Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)

Transports heroes to a vibrant fantasy realm where they must stand together against an ancient evil.

Descent has never made it to the table enough, mostly due to its incredible long playing time, which has made it somewhat of a byword for long, exhausting game sessions. But Fantasy Flight has cleverly listened to the feedback and rebooted their own franchise with Descent 2nd Edition, and the new the game is the fast-playing, fun dungeoncrawler it always wanted to be. Shame about all the work I put into those 1st edition sheets though …

This rules summary includes the rules from the Lair of the Wyrm, Labyrinth of Ruin, The Trollfens, Shadow of Nerekhall, Manor of Ravens, Mists of Bilehall, Chains That Rust, and Lieutenant Packs expansions.

Update Log

Date Version Changelog
Dec 2017 7.1 Mists of Bilehall and Chains That Rust expansion rules added and fixed setup typo on coop rules
May 2016 7 Added coop rules and rules changes from the FAQ v1.6
Sep 2015 6 Manor of Ravens expansion rules added
Jun 2014 5 Shadows of Nerekhall and Lieutenant Pack expansions rules added
Oct 2013 4 The Trollfens expansion rules added
Oct 2013 3.2 Reworded and clarified campaign rules page
Aug 2013 3.1 Added monster movement and secret door clarifications from FAQ
Jul 2013 3 Labyrinth of Ruin expansion rules added
Jul 2013 1.1 Error fixed in foamcore plans (height of main box)
Jul 2013 1 Original release of foamcore plans
May 2013 2 Lair of the Wyrm expansion rules added
Aug 2012 1 Original release


  • Apocrypha says:

    Non-working link for foamcore plans?

  • Fallout says:

    Hi! Great work on the foamcore plans! I just have a little problem with it as you separate the plastic holders from the doors… The first time I put the doors in the holders, I’ve damaged some of them. Aren’t you afraid that with this storage solution that you’ll damage too much the doors by taking them on and out of the holders each time you’ll use them?

    • Universal Head says:

      I’m just careful and I haven’t damaged them, but I suppose once the card is damaged then you have a problem. In which case just pop them in with the large monsters – or you might even be able to fit them in the space provided with stands still on, though I haven’t checked.

    • Merdynn says:

      Fallout, I take a small piece of scotch tape and wrap it under the door where the stand goes and this keeps my doors from getting torn up.

  • James says:

    Love these plans. This is a pretty good game, but the components desperately need organising. So I’m going to have a go building the inserts. Three questions.

    What thickness foamboard do you use? It looks like 5mm.

    Have you calculated how many sheets of board you need to do the project? I can probably work it out, but if you already done it….

    Is the “white glue” PVA?

    Finally, if you are looking for your next project, Mage Knight is an amazing game, that puts people off by its rules complexity. A summary sheet would be brilliant. Better still, I would love the insert plans for it!

    Thanks, James.

  • James says:

    Actually you can ignore the first question. I can see from the plans it’s 5mm.

    • Universal Head says:

      No, haven’t calculated the number of sheets as sheets vary in size. Go crazy and buy extra. 🙂 Yes, white glue is PVA.

      And finally … I’m sorry about this, but I played Mage Knight once and it was without doubt the most boring, tedious, overly complex, fiddly game I’ve ever had the misfortune to sit through. I’m afraid that’s one game you’ll never see anything for on the EOG!

  • muddb0y says:

    On page three, the “attributes” section is overlapping the Descent logo 🙁

  • Daggna says:

    Hi im currently building one of this very nice inserts. But i am missing some measurements on page 6 Counter & Card tray. On the left side the shelf for the Search, Fatigue & Stamina tokens. There are no measurement for the width of each shelf. Please excuse my bad english

    • Universal Head says:

      You’re right, but I think at that stage the plan was getting so fiddly that I left this to the user’s discretion. The two large compartments (for health and stamina tokens) are about 50mm wide. The others are about 30mm wide, but that isn’t exact – just eyeball it after you’ve made the two large compartments, it doesn’t have to be perfect.

  • crasher says:

    Plans to update this through the new expansions?

    • Universal Head says:

      I’ve already added three, the only thing stopping me from adding Nerekhall is time – all in good time, my friend!

  • crasher says:

    Don’t forget the rules for the Lieutenants as well.

  • Kyle says:

    I just finished making the foamcore insert. Absolutely love having the plans figured out for me. Are there any plans on uploading more blueprints?

    • Universal Head says:

      Absolutely! It’s just a matter of time and other game-related priorities – they take quite a long while to make. But I do hope to make many more available in the future.

  • john says:

    Hello, I love the rules summary but i find the print barely readable, does anyone know how i could edit this to enlarge print, thanks

    • Universal Head says:

      a. Get glasses (I’m not being facetious, I have reading glasses), or
      b. Print out at a larger size in Adobe Reader/Acrobat, or
      c. Copy the text, paste it into your text editing program of choice, and increase the text size.

      I’m afraid I’m not increasing the text size because they’d start becoming rulebooks instead of several sheet summaries, but I feel your pain, I’ve had to switch to reading glasses to play games in general in the last few years, and it’s hard to get used to!

  • Mikkel says:


    I just wanted to say “awesome job” as I’ve printed and laminated a great number of your rules summaries throughout the years, and it seems like all the comments are “this is nice, but the reason I write is “something-bad-here”.

    So, thank you for the hard work, keep your spirits up and I look forward to your future work.


  • Morgan says:

    Yeah I’m being a bit lazy here, but how bout ‘English measurements’ (inches), all the sources i have for foam measure it in inches only. I know the game box is just over 11.5 in per side, so I figure I’m safe getting several sheets exceeding those dimensions, but I’m not sure on the thickness, as 5mm comes out to 0.19685 inches, which is well..not a standard foam core thickness. Great looking plans though.

    • Universal Head says:

      Sorry, you’ll have to convert – we have to do it from inches to millimetres all the time! 😉 Can’t make the plans for both imperial and metric, I’d go nuts.

      As for thickness, I’m afraid I have no idea what the standard thicknesses are in other countries. If you discover answers, let us know!

    • nillic says:

      Stop being lazy and just google it. I found all of the answers to this in less than 30 seconds by googling 0.19685. This person has done enough work for you already.

  • mattflow says:

    I wanted to welcome your new site and thank you for helping me unlock the potential in my game collection. Introducing me to foamcore that sorts out my stacking and packing, teaching me to paint and adding more depth to our games (Especially Descent, we’re all hooked even further now). My boys and I thank you for everything and constantly check back for each and every update.

    Please don’t stop!

  • You Sir are amazing!

    I can not emphasis enough how impressed I am by your work.

    The website: Fiddling with web development in my free time I feel like what you created is very professional! Nice use of fonts instead of boxes to group elements, showing as much game art as possible as big as possible (the games grid view is lovely), loading stuff asynchronously, having an update log for your articles and their related uploads and then – like all that wasn’t enough already – having everything designed responsively so that it is both functional and nicely usable on mobile… amazing!

    The rules summary: Clearly structured and nicely designed to match the game art… amazing!

    The videos: I watched your videos on youtube about the use of foamcore for building the box inserts. You are a very good presenter and the video really shows that you studied art and design (from what I understood from the video), because you make it look so easy. You must have tons of hours of experience with crafting work. Also the videos were very helpful as a preparation for my attempt to build the descent 2nd edition box insert myself.

    The foamcore plan: I did not have proper tools (no cutting mat but a wooden cutting board and no metal ruler but a 3 mm high piece of wood with a somewhat straight edge where I marked required measurement points…), nor did I ever build a box insert before, nor am I used to crafting work (I work in IT) and still I pulled it of thanks to your awesome plan. The alignment and coloring of the pieces on the plan make it so much more readable and help in avoiding mistakes. In fact, my box insert is complete and functional with all pieces of the game material cleanly organised inside it. I made only one mistake with the area for the search cards, which turned out just 1 mm short, so the cards don’t go in there all the way to rest flat on the base, but still by putting them in there slightly diagonal they do fit and do not exceed the height of the tray.

    Long story short: This is amazing, you are amazing and I thank you very much for sharing all this amazingness… 😀

  • Sjeng says:

    Amazing! How many / which expansions can it hold along with the base game?

  • Bultark says:

    Always love these reference notes… Just looking at the Descent 2 ones and I think you’ve missed out the condition of ‘Bleeding’ for Shadows of Nerekhall

  • SirCptnAwesome says:

    What sets will the foam case box plans hold?

  • o0xen0o says:

    Just wondering I have been considering getting the Descent Road to Legend Miniatures (which add the lieutenant figures); however being a gamer who likes to have everything in a place (thank you again for this site) how would you suggest to store these figures as it looks like they come in blister packs.

    • Good question, but as I haven’t bought any of those figures, I’m afraid I don’t have an answer. Perhaps you could make up a special foamcore insert inside a box you don’t use, and stick Descent-themed artwork on the outside? That of course is the most time-comsuming option…!

  • Nick says:

    I’m having trouble with the figure tray fitting low enough into the main box. The map tiles always end up being too high and the figure tray ends up being about 5-6 mm higher than it should be. Is there some special way you are arranging the tiles?

    • It does fit, but you have to fiddle with the arrangement of the tiles for a while to get the most efficient (ie least high) arrangement – it’s a bit like a jigsaw puzzle. Once you’ve done it you’ll find it easier on subsequent pack ups.

  • delprado says:

    Thanks so much for this plans. If someone already make it, he will be very thankful to give the number of 5 mm sheet he used and the size of these ones. Thanks a lot for this amazing job!!

  • maartend says:


    Error found
    1st drawing in pdf file.
    The right-side purple (or pink) plate says 276 mm in one place and 286mm when layd-out. It should be 286

  • THor says:

    Very nice plans. I built it and it was perfect.Took longer than I thought but it was fun doing it. Turned out great. Thanks for the plans.

  • Paul says:

    I love what you do, thank you. I’ve been wanting to do this insert for some time and I finally got some time to start and I was immediately halted by a problem, I’m sorry if this has already been covered or asked, I looked and couldn’t find the topic but I find it hard to believe that it hasn’t come up so my apologies. My issue is sleeved cards. It seems like this insert isn’t leaving any room for them, is this correct? And it also seems like it wouldn’t allow a “fix” of just making the card trays deeper as you’re already squeezing things in. Is there any help you could give me with this? Thanks!

    • Sorry Paul, I don’t design inserts to accommodate sleeved cards. I very rarely sleeve my cards, I’d say the majority of people don’t, and often – as in this case – there just isn’t room to make inserts that accommodate them. I’m afraid you’ll have to come up with your own ingenious solution …!

    • Boopster says:

      Using thinner foamboard (3mm) would probably help create a tiny bit of room. You’ll just have to add 2mm to the height of all pieces I imagine.

  • I don’t have words to describe my delight! This is the greatest solution I ever saw! Thanks a lot!
    I was searching the solution to organize my Descent SE for many days. I was searching another boxes, cases… And finally I found this! Thanks one more time!

  • Brilliant design! Any chance we could get a black & white version of the summary? Even just removing the background would help my poor printer quite a bit.

  • Hi! Beafore I made it for my copy of Descent, I measured my box… And it seems like my box is bigger then yours. I have a russian version from Hobby World publishing. I enlarged all inserts on 11mm in width and length and it fits my box just like a factory made. It’s just for your information =)
    And thanks for information about SketchUp. I tried to create enlarged version of your box using this tool and it was not so hard. Now I want to do a plan for “Shadow of Nerekhall” foamcore box insert in SketchUp.

  • Hey guys … I really love your work on Descent 2nd Ed. Your rules summary helped me out many times. I just wanted to ask if you are planning to update the summary to the latest expansion “Manor of Ravens”. Thats the only part I have to read in the ‘oldschool’ rulebook. 🙁

  • Instant_Pudding says:

    Hey there! Loved your foam core insert. Had to make one for my newly purchased copy with a few minor modifications:). Is there any chance I could get a link to the Google Sketchup file as I would like to use the model to attempt a 3d printout of the insert! Thanks again for the great diagrams/video tutorials!

  • Hello. I found these plans of yours for the box amazing and I was thinking of making it myself. But I have my cards in sleeves. Could you suggest any workaround for this? Maybe slimmer foamcore? Or would it require remodeling of the whole structure?

    • Hi – there’s an answer to your question above in this thread. In short, In most cases I can’t accommodate sleeved cards in my foamcore designs as they take up so much room; you’ll have to come up with your own design. I guess I’ll have to put a note about sleeved cards in the plans, because I get asked this question so often!

      • Precigus says:

        Thank you 🙂 Guess I will try using a slimmer foam probably, that should take the sleeves into account 🙂

      • Precigus says:

        Ok, so I recalculated and edited your plans a bit, and made a very similar box like yours 🙂 I just made the parts where the sleeved cards go a bit wider and they fit perfectly 🙂 Also, I made the connecting ends on all parts for sturdier design 🙂
        Here’s a photo album of my finished box:
        It’s not perfect, has quite a few uneven parts, but this was my very first try building something from foam(core), so there’s room for improvement 😀
        Thanks again for the idea! 🙂

        • You seem very happy Precigus. 🙂 Well done, it looks great!

        • lambsoft says:

          Very nice – I am facing the same issue right now, I started the build and got to the final tray only to realize that at 15mm it would not be tall enough to hold the sleeved cards. It would need to be at least 27mm (by my measurements). I’m now looking to cut down the height of the first layer and reduce that by about 11mm which would give me just enough room. I wonder if I can do that or do I just abort and start over ?

          What is the height of your first layer where the terrain and large monsters fit ?

  • TaT says:

    A huge thanks for this (and for all of your content – it’s invaluable!). I wanted to share my own revised design which allowed me to fit everything in with all 236 cards (and 8 hero cards) in plastic sleeves. It’s a little cosy but I’m very pleased with the result. First time working with foamcore (foam board here in the UK) but certainly wont be the last!

    Thanks again 🙂

    Link to album:

  • attila says:

    Thanks for these plans – and for your other work as well – its a brilliant resource.

    As a possible tip/variation, its also possible to use thick card instead of foamcore for the base – using something which is 2mm or so instead of 5mm over three layers means the total height is almost a centimetre lower – which you can use to either have higher walls, or have the lid sit better. There is no loss in structural strength as the walls and card are plenty strong enough to carry the weight, and the box design means no twisting.

  • Jean says:

    Hi! Is there any plan of translating this wonderful rule summary to french ?

    I have the french version of the game at home and this guide would be great to help my players and myself for quick reminders as we’re casual and tend to forget some rules after a while and we’re used the the french terms.

    I’ll be printing your B/W version and will start working of my french version if you’re ok with it.
    Let me know if you guys want the result to publish it, although I’ll only be translating the core since I don’t have any extensions yet.


    • Sorry, due to an overwhelming number of requests, I don’t make translations or supply original files to translators. If you wish to do a translation using the text, go ahead, but please credit my original work.

  • Deliverymanxas says:

    Amazing. But based off of previous replies and comments, you already know this.
    Have you progressed much on plans for expansions?? I’m looking into getting a couple, and would be greatly interested in which expansions you have completed, and how many expansions you are able to fit inside these inserts. (ie can you fit 2 expansions into one insert/box)

    Thanks again for this, I would post a link to my finished product, but it does no justice to the others 🙂


  • The8thPagan says:

    I think there’s a solo expansion for Descent. Anyone tried it?

  • CK Lai says:

    @ 8th: it’s a solo/co-op module for Descent 2E. There’s now 3 of them.

    They play great and it’s now my preferred way of playing Descent. No more Overlord!

    That said, it’s scenario-based and not a true co-op module. There’s a limited amount of replayability. Although if you buy more than 1 module, there’s a guy on BGG that’s done some alternate rules to make it more of a dungeon crawl.

  • The8thPagan says:

    So now you’re enticing me to buy another miniatures rich game. You’re just evil CK!

  • CK Lai says:

    LOL! Well, you *did* ask….

    I’m just doing my civic duty here on EOG… 😛

  • The8thPagan says:

    Civic duty? Have we become a city? Is there local government? What is our immigration policy?

  • The8thPagan says:

    Multicultural gaming community? Sounds like a social disease.

  • The8thPagan says:

    Sorry. Delete as applicable. You are mayor of the city.

    • CK Lai says:

      @8th: quit procrastinating and get Descent 2E already 😀
      (Good thing about Descent is it’s been out for quite some time now so getting a used set in good condition should be pretty easy).

      And yes. Can move this discussion to the forums 🙂

  • Have you ever tried out the cooperative expansions Forgotten Souls and Nature’s Ire? If so, do you intend to write a rule summary for them, too? They are really helpful =)

  • Mike says:

    Thanks for the Plans – I’m not good enough yet to create my own so yours are very appreciated!

  • Errata 1.6 is out! (doc still shows 1.5 though the correct update date is there)

    Some fairly large rule changes in there.

  • Randy says:

    Awesome job on the foam core plans; was able to build everything using 3/16” foam core in Chicago. Also – the rules summary has some goofy text spacing when viewing in Bluebeam; no concerns viewing in Adobe.

  • Adam Maust says:

    Any thoughts or plans on updating the summary to go along with the Road to Legends app? Not sure if any changes are actually warranted (I do believe the app has it’s own rules you can download), but it could be useful.

  • Schlagolas says:

    Any plans to add the rules summary from the two new expansions: Mists of Bilehall and The Chains That Rust? They include some changes for the heroes and overlord that would nice to have handy.

  • Greg says:

    I am interested in building these plans and if all goes well, the Mansions of Madness plans too. Before I start, how long does something like this take to complete? I have decent skills working with foam core.


  • Daryl Rose says:

    Recently bought this game and before i had even played it once i was annoyed at the organisation of the box! I built a foam insert as per your plans and WOW, It’s amazing. Everyone is jealous of how good it fits and looks.
    Fist time building a foam insert, there were a few missing measurements but a quick browse through the comments and they were found. Took me 2.5 hours + drying time. Thanks so much for providing this material! Also just printed the rules summary as they look handy.


    • Excellent to hear, thanks!

      • Daryl Rose says:

        just thought i would share this with you & anyone that is interested. I purchased an extra dice pack and wanted to store it in the box with the main game. i found that a simple modification to the ‘middle’ layer made the new dice fit nicely! Just cut out the panel between the dice and flesh moulders, and shorten the slot for the flesh moulders by inserting a small panel (i think measurements were h 35mm x w 27.5mm. pic here to make it clearer ->

        thanks again for the original foamcore plans, it has made playing so much nicer!

  • Kasia says:

    hello. thank you for the great plans. everything is crystal clear. Just finished my first ever insert, and it was this one. I made some minor changes, as wanted to store the doors and these plastic door holders (hodors ???) together. When I put them on and off they damage the cardboard doors are made of. So I decided to have them permanently on – hence needed more space in the Figure box. I just simply rearranged the inner walls and moved the dice where ‘hodors’ were (in the middle of the token box). thanks again. great job!!!! 🙂

  • Kerry says:

    I just created the inserts for this game. Unfortunately I could not fit in all the map tiles but it still works for me. Thank you sir!

    • They do fit Kerry, I’ve made this myself. You just have to put them in the right configuration, so experiment a bit. There’s very little leeway in this insert as there’s so much stuff in the box.

  • Thomas Stanley says:

    Thanks for the plans. I made some minor adjustments to account for sleeved cards and I couldn’t be happier. You’re the Man!

  • Eric Ortiz says:

    Thanks for the hard work you put in this plans!
    Just built mine today and everything fits perfectly!

  • Albert Costa Vendrell says:

    Great designs!!! I’m about to make my own with your plans this week…
    Just one question, where do you keep the entrances and endings (I don’t know the name of that little map pieces in english)?

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