Posted by : David Guyll February 21, 2011

Castle Ravenloft had an adventure that you could solo, presumably to help learn the rules through actual play, as I couldn't imagine surviving on your own for more than a few turns. Likewise, Wrath of Ashardalon has a small adventure in which you must navigate the halls until you find a secret entrance to escape. After reading the adventure, I noticed that the escape tile is always the seventh. I decided to give it a try today, figuring that having two healing surges to myself I could at least scrape by, especially considering that you don't have to kill a boss monster: just get the fuck out and you'll be fine.


To make this even more challenging, I went with the dragonborn wizard, taking the spells arc lightning, hypnotism, shock sphere, and mirror image. You automatically get hurled breath, which is a nice way to get a free ranged AoE attack. I'd considered taking wizard eye, but I'm not sure if it lasts only one turn, or forever.


With nothing to do on round one, I decided to cast mirror image and stay put to explore. Mirror image boosts your AC by six points, and is reduced by two each time you are hit. There's no mention of duration, and figured I might as well do something interesting during my hero phase besides waiting for a monster to bum-rush me.


Ugh...why did it have to be snakes? Their bite adds the Poisoned condition, which ensures that you'll lose at least two hit pionts if you get hit. To make things worse, I drew a black tile. Fuck. With no XP to cancel it, I also get sidelined with a whirling blade trap, which meant that now I got to eat two attacks during my villain phase. Thankfully, the snake missed, but the blades hit, meaning my mirror image bonus went from +6 to +4, and I took 2 damage.


Fast forward a few turns, and I'm down a healing surge, spawned a gibbering mouther, and mirror image is out. I didn't get a chance to explore during turn two, and got nailed with an arrow (I think). Oh, and I'm dazed. The only upside is that I got lucky on disabling the whirling blades.


Cultists have never been remotely scary, except these guys carry poisoned daggers. When a single point of damage counts for almost a fifth of your total health, that's a big deal. I manage to take them both out with arc lightning, and eat another encounter that I forgot about (but probably did damage). Down to my last few hit points, I'm fucked, but I keep exploring and hoping that a kobold doesn't do me in.


Yay! A white tile. This just means I get to stand there while a monster skewers me, but which monster, I wonder?


I fucking hate duergar. With this guy, if you aren't on the tile he's on (and how could you be?), he explores. And draws a monster. Technically, it's already my villain phase, so I don't activate the cultists. I did, however, draw two long hall tiles, which means that now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately, I've got only three hit points left, and if I get hit by the cultists, I'm pretty much done for.


So, I dash by the duergar and kill the cultist first with arc lightning (also damaging the duergar in the process), and get a fucking tome of experience. Would have been handy a looong time ago. Since I didn't explore, I draw an encounter card, which ends up spawning a goddamned bear with a treasure token thankfully some ways away. I'm not going to go for it, obviously, and you don't keep the treasure, and I'm guaranteed to die even if I did get it. Also fortunately, the duergar doens't move and attack, he just moves.


I just realized while writing this that I could have double moved and gotten out last turn. At any rate, I just cancelled the rolling boulder trap that I triggered with the plethora of XP I'd accumulated through this hellish trial and managed to walk out on the next turn. Fuck, that was bullshit. I only won through sheer luck. Had I not gotten a pair of long hallways back-to-back, I would have been screwed big time.

{ 7 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. Ohhhh. I want this game so badly! And the previous one. And the next/

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  2. They are AWESOME. Great for nights where you don't want to run a full game, but a delve just isn't enough. If people want, I'll do more solo games in the future.

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  3. Sounds like you played some rules wrong: snakes don't do any damage, they only poison, and if you save at the end of your hero phase you'd only take 1 damage. The cultist the duegar brought in would've activated on the turn it arrived--it's placed after the dwarf in your monster activation so gets a turn.

    It's a fun game--quick and simple!

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  4. Hey, yeah, snakes don't do damage. Well, except for whatever Poisoned ends up doing. Eh, at least it wouldn't have greatly altered the game or anything...

    My interpretation (at the time) of the duergar rules is that the spawned monster doesn't get to act, since it comes into play during the villain phase (as opposed to being present when it already starts).

    I recall some of the encounter cards actually calling out that the monster appears and gets to act, so without any text specifying, I just played in my favor.

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  5. You forgot the end-boss?

    IIRC, when you draw the Exit tile, a Kobold dragonlord is summoned and the final winning condition is to kill it.

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  6. Anonymous is right about a few rules errors above.

    The most important is that the first Adventure requires you to kill the Kobold Dragonlord before you can escape the dungeon. He is TOUGH (5 HP!), and pretty hard to hit, too (17 AC, I think).

    Plus, the draws of the Long Hallways should have resulted in TWO more monsters! (Every time you draw a tile, without exception, a monster gets drawn and appears on the scorch mark). And the monsters do in fact Activate, because the monsters activate in the order they appeared in the game. In other words, the Duergar Guard was summoned after the Cultist (who goes after the Mouther, who goes after the Snake), so his turn comes up. Then he summons another monster (on the Long Hallway). This monster takes its turn after the Duergar's turn is done. Wrath of Ashardalon, because of the "Sentry" type characters (Duergar and Kobold), canvery quickjly turn into a monster "conga line," with you running flat-out to open new tiles and escape while a long string of monsters chase you!

    You can only (thankfully!) have one Encounter card per turn, though, so at least that's a break...

    The game's pretty hard for a solo character, especially one without a high AC or any healing. The Cleric might be easier to beat the first adventure with.

    -K

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  7. "The Cleric might be easier to beat the first adventure with."

    It's not. Just got the game. 0 for 4 on the first adventure using the Cleric. Tried two different build outs. Giving up and moving on to Adventure 2...

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