In Ravenloft: Strahd's Possession, you begin the adventure with two people in your party and through careful selection you can expand to four during the game. The additional two are replaceable which adds a nice strategic aspect as you can't always be sure of the intentions of these non-player character (NPC) temporary hires. When creating your two main characters (who can't be dropped from the party), you choose from six possible races (human, elf, half-elf, halfling, gnome and dwarf) each with specific ability modifiers and class restrictions. The six classes available are fighter, ranger, paladin, mage, cleric and thief each with primary attribute requirements (such as wisdom for a cleric, or strength and charisma for a paladin) and weapon restrictions. Additionally, each character is affiliated with one of six philosophical outlooks on life (for example, chaotic good, neutral good, lawful neutral) which can be restricted by class type. Finally, six major abilities or skills are tracked throughout the game: strength, wisdom, intelligence, dexterity, constitution and charisma. To add to the mix, certain races can be single or multi-class which will impact on things like speed of level advancement (experience points gained in multi-class are split between classes), combat prowess, and spell casting levels.
Priests and mages are differentiated in two major ways. Each has their own arsenal of spells with six levels of increasingly powerful spells. Priests (or clerics) must pray to their gods and get divine help to cast their spells while mages must memorize their spells from books and scrolls. Priests have about 29 spells in their repertoire and mages approximately 36. The four types of spells include offensive (attack), defensive (protection), healing (curative) and miscellaneous (invisibility, create food, haste, etc.).
The game has multiple modes of first-person movement (arrow buttons, free mouse, on-screen arrow, and single step) and options for both mouse and keyboard. The free flowing movement can be difficult to master but adds a degree of realistic character movement compared to the traditional step-by-step method. Control can be dicey at times but normally easy to control and interaction with NPCs and objects is simple and effective. Combat is handled in real time and is accomplished by pointing and clicking the mouse over your adversary, however, weapons must be in-hand and spells must be readied before battle begins. A major shortcoming is the lack of resurrection or restoration spells, so saving often is a must in case the monster du jour annihilates your favorite character. Speaking of monsters, the adventure contains a huge assortment (nearly three dozen) of nasty creatures and ghoulish beasts to contend with. The game also has a very handy automapping feature that allows user typed input on the map. Animation sequences are generally well done and sound effects create an eerie feeling as your adventure unfolds. Bottom line: fun to play even with a few inexplicable but tolerable glitches that occasionally result in slow movement but a good story and solid gameplay overcomes the smaller gripes.
Graphics: Nice animation sequences and artwork that successfully presents a brooding quality to the environment give the game an eerie feel.
Sound: Music is suitably thematic although not always on cue but it's the sound effects that create appropriate background ambiance.
Enjoyment: A fairly solid role-playing experience, held back only by occasional out of whack controls and gameplay glitches. Central theme and overall adventuring effects overcome most of the minor flaws.
Replay Value: Replay value is assured because of multiple options for character generation but like most role-playing games, once the plot is played out and the conclusion attained, interest wanes.
Lord Dhelt of Elturel was attacked in his own castle. The mysterious assassin stole the Hole Symbol of Helm, a precious amulet with magical powers. Lord Dhelt asks you to bring the amulet back. But when you kill the assassin and retrieve the amulet, you are suddenly teleported into an unknown area. The way back is blocked by poisonous mist, and there is nothing you can do but explore the hostile surroundings and to solve the mystery of the amulet.
Ravenloft: Strahd's Possession is a party-based RPG that utilizes AD&D rules. In the beginning you have a party of two people, using either pre-determined characters, or creating your own ones, picking from traditional AD&D races (human, elf, dwarf, etc.) and classes (fighter, cleric, etc.). Some characters will join your party during the course of the game, allowing maximum of four characters. Combat is done in real time. The 3D environment allows you to move smoothly through the game world, either with arrow keys, or by simply moving the mouse.
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