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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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What I'm disliking though is the lack of neutral space; areas where life isn't a fun house for evil. The western coast had a number of small domains that created a buffer for the larger horror areas. Places PCs could come from. I'm hoping some of that still exists.
I suspect there would be a market for a DMs Guild product that just collected a bunch of the leftover quieter domains. I think there's a lot of value in offering a place to be from for player characters -- the locations shown off so far would produce PCs with all sorts of problems that could potentially render them unreliable as party members.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
I find it interesting how the new Dark Lady was described as almost wraith-like. I know little about the old Dark Lord (Dominic D'Honaire) and what his deal was, so it seems like this is a new take.
 

Remathilis

Legend
I find it interesting how the new Dark Lady was described as almost wraith-like. I know little about the old Dark Lord (Dominic D'Honaire) and what his deal was, so it seems like this is a new take.
Dominic was a mesmerist; a relatively normal human who could charm and dominate people with his magical voice. His curse was that when he was attracted to someone, the effect wouldn't work and instead do the opposite (make them fear and loathe him.) And that was about it. He has charmed flunkies but couldn't score.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Dominic was a mesmerist; a relatively normal human who could charm and dominate people with his magical voice. His curse was that when he was attracted to someone, the effect wouldn't work and instead do the opposite (make them fear and loathe him.) And that was about it. He has loyal flunkies but couldn't score.

Huh. I guess that's a little on theme with the new plane's theme of illusions and that everyone is living a lie.
 

Faolyn

Hero
I find it interesting how the new Dark Lady was described as almost wraith-like. I know little about the old Dark Lord (Dominic D'Honaire) and what his deal was, so it seems like this is a new take.
Dom's mom died in childbirth, and everyone around him (or at least all the women) doted on him because they felt bad for him. This spoiled him rotten, and since he also had supernaturally high charisma and adorable rosy cheeks, he spent a lot of his time manipulating the people around him, getting them to do whatever he wants (or just for fun). After he accidentally-on-purpose murdered a nanny (by "convincing" her to kill herself) because she was a meany-meanpants, he convinced his dad to move the family away, to escape suspicion. Instead, the Mists created a new domain just for him. When he grew up (and his powers, basically an at-will dominate person, grew with him), he got a job in government, as one of the Ruling Council. As Darklord, he has tons of loyal, mind-controlled servants. Like, half the population.

Because he didn't have a mother and was used to having women dote on him, Dominic is "desperate for female company." Although it's implied to be a desire for romance or sex, it sounds like he would also be happy with a new mother as well. His curse is that the more he likes a woman, the uglier she thinks he is. When he truly loves a woman, she sees him as nauseatingly hideous. In reality, he's fairly handsome.
 

Remathilis

Legend
Dom's mom died in childbirth, and everyone around him (or at least all the women) doted on him because they felt bad for him. This spoiled him rotten, and since he also had supernaturally high charisma and adorable rosy cheeks, he spent a lot of his time manipulating the people around him, getting them to do whatever he wants (or just for fun). After he accidentally-on-purpose murdered a nanny (by "convincing" her to kill herself) because she was a meany-meanpants, he convinced his dad to move the family away, to escape suspicion. Instead, the Mists created a new domain just for him. When he grew up (and his powers, basically an at-will dominate person, grew with him), he got a job in government, as one of the Ruling Council. As Darklord, he has tons of loyal, mind-controlled servants. Like, half the population.

Because he didn't have a mother and was used to having women dote on him, Dominic is "desperate for female company." Although it's implied to be a desire for romance or sex, it sounds like he would also be happy with a new mother as well. His curse is that the more he likes a woman, the uglier she thinks he is. When he truly loves a woman, she sees him as nauseatingly hideous. In reality, he's fairly handsome.
I mean, this is the long version of it.
 









Remathilis

Legend
Black Dice Society episode 2 hints.

The group spends most of the episode in the Carnival (a traveling pocket domain) that seems fairly faithful to it's 2e version. A half-giant strong man, and a tiefling fortune teller among the newer characters.

Darkon is mentioned with "The Hour of Ascension" has happened. In Darkon lore, this is when the dead would come and claim Darkon from the living. Azalin's whereabouts are unknown to the general population, (but he's clearly alive) and the nation is fractured. It sounds like they are borrowing some ideas from the Requiem and Necropolis, but maybe not Death? Either way, Darkon is "a kingdom without a King".

Soth is described again as lord of Sithicus. It is referenced he is beyond the Mists.

Two episodes in, and it's hard to determine what is the DMs reinterpretation of old cannon and what is new cannon. If you said this was the old setting 10 years advanced in the timeline, I'd probably agree.

Still, more to chew on I suppose...
 
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Faolyn

Hero
Black Dice Society episode 2 hints.

The group spends most of the episode in the Carnival (a traveling pocket domain) that seems fairly faithful to it's 2e version. A half-giant strong man, and a tiefling fortune teller among the newer characters.

Darkon is mentioned with "The Hour of Ascension" has happened. In Darkon lore, this is when the dead would come and claim Darkon from the living. Azalin's whereabouts are unknown to the general population, (but he's clearly alive) and the nation is fractured. It sounds like they are borrowing some ideas from the Requiem and Necropolis, but maybe not Death? Either way, Darkon is "a kingdom without a King".

Soth is described again as lord of Sithicus. It is referenced he is beyond the Mists.

Two episodes in, and it's hard to determine what is the DMs reinterpretation of old cannon and what is new cannon. If you said this was the old setting 10 years advanced in the timeline, I'd probably agree.

Still, more to chew on I suppose...
I don't mind getting rid of Death, or at least, getting rid of Necropolis, the city. Having a City of the Dead is a cool idea, but not if you can't even enter it. Still, it'll put a crimp on my desire to play a cleric of the Eternal Order. It does sound like they're going back to the time when Darkon became Necropolis, the country.

I just hope they got rid of the memory wipe. I always felt that it wouldn't actually work they way they planned, and nobody would ever go into Darkon, or at least not further in than a day or two's travel, if they realized that anyone who stayed too long in the country would likely never come back.

Odd that Soth is the DL but also "beyond the Mists." I wonder if he's stuck between worlds like Gwideon is.
 

I don't mind getting rid of Death, or at least, getting rid of Necropolis, the city. Having a City of the Dead is a cool idea, but not if you can't even enter it. Still, it'll put a crimp on my desire to play a cleric of the Eternal Order. It does sound like they're going back to the time when Darkon became Necropolis, the country.
Darkon wasn't my favorite domain in the core, but what they ended up doing with it, made it feel completely unusable to me. I definitely would say bring back something more like the old darkon (because that was a domain I could at least wrap my head around and understand as the players went through it). A land of the dead is certainly cool in concept, but I think it probably needs to be built up from the ground up and explained better to the GM (I just never knew how to use something like Necropolis in play). I am sure other people had different reactions. But this was one big hurdle I remember feeling strongly as they developed that meta plot
 

I just hope they got rid of the memory wipe. I always felt that it wouldn't actually work they way they planned, and nobody would ever go into Darkon, or at least not further in than a day or two's travel, if they realized that anyone who stayed too long in the country would likely never come back.

This was one of those really cool feature of the domain that was extremely hard to execute, and didn't tend to work in practice (something about telling the player they now realize they have always been in Darkon and aren't who they thought they were before: or that details of their biography aren't what they thought.....feels very odd in practice). I feel like it worked okay if players made characters native to ravenloft and had them be from daikon, because then you could play around with it more (but found it harder to do in the opposite direction). It is a cool idea. I would hate to see it totally vanish. But this is also a place where I think there is opportunity for vast improvement and might be good for them to try to get right (like if they can come up with a procedure, GM advice, or parameters for it that work)
 


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