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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


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Alzrius

The EN World kitten
A few immediate reactions come to mind after reading what we've found out so far:

  • "Lamordia is now the realm of Dr. Viktra Mordenheim" - Okay, first, this seems like a missed opportunity to bring back Eva Mordenheim, the adopted daughter of Victor and Elise Mordenheim who was presumed to have been killed by Adam, only to have been revealed in Legacy of the Blood: Great Families of the Core to have survived, growing up with amnesia that was starting to wear off after she became a doctor with a family of her own.
  • Likewise, the darklord of Lamordia wasn't Victor Mordenheim, but Adam. Is he still around or what?
  • "The wildest reinvention of all might be Van Richten’s Guide’s version of Falkovnia: once similar to Barovia as a riff on vampiric horror, it’s now a full-on zombie apocalypse zone." - While I know that everyone is focused on Vlad Drakov no longer being around, I'm more curious about what this means for the stability of the rest of the Core. Falkovnia has no natural barriers separating it from the surrounding domains, so are the zombies flooding outward, making Falkovnia's neighbors take measures to seal their borders? What has that done to the food situation in the rest of the Core? Falkovnia might have been belligerent, but it was also "the breadbasket of the Core" (to quote Gazetteer II), so has this caused famine to develop elsewhere?
  • "There’s Kalakeri, a new realm inspired by Indian folklore" - Does this mean that Sri Raji has been dropped? I'm curious why it was apparently passed over in favor of a new domain.
 



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

View attachment 133189
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.





Dementileu (twisted fairytales), Falkovnia (zombies)

Do not want.

and Kalakeri instead of Sri Raji or in addition to it.

As I suspected, it's taking its cues from CoS, every domain is crawling with monsters and the domains that had the theme "humans are the true monsters" are being turned into incredibly unsubtle places with traditional monsters. Sigh....
 

A few immediate reactions come to mind after reading what we've found out so far:

  • "Lamordia is now the realm of Dr. Viktra Mordenheim" - Okay, first, this seems like a missed opportunity to bring back Eva Mordenheim, the adopted daughter of Victor and Elise Mordenheim who was presumed to have been killed by Adam, only to have been revealed in Legacy of the Blood: Great Families of the Core to have survived, growing up with amnesia that was starting to wear off after she became a doctor with a family of her own.
  • Likewise, the darklord of Lamordia wasn't Victor Mordenheim, but Adam. Is he still around or what?
  • "The wildest reinvention of all might be Van Richten’s Guide’s version of Falkovnia: once similar to Barovia as a riff on vampiric horror, it’s now a full-on zombie apocalypse zone." - While I know that everyone is focused on Vlad Drakov no longer being around, I'm more curious about what this means for the stability of the rest of the Core. Falkovnia has no natural barriers separating it from the surrounding domains, so are the zombies flooding outward, making Falkovnia's neighbors take measures to seal their borders? What has that done to the food situation in the rest of the Core? Falkovnia might have been belligerent, but it was also "the breadbasket of the Core" (to quote Gazetteer II), so has this caused famine to develop elsewhere?
  • "There’s Kalakeri, a new realm inspired by Indian folklore" - Does this mean that Sri Raji has been dropped? I'm curious why it was apparently passed over in favor of a new domain.

None of this inspires any confidence in me whatsoever. Interesting that Forgotten Realms gets a 5E release that doesn't change half the setting (in fact, puts it back to the way it was), Eberron likewise, but the Ravenloft setting gets completely "reimagined".
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Dementileu (twisted fairytales), Falkovnia (zombies)

Do not want.

and Kalakeri instead of Sri Raji or in addition to it.

As I suspected, it's taking its cues from CoS, every domain is crawling with monsters and the domains that had the theme "humans are the true monsters" are being turned into incredibly unsubtle places with traditional monsters. Sigh....
Well, just pretend like the book doesn't exist and you can keep your Domains of Dread exactly how you like them. :)
 


I wonder about mummies and vampires with age categories as true dragons.

Don't you miss any monsters from the compedium?

I wonder about regions in material plane being tainted by the dark powers, causing accidents and aparently natural disasters, for example the fallen meteorite causing an epidemic or plague of mutants.

Something will happen in Innistrad, and after of the event of Magic: the Gathering we will see some link between both. One reason is to trick those from Ravenloft who tried and got escape, and the second Innistrad can be a "source" of "guests", preys and predators, for the demiplane. Now I wonder about those "exclusive" summoned elementals (blood, mist, grave, pyre).

Do you notice what does mean Kalidnay in Ravenloft? Practically a teaser of Dark Sun.

* Have you thought about dragonborn in Ravenloft? Now they are too popular to forbid them.

* I would bet the metaplot is more open to allow crossovers with other franchises or lines. What about Ghostwalk? Something about somebody is hunting ghosts to use those as "fuel" for infernal machines.

* Any "easter eggs" about Spelljammers? The 2nd canon said sometimes some "skyships" disappeared. Then, where did they go?

* Any change with the geography of the main core? Do you thing any ideas from Mistipedia: Fraternity of shadows? At least something published in DM Guild.

* Any new about Vladantilan, Vladimir Ludzig's home? A world ruled by vampyres (not vampires, these humanoids are living blood-drinkers).
 

eyeheartawk

Works 60% of the time, every time
I'm just happy it's not a MtG book or Transformers.

That being said it looks like there might be some useful bits in here, but ultimately I doubt this fixes the problem Ravenloft has had since its debut, which is that D&D isn't really ideal for horror. And since D&D PCs have continued to grow in power in since then significantly I don't see that being addressed here.
 

Fingers crossed that House of Lament is a suitable replacement for Death House. DH just feels awful to run IMO, and I could use a different take on the "spooky house" angle that DH was pushing but didn't really deliver on.
 





Parmandur

Legend
Very interesting.

We can expect this will follow the same six chapter outline that Ravnica, Eberron, and Theros do:

Chapter One: Character creation. (Ravnica had a 18 page Chapter 1, Eberron's was 85, while Theros was 21: I would expect about 20 pages for Ravenloft)
Chapter Two: The Dread Lord's, maybe?
Chapter Three: the Domains of Dread Gazetteer
Chapter Four: Adventure creation material, and the 20 page adventure (Ravnica had a 50 page Chapter Four including a 12 page intro Adventure, Eberron's was ~120 pages with a 14 page intro Adventure, and Theros had a 84 page Chapter with a 10 page intro Adventure)
Chapter Five: Magical treasure
Chapter Six: Beastiary (40 pages here, as opposed to ~60 for Ravnica, ~40 for Eberron, and ~50 for Theros)
 

Istbor

Dances with Gnolls
And come on, "Viktra". Could we have used "Victoria Mordenheim" ?
No clue who she is and why it should matter that we have one over the other. Or really what half of this stuff was, so I am guessing the reimagining is to freshen up some problematic areas they had seen when working the domains over.

I can't believe I am saying this, as I personally got so burnt out from the zombie apocalypse surge, but I am kind of intrigued on how that domain would work.
 

pukunui

Legend
My only complaint so far is that the intro adventure is another haunted house. We already got that with Death House. Surely there are other ways besides haunted houses to introduce people to horror adventures!
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
"The wildest reinvention of all might be Van Richten’s Guide’s version of Falkovnia: once similar to Barovia as a riff on vampiric horror, it’s now a full-on zombie apocalypse zone." - While I know that everyone is focused on Vlad Drakov no longer being around, I'm more curious about what this means for the stability of the rest of the Core. Falkovnia has no natural barriers separating it from the surrounding domains, so are the zombies flooding outward, making Falkovnia's neighbors take measures to seal their borders? What has that done to the food situation in the rest of the Core? Falkovnia might have been belligerent, but it was also "the breadbasket of the Core" (to quote Gazetteer II), so has this caused famine to develop elsewhere?
Even when Ravenloft was a "continent", each realm was bounded. The zombies aren't getting out of Falkovnia unless the Dark Powers want them to.
 

ART!

Adventurer
I have to say, I'm actually sort of excited about this, and horror isn't usually my thing. I'm liking the mix of content, and the how-to stuff.
 

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