Campaigns are an organized number of quests and linking steps leading to a complete story for Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition). A campaign is done with the help of a Quest Guide, and is characterized by the division of Act I and Act II quests, the use of a map, the use of travel steps and travel cards, the use of gold, the granting of quest rewards, and the acquisition of experience points for the continuous upgrading of cards for both heroes and Overlord.
Full campaigns usually are formed by an introductory quest, three Act I quests, an Interlude, three Act II quests and a Finale. What quests were played often determins which Act II quests are available, and the amount of wins for the heroes determins which interlude or finale is played.The winner of the Finale is considered to be the winner of the Campaign.
There are currently four full campaigns:
- The Shadow Rune - Core set (20 quests to choose from)
- Labyrinth of Ruin - First full expansion (19 quests)
- Shadow of Nerekhall - Second full expansion (19 quests)
- Heirs of Blood - Campaign book, requires only the core set (32 quests)
Besides those, mini campaigns which span only four quests (rather than the full nine) were also released for the expansions Lair of the Wyrm, The Trollfens, Manor of Ravens, Mists of Bilehall, and The Chains that Rust.
Rules and Details
After each quest of a campaign, there is a Campaign phase during which players may make decisions on how to upgrade their heroes and prepare for the next quest.The following steps are performed during each Campaign phase.
- Receive Gold from Search Cards: Record the total gold value of every Search card the heroes acquired over the course of this quest on the Campaign sheet (even if the Search card was used during the quest). Then return all Search cards to the deck (even if the heroes didn’t use their abilities). The heroes are assumed to sell their newly discovered treasures in Arhynn.
- Cleanup: All heroes recover all damage and all fatigue. The overlord combines his draw and discard pile into one deck. All Condition cards are discarded, all effects end, the map is disassembled, and the quest generally cleaned up as the players prepare for the next one.
- Receive Rewards: The overlord player and hero players each receive one experience point, regardless of who won the quest (as listed in the Quest Guide). Record this on the Campaign sheet. The winner of the quest receives additional rewards as noted in the Quest Guide.
- Shopping: Hero players may spend any gold they have collectively acquired to purchase new Shop Item cards.
- Spend Experience Points: Players may spend any experience points they have earned at this time. Experience points are spent on new skills for heroes and new Overlord cards for the overlord.
- Choose Next Quest: The winner of the quest chooses which quest, from those available, will be played next.
- Set Up Quest: The players begin setting up the next quest following the standard rules for setting up a quest. The overlord player should remember to shuffle his Overlord deck, including any new cards just purchased, to create a new deck before drawing his starting hand.
- Travel: Heroes travel to the next quest location and then play the next quest. They refer to the Campaign map, and perform the appropriate travel steps, revealing a travel card for each symbol they encounter, and resolving accordingly.