Sunday, July 1, 2012

Castle Ravenloft

Yesterday, our gaming buddy Dave came over and we decided to play Castle Ravenloft, the D&D board game hubby purchased for his Father's Day gift. I played the Rogue, my daughter played the Ranger, James played the Cleric and Dave was the fighter. There are actually scenarios for single player use, which I found fascinating. Since this was our first foray into the game, the booklet suggested we try the second listed adventure. In this "episode", our band was trying to obtain a special object for another cleric, who claimed that possessing it might defeat the horrid vampire that possesses Castle Ravenloft and torments the nearby townsfolk.

There were a lot of cards to play and keep track of, which I found a bit challenging. Each turn had three phases - the hero portion, the explorer portion, and the villain portion. The castle revealed itself slowly, piece by piece, and if you didn't place a tile (which automatically generated at least one monster in the room), you had to pick an encounter card, which usually led to more monsters, traps, and environmental factors. Despite all this, and despite the fact that we were all level 1 characters, we actually did quite well. The above photo shows the members of the party fighting a skeleton and what we think is a zombie.

The tiles were arranged so that eventually we would find the chapel room, the only good place in a dwelling of pure evil. We thought we were doomed because we were under the power of another environmental card which stated that whenever we had to face a new monster, we had to select the top two cards and use the monster that was more powerful. That's why near the end, we were faced with a skeleton, a ghoul, a wraith, and a cobold.

The odds were stacked against us but many of the players had treasure rewards that gave extra power. Considering that just a few turns prior to the climax, three of us were completely out of hit points and we had to use all the health surge tokens available to bring us back, it was a minor miracle that we were able to defeat all our foes and seize the special magic item. James and Dave really enjoyed the game. I wasn't as thrilled, but this was also my first time and it took a while to get used to the rules.

Get ready for a flurry of daily posts on the Family Gaming XP blog, now that it's summer, as I've finally got time to write, scan drawings, and share.

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