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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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TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
Could be new ones for 5e which only had Barovia before. So possibly 32 total.
They almost certainly mean "new to 5e". I'm sure there will be some novel ones, some fairly straightforward lifts of the 2e/3e ones, and a lot of remixes/reboots of old names.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
I actually watched Todd Kenrick's video on the book, and he said that neither Sithicus or Soth will make an appearance, though they are hinted at.
Not having Soth makes sense, but not having Sithicus at all? Is the hint that the domain is out there and just not covered in the book, or that something happened to its new darklord (Inza) and the entire domain was destroyed?
 




Anyways, there’ll be blowback most likely for depicting other cultures/individuals as Eeevil dark lords.
Having a desi writing their new/revamped Indian-themed domain suggests they're trying to avoid this kind of problem. You can have a domain/culture full of people who might be (OK, will be) ruled by an evil monster, without that whole population being inherently evil themselves -- something RPG makers have historically struggled with.
 

Remathilis

Legend
So long as there is no Shadow Rift down the middle of the map, I’ll be happy.

Though I’m curious if in this day and age the Egyptian realm will show up - or Sithicus!
Yeah, a giant honking crater in the middle of the map that screwed up any concept that you could have overland travel in the core was an eyesore.

I think they are probably looking at each domain with a fine-tooth comb and fixing and updating them. To be honest, that was my dream scenario. Ravenloft needed some fresh eyes after 20 years with limited growth.
 


The Shadow Rift is a great example of the 2E version of the setting not having been planned as an ongoing campaign site. I think most DMs groaned when they saw what it did to travel through Ravenloft.

Also, surely the residents don't call the world "Ravenloft," any more than inhabitants of Oerth call it "Greyhawk." Is there an official name the residents use for their world, or is it just "the world" and they're more focused on the domain they live in?
 

Though I’m curious if in this day and age the Egyptian realm will show up - or Sithicus!
I don't recall what was objectionable about their ancient Egyptian domain. What would need to be updated? As long as it's an island, rather than part of the core, the wildly different culture and technology there shouldn't be an issue. And if they wanted to attach it to the core, it wouldn't be hard to just move it forward a few thousand years of subjective time (or perceived time, with everyone waking up in a new core version of the domain, and everything in ruins around them, assuming they're thousands of years old).
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
The Shadow Rift is a great example of the 2E version of the setting not having been planned as an ongoing campaign site. I think most DMs groaned when they saw what it did to travel through Ravenloft.
See, I always saw that as being a good thing. Travel in Ravenloft shouldn't be lightly undertaken, since it's potentially asking for trouble to find you while on the road. Having to go very far out of your way to avoid the gaping wound in the world makes that travel longer, and so discourages it, thereby reinforcing a sense of isolation.

Plus, Bluetspur and G'henna really needed to be removed from the Core anyway. They simply didn't fit thematically.
Also, surely the residents don't call the world "Ravenloft," any more than inhabitants of Oerth call it "Greyhawk." Is there an official name the residents use for their world, or is it just "the world" and they're more focused on the domain they live in?
I believe they actually do call it "the Core."
 

MGibster

Legend
I'm pretty stoked about this as Ravenloft is my favorite setting of all time. And I'm happy they're making some changes. If I wanted the same product from 1992 I'd just go buy the PDF. And let's face it, it's not like I used all the domains. I typically didn't use Darkov because, at least in the 3.5 version, the PCs would forget themselves in about a week because of the domain's curse. Time for us to think about some suitably creepy bad guys for our campaigns.
 


Stormonu

Legend
A refinement on my thoughts about Soth/Sithicus:

Soth’s story is great - a great hero with a secret, dark blemish on his soul who damns the world to keep from his secret being outed is an excellent backstory for a dark lord.

I just think that pulling Soth out of Dragonlance was as bad an idea as pulling Vecna into Ravenloft (it already had Azalin!).

I’d prefer if they changed the story of the fallen knight and gave him/her the realm formerly known as Sithicus (no sequel, just retcon the story/lord) would be a better idea.

Pehaps change the story to be she was a former Lord in a realm adjacent to Barovia, and during one of the ancient wars she had a fling with Strahd during an old campaign. Later, that realm went to war with the slowly corrupting Barovia and she was assigned generalship over the attacking army against her former lover, and held her forces back. When she was commanded to deliver an ultimatum to Strahd at the head of her army, she hesitated - until one of her lieutenants learned of and threatened her child born of that tryst. However, in the end she made a secret bargain with Strahd to surrender her forces (and the blackmailing lieutenants) at the waiting hands of Strahd’s own forces. However, rather than accept surrender, Strahd prepared an ambush. The Lady managed to escape the ambush, but so did her blackmailers, who she perused back to her manor-keep. Upon, the walls of the keep, the Lady could not prevent her blackmailers from taking her child hostage, and as they proclaimed her treason, she took a bow from one of her home guards and shot at the blackmailer - only for child and blackmailer to fall from the wall. She was seized by the citizens despite her bodyguard’s attempts to hold the mob off, and she was burned at the stake for her crimes by the mob. Now, cursed, she arises as a death knight in the ashes of her fortress, unable to exact revenge with her undead forces as she is instead distracted by the hunt for her lost child...
 

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