Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Feel His...Ashardalon-y Wrath!

Last night was one of those odd blips we get in our Tuesday group.  Rick had wrapped up the first arc of his M&M game, and Andy was supposed to resume his Pathfinder "Dawn of the Temple of Elemental Evil" game.  Except that Andy had a prior commitment and was going to be late, Tim was also likely to be tardy, and Rick was going to miss due to his wife's birthday (I know, it's an unforgivable gamer sin, but he's still a newlywed).

I initially offered to run some more M&M, but quickly realized that I wasn't up to the task and suggested I bring Wrath of Arshadolon instead.

Best Suggestion Ever.

Prior to last night, I'd "played" it twice with my son right after I bought it.  I put it that way because, in re-reading the rules at lunch yesterday, I discovered all the things I'd done wrong before (many, many things).  All in all, I'm surprised the Boy and I had as good a time as we did, considering all the errors I'd made.  This time around, I had a better idea of how it was supposed to work and having four more adults at the table instead of an eleven year old with the attention span of a gnat made it work.

We played the second adventure "Monster Hunters" twice.  The first time through, things started pretty poorly, with a poison dart trap and a rolling boulder wreaking a good deal of havoc early on, as well as drawing a multitude of monsters early in the game.  But after the initial shock wore off, we started to get the hang of the game and how the sequence of play affected our decision making.  About halfway through, one of our players who can be pretty vocal about not liking a game said something like "I know we're getting our asses kicked, but this is incredibly entertaining."  Eventually, we turned the tide on things and got our twelve kills and won the scenario.

The second time around, we owned the place completely.  It wasn't even close.  In retrospect, I wish we'd tried one of the other scenarios, but I wasn't sure if we had time.  But, to a man, we had a blast.  At least two of the guys are looking to buy their own copy, and I think it's going to become a regular space-filler for the odd nights where the game might not make.


  1. It is an awesome game indeed! Have you picked up Castle Ravenloft as well? WotC just released a few adventures that do a great job of combining the two games. I've also found a lot of custom homebrewed heroes and monsters online. Also just finished painting my Ashardalon set, which brings the game to life even more!

  2. @Sully: I haven't picked it up yet. At the time I got WoA, my son was bemoaning the death of our "D&D With Dads and Kids" game, and I was looking for something just the two of us could do. I wasn't sure what he'd think of Ravenloft, but I know he's into dragons.

    At some point, I suspect I'll pick it up, though I heard it was a bit less forgiving.

  3. I've played Ravenloft, but not Ashardalon.

    I don't know anyone who has played both, but it is my general understanding that Ashardalon is the superior game.

    We had fun playing Ravenloft, but nobody has suggested we play it a second time, although I'd be up for it.

  4. I haven't played Castle Ravenloft since last year, but it seems like it was harder than Wrath. Wrath benefited from coming later, giving a chance for polishing, revision, and clarification.

    Theoretically, you should be able to combine the two- using characters from either game, adding monsters from one to the other (which might be useful- one of our games last Saturday had one player with six monsters in front of him. It took a while to find another monster that he could have).

  5. I've not played Wrath, but I can tell you the rulebook for Ravenloft is difficult to follow. It seems like they didn't take the time to flesh out rules explanations properly.

    My understanding is the games are intended to be identical and even compatible (so you could integrate parts from both). If that's the case, I hope they publish updated rules for CR.