Posted by : David Guyll May 28, 2016

Our daughter wanted to play Wrath of Ashardalon so she could try and slay the eponymous dragon, but a few years ago I sleeved all the cards, and since they wouldn't fit back in the box I put them in another box with a shitload of other cards from at least Descent: Journey in the Dark, Super Dungeon Explore/The Forgotten King, and I think Mice &Mystics and Mansions of Madness.

The cards got jumbled about during a move, so rather than try and sort everything out we broke out Temple of Elemental Evil (since I hadn't bothered to sleeve its cards) and play through the last adventure. A while back we actually played through the entire campaign; I forget exactly what we had by the time we made it to the last adventure, just that at the least we'd purchased a variety of those green upgrade tokens, were all 2nd-level, and had several magic items apiece.

So, I figured it was fair to start us at 2nd-level, and have all of two random magic items each, though we were allowed to trade before starting since my character didn't need both claws of the umber hulk and a flame tongue (gave the former to the ranger so she could have a high-damage attack). During the course of the campaign, succeeding or failing certain adventures has you add cards to the Monster, Encounter, and/or Treasure decks: we had won every adventure we played previously, so I kept the decks as-is since I don't think I removed any cards once we'd finished the previous campaign.

The Dungeons & Dragons board games can be pretty swingy: even before you factor in dice rolls, sometimes you'll get a string of black-arrow tiles, and just fucking brutal Encounter and Monster draws. We've played games where we barely managed to crawl through a couple of tiles before getting wiped out; I'd say just over half the time, so long as we have a cleric and fighter we manage to claw our way to victory.

This was one of the games that fell aaall the way on the other side of the spectrum. It wasn't as awesome as the time we were able to use a wand of polymorph on Ashardalon, transforming him into a kobold before finishing him off with a 1-damage-on-a-miss daily (hey, I couldn't find a rule that rendered him immune to being polymorphed), but it was pretty damn close.

We had some hiccups with a trio of empowered air cultists and a fire elemental, but otherwise it was a breeze: among other things, many Encounter cards were trivial (and one even let us discard a Treasure card to heal), and we racked up more than enough XP to ignore Encounters that actually mattered (like the second Rage of Imix), the one trap token that wasn't a dud only dealt 2 damage, the flametongue let me take out 1 hp monsters/finish off the ones that weren't wiped out by 2+ damage dailies, and most of the Treasure draws were exceedingly useful (ioun stone let Melissa refresh her AoE, and something else gave the ranger Advantage, which was great since the claws of the umber hulk had a low accuracy).

But the best part was at the end. First, the Water Altar came up on the ninth draw (ie, the fastest you can get it). While Velathidros (the dragon) tried to chow down on our daughter's ranger, I ran past and used Drown on the water node, which triggers it to explode the next time your Hero phase ends. On Melissa's turn, she used one of her spells to push Velathidros back onto the node with a Stunned token. Before he could act my turn came around, I ran off the tile, ending my Hero Phase, after which I guess the water node exploded, dealing a whopping 20 damage to everyone on the tile, which as it turns out was just Velathidros.

By that time we'd already dealt 7 damage, but Velathidros only has 16 hit points anyway.




Announcements
If you're curious about FrankenFourth and/or Dungeons & Delvers, you can find public alpha documents here and here respectively.

Throughout the month of May, everything in our DriveThruRPG store is 13% off. If you want something and don't use DriveThru, hit us up and we can work something out. We've also added most of our stuff to Tabletop Library and Payhip.

A Sundered World is out (and also available in dead-tree format)! If you for some reason don't want the entire setting, you can just snag the races and classes.

The Beastmaster is also out, and we're working on a cleric and paladin class next. If there's anything you want/don't want to see in those classes, let us know!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

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