Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ravenloft-Ashardalon Mash-Up

In my last post, I talked about some of the mechanics behind Monster deck construction for homebrewed adventures with the D&D Adventure System Games, Castle Ravenloft and Wrath of Ashardalon. Today, we’re going to look a little closer at just what our options are.

As I said before, you want 12 1xp monsters, 12 2xp, and 6 3xp, for a grand total of 30 cards in your deck.  There are three of each monster in the decks that come with each game, so you really have 4 1xp monsters, 4 2xp, and 2 3xp.  

Castle Ravenloft Monsters
Kobold Skirmisher, 1xp (Reptile)
Zombie, 1xp (Undead)
Wolf, 1xp (Animal)
Rat Swarm, 1xp (Animal)
Spider, 2xp (Vermin)
Blazing Skeleton, 2xp (Undead)
Skeleton, 2xp (Undead)
Ghoul, 2xp (Undead)
Wraith, 3xp (Undead)
Gargoyle, 3xp (Elemental)

Wrath of Ashardalon Monsters
Human Cultist, 1xp (Human)
Orc Archer, 1xp (Orc)
Kobold Dragonshield, 1xp (Reptile, Sentry)
Snake, 1xp (Reptile)
Orc Smasher, 2xp (Orc)
Cave Bear, 2xp (Animal)
Duergar Guard, 2xp (Devil, Dwarf, Sentry)
Grell, 2xp (Aberrant)
Gibbering Mouther, 3xp (Aberrant)
Legion Devil, 3xp (Devil)

So we have 20 monsters to fill 10 spots in the deck.  The first and most obvious cross-platform scenario that jumps out at me is something involving Kobolds, and I would construct the deck like so: Kobold Skirmisher, Kobold Dragonshield, Orc Archer, Snake, Spider, Orc Smasher, Cave Bear, Grell, Gibbering Mouther, and Gargoyle. This combination of monsters provides more of a feel of an abandoned mine-complex that has been taken over by some feuding Kobolds and Orcs.  

I would use the Ashardalon Encounter and Treasure decks.  

The goal of the scenario could be as simple as killing a certain number of monsters, or getting deep enough in to find a boss (possibilities from the official material include: Klak Kobold Sorcerer, Kraash Orc Storm Shaman, Meerak Kobold Dragonlord, the Rage Drake, and the Beholder Gauth.  There’s no reason deeper role-playing elements couldn’t be used, such as a negotiation of some sort between the Orc and Kobold factions (although the Rules as Written don’t provide much support for anything like that; we’d have to come up with something based off the 4e ruleset... Skill Challenges for the D&D Adventure System, anyone?).

For the more undead feel, Ravenloft plays quite nicely with a couple substitutions from Ashardalon.  Trade in the WoA Human Cultists for the CR Kobolds, the Duergar for the Spiders, and the Legion Devils for the Gargoyle.

I’m pondering a variant ruleset that would feature a Dungeon Master to run the monsters and support more role-playing and puzzle-solving elements for the games. I’ll have a post on that up in the next few days.  I’ve been painting minis, too, so I should have some pics up of my work pretty soon.  I’m no expert (actually, I’m colorblind with shaky hands, so I’m starting at a handicap) and haven’t painted minis since I was 10 and got a little crazy with my Heroquest set.  The ones I’ve done so far look good enough to use at the table, though, that’s for sure.  


  1. I don't know what happened - but I can barely see the worlds here. Black on very dark gray. Just an FYI.

    - ARk

  2. Thanks Ark. That seems to happen whenever I use a different program to actually type up my post, and then copy-paste it into Blogger. Fixed now though!