Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Castle Ravenloft Gargoyles and Wraiths

This is the first of many reviews of the monsters found in the Dungeons and Dragons board-game of Castle Ravenloft. Gargoyles and Wraiths are the two most powerful types of monster you can encounter in Castle Ravenloft. For each type of monster, you get three figures, all identically sculpted.
The Gargoyles look suitably menacing and are quite tall. Their stats are AC16 and 2HP. Killing one grants your character 3 Experience Points.
A Gargoyle's tactics are -
If the Gargoyle is within 1 tile of a Hero, it moves to the closest hero's tile and attacks each Hero on the tile with a whirlwind of Claws.
Otherwise, it does nothing.
A Claws attack has a +8 bonus to hit and causes 2 damage plus inflicts Slowed status on the victim. If the attack misses, it still causes 1 damage. Slowed reduces a hero's Speed rating to 2.
You can't tell from my paint-work that the Wraith figures were made of translucent blue plastic. I gave them a wash of Citadel Drakenhof Nightshade (dark blue) and painted the inside of the Wraiths' robes in black. The skull and hands were painted with Foundry Canvas 8B and highlighted with Foundry Canvas 8C.
Wraiths are classed as Undead and they are fearsome opponents. Their stats are AC15 and 2HP. Killing one grants your Hero 3 Experience Points.
A Wraith's tactics are -
If the Wraith is within 1 tile of a Hero, it moves adjacent to the closest Hero and attacks that Hero with a life-draining Claw.
Otherwise, the Wraith moves 1 tile toward the closest Hero.
A Claw attack gives a +6 bonus to attack and causes 3 damage if it hits or 1 damage if it misses.
Wraiths have a Special Ability - Death Shriek. When this monster is destroyed each Hero on its tile takes 1 damage.
These are the only two monsters in the game to grant a Hero 3 Experience Points for killing one. They are tough opponents - the Wraith, in particular can cause a lot of damage. Gargoyles are nasty if your Hero is within 1 tile of it. Move further away and they are no threat whatsoever.
I like how they have been sculpted and I very nearly left the the Wraith in its translucent blue colour for its robes but in the end I went with a much darker colour scheme. It's more in keeping with my own ideas of what a Wraith should look like.

30 comments:

  1. You can quite imagine those gargoyles perched on the top of a gothic type castle/cathedral, very brooding and menacing! I love your background for your photos by the way, where is it from if I may ask?

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    1. Thanks, Andy. The Gargoyles are very Gothic looking. The background for all my fantasy photos features walls and tiles from the old World Works Games set of Castles and Keeps. It is the only thing I have made from this set.

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    2. They definitely fit the bill! The lamps are terrific, were they separate? They don't look like card?

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    3. The torches are part of the wall texture and are not separate. By the way, this set is out of production but if you want a copy just let me know your e-mail address and I'll send you a free copy.

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    4. Thanks Bryan :)
      dagobbosgrotto@googlemail.com
      Really appreciate it dude!

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    5. No problem, mate. I'll get them off to you asap.

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  2. I like all the paint work. The wraiths hands seem HUGE but it might be my eyesight. But generally I do like them and the gargoyles.

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    1. Nope, nothing wrong with your eyesight, Clint - the Wraiths DO have oversized hands! All the better for grabbing you!

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  3. Nice work! The hands on he wraiths seem big to me but the gargoyles are great figures.

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    1. It's true, Robert, that the Wraiths have extra-large hands but even so, I still like them. And, yes, the Gargoyles are great.

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  4. Nice job Bryan! They all look suitably scary Dude, great stuff! World of the Undead indeed.

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    1. Many thanks, Bob. It is such a nice change to be reviewing Undead figures who aren't vampires or zombies.

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  5. Those gargoyles look rather splendid, don't they? Not that there's anything wrong with the wraiths either...

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    1. Thanks, Hugh. I'm guessing the size of the Wraith's hands don't bother you too much. :-)

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    2. Hmm, the wraiths' hands are a little on the big side, but not so much that I have a real issue with it.

      I'm not against some exaggeration for artistic effect, to emphasise a weapon or a bodily characteristic (a pointed nose on a witch, a hunchback on a jailor, a square jaw on a pulp hero...). But some miniatures overdo it grossly!

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    3. I have to agree with you. But as Steve kindly pointed out, there is a good reason why the Wraiths have such big hands.

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  6. Nice painting Bryan, a style from you I`ve not seen before.... the style of Dungeons and Dragons (which has a unique tone all of its own, developed over the last 40 years of the game). I find that people used to painting... say... Warhammer or Warhammer 40 Thousand, or some of the newer games like Descent Journeys in the Dark, Zombicide and Zompocalypse, tend to paint vibrantly, with a LOT of colour, and a tendency to highlight and especially to use black lining to separate colours... especially round the eyes. Dungeon and Dragons figures demand a different approach, an almost toned down... muted, and unique semi stylised approach. You did this wonderfully here Bryan. Proud of you mate.

    I was really surprised to painted the transparent Wraiths. They are actually glow in the dark if left in their natural state, and most modellers, at most, simply highlight them a bit on some of the extremities (edges of the robe folds, along the creases, etc), yet leave them blue, with `wraith like` drimmer, eldrich light.... eerie blue if left to glow. But none the less, they do look suitably creepy in black :))

    Nice work Bryan.

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    1. The Wraiths glowed on the dark? Wow, I never knew that! But seeing as I'm not likely to play Castle Ravenloft in the dark, that's no big loss. I still like my colour scheme for them and I'm certainly not going to change it now. Thanks for your kind words, Steve.

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  7. {{It's true, Robert, that the Wraiths have extra-large hands but even so, I still like them.}}

    Comes from their inherent ability to drain energy (levels) from anyone they touch... in true D&D anyway. This ability was once called Mage Hand in the original pioneering days, and was described as tending to enlarge the hands due to the excessive usage of magic hehe.

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    1. Your D&D knowledge is truly astounding, Steve. Once again, I have learnt something new from you. Thank you, oh wise one!

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  8. Sorry to have joined this posting so late Bryan. The gargoyles are certainly my fave of the two and somehow, camera angle I presume, they actually look slightly different poses to me. Anyway they're superb, both in sculpt and paint-job. Not quite so taken with the wraiths on account of their hands but your painting of them is terrific. Loving the detail you go into with your commentary - you should sell games for a living my friend :-)

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    1. Ah, don't worry about arriving late, Simon. You're here and your comments are always welcome. When I positioned my figures to have their photos taken I deliberately posed them so that they weren't all facing the same direction. Steve very kindly explained the rationale behind the Wraith's big hands and I fully accept his explanation.

      As for selling games, there are certain games that I can enthuse about endlessly. This is one of them.

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  9. {{I still like my colour scheme for them and I'm certainly not going to change it now}}


    See, that`s got me thinking now. I`m a little perplexed. I always just went with the "Ooo look, transparent blue plastic.... makes them look soooo wraith like and cool". It was a big talking point back then, and I can remember when WotC were selling these figures a few at a time in their booster packs for the Tradable D&D Miniatures Skirmish Wargame System game (which, to this day, I still think was THE most masterly game ever invented by this company).... the see through plastic and the transparent coloured plastic ones** always sold at massively high prices on eBay, because they were so rare to get your hands on). I can remember when I pulled one of these `specials` from a booster, being thrilled if I managed to get one of the clear plastic ones..... so, so, so rare. Grrrr!!! I never did manage to pull the Wraith back in those days.... and it sold for scarey money on eBay or from one of the `singles` miniature sellers out there. When I got frickin THREE of these wraiths in the D&D Adventure System Boardgame (Ravenloft) I was over the moon.... finally my day had come, I thought, haha.

    **{{the transparent ones came in a few different colurs. Deep Yellow for the Yellow Ocre. Green for the Green Slime, Red for the Fire Elemental, Blue for un dead things, etc, etc}}

    So yeah I know how precious they are... were.... in their unpainted clear state. But YOURS Bryan, painted as they are, look so darn cool. I`m at a loss what to think any more. Normally, back along, in the Tradable Miniatures Day (still seems like yesterday to me... but then again at the same time, gaming has changed so much this last ten plus years... it actually DOES seem like a different age ago) the though of painting over one of these rare pieces would have been sacralige, and would have caused me to be open mouthed in doubt. But seeing how lovely you have painted yours, I find myself fighting my instinctive urge to ring my hands in horror and wail to the wall, and instead find myself going “Oooo they look so COOL painted”.

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    1. Once again, Steve, your knowledge of D&D far exceeds mine. I had no idea that the translucent figures were once so rare. I never bought any of those collectible D&D figures, although I was aware of their existence. Before I started painting my Castle Ravenloft figures I checked out a lot of other paint schemes of them on Google. I know how good a translucent Wraith with minimal highlighting looks and I very nearly went down that road myself. But when the time came to paint them I decided to go dark on the robes and I don't regret it.

      If my paint scheme has left you confused as to what looks best just wait until you see my Blazing Skeletons, which I'll be reviewing next time. They will not be what you're expecting!

      I really am absolutely delighted that you like my efforts so much. Believe me, mate, it means a lot to me.

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  10. Lovely work, Bryan! The gargoyles are superb and the wraiths were originally transparent!? I feel my resolve weakening with every additional post on this game. I do like what you've done with the wraiths and whilst their hands may appear a little large - all the better to engulf an unsuspecting adventurer's head...

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    1. Many thanks, Jez. Yes, the Wraiths are indeed made of transparent blue plastic. They'd fit in well with your transparent ghosts you're collecting. Best of all, you won't need to paint them, although that is an option. But you could certainly get away with not painting them.

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  11. I particularly like those gargoyles Bryan, very much original artwork inspired!

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    1. Everyone seems to like the Gargoyles, Adam. Quite right, too. I think they're great.

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  12. Great looking ghouls and gargoyles!

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