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D&D 5E Everything We Know About The Ravenloft Book

Here is a list of everything we know so far about the upcoming Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft.

rav_art.jpg

Art by Paul Scott Canavan​
  • May 18th, 256 pages
  • 30 domains (with 30 villainous darklords)
  • Barovia (Strahd), Dementlieu (twisted fairly tales), Lamordia (flesh golem), Falkovnia (zombies), Kalakeri (Indian folklore, dark rainforests), Valachan (hunting PCs for sport), Lamordia (mad science)
  • NPCs include Esmerelda de’Avenir, Weathermay-Foxgrove twins, traveling detective Alanik Ray.
  • Large section on setting safe boundaries.
  • Dark Gifts are character traits with a cost.
  • College of Spirits (bard storytellers who manipulate spirits of folklore) and Undead Patron (warlock) subclasses.
  • Dhampir, Reborn, and Hexblood lineages.
  • Cultural consultants used.
  • Fresh take on Vistani.
  • 40 pages of monsters. Also nautical monsters in Sea of Sorrows.
  • 20 page adventure called The House of Lament - haunted house, spirits, seances.




 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

dave2008

Legend
Basically don't crap on the old material, don't crap on the old fans for liking the old material.
Of course that is an opinion. I am guessing that they don't see it as crapping on the old material or fans. What feels like a big deal to some, is not to others.

Full disclosure: I am not a fan of Ravenloft and have not owned any adventures set there or any setting information. It was just never my thing.

However, I will be purchasing this book on DnDBeyond.
 

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overgeeked

B/X Known World
Oh for the love of Pete...

They AREN'T getting rid of the Egyptian theming of Har'Akir. Anhktepot is called Pharaoh. Their are pyramids and deserts. Ankyb still wears funeral wrappings. What they have done is removed the overt Egypt references (like Osiris and the Egyptian gods) and made Anky more proactive as a living God of his realm rather than a sleeping treasure vault guardian.

They wanted to tell a story different from The Mummy where a bunch of foreigners go into a pyramid and awaken a sleeping evil trope. They wanted natives to have reason to adventure there and goals other than tomb raiding. Much like how Theros is "Greek inspired" but not adventures in Greek Myth, Har'Akir is Egyptian inspired.

Listen on it here:
Hope that clears things up. because I'd really like to stop these I'Cath whispers...
Seriously, stop feeding the troll.
 

This sort of thread is likely why WotC is reluctant to update old settings.

They need to somehow simultaneously:

  • Include and honor everything that's come before
  • Not just make it a rehash of previously published material
  • Update stuff that's dated or problematic
  • Not fundamentally change the core product with their new inclusions
  • Pat their head and rub their belly at the same time

Honestly, if I were them, I'd stick to adventure paths and MTG settings as well.

Nostalgia is a trap. Everyone upset that the previous versions of Ravenloft aren't being duplicated in 5E 30 years later almost certainly have those original documents, and if you don't, you can get them all easily from DMs Guild or Noble Knight or eBay. If you've been playing since the late 1980s/early 1990s, you are more than capable of updating that material to 5E.

A book published in 2021 is going to be reflective of its time, just as a boxed set released in the early 1990s was reflective of its. Accept that, or don't, it is what it is.
 


Stormonu

Legend
For those that don't want ANYTHING to change, there is the old books - just dump the edition-specific stats.

Unfortunately, things do change. I have personally had a love-hate relationship with the likes of New BSG, Stargate Universe, New Trek and the latest SW trilogy. I am concerned over some of the changes for the new Ravenloft (Anketepot's appearance, for one), but overall I'm excited for the new changes - and anything I don't like I can chuck and replace with old campaign material if it bothers me that much. My table won't know any difference.
 

That's taking it personal, which I would recommend not doing. I could never watch something like Gotham, which makes massive, sometimes in my view detrimental changes to Batman lore, but I don't take it as an personal slight I get what they're doing, it's just not for me. They made changes that fit their vision of the product, and I'm sure in some cases ones they even thought were improvements. But unless there's statements from the creators dogging the comics and their fans there isn't a need to feel insulted.
Imagine how it would feel if some new people took over DC comics, decided past Batman lore was lame and dumb, and rewrote it like GOTHAM

Now imagine it was gaming and not comics, where reboots tend not to be undone after 5 years. That every future Batman story was GOTHAM inspired
 



I was just wondering: what changes could be made for the old fans? I mean, don't the old fans like the old content?
Keep as much of the old lore as possible. Change only what absolutely needs to be changed
Advance the timeline rather than rolling it back 20 or 30 years
Maybe don't shrink the lands down to one town, break apart the Core and erase all the past adventures and novels
Dominic d'Honair is a creepy sex offender? Have him killed and replaced by his daughter
Falkovnia leader is a Nazi and the land is boring? Just don't include it
The Three Hags don't interest you? Make all three interesting
And don't define the dark powers. That's like saying what caused the Mourning
Add don't subtract

Sure there's a lot more but I'm not "special enough" to get free books two weeks early
If I decide to bother with the book at all

Not everyone has the same sense of taste. What one person finds boring might fascinate someone else
I flipping hate CITIIZEN KANE and have never been able to sit through it. But a friend loves the film and watches it annually
Making changes because one designer thinks something is boring is pure ego and is flipping the bird to everyone that doesn't think exactly like them
Ironic then that VAN RICHTEN'S GUIDE TO RAVENLOFT really wants to be this big, inclusive and diverse product when it's setting out to exclude a chunk of the audience
 



TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Imagine how it would feel if some new people took over DC comics, decided past Batman lore was lame and dumb, and rewrote it like GOTHAM

Now imagine it was gaming and not comics, where reboots tend not to be undone after 5 years. That every future Batman story was GOTHAM inspired
That might get me to actually buy a comic book.
 


Imagine how it would feel if some new people took over DC comics, decided past Batman lore was lame and dumb, and rewrote it like GOTHAM
Batman doesn't resemble the Batman from 1939's Detective Comics #27. He's changed and been rebooted quite a number of times since then. And many characters in his orbit like the Robins or Batwoman have been changed even more with various reboots. And those changes have stuck.
 


Kurotowa

Legend
Batman doesn't resemble the Batman from 1939's Detective Comics #27. He's changed and been rebooted quite a number of times since then. And many characters in his orbit like the Robins or Batwoman have been changed even more with various reboots. And those changes have stuck.

Man, the Batman of Detective Comics #27 isn't the same as the Batman of Detective Comics #38. Introducing Robin was basically a soft reboot of a character that was less than a year old. Hands up if you've read any of the stories from that first year. You know, the ones where he's using guns(!) to kill people(!!!) like he was a pulp hero instead of a superhero. Well, I say "like", but he basically was a cheap knockoff of The Shadow with an animal themed costume.

Characters evolve, stories get revised, the world turns.
 

Rikka66

Adventurer
Imagine how it would feel if some new people took over DC comics, decided past Batman lore was lame and dumb, and rewrote it like GOTHAM

Now imagine it was gaming and not comics, where reboots tend not to be undone after 5 years. That every future Batman story was GOTHAM inspired.
The previous version of Ravenlofy had been abandoned by Wizards for 15 years. The old plot was not going to be continued, at least officially. My heart goes out to fans hurt by that, especially if the new version is a worse one. But I see this more as a new Battlestar Galactica or She-Ra situation, and think your decision to choose anger and see malice as a misguided one.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
This sort of thread is likely why WotC is reluctant to update old settings.

They need to somehow simultaneously:

  • Include and honor everything that's come before
  • Not just make it a rehash of previously published material
  • Update stuff that's dated or problematic
  • Not fundamentally change the core product with their new inclusions
  • Pat their head and rub their belly at the same time

Honestly, if I were them, I'd stick to adventure paths and MTG settings as well.

Nostalgia is a trap. Everyone upset that the previous versions of Ravenloft aren't being duplicated in 5E 30 years later almost certainly have those original documents, and if you don't, you can get them all easily from DMs Guild or Noble Knight or eBay. If you've been playing since the late 1980s/early 1990s, you are more than capable of updating that material to 5E.

A book published in 2021 is going to be reflective of its time, just as a boxed set released in the early 1990s was reflective of its. Accept that, or don't, it is what it is.

So, just want to throw my hat in the ring (as the resident Gen Z poster!) and say that in my circle, this Ravenloft book is generating quite a lot of excitement, probably more than any other setting published so far (although Theros was also popular).

Now, I'm not going to mince words here; I'm probably the target market, moreso than the players from the very inception of the game. That's just reflective the numbers WotC released themselves. So I'll markup your bullets here;
  • Include and honor everything that's come before
    • Seems to be done so to me, though obviously some older players disagree.
  • Not just make it a rehash of previously published material
    • Probably does rehash some older stuff, but I never played it, so don't really care.
  • Update stuff that's dated or problematic
    • Glad to see this; stuff that reinforces stereotypes is going to annoy myself and my players.
  • Not fundamentally change the core product with their new inclusions
    • Book seems pretty fundamentally consistent to me.
Anyway, Curse of Strahd is arguably the most popular and well-known 5E adventure in my circle, and this book looks a lot like "Hey, you liked that? Have some more!" Which my friends seem to like.

I haven't preordered the book myself (still need to finish reading Eberron and Candlekeep), but it's probably on the top of my list for next book to purchase. It looks more interesting than Ravnica, Theros, and the SCAG, which are the other settings I don't own.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Seriously, stop feeding the troll.

Mod Note:
Seriously, stop making this personal.


stop lying about me


And you probably need to understand that how and what you write does leave folks with a perception of you. If you don't like that perception, rather than accuse folks of lying (which makes no positive change) perhaps you should consider some introspection on your approach to communication.


For everyone, please continue the discussion with respect - if what you're intending to say isn't respectful, you should probably disengage from that poster.
 

Challenging moderation
And you probably need to understand that how and what you write does leave folks with a perception of you. If you don't like that perception, rather than accuse folks of lying (which makes no positive change) perhaps you should consider some introspection on your approach to communication.


For everyone, please continue the discussion with respect - if what you're intending to say isn't respectful, you should probably disengage from that poster.

Umbran the guy accused me of being someone I am not, said things about the books on my website that weren't true, then called me a troll. All of those things are not true. I get people might not like me because of my opinions and how I express them.
 

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