Temple of Elemental Evil Review
Innovation in game design seems to be in short supply nowadays. Yet you can find it in unexpected places. Take all those wargames that use the same basic rules but have new units, maps and mechanical tweaks for different battles. Playing through these franchises can reveal an ocean of wonder inside those tiny details, making history come to life.
The biggest draw for these games right now is that my kids love playing with them. Truthfully that's about as much as I play with them these days myself. I'd like to grab this at some point to round out what i have, but each successive iteration is beginning to seem less and less essential. At least Drizzt had some really cool monsters.
I'll probably snatch up the new campaign rules and be done with it.
If the game has a major flaw for me it's the setting. I don't really care all that much about the elemental cultists and whatnot. It creates a weird vibe were all the enemies are too similar. I still think Ravenloft has the best setting and I'm hoping they do Tomb of Horrors for the next version of this game (if there is one).
Uethym wrote: A lot of the tiles spawn multiple monsters, more of the monsters have two wounds, and the average XP for each is greater. This had a huge effect on feel for our group. The old Ravenloft strategy of exploring as frantically as possible to avoid Encounter cards got us massacred here. We found it better to clear down to 1-2 monsters before advancing, and the increased XP from so many kills allowed us to cancel the harsher Encounter cards accrued from not exploring. It felt more like a regular dungeon crawl than a mad dash for the finish, while still keeping some time pressure.
I am a vocal dissenter of DDAS games as I think your point was the main reason why I disliked them so much, besides feeling too abstract for a dungeoncrawler.
They felt like a gauntlet, and lacked any exploration. Exploration does not equal reveal a new tile for yet more shit to kick your teeth in. But it's nearly impossible to get the feeling of good exploration when you rely on a co-op system than a human opponent. Just the nature of the design.
But if they have addressed that somewhat, then this may be the one for me, despite loving the Ravenloft setting more, and heavily disliking the revamp made to Temple of Elemental Evil. No Zuggtmoy? Iuz? Where is the Village of Hommlet near Nulb?
Greyhawk forever, bishes.
SuperflyTNT wrote: I'll probably snatch up the new campaign rules and be done with it.
It isn't easy to retrofit the ToEE campaign system to older games in the series because of how specific monster/item/encounter cards are added into their respective decks after each scenario.
There is a small flavor of Descent 2nd ed in the campaign, as well, where if the heroes accomplish a particular goal then cards x,y are added to certain decks as a 'reward'. In essence, if you do better, then better treasures are added to the treasure deck, but worse events are added to the encounter deck as well.