Beadle & Grimm's Legendary Edition of Curse of Strahd: A Review

From the start, Beadle & Grimm's has set a high standard for their luxury editions of D&D adventures. With its Legendary Edition of Curse of Strahd, they just exceeded those standards, and I don't say that lightly. To explain why, let's start with the box.

BnG Strahd Box.jpg

No, I don't mean the product box. That is a gorgeous glossy black with a blood-red-and-black embossed design and lettering, and a red interior. It's also heavy because it's packed with the many components of this set.

The box I actually mean is the shipping box, which is over-sized because in addition to the actual Legendary Edition product box it also contains a 25-inch tall, 4-inch diameter custom poster tube to hold the maps as well as padding to ensure that both arrive safely. Packaging the maps in their own poster tube is impressive, but it's also practical since the Legendary Edition contains 38 color maps, printed on heavy, textured paper, and scaled so that they can serve as battle maps.

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Those over-sized maps don't just reprint the ones from the original Curse of Strahd. Mike Schley's maps for the Wizard of Wines, Death House Basement, Coffin Maker Shop, and Church are included, also scaled up by Schley for this set. The other 33 maps include Jack Badashski's maps for every inch of Castle Ravenloft.

A full map of Barovia by Devon Rue completes the map set. In addition to these over-sized maps, LEoCoS contains a folder containing reprints of all the maps in the book so they can be easily handed out to players. The poster tube also contains two Barovian deeds of property, rolled up and tied shut with twine, ready to be handed to your players.

And that's just the start. As with prior Beadle & Grimm's D&D sets the content of the adventure is divided into five lay-flat versions that are easier to manage behind a DM screen. Speaking of a screen, the exterior art was commissioned specifically for this set and Sidharth Chaturvedi is appropriately moody and epic. The inside of the screen has a map of Barovia, random encounter charts, Barovian names, a key reference to the book, a chart of the areas by level, and a list of NPCs with key details as a handy reference.

Another staple of B&G sets is their encounter cards, with art on one side and DM information on the other so the card can be hung on the DM's screen. LEoCoS contains 61 encounter cards plus 17 double-sided art handouts so you don't have to hold up a book while hiding confidential information. Since Strahd is both the entire reason for the adventure and his presence overshadows everything in Barovia the vampire gets his own extra large, black encounter card.

B&G also created and includes five pre-gen characters – a ranger, a rogue, a paladin, a cleric, and a warlock. Four new supplemental adventures give your players additional ways to explore Barovia. “Hunger of the Wolf” requires teamwork to stop a group of werewolves. “Scout Party” involves saving a kidnapped child from scarecrows. “The Third Gem” addresses a question many DMs have wondered after reading CoS. “Tarokka Too” demonstrates how power can cut both ways. A full set of Tarokka cards is also included in LEoCoS.

BnG Strahd StrahdLettertoDurst_crop-e1596180612659.jpg

Another thing B&G is known for are their original handouts, in-world items, and artifacts. LEoCoS doesn't disappoint. In addition to the deed scrolls I already mentioned the set includes a flyer for the Festival of the Blazing Sun, wine bottle label stickers, journal pages, excerpts from Tome of Strahd, Strahd's invitation to dinner, fancy paper and envelopes, and even wax seals. To aid the DM while roleplaying that dinner you're given information that can be used for dinner conversation with the vampire, gleaned from B&G's own CoS play-throughs.

BnG Strahd Coins.jpg

As for artifacts – wow. Three metal Barovian coins with Strahd's face on one side are packaged in a velvet pouch with an embossed raven. The holy symbol of Ravenkind is beautifully designed in metal and heavy, much like the amulets in prior sets. But what really impressed me was that they made finger puppets to go with the Blinsky's Toys part of the adventure.

BnG Shrahd puppets.jpg

The idea was inspired by a conversation B&G's designers had with D&D staffer Chris Perkins who talked about a Strahd hand puppet Holly Conrad had made for him. The five finger puppets are equal parts cool and creepy. The Faceless Bride, Werewolf, and Marionette Jester all echo the adventure and the Strahd finger puppet is just required. The last one – the Zombie Cleric – is included as a way of teasing the party's cleric.

The finger puppets are smartly designed and well made. Strahd has a small satin cape like a classic vampire and a cute face that the dark lord of Barovia would probably hate. The Zombie Cleric has a tiny, shiny holy symbol on its chest, the Faceless Bride has a sparkly veil. The Werewolf is soft and fuzzy. The tiny bells on the Marionette Jester's hat ring. It's that kind of thought and creativity that earned B&G its excellent reputation and ups the ante from their normal sets to this legendary one.

This is the first “legendary edition” at Beadle & Grimm's, and it lives up to its name. Beadle & Grimm outdid themselves. The only reason I hesitate to label it a “must buy” for Strahd fans is the price. The $399 cost is hefty but understandable due to the details and quality of the components. Still, that's not in everyone's budget, and it's not intended to be. For Curse of Strahd Revamped, WotC's deluxe version, the equation is easier. Combine the MSRP of the actual CoS book plus the cost of the Tarroka deck, and you're already in the ballpark of CoSR's $99 MSRP so if you're buying the adventure for the first time and also want the deck, it's a no-brainer.

For LEoCoS it really comes down to your budget, your interest in the CoS adventure, and if you'll be playing face to face to show off all of its well-crafted pieces. If Beadle & Grimm's sets are an option for you, the Legendary Edition of Curse of Strahd is sure to please. Since the original print run sold out quickly (the second print run starts shipping this month), it has both interest and demand --- and I can't wait to see what they do for their Silver Edition of Von Rickten's Guide to Ravenloft, which is accepting pre-orders now.
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Beth Rimmels

Beth Rimmels

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What is the thing you're like "...why do they do this?".
Speaking as someone who's players chipped in and got me the CoS Legendary edition, and has been running it for the entirety of the pandemic, the only real head scratcher for me in the box were the pre-gen characters. Who are the people who are so into this adventure that they would buy the fanciest version of it, but wouldn't want to make their own character for it?

edit: I should add: it's a great box. I've gotten... a surprising amount of mileage out of the finger puppets. One question I had - when you guys are putting together a B&G version of an adventure, are you allowed to alter the text of the book at all? The pamphlet in the CoS box with the top-down maps of Ravenloft is a straight-up lifesaver, but it would be even more useful to integrate it into the adventure books.
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Space Jam Confirmed
I would also say, and this may be beyond your control, I would love the option to purchase a B&G product AFTER the adventure is released as opposed to having to pre-buy it before I know whether the adventure itself will be one I will actually like.

I pulled the trigger on Dragon Heist because it was clear they'd all be gone before the book was out. Turns out to be among my least favorite official 5E adventures, so I had some regret about the purchase (through no fault of B&G - it was an excellent premium execution but I just didn't love the basic adventure at its heart).

It was because of this that I was gun shy about pre-ordering the B&G version of Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden while it was available. Later, it turned out I love that particular adventure and would happily buy the B&G edition, but they're all gone now. Buying the premium version just wasn't a gamble I was willing to take before knowing that I really wanted to run the adventure.


Frumious Flumph (Your Grace/Your Eminence)
I would also say, and this may be beyond your control, I would love the option to purchase a B&G product AFTER the adventure is released as opposed to having to pre-buy it before I know whether the adventure itself will be one I will actually like.
I second this sentiment. COVID-19 has left me in a contract job which is my family's sole income, and could end at any time. We're not dirt poor, but with the threat of extended unemployment a very real possibility every few months, I can't justify spending the money before I even know if it's an adventure my group will enjoy.

They all look like great product, though, and I am one who loves the little bits that add to the immersion, like the Barovian coins, or the golden dragon from the WDH set. I am pleased as punch that these get made, even if I can't afford them!

I was on the fence with the first premium box, but release after release of top notch goodness, it shows the team are players at heart too.
I like the maps and next are the monster cards to hang on the DM screen for the visual and very close behind are the physical handouts…I as a DM enjoyed handing them out and the players like them as well. Thanks again!

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
Hey. I just found the forum. If anyone wants to ask me a question or offer a suggestion, let me know. I'm Matthew LIllard one of the founders of B&G.

Hi Matthew! Thanks so much for taking questions!

You mentioned how you can't sell anything digitally (totally understand), but is there any chance of the new written material getting released separately as a smaller, but still physical product?

So as an example, I really want to purchase the extra adventure material (The Dread Tales from the Warehouse) made for the Van Richten's box, as it would make excellent material to run a Ravenloft campaign. But I already own a copy of Van Richten's, and the boxes currently available are definitely out of my budget... it would be absolutely fantastic to purchase the maps and entirely new written material as supplements, and I don't mind buying physical copies either! I'd be interested in the same thing for other books you've written new material for, like your Eberron box.

P.S. I saw your Scooby Doo movie as a big birthday party as a child, and it was totally awesome, so thank you for that!


Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I have no questions, I just want to say;

Wing Commander is good, actually.

And the Eberron box is one of the best gaming purchases I’ve made since I was a teenager.

Hey. I just found the forum. If anyone wants to ask me a question or offer a suggestion, let me know. I'm Matthew LIllard one of the founders of B&G.

Hi Matthew,

I did not buy any B&G product for one simple reason : i'm european (french).
It means every box from your team will cost close to a 100 $ more.
Because the boxes are already expansives/deluxe products, this price upgrade is unfortunately an instant deal breaker.

My salary is not that big than i could afford to be a regular B&G client, even without this 100$ killer combo (Shipping + Taxes), but i would have broke my Piggy Bank for the Legendary CoS and i could be tempted by a Legendary ToA.

Is there anything you can do for us, Non-USA potential customers ?
I must add I collaborate on a small french youtube channel about TRPG and any B&G product bought would be fully reviewed.

As far as suggestions goes : Legendary ToA and (i know it will sound stupid but...) a deluxe version of Lost Mines of Phandelver could be awsome !

Thanks, take care and keep up the good work :)

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