[CRL] Well this is new What do people think

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What does everyone think of the game.  Is it worth it
It is amazing. One of the best products I have put my money towards. I have convinced a large number of people to play, including people that don't play D&D, and they all love it.
I have been looking forward to this game since it was announced. It is a great buy, I do have to admit I wish that the minis where prepainted like DDM but understand its a cost thing. I do hope WOTC plans on expanding this game. The second release so far looks like more of the same. This game seems to have many possibilities I do hope they are explored.
It is amazing. One of the best products I have put my money towards. I have convinced a large number of people to play, including people that don't play D&D, and they all love it.

I'm too sleepy to type something of my own, so I will just agree in full with Cyber-Dave. The game is awesome. Staying up too late playing it is actually the reason I'm so sleepy right now.
i do have questions for those who played the game, initially i was very excited about this product becuase im am a huge ravenloft fan.

after watching the vids posted on u tube however, it didn't match what i thought would be in my head.

so the top three questions i have are;

1: can the game be played from start through finish and level the players far beyond 2?

2: i have heard this game is a great gateway to 4th edition, but, what about as a game that can stand on its own merits? such as for a group that isn't fond of 4th, can they still play this and have just as much fun?

3: how does the puzzle piece board translate as a set of  maps for castle  ravenloft? this is the part i need help with the most, not trashing it... just cant see it.
1: Sort've, and no. You could play through the adventures in order, but it's not really structured like a campaign. However, nothing carries over from one game to the next.

2: Can't speak for everyone, but a friend from work who has never played D&D of any kind, and has absolutely no interest in playing, had a great deal of fun with Ravenloft.

3: Basically, if you end your Hero phase at the edge of a tile that can potentially continue on open hallway, open room, etc.) you can choose to explore further and draw a random tile. It's basically a random dungeon generator, with some guidelines depending on the adventure you're playing. For example, most of the scenarios I've played tell you to pull out a specific location (the Laboratory for example), mix it with three other tiles randomly, and then place those four tiles eight tiles down in the random stack. That way the final goal will appear somewhere between the 9th and 12th tile.

The random dungeon generation is one of the best things about the game, it keeps it from always being the same.

1: can the game be played from start through finish and level the players far beyond 2?



You can play them in order, but nothing carries over from scenario to scenario.



2: i have heard this game is a great gateway to 4th edition, but, what about as a game that can stand on its own merits? such as for a group that isn't fond of 4th, can they still play this and have just as much fun?



It works perfectly well as a stand alone board game (because it is).
That said, if the people you play with don't like 4e?  They almost certainly won't like this game.  It IS 4e - simplified a few degrees & made into board game form....  




3: how does the puzzle piece board translate as a set of  maps for castle  ravenloft? this is the part i need help with the most, not trashing it... just cant see it.



NOT AT ALL.  You will not get a set of tiles representing the classic Castle Ravenloft map in this box.

What you will get are a bunch of square, generic looking, tiles that have piles of bones on some squares & in some places coffins labled with familiar names.
Sure, you could use these in a Ravenloft RPG session.  But you'll never build that castle out of them.  
This is the first real full coop dungeon crawl since Warhammer Quest that I know of and I had great expectations.
They have been fulfilled.
It's fast - it's fun and the scenarios are well designed - we even convinced a former non-fantasy game guy to play with us regularely now.

If you compare it to Descent from FFG it does not have as much depth in gameplay, but that is due to having no "evil overlord" controlling the monsters.
On the other hand I'll play CR all day over Descent because it is MUCH faster and smoother. (In my opinion CR still offers me enough tactical decisions to enjoy my self - it's easy to learn, not hard to improve your playstyle but in my opinion very hard to master (get a perfect run with perfect positioning of the monsters and players to get the most out of your abilities and moves each time)

The only thing that disappoints me a bit at the moment is the lack of official material (new scenarios and heros or stuff), but then again it is only out since 1 or 2 months so I guess I'll have to give wizards some time

How could they push Wrath back to February... I'm so addicted

thank you amnesiac and ccs,  both of you have helped me and my rpg bank on to purchase =]
My wife (whom I've been trying to get to play D&D with me for about 10 years) played it and loved it. She was even recapping the action for her sister and her husband, sharing war stories such as "we entered the chapel and there was a ghoul. I sliced it open with one attack and got the Icon!"

I think it's super fun and a great value. The components are high quality, the adventures are a blast, and the rules are easy even for a new player.

I wholeheartedly recommend it to any fan of adventure games.
It's a good addition to the line. Not worth the cover charge, though.

I can see a group all pitching in to get a copy to play on the nights when the DM/cleric/whatever flakes out or bogarting the demo copy if your FLGS has one, but I feel it's either slightly too expensive, or missing something that would match value to price. 

But as with everything Wizards has done recently, I understand that I am not the target audience. I have more than enough tiles and maps to do what I need, I do not like or collect WotC minis, and I have no real attachment to the nostalgia value that I suspect is selling many copies.

I'm well aware that my FLGS cannot order the game fast enough to keep up with demand,  but I see no reason to follow the herd when I'm not big on board games in the first place. 

If you were a fan of Warhammer Quest, Heroquest, and other similar fully-integrated co-op boardgames, Castle Ravenloft will be worth your time. If you're like me, however, and consider it nothing more than an amusing dalliance for boring afternoons, you can probably skip it long enough to let someone else buy it, or wait to find it on sale somewhere. 
-m4ki; one down, one to go

"Retro is not new. Retro-fit is not new." --Seeker95, on why I won't be playing DDN

|| DDN Metrics (0-10) | enthusiasm: 1 | confidence in design: -3 | desire to play: 0 | Sticking with 4e?: Yep. | Better Options: IKRPG Mk II ||
The Five Things D&D Next Absolutely Must Not Do:
1. Imbalanced gameplay. Any and all characters must be able to contribute equally both in combat and out of combat at all levels of play. If the Fighters are linear and the Wizards quadratic, I walk. 2. Hardcore simulationist approach. D&D is a game about heroic fantasy. I'm weak and useless enough in real life; I play RPGs for a change of pace. If the only reason a rule exists is because "that's how it's supposed to be", I walk. I don't want a game that "simulates" real life, I want a game that simulates heroic fantasy. 3. Worshipping at false idols (AKA Sacred Cows). If the only reason a rule exists is "it's always been that way", I walk. Now to be clear, I have no problem with some things not changing; my issue is with retaining bad idea simply for the sake of nostalgia. 4. DM vs. players. If the game encourages "gotcha!" moments or treats the DM and players as enemies, adversaries, or problems to be overcome, I walk. 5. Rules for the sake of rules. The only thing I want rules for is the things I can't do sitting around a table with my friends. If the rules try to step on my ability to roleplay the character I want to roleplay, I walk. Furthermore, the rules serve to facilitate gameplay, not to simulate the world. NOTE: Items in red have been violated.
Chris Perkins' DM Survival Tips:
1. When in doubt, wing it. 2. Keep the story moving. Go with the flow. 3. Sometimes things make the best characters. 4. Always give players lots of things to do. 5. Wherever possible, say ‘yes.’ 6. Cheating is largely unnecessary. 7. Don't be afraid to give the characters a fun new toy. 8. Don't get in the way of a good players exchange. 9. Avoid talking too much. 10. Save some details for later. 11. Be transparent. 12. Don't show all your cards. Words to live by.
Quotes From People Smarter Than Me:
"Essentials zigged, when I wanted to continue zagging..." -Foxface on Essentials "Servicing a diverse fan base with an RPG ruleset - far from being the mandate for 'open design space' and a cavalier attitude towards balance - requires creating a system that /works/, with minimal fuss, for a wide variety of play styles, not just from one group to the next, but at the same table." -Tony_Vargas on design "Mearls' and Cook's stated intent to produce an edition that fans of all previous editions (and Pathfinder) will like more than their current favourite edition is laudable. But it is also, IMO, completely unrealistic. It's like people who pray for world peace: I might share their overall aims, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for them to succeed. When they talk in vague terms about what they'd like to do in this new edition, I mostly find myself thinking 'hey, that sounds cool, assuming they can pull it off', but almost every time they've said something specific about actual mechanics, I've found myself wincing and shaking my head in disbelief and/or disgust, either straight away or after thinking about the obvious implications for half a minute." -Duskweaver on D&D Next
It's a good addition to the line. Not worth the cover charge, though.

I can see a group all pitching in to get a copy to play on the nights when the DM/cleric/whatever flakes out or bogarting the demo copy if your FLGS has one, but I feel it's either slightly too expensive, or missing something that would match value to price. 

But as with everything Wizards has done recently, I understand that I am not the target audience. I have more than enough tiles and maps to do what I need, I do not like or collect WotC minis, and I have no real attachment to the nostalgia value that I suspect is selling many copies.

I'm well aware that my FLGS cannot order the game fast enough to keep up with demand,  but I see no reason to follow the herd when I'm not big on board games in the first place. 

If you were a fan of Warhammer Quest, Heroquest, and other similar fully-integrated co-op boardgames, Castle Ravenloft will be worth your time. If you're like me, however, and consider it nothing more than an amusing dalliance for boring afternoons, you can probably skip it long enough to let someone else buy it, or wait to find it on sale somewhere. 



As a long time gamer of 30+ years, I totally agree with this poster's assessment of the Ravenloft boardgame except for the fact that I love boardgames.  ;D

I will also add that it is a GOOD boardgame to play.  I would not say it was astounding, amazing, outstanding, or even excellent.  Five out of ten skulls for me.


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Our group played through the second scenario today, we had all 5 characters on the search for the Icon of Ravenloft. We lost the fighter in the final battle in the chapel with the Icon in sight. It was the Encounters that did us in, just too many and causing too much damage to our 1st level characters. We still had a good time, but will make sure we are 2nd level before the next game.
I love this game. As a 4E, 3.75 and 3.5 player, this game is a quick dungeon crawl. it's fast and intense. I have played with friends and alone. Screw you "impossible" senerio! The layout will change every game. The great thing is that if WOTC keeps putting out adventures it's replay ability is great. If only clean-up and set-up didnt take forever. As mentioned in a early post, even my wife who will not touch D&D let alone RPG's, loves this game.
I honestly love playing it.  I'd rather play this than D&D Encounters, though I have been enjoying the new Keep on the Borderlands.  There's just so much fun in Castle Ravenloft.  Smile
There's been a few comments on here about spouses (specifically wives) liking this game when they don't like D&D.  Here's the thing... my wife loves board games but has some wierd misconceptions about D&D. I have tried many many times to get her to just try D&D but she refuses. She says its a guy game.

How can I convince her that this is not just a guy game? Do you think this game has enough D&D elements to give her a taste of D&D?
I really like the game. I believe it is a good intro game to D&D.
There's been a few comments on here about spouses (specifically wives) liking this game when they don't like D&D.  Here's the thing... my wife loves board games but has some wierd misconceptions about D&D. I have tried many many times to get her to just try D&D but she refuses. She says its a guy game.

How can I convince her that this is not just a guy game? Do you think this game has enough D&D elements to give her a taste of D&D?



My best friend (who is also my ex) hated my game nights when she was there for them. She just sat in the other room watching TV and rolling her eyes at the group of us geeky guys in the kitchen whenever she got up for a drink. I picked up the board game and her, two other girl friends of mine (one who never heard of D&D and another who was always curious about it but never had the time), and myself sat down to play about three weeks ago. They loved it and we've played once a week. Now they've asked me to run a game for them so they can see what that's like too.
I am new, and I played it Friday night. It was very nice.

I played D&D back in the early 80's and I am back!
I like how the game is very fast-paced and action-packed. A perfect d&d fix in less than 2 hrs. My only gripe is that I personally would have preferred a little extra flavour in the rulebook and scenario book--especially since I'm not overly familiar with the history of Ravenloft--but that's just me.
I also must warn that the game is extremely difficult. I've played multiple times solo and multiple times with up to five friends and have only managed to achieve victory 1 in every 4 scenarios. This does not bother me though, there is a certain strategy that works best, and I've found that keeping those experience points handy to cancel encounters is crucial since they are the big killers.
I recommend the game.
I am new, and I played it Friday night. It was very nice.

I played D&D back in the early 80's and I am back!




Played again last night, and we (2 people) beat level 2. Very nice game
One of my kids got this for Christmas and we have played scenario 2 a couple times with the whole family.  My wife had not played D&D before and was able to jump right in.  It has a lot of the flavour of 4e, but is pruned down to something less intimidating to the beginner - in a session you will have 4-5 power cards, there is only one defense (AC), and two conditions (slowed and immobilized), and the monster cards tell you exactly what they do on their turn. Best of all, if my kids want to play and I don't have a 4e adventure prepared or don't care to DM that night, we can break this out.

As for the 42 minis, I prefer to paint them myself anyway, and they could be used in 4e play.  The interlocking dungeon tiles would also be useful for minotaur labyrinths or any other time you need a random dungeon generator in 4e.  Most of the other game materials are not that useful beyond the CR game.

On the whole, I am pleased with the game and give it the thumbs up. 

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Castle Ravenloft is a great game!

Played it with my wife 2 nights ago and had a great time.

( She has never played D & D before . . . )

In the next few days I will have a game with my 2 daughters.

Can't wait ! ! !

I will be picking up Wrath of Ashardalion in Feb. as well.

( Hope I spelled that right? )

Good work WotC ! ! !

Great way to get people into D & D.

It's good, but not as good as Warhammer Quest.  But that game is uber-pricey and out of print.  (It has a killer RPG book that no other boardgame will ever top)

I think it is definitely better than Hero Quest though.

Even though Descent is much deeper, it takes 4-5x as long to play and is 10x more complex so it is really hard to teach new players and get people interested in investing the time.  (You could play a real RPG in that amount of time).

So I think the game fits a really nice niche.  I hope they make a Underdark version in the future.

Ashardalon will add some type of campaign rules (probably just keeping an item between adventures or something).

I agree that Castle Ravenloft is a great intro to D&D.  I love the D&D RPG, but even I get a bit daunted and frustrated with how complicated it is at times.  That is why I have been playing much more DDM or D&D Minis Battles (using modified DDM Guild rules) than I have of the RPG. 

I find Castle Ravenloft to be a nice balance between the overly complex RPG and the overly simple DDM games.  It is much easier to learn and get into than even the D&D Encounters modules.

My wife, who is good at video games and who plays DDM with me, does not like the RPG. She says it's too slow and that there is way too much arguing and not enough action.  Castle Ravenloft fits the bill well for her too.  It gives her one character to role play (as in the RPG) but the rules are as easy to learn as the ones for DDM. 

The game is so accessible that even my sister and brother-in-law (neither of whom have ever played D&D and know nothing about any form of it) were willing to play Castle Ravenloft with my wife and I recently.  We were over at my grandma's house for New Years Eve and we played the game while waiting for midnight.  We got so into it that when one of our characters died, we "ressurected" him and kept on going.  We didn't reach the senario goal by the time they had to go home and get a bit of sleep (none of us are able to stay up all night anymore it seems).  Then they came back to Grandma's the next day and finished the game. 

My sister and brother-in-law enjoyed it so much that she invited my wife and I over to their place to play it again sometime.  This from a person who thinks that the things on Facebook are "games" and who hardly ever plays board games with anyone anymore. 

I've also discovered some discussions about this game at boardgamegeek.com where people have posted templates so that you can make your own hero cards and power cards.  They also have posted some additional quests and rules modifications. 

I wish I had known about the quest writing contest on Wizard's Website before now (learned about it through boardgamegeek). I would have entered if would have had the time.

I've made a couple of my own heroes and they play fairly well with the game.  I've always loved the hero building aspect of D&D.  With Castle Ravenloft, it's just as fun but much easier even than using the Character Builder program!

This is a great game!  I hope that lots of fans of the game make and post new scenarios.  Although since the game's board is modular and layed down mostly at random and the monsters are drawn at random; you never really play the same game twice in a row even if you pick the same scenario from the book.  That's the best part of the game!  Unlike so many board games, it has a lot of replay value right out of the box.