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Gunky Gamer
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I purchased Castle Ravenloft as soon as it came out and I could not have been more excited for this game. I played tons of D&D back in the 80s, a bit in the early 90s and have long wanted to get back to it. I don't have a group that is particularly interested in RPGs though and I really hoped that Ravenloft would fill the void for me.

But, it has not. I tried and tried, but the game just falls flat for me. I put it on the shelf several months back ago and have not looked back. That is, until today when I decided to grit my teeth and dive back in.

I know what my problem is with Ravenloft--the game is simply too one dimensional. Other than a smattering of scenario text, there is no story-telling to Ravenloft and that is a big part of what I miss from my D&D days. It's all attack and run for the goal with no breathing room for plot and imagination.

So, with that in mind, can anyone steer me toward variants or other resources that expand those elements of the game? I've been working my way through the forum material, but this community is seriously prolific! I can't believe how much conversation and development has happened in the few months that I have been away. There are not enough hours in the day to get through it all AND have time to play.

Thanks for any leads.
 
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William Collins
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willco wrote:


Going in the right direction for sure. I have the new red box (heck, the old red box is tucked away in my parents' attic!).

Has anyone considered blending the two--Ravenloft and red box? Then we would really be talking!
 
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esirof wrote:
willco wrote:


Going in the right direction for sure. I have the new red box (heck, the old red box is tucked away in my parents' attic!).

Has anyone considered blending the two--Ravenloft and red box? Then we would really be talking!


Keep it up and people will tell you to simply play D&D.

-Ski
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willco wrote:



Oooh, clever that was.

This is an excellent 3 part adventure by superflypete that really stretches the game.
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/63108/castle-ravenloft...
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Teamski wrote:
esirof wrote:
willco wrote:


Going in the right direction for sure. I have the new red box (heck, the old red box is tucked away in my parents' attic!).

Has anyone considered blending the two--Ravenloft and red box? Then we would really be talking!


Keep it up and people will tell you to simply play D&D.

-Ski


If only it were so simple I'd be on it in a heartbeat.
 
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Petdoc wrote:
willco wrote:



Oooh, clever that was.

This is an excellent 3 part adventure by superflypete that really stretches the game.
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/63108/castle-ravenloft...


Oooh, that looks cool. He had me at the "narrative." Thanks!
 
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William Collins
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esirof wrote:
willco wrote:


Going in the right direction for sure. I have the new red box (heck, the old red box is tucked away in my parents' attic!).

Has anyone considered blending the two--Ravenloft and red box? Then we would really be talking!


I haven't, but I've been getting good mileage out of the game as it is so far. I don't see why you couldn't add in those elements from the red box that you like to make it meatier.

Regarding a more RPG-ish experience, i don't know...something tells me that you sort of need a DM for that.

Then again, maybe it depends on what you mean by storytelling elements...


For those who think that the red box is too complex, take a good look at The Gamma World box set...its fantastic.
 
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Neil Edmonds
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Check out Ninjadorg's campaign cards in the files section. Coming soon - Room cards for Castle Ravenloft that make it more like Warhammer Quest.
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Tristan Hall
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esirof wrote:
Other than a smattering of scenario text, there is no story-telling to Ravenloft and that is a big part of what I miss from my D&D days. It's all attack and run for the goal with no breathing room for plot and imagination.

So, with that in mind, can anyone steer me toward variants or other resources that expand those elements of the game?


You might actually prefer Wrath of Ashardalon, which introduces basic campaign play, and gold to purchase items between quests to beef up your hero/es. Although it's implied that you can play Castle Ravenloft adventures one after the other it's not spelt out for you. Following that I developed a campaign themed events deck that you draw from between adventures to link the quests together, which you can find here:

http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/64535/ninjadorgs-dd-advent...

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Neil Edmonds
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And here you'll find the room card variant that's under development.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/628138/dungeon-room-tabl...
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ninjadorg wrote:
You might actually prefer Wrath of Ashardalon, which introduces basic campaign play, and gold to purchase items between quests to beef up your hero/es. Although it's implied that you can play Castle Ravenloft adventures one after the other it's not spelt out for you. Following that I developed a campaign themed events deck that you draw from between adventures to link the quests together, which you can find here:

http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/64535/ninjadorgs-dd-advent...



Hmm, I'm not sure that I want to invest more money into another box for this system just yet. On the other hand, your deck looks very interesting--I can't imagine how much time and effort this must have taken!

I like the idea of linking multiple quests together into an ongoing campaign, although the base rules of Ravenloft seems pretty limited in terms of long-term character development.

I would still like to have more story development within each adventure. As Willco stated, maybe that is just not possible without a DM.

It might also be a limitation of the group I've been playing with. They are not really RPG-ers and story/narrative does not come naturally to some of them. As a result, our playing of Ravenloft is perhaps more mechanical and less fantastical!
 
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Autoduelist wrote:
And here you'll find the room card variant that's under development.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/628138/dungeon-room-tabl...


Thanks, I will have to watch that thread. Maybe I can even contribute something once I think about it some more.
 
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Uwe Heilmann
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Hi from Germany,

here is an impression of my way of playing the CASTLE RAVENLOFT / WRATH OF ASHARDALON games.


The adventure: „To the Rescue“ (based on the original Adventure 5: The Final Transformation).

The brave adventurers:
- Enesha, the White Lady (level 1); treasure: Tome of Experience
- Darowin, a half-elf warlord (level 1); treasure: Lucky Charm
- Arjhan, a dragonborn fighter (level 1); treasure: Throwing Shield

The mission:
- Meet Kavan;
- Escort him to a mysterious location within the dungeon to remove the curse
of transformation that was cast on him.
- Survive.

Whenever referring to the game system, the text is enclosed in brackets.

The adventure begins.
It was a cold and chilly morning as the rescue team met outside the evil castle of Ravenloft.
The towering figure of Darowin threw a long shadow towards the entrance of the dungeon. „Greetings to both of you. You came as was planned during our last meeting.“ Arjhan, his reptile face showing no emotion as usual, simply nodded and he raised his oddly shaped shield. „My latest claim. This shield not only protects but also will bring terror and death to the foul creatures of Strahd’s realm.“ He looked at the girl, dressed in white. „Good to hear this, my friend. I think there will be many occasions to demonstrate your skills in killing enemies.“ Enesha apparently carried no weapons, but her two companions knew quite well that she was a powerful magician of the White Guild.
„Kavan is one of the village elders but had to leave Barovia when he discovered that he was cursed by one of Strahd’s minions.“ „Cursed?“ Enesha asked. „Yeah. He will turn into a zombie.“ „Inevitably?“ This time the reptile warrior interrupted. „Seemingly. But I contacted a wise man, old chap he was, but still very clever, and he told me that Kavan could still be saved. We have to take him deep into the dungeon to a secret place where the curse can be removed.“
„That sounds interesting. It would also aggravate Strahd. At least a little bit.“ Enesha’s eyes were full of light. „Let’s go! Pick up this Kavan and strike terror into the hearts of the monsters.“ Arjhan roared.
The small party moved and entered the dungeon of Castle Ravenloft.

(Why always have the victim of this adventure turn into a vampire? Why always take him to the Dark Fountain?)

(Turn sequence: Darowin – Arjhan – Enesha)

„There he is! At the bottom of the stairs.“ Darowin shook hands with the doomed man and escorted him along the entrance hall towards one of the dark exits. Torches attached to the dungeon walls provided enough light to advance safely through the underground corridors and rooms. „This is truely a big hall! No enemy in sight.“
Arjhan also moved forward then turned to the right. „This place seems to have a name. Ireena Kol... , wait a minute! There is our first friend.“ Suddenly a muffled singing filled the place. “A song of the mad and crazy cult of the warshippers of everlasting torment”, Enesha thought. “This idiot will go down very soon, but there is something I have to do first.”

(A human cultist appeared and tried to call for help. The Encounter card drawn (Duergar Outpost provided a chance to summon devils … but it) did not work. There was no guard present to welcome any intruder.)

Recognizing that there would be no support from hell, the cultist ran towards Arjhan and attacked with his poisoned dagger. With a shout of “Kill, Kill” the cultist stabbed at the fighter … and missed.

(Arjhan’s AC is 17+2; cultist rolled 12+6.)

Enesha, still standing on the stairs, took the Tome of Experience and tore it apart. She suddenly was engulfed in a fireball of white light. Her two companions and Kavan looked back in awe, expecting the worst, but there she was again, more beautiful than ever. “That’s something!” Darowin said.

(Enesha simply made use of the Tome of Experience and increased to level 2.)

The young magician raced towards the cultist and unleashed the Cold Strike spell. The cultist simply dissolved into a heap of ash.

(1 XP for Enesha.)

Suddenly the floor turned into slippery ice. Taken by surprise the girl fell to the ground. “Ouch! That hurts.” And she skidded back into the entrance hall.

(Icy Corridor event. Enesha suffered 2 hit points.)

The team leader asked: “You are well?” Enesha nodded. Darowin turned around facing the unknown darkness ahead of him. “Let’s continue.”


So much for the first turn. Who says CASTE RAVENLOFT/WRATH OF ASHARDALON result in dull game playing?


Cheers
U.L.H.

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Chris McDonald
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For me, much of the enjoyment of the game comes from dramatizing events, rather than just reading the game text and rolling dice.

One example: When the environment card "X Shadows" comes out (I forget the exact name), I don't just say, "oh great, now you take 1 damage if you end your turn on the same tile as another hero." I say something like "the flickering shadows on the castle walls start whispering into your ear: everyone will betray you, they say, your allies are secretly in league against you," and then I describe the game effect.
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I like the way you do it Chris.

It's hard for a game designer to squeeze all that text on to a playing card. I've played board games with people who will read the flavor text ONCE then forever more they'll skip it and go straight to the game effect. Good flavor text can enhance a board game with engaging mechanics. Bad flavor text will damage it and no amount of flavoring will save a dull game.

I think the problem with Ravenloft and Wrath is that most of the adventures don't have any interesting hooks. I have to find a missing backpack? Why am I raiding Ravenloft to find an arbitrary number of treasures? It's a complicated problem because no matter what the setup is the game always plays the same. They could just as easily say, "Choose a random villain and place them on the eighth tile" and have no adventure setup at all.

Once the room decks are done I'm toying with the idea of doing write-ups for the in box scenarios. I wanted to tie them together with some kind of overall theme and have "winning" and "losing" endings that relate back to the campaign. For example, maybe the hero that dies in the solo scenario isn't available for use in the rest of the campaign. If you have both games there'd still be 9 other heroes to choose from. Or if you fail to retrieve X number of items from the Ravenloft, campaign items in town get more expensive to buy. I don't know if this will fix the problem but it should add some weight to winning or losing the adventures.
 
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tuner 13 wrote:
Hi from Germany,

here is an impression of my way of playing the CASTLE RAVENLOFT / WRATH OF ASHARDALON games...

So much for the first turn. Who says CASTE RAVENLOFT/WRATH OF ASHARDALON result in dull game playing?




YES!
 
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cfmcdonald wrote:
For me, much of the enjoyment of the game comes from dramatizing events, rather than just reading the game text and rolling dice.



That's exactly what I am looking for. It is just not built into the game so it has to come from you. I think with the right group--a group willing to get into the D&D spirit--Ravenloft will provide a solid foundation for building an experience. If the group is only playing the mechanics of the game, however, it is much more of a challenge. In that scenario, it would be great to have a story book, like the one with Tales of the Arabian Nights. Maybe I'll work on that.

In the meantime, I just need to find some new friends whistle

 
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I have a couple of people getting together tonight, so I am going to put Ravenloft on the table. My plan is to assume a bit of a DM role, albeit as a player, to try and show these guys how we can inject some flavor into the game. I'll report back on how it goes.

I've had the Red Box on my desk all day to inspire me.
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William Collins
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esirof wrote:
I have a couple of people getting together tonight, so I am going to put Ravenloft on the table. My plan is to assume a bit of a DM role, albeit as a player, to try and show these guys how we can inject some flavor into the game. I'll report back on how it goes.

I've had the Red Box on my desk all day to inspire me.


Awesome! I can't wait to hear how it goes...


Best of luck!


w.
 
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Hi Uwe! Finde ich super! Weiter so, werde ich gleich diese Woche ausprobieren. Natürlich mit Quellenangabe
 
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