i read this, & never reviewed it? i guess. so i'm coming to the table with recollections more than anything else. first: i liked the handouts at the back of the book. i sure did, but i wonder how they are meant to be used? cut out? i've never even considered cutting things out of my book; i don't even tear at perforated edges! i wonder if other people do. anyhow; it is the weakness of going away from boxed sets, & for the record, i think going away from boxed sets is necessary & smart. i would kind of like it if there could be some way of including handouts...but now i'm just musing. i thought this adventure had it's ups & downs. the story is kind of fun, & i thought using aspects to let mid level characters interact with some of the big bads of the game was just great. on the flip side, too many opportunities for roleplaying seemed to be shoehorned into fights. like, why does the demon council turn into a brawl in two rounds? anyhow, i could see a good dm moding this into a good game, but i can see it needing those modifications.
expedition to castle ravenloft by bruce r. cordell & james wyatt.
you know, i normally like these guys! so it sort of surprises me how much vitriol i have for this module. okay, i got my biases out of the way first thing with the greyhawk review, so i should do the same here: i played through this module. or, part of the way through, before we all threw in the towel & said fuck it. & you know what? my character is the only one who didn't die. twice. that is, everyone else went through two characters. hey, a whole castle full of save or die effects! fuck you! fuck you ravenloft! fuck all you idiots in the town "we're living in constant fear! but i'm still going to screw you on prices!" how about this: give me all your stuff. right now. dick. i will say two good things about it: one, the constant mindfog is terrifying. i like that touch. two, i liked the random encounter with the vampire berserker who just runs at you. i mean, if i was basically invulnerable, like he is, i'd do that to. anyhow, this fucking thing made no sense otherwise, & even after we quit & i read the book, it still didn't. there are like, liches living in the castle, witches, necromancers, demons...& most of them don't have anything to do with each other! they just sit in their room waiting to kill player characters! oh, you know, the witches of lysaga hill. we only talked to madame-insulting-gypsy-stereotypes but they were okay. hags are kind of fun, & i thought they were used pretty well. over-all, though, i found it unplayable, as a player, & jammed packed with...essentially random fights. oh, & you have to make search checks in every room. i hate that. oh, & for the record? my character was a dwarf ninja/paladin in silent moves full-plate. i wore a hilarious iron diving bell helmet, & had a trident. it was really cool.