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Expedition to Castle Ravenloft

Authors: Bruce R. Cordell, James Wyatt
Type: Campaign Adventure
Format: 222 page, hard cover
Release date
: October 2006
Other notes: This is the first Ravenloft product by Wizards of the Coast, though it does not bear the Ravenloft logo and makes no other mention to the Ravenloft setting.

Summary of content: 



Panos "RavenHarm" Kollias

This is one of those books that will be accepted with mixed reactions, and that is an understatement. I thought long before writing this to quell what is certain to be a backlash for the more conservative fans out there.

First and foremost, twenty one products of the ravenloft line made by white wolf have just been thrown unceremoniously out the window. or so it seems at first. (not really a bad thing considering that in my humble opinion, white wolf's attempt at ravenloft was in every way the dictionary term of adequate ).

This book says that it is in fact a semi nostalgic rewind of the original module 16 adventure written by the hickmans. while I admit that I have only read that adventure once and have played through the "house of strahd," I find this book breaks all the borders and boundaries of previous notions of the formal affair that is ravenloft for the better.

Wizards has solved the major problem with ravenloft, and that is; as complex as it is, it 's  a very delicate campaign setting. it can't hope to stand up to the "min/Max" power player. the average player might soon become frustrated with all the new rules that make most spellcasting classes UN playable. And the core fanbase of ravenloft is so opinionated (my peeps =]   ) that it seems even among each other, they can't seem to agree on what is right and wrong.

If looked at neutral eyes one can see that the many changes involved are for the better, a full color book that includes a new adventure link system made to not have you constantly flip through the book in an awkward attempt to find where is to what. maps! maps everywhere! the art is miles above the c.r.a.p. that was arthous. (i am a true Stephen fabian fan) and the ability to start his game from any world including barovia is flexible. what i especially like is the taint based system as opposed to the antiquated powers checks/ fear horror madness system.

Ravenloft needed this type of update. one that made it playable to the mass audience of DnD while keeping its gothic horror roots.

I would love to see how far wizard can take this... 4.3 out of 5


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