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 'Expedition to Castle Ravenloft' -- An FoS review
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31217 Posts

Posted - 15 Oct 2006 :  10:55:27  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Since it doesn't strictly carry the RL logo, this particular accessory is classed as a D&D product. So, it fits here...

I know there are some of you who, like me, are RL fans, and have been fans since the original I6 module. I'm assuming you'll find this interesting. It's a brief review from one of the regulars over at the Fraternity of Shadows website:- Expedition to Castle Ravenloft

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Edited by - The Sage on 15 Oct 2006 10:56:08

Lady Kazandra
Senior Scribe

Australia
921 Posts

Posted - 15 Oct 2006 :  14:59:57  Show Profile  Visit Lady Kazandra's Homepage Send Lady Kazandra a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That's a little too brief for me.

And I'm not sure whether I am happy with the fact that WotC have apparently ignored the Ravenloft material published by White Wolf, if that is true.

"Once upon a time the plural of 'wizard' was 'war'." -- The Last Continent, by Terry Pratchett
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silverwizard
Learned Scribe

Greece
76 Posts

Posted - 16 Oct 2006 :  13:34:06  Show Profile  Visit silverwizard's Homepage Send silverwizard a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I was under the impression that Ravenloft was rejuvenated under White Wolf. Or at least so I heard. I don't have a personal opinion on the matter, since I'm sticking with AD&D 2E and haven't played much of Ravenloft (although it's so enjoyable a setting).

Anyway, isn't "Expedition to Castle Ravenloft" a remake of the original "I6: Ravenloft" module (by Tracy & laura Hickman)? If so, then it makes sense to disregard much of what ensued after Ravenloft was promoted to the status of a fully fledged campaign setting. What I'm more interested in is to see what will follow (if anything)... Oh, and they're reprinting some novels,. There are four novels to be reprinted (at least according to the series listing in "Vampire of the Mists"): Vampire of the Mists (already out), Death of a Darklord (likewise), I, Strahd: Memoirs of a Vampire (November), and To Sleep With Evil (March 2007). Logically, these novels should be backed up by relevant gaming material. Anyone know anything?
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Bakra
Senior Scribe

593 Posts

Posted - 16 Oct 2006 :  13:38:25  Show Profile Send Bakra a Private Message  Reply with Quote
They are not ignoring anything, it is meant to be a module. Just like the original it can be placed in any campaign setting. It can turn into a full campaign that could (if the DM is willing) lead into the creation of Demiplane of Terror. I have played the original several times and have quite a few characters lurking about as zombies in Castle Ravenlofts dungeons’. The same can be said with the revamped second edition of the Ravenloft module too. My only problem with it so far is the way they handled the priest and the conclusion. In the original if you were able to defeat Strahd there was a nice closing paragraph. In this new version once the vampire is defeated, you get a sentence or two mentioning the players can keep playing to gather all of the treasure and defeat any remaining encounters. If there is a paragraph that describes the mists lifting and the sunlight breaking through the crowds with the villagers throwing a big party for the adventurers, can someone please point the page number out to me. Maybe I overlooked it.
So far we have a game streamlined using the 3.5 rules that anyone can run.

I hope Candlekeep continues to be the friendly forum of fellow Realms-lovers that it has always been, as we all go through this together. If you don’t want to move to the “new” Realms, that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with either you or the “old” Realms. Goodness knows Candlekeep, and the hearts of its scribes, are both big enough to accommodate both. If we want them to be.
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Enough for now. The Realms lives! I have spoken! Ale and light wines half price, served by a smiling Storm Silverhand fetchingly clad in thigh-high boots and naught else! Ahem . .
So saith Ed. <snip>
love to all,
THO
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Lady Kazandra
Senior Scribe

Australia
921 Posts

Posted - 16 Oct 2006 :  16:13:06  Show Profile  Visit Lady Kazandra's Homepage Send Lady Kazandra a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by silverwizard

Anyway, isn't "Expedition to Castle Ravenloft" a remake of the original "I6: Ravenloft" module (by Tracy & laura Hickman)?
As I understand it, this new book actually breaks away from the original I6 module a little. It's not a complete re-make . . .

"Once upon a time the plural of 'wizard' was 'war'." -- The Last Continent, by Terry Pratchett

Edited by - Lady Kazandra on 16 Oct 2006 16:13:47
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Mace Hammerhand
Great Reader

Germany
2294 Posts

Posted - 16 Oct 2006 :  16:47:16  Show Profile  Visit Mace Hammerhand's Homepage Send Mace Hammerhand a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Since my players, or at least some of them, usually run when I let only a slightly thicker fog appear, and I own almost all of the RL sourcebooks from 2e, I won't bother with it.

Mace's not so gentle gamer's journal My rants were harmless compared to this, beware!
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KnightErrantJR
Great Reader

USA
5352 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2006 :  16:58:55  Show Profile  Visit KnightErrantJR's Homepage Send KnightErrantJR a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I sat down and looked over this a bit when I was in Border's yesterday. I was actually pretty interested in the things I saw in here. It is set before ANYTHING that would have been in the Ravenloft campaign setting, but I'll come back to that.

First off, they have a short (paragraph or two) set up section for Eberron, Forgotten Realms, and d20 Modern(!) to get you started in this adventure (BTW, Forgotten Realms notes place Barovia in the hinterlands of Damara, in case anyone is interested).

I was most concerned with the new encoutner format, because I was concerned that it would be a lot of room devoted to something that most people could figure out pretty handily themselves, but in all honesty, they don't take up as much room as I feared they would, and they serve the dual purpose of showing a tactical encounter map and running through strategies and tactics for the encounter itself. In the end, it does take up more room that a "normally" formatted encounter would, so I'm still a little ambivalent about it, but it looked good and made sense in this product.

The book is set up to be a "mini-campaign" more so than an adventure, and there are notes on using the information as a campaign, a "standard" adventure (lasting several sessions), or as a one night adventure. A lot of story line was added to make the adventure into a mini campaign, and it does deviate from the old module, but a lot of the core stuff from it still exists in this version.

As far as running it as a campaign, most of the things that were restricted in general in Ravenloft still function in this book (divinations, etc.) and Strahd himself is the one that has certain effects in place to keep him from being detected, etc.

I would say that this would actually make for an interesting campaign to run, especially from the standpoint of it reflecting an "early" version of Ravenloft. You might be able to use this version of Barovia to represent the Demiplane of Dread before it had incorporated any other realms into its mists.

My thought was that it would be fairly easy to have players caught up in the mists and drop directly into this mini campaign, although I have wondered, is Ravenloft temporally linked to the other Campaign Settings? i.e. would it be possible to be taken by the mists into Ravenloft's past instead of its present?

At any rate, I was plesantly surprised when I looked through this book, although there is a lot that I just had to skim over since I was just doing a quick evaluation of the book.

"Because philosophy arises from awe, a philosopher is bound in his way to be a lover of myths and poetic fables. Poets and philosophers are alike in being big with wonder."--Saint Thomas Aquinas

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Uzzy
Senior Scribe

United Kingdom
618 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2006 :  18:54:25  Show Profile  Visit Uzzy's Homepage Send Uzzy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Very intresting Knight. That wet my appitite for the book even more. Looks like a must buy for me.
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