Descent: Journeys in the Dark: Dark Elements

Dark Elements, the third cooperative adventure for Descent: Journeys in the Dark Second Edition, is now at The Wandering Dragon!


Like other Descent cooperative adventures, Dark Elements offers a dramatic shift from traditional games of Descent. In a normal game of Descent, one player commands hordes of monsters as the evil overlord, while up to four other players play as the noble heroes.

Everything changes in a cooperative adventure, however. Descent cooperative adventures like Dark Elementssimulate a mini-campaign in one session, inviting up to four heroes to play against monsters and traps controlled by the game. In this adventure, you and your fellow heroes work together to grab loot, gain experience, and battle a new, terrifying threat!

Important: The Lair of the Wyrm expansion is required to play the Dark Elements cooperative adventure. In addition, the rules for Dark Elements are not included in the box. The rules (pdf, 22.3 MB) are available for free download from the Descent: Journeys in the Dark Second Edition support section.

Journey in Darkness

The Dark Elements cooperative adventure begins as you and your fellow heroes awaken in a darksome, ethereal realm. Dreams and reality are strangely intermingled in this place, and if you are ever going to escape its spell, you must hold true to your path and stay in the light – for the darkness beyond the flickering torchlight is where the true dangers lurk.

As you move through this cooperative adventure, new Exploration cards are revealed as you enter new rooms. Each Exploration card challenges you in a different way. You may battle the darkness itself and set firepits ablaze or you may walk the passages of time, plagued by sinister visions and strange remembrances. Each Exploration card has a different objective that you must complete to progress and time never works in your favor. If you delay for too long in a single area, any number of deadly perils could befall you. Deadly whispers may ferret out your secrets, or unseen foes could swoop overhead and rain dark flames upon you.

Of course, because there is no overlord to fight in cooperative adventures like Dark Elements, your objective also changes. Three main encounters are seeded throughout the Exploration deck. To escape the dream and break the foul spell that holds you captive, you must work your way through the Exploration deck, defeating whatever comes your way until you reach the final main encounter and come face to face with the beings who entrapped you. You must constantly move forward to escape, but the dangers you face along your adventure are too many to number.

What Lurks Outside the Light?

In Dark Elements, darkness waits just outside the circle of your light. Throughout the adventure, the heroes must carry a single torch, which illuminates only a few squares around the hero who bears it. Outside of the torch’s unsteady light, countless dangers prowl. Those heroes who stray too far into darkness become easy prey for the monsters that inhabit this dreamworld.

Just because there’s no overlord to command his monstrous armies, you can’t expect that your adventures will be free of monsters. In Dark Elements, you’ll fight for your life against fire imps, merriods, hybrid sentinels, and elementals. These creatures are commanded by a unique deck of monster activation cards. After each of the heroes has acted in a round, one monster activation card is revealed from the top of the deck. Each card has a list of actions to be carried out by the monsters, allowing the monsters to attack your heroes and hinder you in your quest to escape from the dream. What’s more, each card has different actions for each monster, meaning you’ll never know exactly how the monsters will attack. 

The lack of an overlord in the cooperative variant of Descent also means that the overlord track replaces the overlord’s objective. A fate token and a doom token are placed at opposite ends of the overlord track, and if these tokens ever meet, the heroes lose the game. The doom token advances slowly, but once it moves forward, it never retreats. The fate token, however, fluctuates based on the outcomes of your encounters. For example, if a hero is knocked out, fate advances by one, but successfully completing a main encounter may allow you to reset the fate token to the beginning of its track.

Dark Elements, like other cooperative Descent adventures, offers the experience of a mini campaign in a single session. Along the way, you’ll have chances to gain more experience and grab loot. At the end of each main encounter, your heroes gain experience, which you can immediately spend to purchase new Class cards for your hero. In addition, killing monsters fills the loot track, bringing you closer to new items for your heroes. The bigger the monsters you slay, the more loot you’ll be able to grab. By destroying any monster that stands in your way, you’ll receive new weapons and upgraded gear in the course of the adventure.

Escape the Dream

You and your fellow heroes have been caught in a dreadful spell. Trapped in a world of endless dark, a single torch is your only hope of escape. Take up your weapons, prepare for adventure, and whatever you do, never let the torch die.

Dark Elements is now available at The Wandering Dragon!