like Vaerix calls fellow heroes to follow a greater purpose, battling with the warbell or keeping their companions hale and ready for the next fight. The Human Avenger, Brynn, is eager to punish any insult, wading into the heat of battle and meting out justice with hammer and blade. Perhaps you prefer Galaden’s long-range attacks and balletic combat style, or you’ll call upon the forces of magic and your bond with your phoenix as Syrus. No matter which hero you’ve chosen for this quest, you’ll be able to explore their trademark combat style and tactics—and since you can choose your weapons, armor, consumables, and even your skills at the beginning of each quest, there’s almost limitless opportunities to remix your character and explore new styles as you play through the campaign!
Gameplay in Descent: Legends of the Dark is fast and intuitive. You’ll take three actions on every turn—one maneuver action and two additional actions of your choice! Maneuvering gives you movement points, as shown in the upper right corner of the character sheet, and since you always have a maneuver action, you’ll always be able to reposition and put yourself in a more advantageous position for attack. Other than maneuvering, you can use an action to attack an enemy, rolling your attack dice and drawing upon your hero’s abilities and weapons to deal maximum damage or inflict harmful conditions on your foes. Or, you may use the explore action to interact with a piece of 3D terrain or a token by using the app. You can also use your action to perform one of the most crucial actions in Legends of the Dark: the ready action.
The ready action lets you flip your hero sheet or one of your cards to its opposite side, unlocking new abilities! For example, Galaden can use his Light Step ability, suffering fatigue to shift his position and quickly move across the battlefield—or if he flips to the opposite side of his hero sheet, he can suffer three fatigue to expose an enemy in line of sight, cuing the app to inflict 20% more damage on that enemy during attacks!
You’ll notice the fatigue limit in the lower right corner of each hero sheet, as well as other cards, such as weapons or skills. When you take fatigue to trigger Galaden’s Light Step ability, you’ll place that fatigue on his hero sheet. What’s more, attacks from enemies or environmental effects may cause your hero to suffer condition tokens, such as infected or terrified, which are also placed on your hero sheet. When you ready a card or hero sheet and flip it to its opposite side, you’ll also remove all fatigue and condition tokens from it—making this an ideal way to keep your heroes ready for action, as well as pulling out the right abilities for each situation.
Your hero sheet isn’t the only thing you can ready—every hero also has an attack card and skill cards! Each hero starts the game with two weapon cards, sleeved together back-to-back to create a single attack card. (Sleeves to create the attack cards are included in the game!) For instance, Vaerix creates their attack card by sleeving their two starting weapon cards, the Ironthorn Warbell and the Riverwatch Spear. When a hero attacks, the attack die is determined by their hero sheet, but damage and other special abilities, such as the type of damage being inflicted, are determined by the weapon you attack with! And as you can see, your attack card can also take fatigue—which is cleared by readying the card. Over the course of the game, you’ll have the chance to discover and craft new weapons, and at the beginning of every quest, you can build your hero’s attack card by drawing on the unlocked weapons from your hero’s two weapon archetypes.
Skill cards can also be readied, switching between two complementary abilities, such as Vaerix’s Destiny’s Call and Fate’s Embrace —two complementary abilities on opposite sides of the same skill card. It should be plain to see that readying forms a huge part of the strategy and tactics of every encounter. There’s even a positive condition token—Prepared—that can be placed on one of your cards, allowing you to ready that card without spending an action!
Strike Back Against Darkness
Evil is stirring in Terrinoth once more, and countless dangers arise throughout the game’s sprawling sixteen-quest campaign. As we’ve mentioned before, the gameplay foundation of Descent: Legends of the Dark is built on a fully integrated companion app, which governs everything from activating enemies, to building an unfolding scenario, to opening the door for activities like crafting and shopping between quests.
At the beginning of a quest, you’ll start with perhaps only a single map tile in play—but as you move deeper into the map and explore your surroundings the Legends of the Dark app will direct you to place more and more tiles and terrain. The combination of double-sided map tiles and underlays gives unparalleled depth to the number of scenarios you can create—and that depth is elevated with the addition of vertical levels and 3D terrain that give Legends of the Dark an unrivaled presence on your tabletop.
Your levels will be filled with staircases up to other rooms, sturdy bookshelves, towering trees, treasure chests, barricades, doors, and statues. And all this 3D terrain isn’t just decorative: you can interact with all of it through the app, plucking valuable tomes off a moldering shelf, cracking open a booby-trapped chest, or climbing a tree to scout out the terrain ahead.
Your objectives will change from quest to quest as you follow the overarching story of the campaign, but you’ll face constant opposition from enemies. From bandits waylaying you on the road, to Uthuk Y’llan berserkers howling for blood, to deadly fae, monstrous golems, ravenous wolves, undead wights, and even more terrifying foes, every enemy is fully brought to life with stunning miniatures.
Thanks to the Legends of the Dark companion app, each of these enemies boast their own cunning ploys and adapt to the unfolding battle, whether that means laying their plans for a devastating future attack, inspiring other enemies in combat, or even more devious tactics. We’ll take a much closer look at combat in a future preview, since the strategic interplay between your hero abilities, weapons, and skills is a key part of every quest in Legends of the Dark!
Crafting Your Weapon
The Legends of the Dark app isn’t limited to your quests—in fact, it opens the door for even more opportunities between scenarios, such as crafting and weapon upgrades. Over the course of the adventure, as you slay enemies, open chests, or explore dusty chambers, you’ll uncover valuable crafting materials and gold, all tracked by the app. Once you’ve found the recipe for an item, you can craft and upgrade that item at the crafthall in your home city of Frostgate. Perhaps you’ll create new Seer’s Blades for Galaden, or a Gilded Warbell for Vaerix! No matter what you craft, all weapons can be upgraded, so long as you have the resources to pay for it, unlocking an even more powerful version of the weapon.
Weapons can be modified even further in the Frostgate armory. In Descent: Legends of the Dark, weapons have three parts. The first part dictates the weapon card that you use, but the other two parts grant your weapon secondary abilities with a percent chance of triggering each time your hero attacks. These bonuses are fully managed by the app, and in the armory, you can optimize for your next quest, or customize your weapons to fit your style of play.
As your hero grows and gains experience over the course of the campaign, you’ll have even more chances to customize your hero. Every hero has unique feats, tracked by the app, that you can complete to progress your hero’s personal growth. Completing feats can grant you powerful rewards, like new skills or exclusive recipes, so you’ll want to be sure you keep your feats in mind as you play. Your hero also earns experience points over the course of the quest that can be used to unlock skills. Your skills aren’t fixed however—at the start of any new quest, you can choose which skills you want to take, reallocating your experience throughout the campaign as you explore new play styles and learn more about how you most want to play.
Your Legend Begins
The story told across the Blood and Flame campaign is an epic story that rises to its own finale—but at the same time, it’s only the first act of your story. You can look for Act II and Act III to be coming in the future as their own expansions, each box packed full of new content and the next full-length Legends of the Dark campaign. We don’t have anything more to say about these upcoming act expansions right now, but stay tuned in the months following the release of Descent: Legends of the Dark!