[CRL] Castle Ravenloft - Useful Houserules

24 posts / 0 new
Last post

While the Castle Ravenloft board game is a great concept and fun to play, the rules leave much to be desired for veterans of D&D 4.0. There's a lot of situations where the necessary rules are left ambiguous or aren't even written at all.


What houserules have you found to be necessary to either fill in rule gaps, better define existing rules, or bring the game more in alignment with regular D&D?



Here's some of the ones posted so far.  Some of these have been submitted to WotC Customer Support as well.  I've noted, where available, whether the stated rule is completely a houserule (HR) or if it is a WotC-supported interpretuation (WotC) of the rules.


  • Level increase includes full healing, to new max HP.  (HR)

  • Teleporting (Fey Step) not affected by Immobilized.  (WotC)

  • Long-range (2+ tiles) attacks are not restricted to line-of-sight.  (WotC)

  • Monster movement "by tile" results in the monster landing on the skull pile.  (HR)

  • When monsters move "by tile" they land in a sqaure specified by the player.  (WotC)

  • The forced movement of Tunderwave is equivalent to a D&D 4.0 "slide".  (WotC)


The square a monster ends up on when it moves X number of tiles isn't specified, so we move them to the squares with the skull piles.
The square a monster ends up on when it moves X number of tiles isn't specified, so we move them to the squares with the skull piles.



We've always run this as "player's choice", but that's a good gap-filler rule too.

Another point along these lines should be made regarding the Thunder Wave power.  The regular D&D power (PHB p. 159) specifies that the forced movement is a push, but this is not mentioned in the CR power card.  We've been handling this as a slide so far, but should probably rule it a push.

Nah, I wouldn't make it a push just because it's that way in D&D. There are plenty of Wizard powers that slide, and some that pull. It's not necessary to include all of them in Ravenloft, though, when they just made Thunderwave a slide.
Nah, I wouldn't make it a push just because it's that way in D&D. There are plenty of Wizard powers that slide, and some that pull. It's not necessary to include all of them in Ravenloft, though, when they just made Thunderwave a slide.



(Emphasis mine.)

That's just the thing - they didn't "make" Thunderwave anything, in CR.  The power just says something to the effect of "move the target 1 tile".  It doesn't specify any of the D&D 4.0 terms like slide, push, pull, teleport, etc.  Nor does it include any verbiage to specify directionality or lack thereof.  So, the effect of the power is left totally open for interpretation.
I think it's pretty clear. It says you move them 1 tile. It doesn't give any restriction on direction. It doesn't say Push, Pull or Slide because it doesn't need to. I think it's important to keep in mind that, while it may be similar, CR is not 4E. Imagine if you were playing CR without ever having played 4E. Would you still think there was any question about how Thunderwave works, or would you just move them one tile in the direction you chose?
Here's some responses I've received from WotC Customer Support.

Regarding rests and hp regeneration while leveling up, in D&D 4.0:


In game terms, though, as soon as characters gain a level, they can use their new capabilities
There is no rule that states that HP is gained or powers are refreshed upon leveling up.

I don't think I've mentioned in here, but the whole houseruling of HP regeneration had been due to a presumed requirement of an extended rest before leveling up in D&D 4.0.  Apparently, neither is true - no rest is required, no HP regenerated.  So, if you stay in line with the rules of CR and D&D 4.0, there's no HP refill for leveling up.

Regarding forced movement via Thunderwave:


Question: Is Thunderwave a push, pull, or slide in Castle Ravenloft?
Answer: It is none of these things as they don't exist in Castle Ravenloft. You can place the Monsters to any open space you like on the appropriate tile.

Question: Also, when monsters move between tiles (and not to specified squares) either voluntarily or by forced movement, where do they land - is it player's option?
Answer: You may place them wherever is most beneficial to the players.

So, if you were to correlate the forced movement of Thunderwave in CR to D&D 4.0 terms, it would be a slide.  And, you can slide the monster to any space of your choice in an adjacent tile.

Regarding Fey Step:


You can use Fey Step even while immobilized.

Regarding attacks with range of 2 or more squares:


Question: Are traditional "line of sight" and/or "line of effect" required for attacks with a range of 2 or more tiles, like Magic Missile?
Answer: No, these rules are not part of Castle Ravenloft.

So, it looks like Magic Missile (and any other attack with such range) can make any twist or turn you want it to on its way to the target.

I'll update my initial post to reflect all the submissions thus far, and also the WotC responses.

HP are "regenerated" in a way.
You are counting damage on your heroes sheet, not Hit Points, so if your maximum Hit Points increase and damage stays the same you "gain" HP.


HP are "regenerated" in a way.
You are counting damage on your heroes sheet, not Hit Points, so if your maximum Hit Points increase and damage stays the same you "gain" HP.


Please cite by which rule this occurs?

I don't have my rulebooks in front of me to reference at the moment, (will try to follow up later) but I see nothing in the Character Sheet that would support this technique.  Under "Hit Points", the Character Sheet has the following fields:

  • Max HP

  • Bloodied (1/2 HP)

  • Surge Value (1/4 HP)

  • Surges/Day

  • Current Hit Points

  • Current Surge Uses

  • Second Wind (1/Encounter - Check Box)

  • Temporary Hit Points

  • Death Saving Throw Failures (3 Check Boxes)

  • Saving Throw mods

  • Resistances

  • Current Conditions and Effects


Nowhere on the sheet is there a place for you to track your damage - only "Current Hit Points".  If it was meant for us to track damage instead of actual HP, I imagine a space would be there.

EDIT:  Found a little more detail in the Compendium, under "Hit Points" (PHB1, p. 293).

"When you take damage, subtract that number from your current hit points."
"When you heal, add the number to your current hit points."

By these statements, I think it's pretty clear that we are to track Hit Points and not Damage.  Otherwise, the statements above would direct us to add the damage taken to some "total damage" value and then subtract "total damage" from "Max HP" to get "Current HP", instead of just subtracting each damage taken from the "Current HP".  Also, by the same logic, we would be told to subtract the heal value from "total damage" instead of adding it to "Current HP".
You are in a "Castle Ravenloft" Thread. This is not about the DnD 4th Edition game.
I posted in response to you that in the case of Hit Points there is no "rule gap".

Page 10 of the Castle Ravenloft Manual (top left) "use the Hit Point tokens to track that damage"

Therefore you track Damage on the Character Sheets (which are represented by the cardboard tiles in the Ravenloft Boardgame).
If you go up a level, your maximum Hit Points increase - the damage stays the same.
That means you can "loose more HP" before you die.
You are in a "Castle Ravenloft" Thread. This is not about the DnD 4th Edition game.
I posted in response to you that in the case of Hit Points there is no "rule gap".

Page 10 of the Castle Ravenloft Manual (top left) "use the Hit Point tokens to track that damage"

Therefore you track Damage on the Character Sheets (which are represented by the cardboard tiles in the Ravenloft Boardgame).
If you go up a level, your maximum Hit Points increase - the damage stays the same.
That means you can "loose more HP" before you die.

Good point.  Our group has never actually used the HP tokens, so I was unaware of Castle Ravenloft's actual intended tracking method.  Obviously, I was going strictly on 4th-Ed rules.  My apologies.

FYI:  Instead of the tokens, we used appropriate-sized die from our own stock.
No apology needed - sorry if my post sounded harsh, that was not the intention.
Nice idea with the dice, I love the fact the CR has a Token for everything though
Huh, I missed that you're supposed to give a token for damage taken. We had been handing out the appropriate number of tokens to each player and laying them face-up on the table. Then when we took damage, we'd flip them over to the black side. I think I prefer our method overall.
I dont think it really matters. I grab them as i am damaged and my buddy uses your method. There are enough tokens for both ways.
If you are tracking HP instead of damage don't forget to "gain" HP on leveling up though
Yeah, we grab extra tokens on the rare occasion someone levels.
That's how we rule it as well. Whether you track HP left or damage taken, you gain 2 HP when you level up. And keep in mind, customer service has been proven wrong and given contradictory answers many times. It does not seem as though they have special access to knowledge that we do not. More likely, they are simply paid to read the rules and make interpretations based on their own judgment. And sometimes their judgment is way off.
Here's an awesome variant we've been using, add a lot to the game IMO:
boardgamegeek.com/thread/566063/encounte...

Cheers!
 

+1 to Rogue AC.

Your HR of moving from skull pile to skull pile has been added as a movement rule to Wrath of Ashardalon rulebook. The 'Monster Deck' information is much more expended than Castle Ravenloft's.

"- if the tactic requires the monster to move to a new tile, place the Monster's new tile's scortch mark if that square is empty. Whenever possible, Monsters move from tile to tile following the scortch marks. If the scorch mark square is occupied, place the Monster anywhere on the tile." Wrath of Ashardalon P.11

I've seen this HR in another thread more or less similar. My way is that if you pick a white arrow tile, roll d20 and if result is 10+, monster passes his turn.

I thought of using Flanking (Monster gets -1 to AC if two Heros are on each opposite side of that Monster), Defensive Stance (Gain +2 AC if you choose not to move or attack until the beginning of your next hero phase) and Careful Aiming (If you are not adjacent to a Monster you may use your movement to gain +1 to attack roll with a ranged attack.), but I don't know how useful they can be.
I only allow ranged attacks if there is line of sight, otherwise monsters would throw arrows or spears that would turn corners, that would be just weird.

There are excpetions like, Hypnotism, if the hit monster must go to the tile behind a corner, he will because he is walking not being thrown.
I only allow ranged attacks if there is line of sight, otherwise monsters would throw arrows or spears that would turn corners, that would be just weird.

There are excpetions like, Hypnotism, if the hit monster must go to the tile behind a corner, he will because he is walking not being thrown.



To each their own but personally, going that route would make it feel like your playing DnD. This is a board game with elements that remind me of dnd, but the rules in this board game are meant to be very simple. I know some of them aren't, but that seems to be a WotC thing ;)
Yeah, I guess you're right. Me and my group consider this to be D&D lite anyway so we bend some of the rules for our enjoyment while keeping the core of the game intact.
That is really what's it's all about isn't it. the enjoyment.  touche.