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

Subject: Castle Ravenloft Reversion - Part Boardgame, Part 4th edition D&D rss

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Doctor Bellows
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I've just uploaded a file to this page that contains my Castle Ravenloft Reversion (CRR). I call it a 'reversion' because I reverted all of the elements of the game into 4th edition D&D rules. However, I also kept the board-game aspect and adjusted the mechanics. Anyone should be able to roll up any character they want and bring it into CRR. Combat is run exactly per 4th edition rules. Otherwise I've created many game mechanics to run the Village of Barovia and other aspects of the game. A party of characters should be able to start at level one and run through the entire campaign and end up at level 5 or 6 (although I haven't tested it that far yet.)

Anyway I encourage anyone interested in this project to take a look at it and let me know what they think. Otherwise this has been something that I've played with my wife and friends, but I wanted to share it with a wider audience. I also figured that a wider audience would help with play testing.

Personally I think this how this board game should have been in the first place. Further, there's no reason that these game mechanics couldn't be transferred to Wrath of Ashardalon and the upcoming Legend of Drizzt. Secretly I wish that WoTC would just publish something like this. I'd love to go to the store and buy a box that has an entirely self-contained campaign that can be run with 4th edition rules but doesn't require a dungeon master and plays out like a board game.

You can reach me personally at castleravenloftreversion@gmail.com.

Thanks for trying it out!

Chris
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Alan Stewart
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Instead of saying you've done something and the rest of us having to go hunting for it (and not finding it), can you just post a link so that it's much easier to check out. This does sound almost exactly like what I was really wanting Castle Ravenloft to be!
 
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Doctor Bellows
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I just realized that BGG has a very long waiting period before they post files that are uploaded. (This is the first time I've done this).

If anyone wants a copy of my document now, I'll email it to you. Send your requests to castleravenloftreversion@gmail.com.

Otherwise, you can wait until the file is checked by the admins here. Sorry! I guess I jumped the gun by posting this right after uploading the file.


 
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Frank The Tank
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megaupload.com is your friend> that is what I use for all my hero packs.
 
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Alan Stewart
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Yay mods. I suppose I *get* why they have to vet each and every file upload, to make sure that there's no copyright violations, but this sure makes things take *forever* when waiting for the files to become available.
 
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Volker Hirscher
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Sounds promising - please post the link here once the file is available...
 
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Dexblair .
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sound great. can't wait to read it.
 
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Dave C
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Another waiting for the link
 
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Ardak Zeindrik
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This is great! I can wait to see your work! Please send the link ASAP
 
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Doctor Bellows
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If you're waiting for a link, don't. I don't have a permanent online place for it, and BGG hasn't posted it yet.

However, if you email me (castleravenloftreversion@gmail.com), I'll email the .zip file back to you. I opened that email account just for this purpose, so don't hesitate to send your requests.

Anyway, I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear above. Hopefully BGG will get the file posted soon. Of course, I've already revised it so that will take another 2-3 weeks to get the revision up. ;-)

Chris

 
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Volker Hirscher
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I think we are all waiting for a link to the files here on the geek, once they are published by BGG.
 
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Doctor Bellows
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Version 1.0 has been posted, so if you haven't downloaded it go get it!

I've also just uploaded version 1.1, so hopefully that will be posted soon. Further, I have a lot of revisions and rules changes for version 1.2 and will be working on that this week.

Among other things I am adding/fixing: Monster Stat Cards, Revised Tactics, Better Village Map and "The Delve"

Feel free to email me at castleravenloftreversion@gmail.com for the latest files or to give me feedback. Thanks for trying it out!

 
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Doctor Bellows
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Version 1.1 is posted. (Thanks BGG, that was fast!)

Also, a few people have asked, so I'm going to answer here: You need to own the 4th edition D&D rules to play this. The Player's Handbook is what I have, or I think the Rules Compendium would work (I don't own it).

Anyway, I figure WoTC would be very upset if I reprinted their rules in my document. :-)
 
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Doctor Bellows
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Okay, Version 1.2 is done. I've tried to upload it and it won't go right now. I'll try again later. Even so, I'll be glad to respond to emails to deliver the file.

I'm done revising this for a while. I'm very satisfied with the way its turned out and now I want to spend more time playing it than revising it!

Thanks to everyone who offered support and suggestions. :-) As always, send me an email with comments and ideas.

castleravenloftreversion@gmail.com

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Doctor Bellows
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Here's a photo of some of the materials I've made. All of it is easy to do with a color printer and cardstock.
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Tristan Hall
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Looks really nice, Chris, good skills - almost wish I had 4th ed D&D.
 
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Doctor Bellows
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Here's the link to the file on BGG:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/69095/castle-ravenloft...
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Ted B
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A lot of folks have been using ArtsCow for their custom cardsets--think you might ever go that route?

I've read and re-read your materials. Itchin' to try this out! Keep up the great work, Doc Bellows!
 
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Doctor Bellows
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ArtsCow looks like a good idea. Maybe when I stop editing the cards and tweaking them I may finalize them with something from them. Otherwise I am not entirely satisfied with the system and I'm still play-testing it with as many people as I can. Even so, my tweaks are minor and I feel like I'm close to being satisfied.

Then, of course, I will want to do the whole thing again with Wrath of Ashardalon. I'm thinking of doing that one for character levels 6-10...
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DOUGLAS BRUNDIN
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Have any of you tried this system? Any feedback/reviews/impressions? It seems like just what I want CR to be ...but it isn't.
 
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Ted B
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Castle Ravenloft Reversion - My first playthrough
I _finally_ got around to playing chrisperry's Castle Ravenloft Reversion (v 1.3)--and I don't hesitate to say that it's a huge improvement over the stock Ravenloft rules. I played two-player with a friend, and both of us were much more familiar with older D&D editions, so we learned a lot about 4E as we muddled along. Even though it was a somewhat bumpy play experience (as we needed to do a lot of rules referencing: ie how much EXP for killing a minion?) it was still much more enjoyable, substantial, and engaging than the stock CR experience.

First off, I printed the components on a budget by using stuff I had immediately available to me: regular printer paper, my inkjet printer, and card sleeves I'd used for Magic: The Gathering. With the exception of the green town and roleplaying cards (which are smaller than the others)the cards fit nicely into sleeves. I decided to insert old Magic cards behind the printed slips in the sleeves in order to make them a little more rigid and easy to shuffle. As for the booklets, I printed them out and binder-clipped them together. In the future, I think I'd like to put them into plastic sleeves in binders, in order to preserve them.

After a brief turn-and-a-half in town, my Warlock and my friend's Paladin (an admittedly unlikely pair, we likened them to characters in a 'buddy cop' movie) set out to complete story quest 1. We liked the flavor of the town event cards, but didn't quite understand the 'food' mechanic of the mod--the penalty of not eating (being unable to use powers) seems so steep as to be prohibitive that it seems everyone MUST eat breakfast before doing anything else. Maybe we don't quite understand the rules fully yet, but all our projected days seemed to include a mandatory breakfast.

In the castle of the first story quest, we quickly encountered Splotch, the Zombie Dragon in the Rotting Nook. Splotch was a huge, 96HP behemoth in the eyes of our fledgling characters. Several turns and healing surges later, we defeated the dragon, but failed to pick the lock of the chest he guarded (#&*^@%$!!). We fought several minions and lesser monsters before fighting a Blazing Skeleton and a Wraith Minion who were guarding the specific treasure we sought to complete the quest--the Icon of Ravenloft. We also encountered a treasure vault along the way, and my Warlock drew an ace to find a ROD OF DARK REWARD +1!! I flew out of my seat as I read the item description (+1 to attack and damage rolls, +1d6 damage to crits, and a +1 bonus to AC whenever my warlock cursed and enemy). It was the greatest WOOT moment I'd had in ages.

All in all, the first quest took us about 2.5 hours to complete, and there were several rule checks along the way. Sparing y'all a tedious (thorough?) play-by-play, here are my impressions of CR:Reversion after this first play experience, and a "weight" value from 1-5 indicating how big a factor they were in this session:

PROS:
Generating a 4E character from scratch and bringing him into the game. This was _great_. I felt so much more interested in and attached to the warlock I created than any of the stock characters. +5

The flavor of several of the "atmosphere" cards in CR:Reversion. Stray dogs following you through town, strange noises in the castle, all breath so much life into the game. +5

The contrast of minion, normal, and boss enemies in the castle. Great variety, and the minions did a lot to bolster my character's worth in my eyes. +5

NOT having to draw a monster on every new tile (white arrow tiles yield no new monsters, only black arrow tiles do.) Again, nice variety, and made me more interested in exploring the castle, whereas in the stock version every new tile yielded a punishing new monster which immediately attacked. +4

Kinder, more interesting event cards. The stock events were often so brutally harsh. CR:Reversion tones them down to what feels like a much more appropriate level. +4

Getting sweet loot, and playing the 'loot the vault' minigame with a deck of playing cards: awesome. +4

CONS:
Having to leave the castle to get back to town. My friend and I completed the first quest with about 6 healing surges left apiece, and going through the motions of checking event cards as we made our way back to the stairs seemed a little extraneous and cumbersome. Maybe we would just have skipped this in the future. The traps and wandering monsters whittled away at our HP, but we just had so much left to spare.
-2

My friend thought that losing HP to traps in the vault was a little too punishing. I didn't have a problem with it, but thought the vault damage/ejection mechanics didn't quite fit flavor-wise (no chance to disarm/evade the traps?). Maybe skill checks in order to advance would fit better? For example, roll against your choice: dungeoneering, perception, etc. Too many failed rolls and you lose all loot and are ejected from the vault.
-1, minor concern.

The food mechanic. Town is interesting, but maybe have more significance to the times of day. Why not just eat breakfast every morning? Maybe I just don't fully understand this aspect of the game completely yet.
-2

I'll add to this/edit it as other things occur to me. Again, our experience might have been different had we been more familiar with 4E rules, or the rules in general, but we felt like we were pretty close to the intended game. Bottom line: Give this a shot. It's a huge improvement over Castle Ravenloft (which, I understand is supposed to be a light game, but the extra substance introduced in the Reversion will appeal to most everyone who tries it.)

Mad props to you, chrisperry! Please keep creating and sharing!
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Doctor Bellows
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Ted, I am flattered and pleased with your praise for my 'reversion'. Since posting it here last summer I have play tested it quite a bit and made several revisions that I never took the time to add and repost. This is my busy time of year with work, so I don't know if I'll make an official new version with the edits and changes. But let me address some of them here:

1) The most important change is a tweak to the initiative system. The way I had done it can cause a player to miss several turns in a row if initiative keeps being rerolled before they even get a turn. This is especially obvious when you have 3 or more players. Players should now only roll initiative in these places:
- At the beginning of the game in the village
- When they enter the castle
- When they take a Short Rest.* (This is the new rule)
Otherwise, initiative order should be maintained and kept. Further, a player who is unhappy with their initiative may deliberately take a Short Rest to re-roll.
When a monster card is drawn, the monster rolls initiative and is inserted in the order accordingly. If the monster rolls an initiative that is higher than the current initiative, then they take their immediately before initiative is resumed.
This has been play tested successfully and works well on many levels. Of course, I still welcome any input.

2) The tactics on some of the Boss monsters need revision. Most of the changes are common sense ones that are obvious when you actually try to play the Boss. I recommend using your best judgement in these cases, until I get a chance to re-type them all.

3) We've added some Village Event cards that give bonuses or penalties to various character statistics on the player's next quest. Stuff like "A black cat crosses your path. You have a -1 to hit for the duration of your next quest into the dungeon." Feel free to make up a bunch of these using the blank cards provided in the kit. Again, I'll have them included the next time I post a version.

4) Your criticism of the eating is well-taken. (I laughed aloud when you said, "All our projected days seemed to include a mandatory breakfast.") Anyway, some people like to role-play the nitty-gritty of living and some people don't. Consider the food rules to be optional from here on out.

5) On the other hand, I particularly like having to leave the castle after succeeding on a quest. I think it gives that last hint of danger (sometimes random) that might make you fail. I'd prefer to keep that rule for the sake of the challenge, but no one will stop you if you leave it out.

6) Likewise, the vault is intentionally dangerous. It's always optional. I like it because it's essentially a gambling mini-game. If you don't like the heat, get out of the fire! ;-) (Again, if you don't like the rules, I give you permission to do what you want with them).

There are some other minor edits and errata that I have sense discovered. I'll eventually get around to reposting the files with all the updates. Then, I'd like to do the same thing to Wrath of Ashardalon, but make it a quest for levels 6-10 which can be continued after a party finishes Ravenloft.

Thank you so much Ted for all of your input! I've really enjoyed making this reversion and am glad that someone other than my own friends have gotten pleasure from it!
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Saminathan Masuru
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Interesting this reversion, and congratulations on having drawn up such an elaborate system for expanding the board game...
 
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Sean Davis
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Just started looking at this, and I think it looks great. Funny thing is, I hadn't read your post before I had a similar thought with Ashardalon (being for character levels 6-10), and maybe Drizzt 11-15 or so. Of course, I'm also thinking of adding in a few more drow types for Drizzt, as I felt that 3 duellists, a wizard and a drider didn't give enough dark elf "goodness" for the Underdark. Charmingly, drow also fit well into the 11-15 level bracket, at least in Monster Manual 1.

Just a question: what did you base your level progression for monsters on? I noticed that several of them match MM1 for the given level (i.e., the DL5 Wraith stats closely match the Wraith stats in the manual, where its listed as a Level 5 Lurker). However, what I didn't get was the formula for reducing the monster's level (or increasing it, as would be deeply necessary for goblins if Drizzt were set at 11-15). How did you figure the variation in HP from level to level? The AC looks totally linear, and most of the attack bonuses are pretty clear. I'm pretty fuzzy on the HP factor, though. They seem to increase a set amount per level (such as 12 per level on Strahd), but did you base the increase amount on anything, or is it just a matter of trial and error until a satisfactory progression is found?

Keep in mind, most of my 4e library is the Essentials stuff, so there may well be information/rules I don't have that you do. Just got MM1, so I haven't really read it that closely, yet.
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Alexandre Lopes
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Just wanted to thank chrisperry for his work in this reversion, it sure lights some hope on a game I'm disliking the more I play it, mostly because of the streamlining-to-exhaustion of the D&D 4e rules, leaving almost all gameplay in positioning monsters the worst way possible for them, and hopping for good rolls...
I've recently bought an used 4ed Rules Compendium and I'm in the progress of printing all the stuff needed to try this variant.
Hopefully you'll find the time to correct all the stuff you feel needed.
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