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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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TheSword

Legend
Sure, it's not impossible. I might also get a player to fall in love with me because they confuse my excellent role playing of an NPC with my own personality but what are the odds of that happening again? The best most of us can hope for is to have a situation where the player feels as though their character is scared.


There aren't any rules for broken limbs there just lost ones. Which is kind of weird because you'd think broken would be an option. And I would argue that healing magic is ubiquitous with your current party being an oddity.
With the lingering injuries I let the player make a Con save. If they pass the injury lasts a ten day instead of being permanent. I also let magic cure it but only if it heals more than 10hp in a single cast.

It basically tones down the lingering injuries to be less game ending. Playing a character whole loses their left leg can be character ending. Playing a character with a broken left arm trying to get to safety is far more interesting.
 

TheSword

Legend
I definitely agree that having to spend HD on a long rest to to heal up is a great idea and one of the best variants it means that hp resource economy matters.
 

TheSword

Legend
I’ve been thinking a while about the 5 min day and time clocks, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t like “the world will end in 5 days” style deadlines.

What I do like is events that proceed along a timeline independent of the PCs that is properly signposted. Less heavy handed than the standard timeclock such as the one in Tomb of Annihilation.

Examples...

The village has hired a mercenary band to investigate the monster attacks they should arrive in 3 days will then be paid to spread out. If the PCs delay, their reward for solving the problem will be reduced and they may come into conflict with the mercenaries.

The monster attacks have caused a cruises of confidence in the town council. A local collective of merchants and richer townsfolk will depose the burgomeister and instigate a draft into the militia. The party know the militia will be hopelessly outmatched and several will die.

The monster attacks have a goal, and they are raiding farms because they know one is built on the foundations of an ancient tower. They will find the tower basement after attacking the fourth farming day six of the PCs arriving and will unleash an unpleasant event if they do. The monsters also gain an artifact they can use against the PCs. That they otherwise could have used against the monster.

In essence, I want a sense of urgency that doesn’t mean the PCs can’t rest at all. In the example of the bear fight I simple made rations a very limited resource and the environment hostile. Lingering for days to rest was never an option for them.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I’ve been thinking a while about the 5 min day and time clocks, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t like “the world will end in 5 days” style deadlines.

What I do like is events that proceed along a timeline independent of the PCs that is properly signposted. Less heavy handed than the standard timeclock such as the one in Tomb of Annihilation.

Examples...

The village has hired a mercenary band to investigate the monster attacks they should arrive in 3 days will then be paid to spread out. If the PCs delay, their reward for solving the problem will be reduced and they may come into conflict with the mercenaries.

The monster attacks have caused a cruises of confidence in the town council. A local collective of merchants and richer townsfolk will depose the burgomeister and instigate a draft into the militia. The party know the militia will be hopelessly outmatched and several will die.

The monster attacks have a goal, and they are raiding farms because they know one is built on the foundations of an ancient tower. They will find the tower basement after attacking the fourth farming day six of the PCs arriving and will unleash an unpleasant event if they do. The monsters also gain an artifact they can use against the PCs. That they otherwise could have used against the monster.

In essence, I want a sense of urgency that doesn’t mean the PCs can’t rest at all. In the example of the bear fight I simple made rations a very limited resource and the environment hostile. Lingering for days to rest was never an option for them.
Monster of the Week has a great mystery creation system and the countdown timer they use is fabulous.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Re-reading my Grim Hollow book I came across this bit that’s a variant rule on resting.

“Rests are crucial for characters to regain their resources, especially for those with spells slots and abilities that require long rests to recover. For players seeking a more challenging experience in Etharis, you can change the rules for resting into the following suggested format:

Quick rest (1 hour) — characters may consume hit dice to regain hit points and that is all.

Short rest (8 hours) — characters may gain the regular benefits of a Short Rest, as long they can maintain the 8 hours uninterrupted by a period of strenuous activity lasting more than one hour.

Long rest (72 hours) — characters may gain the regular benefits of a Long Rest, but with the added requirement that they rest somewhere that affords them shelter, comfort, warmth, and relative safety, such as in a settlement or a homestead. This will encourage the party to actually seek out places of civilisation in order to replenish their resources.”

I kinda like their long rest being 72 hours. The Gritty Realism variant with long resting being seven days seems way too punishing. How would DMs looking to keep things on the realistic or horror side like these?
 


Some DMs use lore/background from other horror RPGs and franchises, and there is a good reason, to avoid players to know too much before starting the investigation of the mistery.

I remember a old gamebook of the serie "Choose your own adventure" with the title "The Mystery of Chimney Rock" as a perfect example of kid-friendly horror story/game. Other example is the Mickey Mouse short (season 4 episode 9) The Birthday KissCartoon. Once my sister in-law told me there was a scene of the movie "Chronicles of Spiderwick" where my niece was scared.

* Horror is not Cell (Dragon Ball villain) throwing a fire ball against the people from a city street. The horror is when a citizen exits to the street and she discovers the streets are empty and there are only clothing on the floor. Then she hears a noise...


The horror in the game is lost if you know those nPCs are cannon fodder, fated to be killed by the monster of the week. The PCs worry more about their own mounts or monster pets.

The players have to be surprised. If they have got ready against the undead monsters, then the DM has to use faes, or constructs. Have you seen the comingsoon videogame "Scarlet Nexus", or "Astral Chain"? (and a videogame with no-undead monsters is easier to be tolerated by the Chinese censorship). I know they aren't got horror, but lots of ideas from other sources can be recycled, for example the strange creatures from "the Faun's labyrinth".

* Diath and Strix, characters from "Camera, Dice, Action", or a rip-off version, should be in Ravenloft as a "easter egg" suffering some curse. If that famous character was in Curse of Strand, why not these too?



 



Rikka66

Explorer
Diath and Strix, characters from "Camera, Dice, Action", or a rip-off version, should be in Ravenloft as a "easter egg" suffering some curse. If that famous character was in Curse of Strand, why not these too

I'm sure WotC are super eager to dredge that bit of controversy back up.
 



JEB

Adventurer
Diath and Strix were played on Dice, Camera, Action by Jared "ProJared" Knabenbauer and Holly "Commander Holly" Conrad, who were accused of conducting an affair behind the back of Knabenbauer's wife (now ex-wife). On top of that, Knabenbauer became controversial around the same time due to other unpleasant allegations. Dice, Camera, Action was put on hiatus, then canceled entirely.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Diath and Strix were played on Dice, Camera, Action by Jared "ProJared" Knabenbauer and Holly "Commander Holly" Conrad, who were accused of conducting an affair behind the back of Knabenbauer's wife (now ex-wife). On top of that, Knabenbauer became controversial around the same time due to other unpleasant allegations. Dice, Camera, Action was put on hiatus, then canceled entirely.
Literally the first I’ve heard of any of this situation, these people, these characters, or this (now cancelled) show. Are you sure this is really some kind of controversy WotC is worried about rehashing? Is it a controversy if no one knows?
 


Faolyn

Hero
Diath and Strix were played on Dice, Camera, Action by Jared "ProJared" Knabenbauer and Holly "Commander Holly" Conrad, who were accused of conducting an affair behind the back of Knabenbauer's wife (now ex-wife). On top of that, Knabenbauer became controversial around the same time due to other unpleasant allegations. Dice, Camera, Action was put on hiatus, then canceled entirely.
Gotcha. I've never seen(?) DCA, so thanks for letting me know.
 

We could use characters with a look or description like theirs but different names, like a way of "punishment".

* The PCs need a lot of "space". If they "clean" a zone, then or they face the darklord or they will have to go to other side. Worse if the local population starts to feel unconfortable because when they go to a place then the violence breaks out.

* Ravenloft hasn't to be always 100% gothic horror. Also it can be supernatural action/dark epic, or supernatural intrigues.


* We are very used to face giants vernims, but the manganime "the island of the giant insects" is a good example of how these can be used for a survial horror story.

* If a darklord is killed, how the dread domain can be incorporated into other?

* Why not the metaplot allows that dark lord could be redeemed and liberated if his crime was to be the heir of the true responsable?

 

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