Gloomhaven Scenario 20 Necromancer’s Sanctum Actual Play

A disaster in our last Gloomhaven game.

Last Friday we attempted and failed badly at Scenario #20, The Necromancer’s Sanctum.

While we did mange to loot some treasure and get to the final room, we are going to have to try this scenario again.

Gloomhaven Scenario 20: Necromancer’s Sanctum

Gloomhaven actual play pictureOur last session of Gloomhaven did not go well. It did not go well at all. The town stuff went fine, even the road encounter was no big deal, but when we got to the dungeon things just started off bad and got worse.

We were playing scenario 20, Necromancer’s Sanctum, finally catching up with the big baddie from the start of the campaign, Jekserah. As soon as we read the mission goal we knew it was going to be a boss fight and I’m sure we all expected it wouldn’t be easy but, wow, none of us expected it to be as hard as it was.

Shot of the cooperative board game GloomhavenSome of the cause for our failure was just bad luck. The fact that the undead kept healing themselves and the cultists just kept summoning more undead was completely based on what cards got drawn from the monster deck, but I also felt we just weren’t playing our best. We made some bad decisions that I think were based on overconfidence. It’s been a while since we had gotten smacked down and I think it was a good lesson.

On a positive note, we did manage to snag some treasure that should make things much easier next time in two ways. For one I now have a kick ass axe that should make those undead a bit easier to handle and second, we now know there’s a room we can totally skip over next time.

Gloomhaven the number one board game in the world right now.I do have to say that I find it rather odd that this mission gives you a piece of treasure that would make this specific scenario way easier. The way the rules are written if you loot a chest and find a piece of equipment, you can’t actually use it until your next scenario. You can’t equip what you find, that is done at the beginning before you actually start a scenario. To give us an item this useful, almost makes it feel like this scenario is set up so that you fail it the first time.

I would be curious to know if others found the same thing. Did you have to do mission 20 twice? Let us know in the comments below.

This Weeks Gloomhaven Actual Play Video: Featuring Scenario #20

Remember you can watch us play Gloomhaven live Friday nights at 8:30pm Eastern at twitch.tv/tabletopbellhop

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5 Responses

  1. Wow. We just had almost the exact same experience here last night, within a week of your sharing this. (I found your page here by Googling around with the same question in mind.)

    We felt we played sub-optimally as well. By the time we went down, Jekserah had 8 health left. The biggest bear for us was physically getting to her in order to attack. We played too defensively while she surrounded her hexes with enemies. Didn’t help that we’d had a penalty from a road event. Nor that our characters were two level 2s and one level 3, the lowest possible composition for a level 2 difficulty for the scenario. Card flips were mostly not in our favor, we split up to get the treasure…. everything was just barely in place to screw us here.

    We’re now three level 3 characters once we regroup in Gloomhaven. More health, new cards, new perks, and extra small item slots. We snagged the axe and should be much more prepared for next time. I have to agree, given the pacing of the leveling (our only level 3 character had been pushed over the edge by a treasure chest bonus – minor spoiler I guess), the completely optional room with an item that helps with this scenario but can’t be used until the second attempt, and the fact that there’s no reason at all to enter that room a second time if you’ve already looted the chest, it all lines up to suggest that this scenario was intended to have a high risk of needing to replay it. Props to those who did not need a second play through. Feels like we were so close, but no cigar.

    1. Red,

      I’m glad to see it just wasn’t us. At this point I’m certain that the scenario is designed to be failed the first time, by some if not all groups.

      I’m pleased to say our second attempt went much better. We were able to get Jekserah right into the perfect spot so that the monsters couldn’t get past here and basically stood there while we took her down. I think a lot of it was luck but some of it was knowing what was coming and knowing we didn’t need to go open that last door.

      I wish you luck with your second attempt.

      Thanks for the comment,

  2. Thanks a ton. Like D&d, Gloomhaven can have more time than desired between games, so we’ll likely be at least another week before our rematch. Going to take what we know now, forgo the bonus room (unless things go especially well and the money changes our minds), protect our jump cards at all costs, claim our two new level-ups in town, pack the newfound Skullbane axe and cross our fingers than the cards will be ever so slightly kinder to us this time.

    It’s very clever design, I think. It’s possible for characters to take other routes before getting here, but when you play straight into it the way we did, it’s surely set up to be a likely first level-2-difficulty scenario. Plus the whole situation with the very specific axe that can’t be used the first time around, and the extra room that can also be skipped after claiming the axe.

    Luck is appreciated! I’ll update here once we’ve taken our attempt at revenge.

  3. While I did not read anything in this, I just saw that you failed the mission. We are attempting this (two man) with a newly cracked Elementalist and a lvl 4 Tinkerer. I know it will be rough, probably play on lvl 2.

    1. After many losses we actually swapped to lower levels. Sure we didn’t get as much gold or XP but we were having much more fun playing!

      Moe T

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