5E Can my party make it out of Bleak House? (5e)(Ravenloft)

RxDrAcula

Villager
Hey all, my first post. I'm a novice DM currently running my first 5e adventure in Lost Mines of Phandelver. My players have completed about three 8-hour sessions and still have more content to go through.

I recently discovered my love for Ravenloft, and my players are open to moving their chars there.

I bought a PDF of both Domains of Dread and Bleak House (also have Castles Forlorn PDF). Read through both DoD and the first part of Bleak House and am planning on converting the latter to 5e and running it after Lost Mines.

SPOILERS:

However, I have a potential problem. Lost Mines is supposed to get the party to level 5. Bleak House is FULL of cerebral vampires (just like normal vampires, but with a different drink of choice) and the party is supposed to escape from this asylum guarded by these skull biters. For a group of six level-5 adventurers, this seems like a tall task. Since vampires are legendary monsters in 5e, this makes it an even greater challenge.

For more veteran DMs, do you think my party will be able to make it out of the asylum? Or do I need to give them a separate adventure beforehand to level them up? Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance, everyone!
 

ccs

39th lv DM
Well, you're the DM. If you think a monster is too tough you can very easily alter it to anything you feel fits.

One way is to flip through the MM etc & simply re-skin an existing creature. For example, use a Ghoul. Do your players know anything about Cerebral Vampires? If not then will it really matter if your version has the stats of a ghoul?

A second way is to go through the fiddly mechanical process for creating monsters in the DMG.

My favorite way is to just to MSU (Make S*** Up). This is because I learned to play looong before the books contained any practical "rules" for creating monsters.
 

Stalker0

Adventurer
If your players are competent than I think they can do it. First thing to note, most things are balanced around 4 adventurers. 6 is a lot more powerful (I have a 6 player party so I can attest).

My party actually fought a vampire at that level and took it to town. 5th level characters are actually very strong, even more so when they hit 6th and their meaty powers all kick in.

The key is to give them proper rest initially. If they fight the vampire after a series of encounters they might be too weak. But when fresh, they can go to town.

And then once they have leveled up a bit more you can add more pressure.
 

RxDrAcula

Villager
Thanks to both of you for your responses. Both are very much appreciated.

CCS, that's a really good idea about re-skining a monster. I might play around with that concept and see which monster would work best. And I doubt my players know what a cerebral vampire is. Even if they did, they probably would not know what to expect since I am converting it to 5e. As for your MSU method, I just need more practice at that. :)

Stalker0, yeah they're pretty competent. Combined they have years of D&D playing experience, and their experiences have made them cautious. My only concern is them escaping the asylum guarded by 10-15 (approximately) cerebral vamps. Knowing your party defeated a vampire is definitely reassuring, though. Looking up the challenge ratings in the DMG briefly, I wasn't sure if I was sending them to their deaths.

Both of your responses got me thinking: I could also look in the DMG for minor magic items that could aid their escape. The module allows for them to investigate the asylum (as long as no one finds them). There's already a Folding Boat in there. I could see what else could help them go undetected.

Again, thanks to both of you for your responses!
 

Stalker0

Adventurer
Also keep in mind, nothing says you have to maintain 10–15 vamps.

Try one out. IF your party barely makes it, scale the number down to like 3 of them (or resin them to weaker monsters as suggested above)’If they rip it asunder, maintain the current number.
 

Ash Mantle

Adventurer
Hey all, my first post. I'm a novice DM currently running my first 5e adventure in Lost Mines of Phandelver. My players have completed about three 8-hour sessions and still have more content to go through.

I recently discovered my love for Ravenloft, and my players are open to moving their chars there.

I bought a PDF of both Domains of Dread and Bleak House (also have Castles Forlorn PDF). Read through both DoD and the first part of Bleak House and am planning on converting the latter to 5e and running it after Lost Mines.

SPOILERS:

However, I have a potential problem. Lost Mines is supposed to get the party to level 5. Bleak House is FULL of cerebral vampires (just like normal vampires, but with a different drink of choice) and the party is supposed to escape from this asylum guarded by these skull biters. For a group of six level-5 adventurers, this seems like a tall task. Since vampires are legendary monsters in 5e, this makes it an even greater challenge.

For more veteran DMs, do you think my party will be able to make it out of the asylum? Or do I need to give them a separate adventure beforehand to level them up? Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance, everyone!
Hello! Welcome to ENWorld, have some XP.
Ravenloft is pretty great, the Curse of Strahd adventure module might also be up your alley. While that adventure does update the original adventure to 5e, it also adds its own spin and additions into the mix. But it only lays out the land of Barovia.

I agree with the others that because you're the DM and/or depending on how well your PCs do, you could just improvise and fudge the mechanics of the monsters, the players wouldn't know of course.

Additionally, based on your description of the cerebral vampires and their imbibement of choice, and that Bleak House is full of them, might I suggest using the stats for Mind Drinker vampires (found on page 224 of Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica). They're a CR 4, that casts psionics, has stealth abilities, and can mind siphon dealing psychic damage. They don't have Legendary Actions.
 

RxDrAcula

Villager
Hello! Welcome to ENWorld, have some XP.
Ravenloft is pretty great, the Curse of Strahd adventure module might also be up your alley. While that adventure does update the original adventure to 5e, it also adds its own spin and additions into the mix. But it only lays out the land of Barovia.

I agree with the others that because you're the DM and/or depending on how well your PCs do, you could just improvise and fudge the mechanics of the monsters, the players wouldn't know of course.

Additionally, based on your description of the cerebral vampires and their imbibement of choice, and that Bleak House is full of them, might I suggest using the stats for Mind Drinker vampires (found on page 224 of Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica). They're a CR 4, that casts psionics, has stealth abilities, and can mind siphon dealing psychic damage. They don't have Legendary Actions.
Thanks for the XP Ash! :) Mind drinker vampires? Wow that sounds very similar to what I am looking for. I had not planned on getting Guide to Ravnica, but that might be worthwhile for some stat blocks. Thanks again!
 

Paul Farquhar

Adventurer
As a historical note, vampires received a power boost in 5e relative to the 2nd edition version. There are quite a few critters that are significantly stronger or weaker between editions, so take care when converting. Ravenloft is supposed to be more deadly than standard D&D, and a degree of running away is expected.

But it's those Jarndyce's you really need to watch out for!
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Thanks for the XP Ash! :) Mind drinker vampires? Wow that sounds very similar to what I am looking for. I had not planned on getting Guide to Ravnica, but that might be worthwhile for some stat blocks. Thanks again!
If you do D&D Beyond, you can buy specific monsters, etc. without buying the entire book.

That said, I really enjoy the Ravnica book. Lots of ideas to mine from it.
 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
I skimmed the thread and didn't see any suggestions for vampire spawn. I believe they are CR 5.

On a related note, one thing I don't like about D&D (and most RPGs) is that PCs come in a variety of levels, but monsters have specific CRs. I'd like to be able to easily get a CR 8 (or whatever) Vampire.

My wish list includes a web-based bestiary where you can adjust a slider for CR and have monsters update appropriately. And maybe checkboxes for options. So you go to the Vampire entry, pick the "Druid" option (Druidic Vampires...why not?) and adjust the slider to CR 9. Boom, done. Then just click "download: DM Screen Tag" and ge an awesome PDF that you print on a pre-perforated sheet, fold on the line, and you have a tag you can hang over your DM screen with a picture for your players to see, and all the stats for you to see.

IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK!?!??!

Oh, and I also want a pony.
 

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