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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

Ugh. That's why I don't watch those. The closest I get is the Rusty Quill play podcast, where each ep is less than an hour long. I do not have a long enough attention span for anything longer than that.
Dimension 20, Not Another D&D Podcast, Adventure Time and Nerd Poker are each around an hour too, for the most part, and are all professional performers. Strongly recommended.

The only long-ass D&D podcast I listen to is Critical Role, which I use as audio wallpaper, as it could easily be cut down to half as long.
 

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  • Il Aluk and Riveris mentioned, confirming Darkon. The cleric mentioned going to Il Aluk, so the Requiem/Necropolis seems retconned.
Blowing up a big part of the setting is interesting if you're invested in continuity, but three editions later, defaulting to the most gameable version of the domain seems to be the right call.
 


Faolyn

Hero
If this is done in the classic, it is a bad thing, and you lose control and wake up with no memory of the killings you have committed, I welcome it. If we are about to see lycanthropes as a viable PC race, that is getting into WW territory
The only way I would allow it is by making the person switch to Shifter, from Eberron, give them an allergen (which they don't know what it is at first) and then still say have no control and must change on on the full moon.
 

The only way I would allow it is by making the person switch to Shifter, from Eberron, give them an allergen (which they don't know what it is at first) and then still say have no control and must change on on the full moon.

My preferred approach is for players to acquire lycanthropy in the course of play naturally (so it is the big thing you fear when you encounter werewolves and other lycanthropes). But I have to admit to a soft spot for werewolf stuff (love the Howling, the Wolf Man, Dog Soldiers, American Werewolf in London, etc). For me the thing that makes them so terrifying is the loss of control and the transformation.

I like the way the Guide to Lycanthropes handled allergens and triggers (and even though I usually am not a fan of quantifying how many gallons of blood the vampire of barovia needs and if there are enough villagers to feed him) for the purposes of handling a player character infected wit lycanthropy, the guidelines on how much human meat they had to eat, was pretty useful)
 

Remathilis

Legend
If this is done in the classic, it is a bad thing, and you lose control and wake up with no memory of the killings you have committed, I welcome it. If we are about to see lycanthropes as a viable PC race, that is getting into WW territory
Not far enough along to know how they are handling it yet. Could be a shifter, a path of the beast barbarian, or a fade to black thing. Or they could have rules for pc lycanthropes. Or the DM is making an exception via fiat for dramatic purposes and it doesn't reflect rules in the book. When I get to listen more, we'll see.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Ugh. That's why I don't watch those. The closest I get is the Rusty Quill play podcast, where each ep is less than an hour long. I do not have a long enough attention span for anything longer than that.
Part of the fun for me is that I don't need to pay close attention all 4 hours, just like Baseball. I can read a book while listening to what's going on, and pay closer attention as things get interesting.
 


Faolyn

Hero
Part of the fun for me is that I don't need to pay close attention all 4 hours, just like Baseball. I can read a book while listening to what's going on, and pay closer attention as things get interesting.
Sadly, I have really severe ADHD that means I can either watch something, or read something, but I can't do both.

I can draw while watching or listening to something, but then I either lose about half of what I'm watching or I can't concentrate on my drawing.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Sadly, I have really severe ADHD that means I can either watch something, or read something, but I can't do both.

I can draw while watching or listening to something, but then I either lose about half of what I'm watching or I can't concentrate on my drawing.
Yeah, I could see that being frustrating. My brain works close to the opposite: I can hold a spoken conversation while writing something unrelated, and do so for work all the time.
 

Sadly, I have really severe ADHD that means I can either watch something, or read something, but I can't do both.

I can draw while watching or listening to something, but then I either lose about half of what I'm watching or I can't concentrate on my drawing.
Me too, I have a hard enough time staying focused on what I am listening to without distractions, with something else going on it's pretty much impossible.

Give me a nice wall of text any day!
 
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If this is done in the classic, it is a bad thing, and you lose control and wake up with no memory of the killings you have committed, I welcome it. If we are about to see lycanthropes as a viable PC race, that is getting into WW territory

The only way I would allow it is by making the person switch to Shifter, from Eberron, give them an allergen (which they don't know what it is at first) and then still say have no control and must change on on the full moon.
Book of the Raven (Candlekeep Mysteries) discusses PCs choosing to become wereravens. It doesn't suggest PCs loose control of their characters. It does include the change to lycanthropes discussed last week though - they have regeneration, rather than immunity to weapon attacks. I expect there will be more on this in the Ravenloft book. It may well come under "Dark Gifts".
 
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Remathilis

Legend
Over two hours in and the villain of the story seems to be

Lord Soth!

The second hour was set on Faerun at an overly long wedding scene. Half the group come from this wedding after it is attacked by Soth who seeks an item called the Raven Crown. The Mists come, he leaves and the full group meets in Ravenloft.

What that means for Ravenloft is anyone's guess. Soth was previously released from Ravenloft due to a joint custody agreement with Dragonlance, and Todd Kendrick explicitly stated there was no Sithicus in the book, but this pod clearly is setting him up as a big bad of the story.

So... Dragonlance confirmed?
 

Faolyn

Hero
Over two hours in and the villain of the story seems to be

Lord Soth!

The second hour was set on Faerun at an overly long wedding scene. Half the group come from this wedding after it is attacked by Soth who seeks an item called the Raven Crown. The Mists come, he leaves and the full group meets in Ravenloft.

What that means for Ravenloft is anyone's guess. Soth was previously released from Ravenloft due to a joint custody agreement with Dragonlance, and Todd Kendrick explicitly stated there was no Sithicus in the book, but this pod clearly is setting him up as a big bad of the story.

So... Dragonlance confirmed?
Is this podcast supposed to be canonical to the new book? Maybe the DM just likes Soth and brought him in?
 

Remathilis

Legend
Ok, finished with episode one. Two cameos from the most famous Darklords in Ravenloft appear in an aside at the end. You can probably figure out who they are.

I won't speak more to the pod itself (it really could have used some editing for pace, it felt Snyderesque in places.) But it certainly felt like Ravenloft in places, abet with a far more diverse cast of PCs than normal. Hopefully next episode spends more time exploring and less time navel gazing to set up PC relationships. I'm interested in seeing what other teases there are.

Ac word of caution though, B. Dave Walters (the DM) seems pretty versed in lore and like many streamers, light on rules. It might be hard to gauge exactly how faithful he is to either regarding what is in the book. Take all of it with a pinch of salt and squeeze of lime until the book is out.
 

Remathilis

Legend
Is this podcast supposed to be canonical to the new book? Maybe the DM just likes Soth and brought him in?
I just made a word of caution on my last post to that. I wouldn't treat it as gospel, but I wager it's "official" status on the D&D YouTube channel means it's probably closer to the newest take. Not exactly good advertising to use a version that doesn't reflect close to the book version.

That said, it's more info to chew on than we had a week ago...
 





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