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× Talk about the latest and greatest AT, and the Classics.

Revisiting: D&D Adventure System Games

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13 Jun 2014 18:59 #180474 by ChristopherMD




Castle Ravenloft, Wrath Of Ashadarlon, Legend Of Drizzt. Its been like three years since the last one came out. How have these held up? Are you still regularly playing them? Are they shelf toads for you now? Did you end up preferring something else?

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13 Jun 2014 19:05 #180475 by VonTush
I owned Ravenloft, thought it was good but wanted more, sold to Nate a year or two back, haven't looked back. Gears of War does much of the same but better.
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13 Jun 2014 19:14 #180477 by repoman
Own Ashardelon. I think it's probably the best dungeon crawl board game ever made.

Played it last week. It's awesome.

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13 Jun 2014 19:56 #180480 by Michael Barnes
Have 'em all. Condensed down to two boxes with Dungeon Command stored in the third box. I would say that Claustrophobia and Dungeonquest (GW) outrank it, but it's definitely one of the best. Blows Descent out of the water.

Haven't played it in a while, would like to get back around to it even just to piddle around with solo. Maybe tonight. The nice thing is that it's REALLY easy to get back into after an absence. It's really intuitive and straightforward.

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13 Jun 2014 20:34 #180481 by Bull Nakano
Own them all as well, these games and warhammer quest are neck and neck for best dungeon crawling board game. It's funny because I didn't want drizzt until I really investigated it, there are some monsters I wanted to play with and the tiles seemed like the most fun out of the while series. It's really easy to play and hack, both of which are great attributes.

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13 Jun 2014 21:04 #180483 by Pug
I'm in the same boat as VonTush. I got Gears of War and traded off Ravenloft shortly after.

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14 Jun 2014 01:49 #180503 by eekamouse
I still have them. Have everything including the Dungeon Command components.

Galaxy Defenders may kill this off for me when/if I get the expansions for it. It's basically the same system.. but "2.0".

One of these days, I will sit down and create a campaign based of the Galaxy Defenders model for these games.... or... will someone do this already please?

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14 Jun 2014 09:24 #180510 by DukeofChutney
I've only played Ravenloft and it didn't do a great deal for me. A bit too simplistic for my tastes.

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14 Jun 2014 11:34 #180516 by Deleted

repoman wrote: Own Ashardelon. I think it's probably the best dungeon crawl board game ever made.

Played it last week. It's awesome.


I think you're almost right. It's the best cheap and available dungeon crawl board game yet. Warhammer Quest is the winner of "OMFG" award.

Still, it's exceptional. It really does beat D&DFABG in a variety of ways, not the least of which is the DMless play.

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15 Jun 2014 07:58 #180537 by wadenels
I like to get into the storyline in a dungeon crawl game and the D&DAS games didn't really do much for me in that department. I haven't read any of the D&D source material, and the game didn't spark me to do so. Mechanically they work great, but I prefer all the fiction and fluff in Mice & Mystics for a DM-less crawl.
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15 Jun 2014 17:41 #180551 by hotseatgames
I have Ravenloft and Ashardalon. They never see the table; my group didn't care for them. I think Ashardalon is better than Ravenloft and I'd play it by myself, but I never get around to it.

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15 Jun 2014 19:19 #180556 by ChristopherMD

wadenels wrote: I like to get into the storyline in a dungeon crawl game and the D&DAS games didn't really do much for me in that department. I haven't read any of the D&D source material, and the game didn't spark me to do so. Mechanically they work great, but I prefer all the fiction and fluff in Mice & Mystics for a DM-less crawl.


I think that's an advantage LoD has over the others. Anyone, like myself, who read a bunch of Salvatore's Drizzt books knows all about the characters, villains, and scenarios.

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16 Jun 2014 10:58 #180579 by san il defanso
I've gone a couple different directions on these games. At first I was really impressed at how easy they were to play. Then I wondered for a long time why I didn't like them as much as I wanted to. I think it must have just been my own mindset that needed adjusting, because now they are among my favorite games. I don't really want something as heavy as Gears of War, and the license doesn't appeal to me anyway.

I think part of my enjoyment is that I just don't much like dungeon-crawls in the first place. I find them a little slow-paced and sloggy. (To be fair, that opinion is colored heavily by Descent.) These ones fix most of my problems. The trade off might be that they lose a little texture and detail, but I can live with that.

I don't play them as often as I'd like, but this past Thanksgiving I got to play like three games in two days with my sister and her husband. We had a terrific time. I think my sons will like them too, because they are easily my four-year-old's favorite games.

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16 Jun 2014 11:21 #180584 by wadenels
The one thing that keeps me from being super-enthusiastic about DM-less dungeon crawl games is that the AI needs to be really good for it to be engaging. The D&DAS games do a good job with this. The monster placement is simple and effective, their movement is interesting, and there are the monsters that influence other monsters like the sentry (I think?) type that pulls other monsters. It works pretty well. What is lost a little bit is the "What're they gonna do next?" tension. I think that's the big reason I like the storyline and fluff that comes with a game like Mice & Mystics; I can get into that more because I'm just as focused on the developing story as I am on the mechanics.

I like DM crawls just a little bit better than the D&DAS and other DM-less games because the overlord can be unpredictable. I also tend to like one-vs-all games just a little bit more than straight cooperative games for the same reason. Games like Doom, Level 7 Omega Protocol, Letters from Whitechapel, Nuns on the Run, etc let you play against someone who is (hopefully) intelligent and unpredictable.

Back to D&DAS games; they and Mice & Mystics are among the best DM-less crawls available right now. If the D&DAS games are lacking anything it's a storyline campaign that has some fiction to back up the scenarios. Claustrophobia, Earth Reborn, L7 Omega Protocol, and Mice & Mystics all provide just enough storyline material to keep me engaged. Even Arkham Horror has enough fluff on the cards to provide some semblance of motivation for your character's actions. D&DAS lacks that. I bet the D&DAS games really shine if you have the type of player who DMs RPGs to provide some backstory for the scenarios and narrative for the game play. Mad Dog makes a good point of how knowing the backstory for Legend of Drizzt makes the game more engaging. I feel the same way about the LoTR coop. The LoTR game provides almost zero narrative other than the names and artwork, but since I know the source material I'm able to really get into it.

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16 Jun 2014 11:34 #180590 by Michael Barnes
I don't know, I don't tend to care too much about some elaborate story in a hack-and-slash game like these. I like to have some structure "go blow up this thing to keep that thing from happening" or whatever, but I think the minute-to-minute narrative is really the action- what gets fought, what gets found, what terrible shit happens.

Dungeon crawls tend to have some of the same problems as race games...too slow, too much counting, and too long.

I think Claustrophobia is pretty much the gold standard for the genre, to be honest. Dungeonquest is up there too, but it's far more capricious. These games give a full sense of a D&D game with plenty of fighting, loot and a threadbare story to give you a reason to be there. That's enough for me.

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