The Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) Wiki

The Overlord turn is the time period during game play where the Overlord may act openly and the heroes may not. The hero players may only use skills or abilities in response to the Overlord's actions.


The summary of the Overlord's turn is give on the Overlord Turn Summary card, which is the reverse side of the Hero Turn Summary card:

  1. Start of turn:
    1. Start of turn abilities
    2. Draw 1 Overlord card
    3. Refresh cards
  2. Activate monsters:
    1. Choose monster group
    2. Perform 2 actions with each monster in the group
    3. Repeat steps for each remaining monster group
  3. End of round
    • End of round actions

When the Overlord's turn is finished, the heroes may carry out their turn.

Start of Turn[]

At the beginning of the Overlord's turn, he/she draws one Overlord Card from the top of the Overlord deck.  After drawing a card, the Overlord may play any number of cards that state that they are played "at the start of your turn," including the card just drawn.  This may bring reinforcements to the encounter, or initiate some other action that is specific to the encounter.  The Overlord also refreshes any of his activated cards during this step.  The order of these operations listed under "Start of Turn" on the Overlord Turn Summary Card is confusing, and is not meant to be rigid.  Refer to page 10 in the Rulebook for more info.

Activate Monsters[]

The primary event during the Overlord's turn is the monster actions. The Overlord must activate the monsters in order for them to carry out their actions for that turn.

In every encounter, the Overlord has some number of monster groups at his disposal. These monster groups can consist of 1 or more figures placed on the board. The Overlord must activate each group in turn, and then activate each monster in that group in turn. Every monster gets 2 actions for that turn, barring additional actions granted by the playing of Overlord cards. He cannot activate another group until all the monsters in the currently active group, although those monsters need not do anything (i.e., both monster actions are "do nothing").

When all monster groups have been activated and all the monsters' actions exhausted, the Overlord turn moves into its third and final phase.

End of Round[]

Just like the start of the round, there are certain abilities that can only be used at the end of each round. Also, encounters may have specific rules that state reinforcements can only be called in at the end of the Overlord's turn.