Teaching Descent, Converting New Gamers

My good friend Brian emailed me about a month ago asking about Dungeons and Dragons. His son John started expressing interest in learning the game and Brian wanted some tips and suggestions. Brian had played only once during college 20-25 years ago, and while 4E D&D is relatively easy to learn I think it can be a tough game to bootstrap without a dedicated teacher. I proposed that they come out to Sherwood to join us in a game of Descent. Not quite D&D but a great opportunity to get a feel for this style of game. I also felt this was a game they could pick up on their own and play with 1 or 2 of John’s friends.


Jacob and Matthew joined us, and we played the intro scenario for what seems like the fourth or fifth time. In fact, I’m not sure if I’ve ever played anything but the first scenario. This is a cakewalk for the heroes but Jacob still managed to die twice, adding some fun to the session. John absolutely loved the concept of adding skills to his character, even going back to town to spend 1,000 coins on a new skill card. This is a good sign he’ll be a big fan of deeper RPGs.

Game 2 Highlights

I promised to post some highlights from our second game against St Helens. We had some great things happen, but if you watch closely you’ll see how a great running back can overcome some mistakes made on the line.

For a play that will blow your mind, skip to the 2:12 spot in the video. Where’s the ball?

Game 2 result: Sherwood 33, St Helens 7

We had a much better showing on offense this week, gaining over 300 yards with a decent mix of passing and running. It was nice having our starting fullback in the lineup – he broke two plays for about 50 and 95 yards for touchdowns in the first half, breaking the game open. We ran a healthy mix of plays, completing two passes for 50 yards but throwing one interception on a missed WR route.

Our defense was solid and we had a lot of non-starters in the lineup in the second half. St Helens wisely ran their wedge play frequently which was about their only successful play. It was tough to stop and we hadn’t drilled technique in practice at all. We were up 33-0 at the time so I didn’t get too worked up about it and I don’t think we’ll see another team this season that will wedge. That said we still had some problems at time with sweep containment so we need to drill that hard this week and even look at some personnel changes in our hawk positions to bolster things. The team we are playing this weekend runs a shotgun spread most of the time so we have a lot of work to do for preparation. They have a talented QB that can run and throw so this will be a good test for our defense.

I’ll post a few game highlight videos shortly.