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Expedition to Castle Ravenloft (3e) $14.99
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by David L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/14/2014 21:30:50

Prepare to enter Castle Ravenloft and face..........Strahd The Barbarian?

The Bad: This is a horror adventure notably lacking in horror. At times it feels like the adventure goes out of its way to undercut any chance for horror. The adventure also gets a little ridiculous with the monsters. Usually I like it when published adventures draw monsters from a wide variety of sources rather than just the base monster book, but this adventure goes too far with it especially since some of the monsters do not really fit the adventure. I kept waiting for a vampire Flumph to show up.

My biggest problem with the adventure is how stupid Strahd is in the adventure. In previous versions of this adventure Strahd was notorious for being a deadly smart opponent who used his spells and powers to the best of his ability. In this version this 10th level necromancer vampire charges blindly and limits himself in most encounters to claw/claw/bite and maybe a grapple/bloodsuck. The limits to his tactical thinking is the occasional use of dominate. It is a problem when the ghouls in this adventure show more tactical thought then Strahd does. Strahd is a CR 15 monster usually with allies facing (at best) 9th level characters, so I have a feeling they made him act tactically weak to balance the fights. Rather then making Strahd act like a mindless barbarian they should have made him weaker or raised the starting level of the players. This problem is not limited to Strahd. In general the weaker monsters make tactically sound decisions, while the stronger monsters make decisions that would embarrass a goblin.

The good: As I mentioned a lot of the weaker monsters are tactically interesting. Some of the traps are quite clever (in particular the wight replacement trap is pretty great). The knowledge/bardic lore checks for the crypts was a nice new addition. The layout for Castle Ravenloft is still one of the better dungeon complex layouts one will ever see.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
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Expedition to Castle Ravenloft (3e)
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