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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

Sure there is.

Particularly if it ends up with them not actually getting what they expected. Shit I seem to remember some horror movie from a few years ago where these people go on a team-building exercise and they're being picked off but most of them keep thinking it's team-building for like 2/3rds of the movie. In fact I think there may be multiple movies like that. Probably a Black Mirror episode or two as well (caveat: I have never actually watched Black Mirror and know it solely by reputation).

There are absolutely horror movies where the characters failing to understand the peril they're in and treating things much more lightly than they should is part of the horror.

EDIT - I mean @overgeeked, dude, you basically just described Aliens for god's sake. "This is just going to be a bug hunt". Sure they realize fairly early on that it isn't, but that realization could have been delayed considerably and still worked. The Marines go in there exactly like a bunch of cheery, overconfident adventurers. It's their downfall, in many ways. If the PCs are all cutting their feet off because they're sure Greater Restoration or whatever is going to be available to sort it shortly, and it isn't (or not for everyone, or not in time), that's going to be highly effective horror.
Severance
 

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Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
As it's a safe assumption that the most common campaign start is not "you wake up chained to the floor with a hacksaw within reach" I'm not sure what your point is.

Having a party start together in a prison/cell of some kind together is a remarkably effective way at building a party of PCs quickly, and it's why it's a common way of starting campaigns. I don't really think it is the same as Saw (those are just regular guys) but you can easily make parallels, especially if the prison is spooky, haunted, evil jailor etc.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I think your usage of the word "camp" has evolved from it's original meaning.
Probably, where I'm coming from this dictionary definition seems apt:

"in the style of camp : absurdly exaggerated, artificial, or affected in a usually humorous way."

Seems to apply equally to Saw with the ridiculous cartoon plot and murder puppet just as much as any other horror flick.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Whilst I agree re: one individual, I think you're oversimplifying here.

It's not true to say all horror is camp, for example. It is true to say the majority, perhaps the vast majority of horror, in the very broadest sense of the term camp, is camp. However, the level of camp varies quite widely, as does the type, to the point where I think it's actually unhelpful to say it's all camp. Why? Because that highlights how useless the term "camp" is in this situation if used as extremely broadly as you are. It ceases to convey any information at all.

Saying Dracula is camp conveys useful information, because it's close to the central meaning of camp (even to the original root to some extent). Saying Scream is camp is certainly true, but not particularly useful because the level and type of camp is pretty much present in most '90s teen movies, so you're really just saying it's a '90s teen movie. Saying It Follows is camp, might, technically, in the broadest sense, be arguable as true, but at that point it doesn't convey useful information. It's merely linguistic points-scoring.


I think you're really claiming to know an awful lot more about how other people think and what they feel than they do in a way that is perhaps not as helpful to your argument as you seem to be convinced it is, given you claims re: conventions and aesthetics. There's some truth in it, but I'd caution against overstatement on your own part and excessive mind-reading, especially of people younger than you.

I think what we actually have is three things going on at once which you're conflating. There is evolution, in that clearly, unarguably, horror learns from horror. This is incredibly easy to demonstrate. There are books where it's a major part of what they discuss. People didn't forget 1930s horror in the 1970s, or 1970s horror in the 2000s, even. New ways to scare people are found, both in terms of psychological techniques, and in terms of what can be done with film-making. So there is evolution, and older movies tend to be more narrow in their approach to horror (sometimes even by the standards of their era).

A second point is that, as you correctly point out, each era has peculiarities. Sometimes those peculiarities are of a nature such that they undermine the long-term scariness of a film (though who knows if it will start working again later), and sometimes it's because a particular technology is being used that looks okay in one period, but looks laughable in another, or sometimes it's because a particular approach to scaring people is being used which goes on to be so ridiculously overused that it becomes un-scary.

Thirdly, you're not comparing like with like. You're stacking up the mid-00s against effectively the very best of the 1930s, 1980s and so on. If we were more honest and say, stacked all '00s horror vs all '80s horror say, i.e. not just a section of '00s movies vs the very best '80s ones, I don't think you could confidently say that the '80s would come out ahead. The fact is, lots of horror movies just aren't very good in any given era, and often as a result they aren't very scary (if they even intended to be). The ones that work, for whatever reason, get remembered. This is gets more extreme the further you go back into history.

Finally as a minor point I suspect you're confusing mid-00s with the very late '90s and early-00s re: bad horror. Both periods had some remarkable movies in them, but the like 98-2003 period is notable for a very specific and now quite dated "teen horror"-style being common.


Old people always think that though. I am also an old person in that context.

I used to be a horror buff in the '90s (all of the '90s). I read a lot written about horror movies, and I watched them over a wide period, and every older person thought "horror movies today aren't that great", whereas once horror movies kind of "rose from their grave" around the time of Scream, younger people tended to universally think the opposite (prior to Scream things were a little more complex). Reading stuff written by people in their 20s today I can see the phenomenon continues.

It's particularly amusingly ironic that you say this in a Ravenloft thread. I'm hoping you know why, but for those who don't...

Because the original 2E Ravenloft boxed set basically opens with an old person (who was probably what, 30s, 40s? Practically a skeleton!) insisting that modern horror sucks and is lame (and by modern he means the '80s and onward), but Hammer and Universal was awesome and actually scary and TRUE HORROR and any TRUE HORROR FAN, much like a true Scotsman, will like that stuff.
To be upfront, I'm not currently nor have I been in the past a big horror buff, though I do enjoy a good episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 or Rifftrax. I find the entire genre more funny than terrifying in any visceral way (even slasher flicks), so yeah, campy.
 

Faolyn

Hero
Quite possibly Nidala is included with the rest of the Shadowlands. (Curious if they made the whole cluster one single domain, or if it's still a cluster.)
I hope so. As I said elsewhere, it's a real shame if they don't include Nidala, because Elana Faithhold was pretty much the only female darklord with a non-stereotyped background.
 


Whilst I agree re: one individual, I think you're oversimplifying here.

It's not true to say all horror is camp, for example. It is true to say the majority, perhaps the vast majority of horror, in the very broadest sense of the term camp, is camp. However, the level of camp varies quite widely, as does the type, to the point where I think it's actually unhelpful to say it's all camp. Why? Because that highlights how useless the term "camp" is in this situation if used as extremely broadly as you are. It ceases to convey any information at all.

Saying Dracula is camp conveys useful information, because it's close to the central meaning of camp (even to the original root to some extent). Saying Scream is camp is certainly true, but not particularly useful because the level and type of camp is pretty much present in most '90s teen movies, so you're really just saying it's a '90s teen movie. Saying It Follows is camp, might, technically, in the broadest sense, be arguable as true, but at that point it doesn't convey useful information. It's merely linguistic points-scoring.


I think you're really claiming to know an awful lot more about how other people think and what they feel than they do in a way that is perhaps not as helpful to your argument as you seem to be convinced it is, given you claims re: conventions and aesthetics. There's some truth in it, but I'd caution against overstatement on your own part and excessive mind-reading, especially of people younger than you.

I think what we actually have is three things going on at once which you're conflating. There is evolution, in that clearly, unarguably, horror learns from horror. This is incredibly easy to demonstrate. There are books where it's a major part of what they discuss. People didn't forget 1930s horror in the 1970s, or 1970s horror in the 2000s, even. New ways to scare people are found, both in terms of psychological techniques, and in terms of what can be done with film-making. So there is evolution, and older movies tend to be more narrow in their approach to horror (sometimes even by the standards of their era).

A second point is that, as you correctly point out, each era has peculiarities. Sometimes those peculiarities are of a nature such that they undermine the long-term scariness of a film (though who knows if it will start working again later), and sometimes it's because a particular technology is being used that looks okay in one period, but looks laughable in another, or sometimes it's because a particular approach to scaring people is being used which goes on to be so ridiculously overused that it becomes un-scary.

Thirdly, you're not comparing like with like. You're stacking up the mid-00s against effectively the very best of the 1930s, 1980s and so on. If we were more honest and say, stacked all '00s horror vs all '80s horror say, i.e. not just a section of '00s movies vs the very best '80s ones, I don't think you could confidently say that the '80s would come out ahead. The fact is, lots of horror movies just aren't very good in any given era, and often as a result they aren't very scary (if they even intended to be). The ones that work, for whatever reason, get remembered. This is gets more extreme the further you go back into history.

Finally as a minor point I suspect you're confusing mid-00s with the very late '90s and early-00s re: bad horror. Both periods had some remarkable movies in them, but the like 98-2003 period is notable for a very specific and now quite dated "teen horror"-style being common.


Old people always think that though. I am also an old person in that context.

I used to be a horror buff in the '90s (all of the '90s). I read a lot written about horror movies, and I watched them over a wide period, and every older person thought "horror movies today aren't that great", whereas once horror movies kind of "rose from their grave" around the time of Scream, younger people tended to universally think the opposite (prior to Scream things were a little more complex). Reading stuff written by people in their 20s today I can see the phenomenon continues.

It's particularly amusingly ironic that you say this in a Ravenloft thread. I'm hoping you know why, but for those who don't...

Because the original 2E Ravenloft boxed set basically opens with an old person (who was probably what, 30s, 40s? Practically a skeleton!) insisting that modern horror sucks and is lame (and by modern he means the '80s and onward), but Hammer and Universal was awesome and actually scary and TRUE HORROR and any TRUE HORROR FAN, much like a true Scotsman, will like that stuff.

1) Sometimes old people are right. Sometimes there are bad trends in movies, music, art etc that in retrospect become clear, 2) I can't really comment on what the status of today's movies ought to be as we are living through it (just like the 80s looked different when I was living through them, 90s looked one way when I was living through them, the 00s looked one way when I was living through them, but now they both seem different in retrospect). My personal feeling is a lot of the modern horror movies, not all, just don't particularly scare me. Back when J horror was getting big in the US, I found that stuff scary, but the techniques from those movies used in modern movies, the newer styles of editing, they tend to confuse me more than scare me (and absolutely that is subjective, that isn't some kind of objective statement about the quality).

My points were subjective of course (they were my opinions about horror). But I think something that recurs in this thread as a theme is a total dismissal of what came before as less scary, and I would argue that isn't true. Anyone who thinks that isn't the case should give Black Christmas, Nosferatu, Night of the Walking Dead, and stuff from hammer (I think pacing is honestly the biggest hurdle for most modern audiences). I know there is a think where people talk about how films like the Exorcist and Rosemary's baby are not scary anymore. I don't know where I stand on that. I still find the Exorcist quite scary. Rosemary's Baby is the kind of movie that is mostly scary the first time you see it (or the first time you read the book), and I can never have that first time watching it again. But those films in particular may also come down to what people believe in terms of demonic possession and the devil.

And if this were any other setting besides Ravenloft I wouldn't bat an eye at that dismissal of older films, but since the central point of the black box was 'classic horror and classic horror techniques over modern horror' I think it makes sense to push back against this idea that it is an improvement on Ravenloft to make it more modern. If they were making a torture porn RPG, then there is no real point in bringing up Nosferatu or The House of Wax. If they were making something modeled after arthouse Horror, there may be a lineage to be aware of but it isn't rooted as rigidly the way Ravenloft was in these older movies and books.

I will agree that horror movies learn and evolve. I am not arguing they don't. However I don't think that means horror movies have been a steady march to more scary over time. All art evolves. Saying horror movies from back in the day are less scary to me is like saying Led Belly or Muddy Waters is less moving than BB King or Stevie Ray Vaughan. These things are different because the style was still forming when the former were playing, and the technology and techniques were more limited (which doesn't make them lesser forms of art, it just means they were working in a medium that had more limitations). And you don't get to the latter without the former. Not throwing the baby out with the bathwater is about going back to those early sources and learning from them (which I think connects with your point about horror evolving and movies learning from one another). A modern audience or RPG readership declaring old horror tired and useless, is an extremely closed minded thing to say (and it probably isn't something a modern horror director would think as I am sure many of them do get their ideas and build off ideas from older films).

But my point is what truly makes them scary really has to get at something a lot deeper than some of the superficial techniques, which can become tired. Like I said about J horror, that stuff was fresh and terrifying when it first came out (but as more people imitated it, it became less surprising). But there is still something about those originals that I find far more frightening than their imitators (because I don't think it was just technique, I think they were tapping into deeper fears). My point about modern horror movies wasn't that they aren't scary. Like I said before I like horror and I like a lot of different subgenres of horror, while I respect the POV expressed in the black boxed set for the purposes of running ravenloft (i.e. I think there is something to be said for a setting that cleaves to old horror and to classic techniques of terror, while eschewing modern ones; it isn't a viewpoint I take into the theater or into horror book shelves---I just think it makes for a really distinct and stylistic setting rooted in stuff that is proven to work). My point is people who simply assume modern horror movies are more scary than old ones because they are accustomed to the technique and special effects are as wrong as we were in the 80s thinking our movies were more scary than stuff from the 70s, 50s and 30s (and this became apparent to me the deeper I dove into that old material). We probably won't have a good idea of where the past decade stands and where now stands for a good 20 or 30 years (just look at how looked down upon 80s music was int he 90s and even into the early 2000s, and now it has gained a lot of credibility as a period of interesting music....and who knows what people will think of it in 30 years, good or bad). Personally, I don't believe we are in a horror golden age. Not every decade gets that label. I think it will pivot on what people think about arthouse horror. If that gets embraced by horror audiences over the decades, it may well be one. Personally I find arthouse horror made less for fans of the genre and more for elite audiences. It just isn't really for me.
 

Next, we should argue how Star Wars and Star Trek are both sci-fi.

That will need to be its own thread lol. Personally I am fine with Star Wars being science fiction, it is just not as far on the hard science fiction end of the spectrum (not all science fiction needs to be, even Asimov, who is pretty hard science fiction IMO, wrote books like Caves of Steel---which is more about the mystery as I recall, even if it has some moments that get into the speculative end of science fiction.
 

A second point is that, as you correctly point out, each era has peculiarities. Sometimes those peculiarities are of a nature such that they undermine the long-term scariness of a film (though who knows if it will start working again later), and sometimes it's because a particular technology is being used that looks okay in one period, but looks laughable in another, or sometimes it's because a particular approach to scaring people is being used which goes on to be so ridiculously overused that it becomes un-scary.

And I think the most important thing here is it is extremely hard to know what those peculiarities are and how they will play out over time until something has had decades to breathe. If you asked me in the 80s or 90s if the 80s was a golden age of horror, I would have said emphatically no, that it was a ridiculous era of horror. But I've been doing a podcast where we go back and rewatch a lot of classic horror movies, and we spent a good deal of time reviewing 80s films. I am constantly surprised how well they hold up, and how charming the peculiarities are (and this is something I've seen and heard form people who didn't grow up in the 80s). I am also surprised how much the odd-ball qualities of some of these horror movies, doesn't really detract much from the horror (in a lot of ways it makes the movies feel more like they are directed by a sociopath or something, and it is kind of more unnerving-----a good example might be American Werewolf in London). Even the more ridiculous films, like Life-force are great to watch for some reason. I am finding that less the case with 90s films (even though I was probably in my biggest horror phase during the 90s). Obviously though, like you point out, there is a cream of the crop effect here. There were a huge, huge number of slashers in the 80s. Now we tend to watch the ones that had bigger budgets or stood the test of time. But there is a lot of junk there, and a lot of junk in other subgenres. Still I think there are a lot more horror gems from the 80s than the 90s.
 

But... but... are you saying Back to the Future isn't Sci-Fi?!!!!

If we are going to have this conversation, I would say Back to the Future is. It is also an adventure movie, and a comedy. But it definitely has rules about time travel that it at least attempts to follow (all time travel movies break down eventually). I wouldn't call it hard science fiction. But then The End of Eternity would be a hard science fiction time travel story and I can't even begin to think of how you make a movie out of that (as much as I love the book). My feeling on science fiction, and maybe this is less true today because geek culture has become more mainstream, is we need all the fans we can get. Star Wars and Back to the Future are pretty popular. Let those be gateways into the genre.
 

As I said before, I think it’s appropriate to call Ravenloft a horror setting for D&D, which I don’t think it’s appropriate to call a horror game.

I played TORG-ORORSH, Cthulhu, Vampire and Ravenloft all through high school: all of them can be scary. Some of our most frightening sessions were Ravenloft sessions. The power scale in D&D is so big, and 2E was lethal enough, that I found it pretty easy to scare players (nothing like Level drain to unnerve people)
 

But I think something that recurs in this thread as a theme is a total dismissal of what came before as less scary, and I would argue that isn't true.
I think that's a projection on your part. I'm not seeing any total dismissal, just seeing a trend - and I see that trend and supported it with actual argumentation as to why it's happening.

I think you yourself are rather overlooking that a lot of horror through the years hasn't been very scary.
Sometimes old people are right.
About this sort of thing? Pretty much never. This is subjective and cultural. Claiming "music was better in my day", which is effectively the approach you're replicating is usually laughably wrong for example.
My point is people who simply assume modern horror movies are more scary than old ones because they are accustomed to the technique and special effects are as wrong as we were in the 80s thinking our movies were more scary than stuff from the 70s, 50s and 30s (and this became apparent to me the deeper I dove into that old material). We probably won't have a good idea of where the past decade stands and where now stands for a good 20 or 30 years (just look at how looked down upon 80s music was int he 90s and even into the early 2000s, and now it has gained a lot of credibility as a period of interesting music....and who knows what people will think of it in 30 years, good or bad).
But what you're still not quite getting is that for modern audiences modern horror is, typically, more scary in a very easy to demonstrate and personal way - it scares them more. You can't really argue with that.

As for in 20 years, who knows. I think a bunch of stuff will stand out and people will absolutely see the '00s as a horror golden age (even though I'm not a fan of a lot of that stuff), because there was tons of it, it was novel, and it was culturally influential. The '10s? Harder to say. I don't think so, because whilst there have been some important horror movies, horror movies as a genre have been less culturally important and influential (TV horror has been coming up though - much of it quite gothic and camp in a Ravenloft-y way, but also usually extremely sexual and often violent in a way that would make Strahd cover his innocent eyes with his cape and run away hissing! Ryan Murphy being responsible for a large fraction of it).

As an aside, I'd actually say the horror movies that tend to survive are not the scariest ones (which are often not even the best ones), but rather the ones which are scary and tell a good story. Some of them are actually towards the lower end of the scary scale, esp. '80s ones. It's not always true though. Don't Look Now is still profoundly creepy though perhaps not very scary, for example.
Personally I find arthouse horror made less for fans of the genre and more for elite audiences. It just isn't really for me.
I dunno what this is referring to? Is this some kind of weird-ass zing on The VVitch, Midsommar, Hereditary, The Babadook and so on? Because the idea that they're "for elite audiences" is a weird way of saying "for people younger than me" lol. These are mainstream movies. Or are you taking aim at something I'm missing?
 

(nothing like Level drain to unnerve people)
I feel like "horrifying mechanics" are sometimes an underrated part of the horror experience in RPGs. If you hit the PLAYERS where it hurts by permanently damaging but not killing their characters (esp. if there's no way for some irritating Cleric to trivialize it by curing it next downtime) that tends to create an extra level of horror which some games just don't engage with. Killing them usually upsets them less than level-drain in my experience. I've never seen anyone ragequit D&D because their character died. I've even seen people cheer for that because they got to make a new one. I have seen it happen because of multi-level level-drain (I mean, he came back eventually but wow).

The problem is that sort of mechanic probably needs to be specific to "Horror D&D", rather than generalized.

EDIT - Also an important part of this working to cause horror/fear is that they know about it. If some monster touches them and level-drains them and they had no idea, it just feels like a "DM dick move", even though it probably isn't, and there's no drama or horror just annoyance, for that player anyway. If the PCs know they're chasing something that level-drains (or being chased by it), and that they need to be careful to avoid it, the drama and horror potential is huge. I guess it's like jump-scare vs proper horror even.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I feel like "horrifying mechanics" are sometimes an underrated part of the horror experience in RPGs. If you hit the PLAYERS where it hurts by permanently damaging their characters (esp. if there's no way for some irritating Cleric to trivialize it by curing it next downtime) that tends to create an extra level of horror which some games just don't engage with.

The problem is that sort of mechanic probably needs to be specific to "Horror D&D", rather than generalized.
It's too early to say if there will be useful mechanics towards that end based on the ToC alone, but on the point about 2e & power scales being so different there might be some guidance to backup the gm on stripping back some of the more egregiously offending abilities to at least make room for tension added elsewhere to matter.
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I feel like "horrifying mechanics" are sometimes an underrated part of the horror experience in RPGs. If you hit the PLAYERS where it hurts by permanently damaging but not killing their characters (esp. if there's no way for some irritating Cleric to trivialize it by curing it next downtime) that tends to create an extra level of horror which some games just don't engage with. Killing them usually upsets them less than level-drain in my experience. I've never seen anyone ragequit D&D because their character died. I've even seen people cheer for that because they got to make a new one. I have seen it happen because of multi-level level-drain (I mean, he came back eventually but wow).

The problem is that sort of mechanic probably needs to be specific to "Horror D&D", rather than generalized.

EDIT - Also an important part of this working to cause horror/fear is that they know about it. If some monster touches them and level-drains them and they had no idea, it just feels like a "DM dick move", even though it probably isn't, and there's no drama or horror just annoyance, for that player anyway. If the PCs know they're chasing something that level-drains (or being chased by it), and that they need to be careful to avoid it, the drama and horror potential is huge. I guess it's like jump-scare vs proper horror even.

Level drain works but it only works if people don't rage quit (which varies from table to table, and is more or less common in different periods of gaming). I like the power of level drain, it really makes a life draining undead scary (and I agree it is one place where meta-knowledge is useful). I quite liked how horror and fear checks worked as well (because the loss of control made characters very vulnerable. The two most effective tools I have noticed over the years are mechanics like level drain and mechanics like paralysis. Those terrify players
 



About this sort of thing? Pretty much never. This is subjective and cultural. Claiming "music was better in my day", which is effectively the approach you're replicating is usually laughably wrong for example.

I never said 'music was better in my day' or 'movies were better in my day'. I said dismissing older media because you are only accustomed to new media is narrow-minded and will negatively impact your ability to operate in a genre or in a musical style. Saying music in my day was better isn't any more sound than 'music in your time was worse'. Which is my point. When it comes to elders leveling criticism at a current generation, there is often truth in what they say because they've seen it before. Obviously that can be taken to the extreme of "music in my day was better", but the other side too often just takes comfort in shouting "go away old man".
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I didn’t say D&D can’t be scary...?
5e empties the quiver & does a lot of stuff to make players feel cofident in any situation. Without terrifying mechanics like level 2e drain & 3.x attribute damage in their quiver the GM is left with needing to devote aa larger chunk of the scary to the practice of targeting the players more so than the payer' fears for their characters. I can do it & have even done it with player who want that kind of dark game but it's not d&d that's scary at that point. When you add things like 5e's wolverine/deadpool in looney toons levels of durability for the average PC the gm needs to crank that intensity up accordingly to overcome that confidence.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I am not sure what you meant then by it isn't a horror game
Horror is a genre - a loosely defined set of conventions, tropes, and common themes that characterize certain works of fiction. Not everything scary falls into the horror genre, and not everything that falls into the horror genre is necessarily scary. Fear is often one of the emotional responses works of horror try to evoke in their audience, but it isn’t always successful. And often, non-horror works will evoke a fear response in at least some of their audience members, intentionally or unintentionally.

When I say “D&D isn’t horror,” I’m not saying D&D isn’t, can’t be, or shouldn’t try to be scary. I’m saying its conventions, tropes, and themes, taken holistically, don’t fall under those associated with the horror genre. Typically speaking. Obviously you can include horror conventions, tropes, and themes in D&D, and the result might be something that could reasonably be described as horror. But I don’t think the game as-written is particularly well-suited to it.

Ravenloft, as a setting, does employ many of the tropes, conventions, and common themes of horror, so I think describing it as a “horror setting” is very fitting. Playing a game that is not horror by design, in a setting that is, can create a very interesting genre mashup. I think that’s the primary appeal of Ravenloft. And, of course, you can adjust the dials to find the balance of adventure, horror, and fantasy that feels right for your purposes.
 

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