The three new characters to choose from, Fletcher, Shepherd and Butcher, are not the first three career adventurers I would think of to put in the frontline against somebody called 'The Plague Lord'. Priests, Clerics, Paladins, Mages these are what formulate in my mind as the heroes to defeat such a monstrous adversary, but not a maker of Arrows - with no-one to fire them, the herder of Sheep - maybe the Plague Lord likes a bit of Lamb? - and a Butcher? - well if you're going to have roast lamb then these three characters make sense. Collect a sheep, butcher it, roast it on a spit made of arrows and then when the Plague Lord smells the delicious aroma of spit-roast lamb all the characters can run through his Castle and out the other side to safety - well that's the plan!
As always, each character has their own die marked specifically for them by name, the fourth die is the Plague die and this is a particularly nasty piece of work (not in production, just what it can do) as you gain the amount of plague infection as rolled. Plague points add up and you lose points accordingly - owie! Feeling a bit sick now ... where's the Aspirin?
The artwork/illustrations are in line with all the other THEMEBORNE artwork for ESCAPE the DARK CASTLE expansions and Base game and I am still of the same opinion. They aren't 'marmite' because there are grey areas, though these are mainly black. Even if you're not so keen on how some of the main creatures have been created there is always the imagination of the artist for you to wonder at (by the way, Themeborne do not name the designer/s or artist/s except in the Base game - it is accepted that nothing has changed except the concept - perhaps 'Theme' is a better word here - of the adventure.
So with this set comes a Spear, Net (back to Gladiatorial school then), Double-Daggers and the all-important Knapsack (aka the adventurers Backpack aka 'Bag of Holding'). New equipment that will aid your heroes in their quest to escap[e the clutches of the piggy-demonic, diseased Plague Lord and his buddies.
As I eluded to earlier in a previous review of this game system, the 15 cards included in this game set plus the end-of-dungeon Boss, can be insinuated into any of the DARK CASTLE's adventures. Preferably played as the fourth adventure (I know the box says it's the third expansion but you have to count the Base game to be the first) in a campaign of Dungeon delving I am not sure how long Themeborne can keep it going. Yes they can continue to bring out 15 card + a Boss sets and there are other things to add in after Events, Curses and Companions, but although I really like the game it is in danger of becoming a more of the same with different names on the cards. I think it can probably handle one more expansion but afterwards it is quite possible even regular fans will be looking for more than just an additional effect.
The above paragraph is not meant to be over critical of the game, for as I stated, I like it a lot, but I am more worried it will flop out of fashion rather than go out on a high. Basically I am suggesting to Themeborne to come up with something different that can be included into the game without losing the fun dungeon aspect but at the same time offering players a different aspect of dungeon exploring. Off the top of my head (with hardly any thought) the next or one of the next sets could include cards that link together to form a dungeon path and card-counters or standees for your adventurers - just a thought!
BLIGHT of the PLAGUE LORD is a £14.99 rrp game found at Boardgameguru for £11.99