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Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Board Game» Forums » General

Subject: So...Castle Ravenloft is THE ONE!!! rss

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Scott Alden
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I agree - could fit a nice niche.
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Don Kim
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It feels like it could be the Heroquest of this generation. I wouldn't put Descent in that category based on its complexity, which isn't a bad thing just different. I'm excited to play this with my nephew and friends.

The theme, the bits, the play time and the ability to solo all very much appeal to me.

Does anyone know what the races/classes are? From what I recall I think there's a fighter, wizard, ranger and cleric, am I missing the rogue?
Interesting they have the ranger because I'm pretty sure it doesn't exist in any of the 4E player guides including 1, 2, 3, Eberron and Forgotten Realms. The primal seeker seems to be the closest thing. Nevermind, I suck at looking at the table of contents. I guess I've never been in a game where someone played one.
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J Chav
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One game to rule them all... one game to bind them.
 
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kronlin
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I completely agree with your analysis.

And I might add that FFG has met their match. They have made a business of combining outstanding production quality with pretty mediocre game play (how melee/ranged/magic is handled in Descent/Runebound/Dungeonquest comes directly to mind).

Other companies have produced games with better mechanics than FFG, but few have the deep pockets to match FFG's fantastic art and components. WOTC does have such resources, and now they've gone into the board game market with this gem, which from the reports plays really, really well, FFG better watch out.
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Scott Forster
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Mr_Kim wrote:
Interesting they have the ranger because I'm pretty sure it doesn't exist in any of the 4E player guides including 1, 2, 3, Eberron and Forgotten Realms. The primal seeker seems to be the closest thing.


Rangers are in Player's Handbook 1, are supported in Martial Power 1 & 2 and will be supported in the Essentials line in Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms.
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Tristan Hall
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jvdv wrote:
Dungeon Twister
Dungeoneer
Tomb
Cutthroat Caverns


I'd have to say personally that not one of those games holds any interest for me at all, yet I love dungeon crawls.

I definitely feel that Castle Ravenloft is ticking a bunch of boxes that a lot of us have been waiting for, as outlined so succinctly by the OP.
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Andres Rueff
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@ vince p im sorry but castle ravenloft has a really really terrible artwork. character sheets, cards and map tiles look like they are drawn at a monday afternoon where everyone was already on the move to home. im really interested in the game and hope we can see the rules next week, but artwork-wise CR is not even near the production qualitiy of a FFG title.
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Jim Patching
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Rixxar wrote:
@ vince p im sorry but castle ravenloft has a really really terrible artwork. character sheets, cards and map tiles look like they are drawn at a monday afternoon where everyone was already on the move to home. im really interested in the game and hope we can see the rules next week, but artwork-wise CR is not even near the production qualitiy of a FFG title.


I don't think the artwork looks terrible for Ravenloft but it's definitely a step below FFG. I'm looking forward to the game and I reckon it's going to be a good 'un but the fairly lack lustre visuals are stopping me getting really exciting about it (yes, I'm shallow).
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Nite Wolf
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Artwork is indeed a letdown. Very bland and somewhat boring-looking. My old HeroQuest board looks better imo. Also stressing that is has leveling seems a bit overrated as it is only once. Having said all that it still looks like a promising game though.
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Alex
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D6Frog wrote:

-leveling (you can level you character up one time)

This really bothers me, as I think it is the worst way of handling experience in a fantasy game. I know it is done this way in every RPG or hack and slay video game out there, but improving your character's abilities in the middle of your stay inside a dungeon IMHO breaks the immersion into the theme.

The "old" D&D fantasy board game got a lot of complaints because of the way levelling up was handled. After a seemingly arbitrary number of scenarios all the heroes advanced to the next level and it was not at all depending on the amount of monsters they defeated individually or the number of traps disarmed etc. But it seems much more appropriate to follow a bunch of adventurers through several dungeons and see them become true heroes over the course of time. Instead of magically going from zero to hero during a one hour tour through some cavern.

Of course this is just a matter of personal taste, but for me it just feels wrong and I would have preferred some kind of campaign system with levelling between dungeons.

In the session report from GenCon I also read that one of the heroes did not level up during the game, but all others did. I imagine that player (being the one and only who didn't contribute as much as the others and who didn't experience an increase in his character's powers) felt pretty bad at the end of and after the game...
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Don Kim
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Nitewolf wrote:
Artwork is indeed a letdown. Very bland and somewhat boring-looking. My old HeroQuest board looks better imo. Also stressing that is has leveling seems a bit errated as it is only once. Having said all that it still looks like a promising game though.


It does seem the cards and pieces are minimalist but as long as the game play is good I don't care so much.

He did say you level just once, which is all you can really fit in a game that can last less than an hour.

I also like the fact that if one character dies it's over. That's dramatically different than most games, especially Descent where death is more of a slight inconvenience or other games where it means player elimination. I imagine it also encourages players to be more concerned and generous with each other.
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Gronlokk wrote:
D6Frog wrote:

-leveling (you can level you character up one time)


In the session report from GenCon I also read that one of the heroes did not level up during the game, but all others did. I imagine that player (being the one and only who didn't contribute as much as the others and who didn't experience an increase in his character's powers) felt pretty bad at the end of and after the game...


I believe you pool your xp as a group and then when you roll a 20 you decide as a group if that person should level up. Can't remember where I read / heard this, and I may have got the wrong end of the stick, but I believe xp is a shared resource. Nice idea if true - you learn as a team, win as a team, die as a team...
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kronlin
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RedMonkeyBoy wrote:
Gronlokk wrote:
D6Frog wrote:

-leveling (you can level you character up one time)


In the session report from GenCon I also read that one of the heroes did not level up during the game, but all others did. I imagine that player (being the one and only who didn't contribute as much as the others and who didn't experience an increase in his character's powers) felt pretty bad at the end of and after the game...


I believe you pool your xp as a group and then when you roll a 20 you decide as a group if that person should level up. Can't remember where I read / heard this, and I may have got the wrong end of the stick, but I believe xp is a shared resource. Nice idea if true - you learn as a team, win as a team, die as a team...


There have been less details about the leveling system than anything else from the Gencon reports. For one thing, they've only played the first scenario, so we have no idea how leveling works between scenarios. I'm holding off judgment until we learn more. (But for the record, I'm hoping for more than TWO levels.)
 
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Tor Sverre Lund
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There's only two levels, and as already mentioned you gain XP together as a group, and can choose to level a character if he rolls a 20 and there's 5+ XP in the pool. You can also use XP for other things, like cancelling certain events.
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T C
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There may only be 2 levels now (remember it's a 1 hour game, so getting everyone to level more than once in that time with this set isn't likely), but I can imagine future sets adding levels and/or a campaign system which would link scenarios more so than the original game appears to.
 
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jvdv wrote:
Dungeon Twister
Dungeoneer
Tomb
Cutthroat Caverns

Of course, we could easily get into a discussion of what makes a dungeon crawl game if the list is expanded with other titles, but it's a start.

And maybe slightly less than a ton, but still quite a few.


In all fairness Dungeon Twister is a varient of chess more than a dungeon crawl. that's not a bad thing though as it is one of my favorite games to play and one that provides a lot of thought provoking game play.

The genre definetly needs something less than descent, which is just a massivley intimidating game to new players and it does require a substantial cash investment. Hopefully they support this game well and keep the price in line with a more casual group.


Rixxar wrote:
@ vince p im sorry but castle ravenloft has a really really terrible artwork. character sheets, cards and map tiles look like they are drawn at a monday afternoon where everyone was already on the move to home. im really interested in the game and hope we can see the rules next week, but artwork-wise CR is not even near the production qualitiy of a FFG title.


The whole visual appeal gripe is getting tired. People complain when FFG puts out a game with stellar art but with a pricetag that makes it seem over the top. Now we have WoTC putting out a solid mechanics game with some below picasso artwork and priced at a value and people are pissing and moaning.

A game stands or falls on its mechanics plain and simple. Hell, most of the top rated games here on BGG aren't all the visually impressive but they have mechanics that work.
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Kevin Outlaw
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kronlin wrote:
RedMonkeyBoy wrote:
Gronlokk wrote:
D6Frog wrote:

-leveling (you can level you character up one time)


In the session report from GenCon I also read that one of the heroes did not level up during the game, but all others did. I imagine that player (being the one and only who didn't contribute as much as the others and who didn't experience an increase in his character's powers) felt pretty bad at the end of and after the game...


I believe you pool your xp as a group and then when you roll a 20 you decide as a group if that person should level up. Can't remember where I read / heard this, and I may have got the wrong end of the stick, but I believe xp is a shared resource. Nice idea if true - you learn as a team, win as a team, die as a team...


There have been less details about the leveling system than anything else from the Gencon reports. For one thing, they've only played the first scenario, so we have no idea how leveling works between scenarios. I'm holding off judgment until we learn more. (But for the record, I'm hoping for more than TWO levels.)


As Gawain says - there are only 2 levels per person, and no campaign system, so no levelling between scenarios. The ability to use xp to avoid traps (or whatever) rather than level up is a nice touch. Gives a real sense of a team working together and using their combined knowledge to outwit the dungeon.

Also - on a different note - I have no problem with stats etc going up DURING a mission. This seems to be a good way to reflect the team gaining knowledge in a slightly abstract way. As an example... If you kill a zombie by knocking its head off, you know that any future zombies you meet will likely die the same way, this new knowledge could be represented by your character going up to level 2 and gaining a fight bonus. Fine by me.

More interested in this game than I was before. Minis look really nice, and will suitably distract from the lack of artwork on the tiles, methinks.
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Nite Wolf
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Mr_Kim wrote:
It does seem the cards and pieces are minimalist but as long as the game play is good I don't care so much.

He did say you level just once, which is all you can really fit in a game that can last less than an hour.

I also like the fact that if one character dies it's over. That's dramatically different than most games, especially Descent where death is more of a slight inconvenience or other games where it means player elimination. I imagine it also encourages players to be more concerned and generous with each other.


Well the blandness is no deal breaker for me, however I think it seperates the solid from the excellent games for example. Especially given what an atmospheric setting it originally has it is a disappointment.
About the leveling, sure it's difficult to put more than once in a rather short game, I just think (especially in combination with possible campaign ideas) that "flip the card and use the new stats" is not really what I'd consider proper character developement, even in a short setting.

Will that alone stop me from getting it? If the gameplay is as good as it seems so far, of course not. However it is something that might swing it one way or another, depending on what price they'll want for it in the shops.
 
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I'm totally sold on this game from what we've seen so far.

To me, it looks like the closest thing to a "Diablo"-style board game, with the emphasis on combat and exploration of randomized dungeons, without the need for someone to play the DM (or GM, or Overlord, or whatever). This and the solo element make it a must-buy for me.

Minor gripes so far: I also was a little disappointed to see no artwork on most of the cards. I'm looking at something like "Ring of Regeneration" and wondering how difficult it would've been to get a picture of a ring, for instance... but the minis look great and being an old-school gamer who used to play pen-and-paper D&D, I'm OK with using a little imagination.
It's the gameplay that matters, of course, and that element is looking pretty solid IMHO.

Still seems kind of ridiculous that they wouldn't post the rules... but yes, I'll buy it anyway, as soon as possible! We're lucky to have all the info we do, I guess...


 
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Sean Boyll
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Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Board Game is to Descent: Journeys in the Dark
as
Claustrophobia is to Space Hulk (third edition)

And that is why I want Castle Ravenloft. Shorter time and the ability to play solo while still scratching the same itch as descent.
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Have to agree about the artwork and design. The strange thing is that, being D and D and all, you have to assume they have access to a huge amount of artwork they could have used at no cost. Some of the cards look almost like prototypes that never had the final art and design added. How hard would it have been to spruce up the tiles too? Add some random junk, some sheet-covered furniture, etc.? Strange more than disappointing.

Oh well, it's still a no-brainer purchase
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The Hound wrote:
Have to agree about the artwork and design. The strange thing is that, being D and D and all, you have to assume they have access to a huge amount of artwork they could have used at no cost. Some of the cards look almost like prototypes that never had the final art and design added. How hard would it have been to spruce up the tiles too? Add some random junk, some sheet-covered furniture, etc.? Strange more than disappointing.

Oh well, it's still a no-brainer purchase


From what I have seen with the art...

Yes, the tiles are bland, but I have been thinking about this and I think there are a few reasons why they have done this. 1) I guess they want this set to be compatible with Ashardalon, and 2) They were trying to simplify the tiles for the sake of the monster AI. If the rooms had lots of terrain, it would be difficult when a monster card says "move towards the closest hero" because the closest hero might be hiding behind a row of barrels and therefore not accessible. Big open spaces mean there are no "grey areas" when playing. And of course, you need a big old empty space for that Dracolich! This is just a guess, and I am still disappointed with the tiles, but there it is... (by the way, did anybody at GenCon figure out what the leafy/coiny/bony piles on each tile are?)

Monster cards seem very well designed to me: A drawing of the monster that looks exactly like the mini (easy identification, unlike in a game like Touch of Evil), and then easily readable text to follow. This is fine by me.

I am assuming from what people have said that there are lots of cards that are purely text... If they are straight forward and clear, with no ambiguities, then I would rather they were just text. Don't get me wrong, I love a good piece of artwork on a card, but not for the sake of squeezing text into an unreadable font. Anyway, other games with incredibly high production have done the same (Arkham Horror springs to mind as a game with lots of cards that are just text).
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Mike Forrey
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I'm not sure if they have it planned for later but if you think the tiles are bland just add some heroquest style furniture to the tiles or grab some terrain tiles from descent and add them in. It wouldn't be that hard to house rule in some terrain or furniture if you wanted it.

They probably could have added more colorful art to it but those plastic miniatures would have been a no go. I myself would rather have some basic art and get the miniatures. You can always doctor up your tiles yourself but producing your own plastic miniatures would be a bit tougher. Keeping the game in a specific price range seems to be what they designed around.
 
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Descent forever!
I will never betray my love for a shorter, less complicated woman err I meant game
 
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Don Kim
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lik11 wrote:
Descent forever!
I will never betray my love for a shorter, less complicated woman err I meant game


So you're looking but not touching?
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