Doug Poskitt
Wales
Cwmavon
West Glamorgan
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Cross-posted: Castle Ravenloft, Wrath of Ashardalon, Legend of Drizzt and Castle Ravenloft.

Hello everyone,

I have been thinking about getting into this game system for a while now. At the moment I am on the fence. Let me say why.

Reviews here on BGG and on YouTube are very detailed and extensive, and show a range of opinions on the game. I am not foolish enough to think this series of games will be either embraced or shunned by all; reviews do, to whatever degree, reflect the reviewer's personal preferences and such.

From what I can discern, the game is fun for many, and the components are plentiful and of good quality (if some of the map tiles may be said to be uninspired though functional).

I am not fussed about the graphic images of the cards; I can see from YouTube that they are generally lacklustre, but functional.

My reservation is that the game is largely a fight-or-flight experience (please correct me if I am wrong here) and outside of combat, little else is on offer. It is certainly not going to offer me any appreciable role-playing experience.

What I am wondering is whether the system would lend itself to an owner being able to develop it further and add more features and eventually designing their own scenarios or even a campaign. For example, making up their own character cards rather than the ones that come with the game(s), and basically wanting to expand the system using their own cards and rules.

As it stands, it would seem to be a streamlined game system, but does it have the fundamental potential to build it up into something more feature rich and hence enable a richer game system/experience?

I am hoping that those with experience of playing the game - whether they have come to enjoy it or not - will be able to put forward their thoughts on whether the basics of the system used by the game would lend themselves to someone wanting to expand/develop it further.

 
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Nicholas Smith
New Zealand
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I've played Ashardalon a lot myself, though I haven't played the others so I can't speak for them. I find it to be a lot of fun as is.

However, you're absolutely right that the game offers nothing much more than a "fight-or-flight" experience as you say. You search through the dungeon until you find the villain and destroy it, or you search for an exit and escape.

I think there is potential for more but it would take quite a bit of work to add more than just exploration and combat to the mix. There are several variants in the files section that add options for levelling up beyond L2, which obviously provides a little more character development. Having said that, I'm guessing you're looking for more variety of game play and story, such as interacting with NPCs, rescuing prisoners, searching for special items etc, not just beefing up your character to do more fighting. There's a couple scenarios in the Ashardalon adventure book that get you to find an item or rescue villagers, and you could perhaps use those as a template to create more of your own scenarios along similar lines.

The tricky part is having NPCs appear in sensible places and behave sensibly without having a GM. The game as-is is fully coop as you know, and adding other experiences without a GM to control them intelligently would require quite a bit of effort I think. It's easy enough to program monsters; they just need to move and attack you, but programming a friendly mage to join you in your quest (for example), sometimes blasting monsters, sometimes exploring, sometimes healing your characters etc. would be quite a bit more complicated.
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Bucho Bucho
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dougposkitt wrote:

What I am wondering is whether the system would lend itself to an owner being able to develop it further and add more features and eventually designing their own scenarios or even a campaign. For example, making up their own character cards rather than the ones that come with the game(s), and basically wanting to expand the system using their own cards and rules.


Yeah, there are people who've designed monsters/characters/campaigns around here. I've also heard of people using tiles to create maps in their D&D adventures.
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Matthew Kline
United States
Pennsylvania
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