Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thoughts on Running Castle Ravenloft with Microlite74

So, the kids have been itching to play Castle Ravenloft and Wrath of Ashardalon. This has generally been an exercise in frustration, as the two youngest are six and eight years old, and they don't quite grasp the strategic elements of which powers to use. Generally, its a lot of the same difficulties I ran into running 4E with them. 

However, as my recent blog posts attest, they have been very much enjoying playing with the Microlite rules, so my brain naturally started cooking up ideas for how to play the CR/WoA games with Microlite rules. 

There are some parts of the board games that will be easy to convert. Building the dungeon as they go, for instance, is a no-brainer. The monster AI as written on the cards won't be necessary, as I'll be the DM. 

I really like the Monster Deck mechanic, but I don't particularly want to make up a ton of new cards with M74 monster stats (though I started just such a project in Magic Set Editor). I'm thinking instead of a random wandering monster chart to possibly roll on whenever they explore a new tile. I'm thinking a 2dWhatever chart, with the weaker monsters in the middle (at the height of the bell curve) and the stronger monsters on the ends. Monsters would get crossed off as they are encountered, with the rest of the chart moving up or down closer to the middle, so the dungeon randomly gets more dangerous the deeper they get. 

I think that's a good start. Next up, we've got the Encounter Deck, which comprises traps and other events that alter play (moody music playing somewhere, drawing a wandering monster, chamber fills with blood mist, a ghost comes through, an earthquake rattles everything, etc). I'm going to need to take a bit to actually look through the cards again, but my gut feeling is that I may be able to use the cards as written, perhaps changing instances of "1 damage" to "1d6 damage". 

There are four "Conditions" that appear in the board games that were ported over from 4E. These appear often on the "Encounter" cards, so I will need a standard way to adjudicate these. They are: Slowed, Immobilized, Dazed and Poisoned. M74 has four saving throws: Fortitude, Reflex, Will, and Presence. I don't think, however, that it would be a good idea to match each saving throw to a particular condition. Rather, it would be on a case-by-case basis, and then I would have to record each instance so that precedents can be maintained. 

Anyways, I'll be taking a closer look at everything in the box this evening and should have some better ideas on how to make it work. Since we seem to have an extra night a week to play in addition to our now regularly scheduled game with their grandfather, I may just have them roll up new characters for a Castle Ravenloft mini-campaign. 

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