My board game group and I started Descent: Journey Into the Dark, 2nd Ed. last night. This group usually fluctuates between 4 and 6 players and this session we had five, the upper limit for the game. Everyone had a great time beating me to a pulp, as I was the Overlord; the heroes won all three encounters with ease. Next week the group wants to play this again. The problem is that we are probably going to have the 6th player back. If this happens, I need to increase the difficulty in order to have a fair shot at being effective as the Overlord.

What are changes that I can make to increase the difficulty for five heroes while still keeping the game fairly balanced? I already feel like the game is stacked against the overlord pretty heavily, although we did the easiest encounters to get a feel for the game, so maybe that changes by the end. Some suggestions I've read:

  • Increasing monster health
  • Taking a "short turn" after the 3rd hero takes their actions. This consists of drawing an Overlord card and taking actions with one monster group.

We do not want the Overlord to be controlled by two players, so I'm looking specifically for ways to play with five heroes. Also note this is for 2nd Edition.

2 Answers 2


We've been playing with six players (5 heroes + overlord). The only changes we've made are to:

  1. Play all white minion monsters with red stats. They still count as white minions for hero powers.
  2. Add an additional treasure.
  3. When calculating the boss monster's HP, increase it by one hero.

I think it's a little bit easy for the heros, but it's been close.


You could play a scenario designed for 6-7 players, like Enduring Evil. The forums at FFG note some of the issues that make the game stacked against the Overlord as you add heroes.

  • The number of extra attacks and LOS coverage
  • it will be next to impossible to get a spawn in within striking distance of the party

One possible solution that was suggested it to have two teams competing for victory, and the Overlord in the middle, but this doesn't work well for 6 players since you will have one team down a hero though.

  • 1
    The Enduring Evil campaign was designed for the 1st Edition and doesn't really look compatible with the 2nd Edition. Instead of spawns, 2nd Edition uses reinforcement. The forum also refers to the 1st Edition, and while some concerns are the same, it doesn't really offer solutions to issues like group limits that are imposed in 2nd Edition.
    – SocioMatt
    Feb 7, 2013 at 18:30

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