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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

Faolyn

Hero
The pistol looking thing being fired by the character in the wheelchair looks a lot like a differently styled version of the artificer eldritch cannon. I think they might hew closer to breath of siberys charged "wands" to avoid ever finding out some school shooter had a pistol in a d&d game in a newspaper article
I don't think they're thinking like that. Honestly, I would imagine that whoever drew this, if they drew this actually intending it to be a pic of Laurie and Gennifer (rather than just drawing a pic of two women and later deciding it was them), that they didn't know she was a pistol-wielder.
 

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tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I don't think they're thinking like that. Honestly, I would imagine that whoever drew this, if they drew this actually intending it to be a pic of Laurie and Gennifer (rather than just drawing a pic of two women and later deciding it was them), that they didn't know she was a pistol-wielder.
No, but pomegranate might, it's notable that the ravenloft book ToC doesn't seem to have a section on firearms equipment etc from what I can see. I was talking more about pistols than the picture
 




I can't see that behind the paywall, but jeez, when you step back and think, it's mindboggling how much has changed over the past 10 years or so that we're actually getting hype previews of new D&D sourcebooks in Forbes of all places...
 

Remathilis

Legend
Huh--that's a new look for them, if that is them. Interesting change! Although if this is them, it's odd that Gennifer has a sword, when she always used a pistol before. I wonder what that says about the tech level they're going for. Personally, I imagine firearms being relatively common in Ravenloft.
I think they are going to use the same logic as Waterdeep; if you want guns, they're in the DMG. Though I might mention there is a firearm hidden in Curse of Strahd, so I don't think they're against them.
 

I can't see that behind the paywall, but jeez, when you step back and think, it's mindboggling how much has changed over the past 10 years or so that we're actually getting hype previews of new D&D sourcebooks in Forbes of all places...
Well, "Forbes." They're no longer a respected business magazine, but a content mill, including lots of self-published stuff that may only be casually looked at by editorial staff to make sure it meets their minimal standards. This piece is good, but there's also lots of stuff that is ... not.
 

I wonder what that says about the tech level they're going for. Personally, I imagine firearms being relatively common in Ravenloft.
Me too, but to be honest the D&D firearms rules don't really back up why. They're better than crossbows, but unless you house-rule, most classes who routinely use crossbows aren't firearms proficient.

The other aesthetic/technological trend i imagine in Ravenloft is the lessening of emphasis on armour. But (in real-life history) that happened because firearms penetrated armour very easily, and that mechanically just doesn't happen in D&D, and also from a more metagamey point of view - if armour goes away then melee warriors always start being Dex-based rather than Str-based, and that means finesse weapons become the norm, and the Str stat pretty much doesn't even matter any more.

I've messed around with rules for firearms that are slightly more advanced technologically than standard D&D firearms (perhaps at an early 1800s-level), especially trying to keep Str relevant and differentiate them from bows a bit, but I'm far from satisfied yet.

musket martial 1d12 piercing 150/1200 ammunition (firearms), two-handed, firearm, loading, recoil 13
fowling piece simple 2d8 piercing 30/300 ammunition (firearms), two-handed, firearm, loading, recoil 13, scattershot
elephant gun martial 2d8 piercing 150/1200 ammunition (firearms), two-handed, firearm, heavy, loading, recoil 15
boot pistol simple 1d8 piercing 20/60 ammunition (firearms), firearm, loading, light
pepperbox pistol martial 1d8 piercing 30/120 ammunition (firearms), firearm, loading, special
pistol simple 1d10 piercing 30/120 ammunition (firearms), firearm, loading
horse pistol martial 1d12 piercing 30/120 ammunition (firearms), firearm, heavy, loading, recoil 13
musket bayonet martial 1d10 piercing melee two-handed, fix bayonet



firearm - a firearm with the loading property requires two hands to load. A character making an attack with a firearm has disadvantage to Stealth rolls made in the same round. Attack rolls with a firearm gain a bonus of 1d4 against targets wearing medium or heavy armour, or using a shield.
scattershot - attack rolls with a scattershot weapon are not made with disadvantage when attacking at long range. Instead, damage inflicted by scattershot weapons at long range is halved. Scattershot weapons do not add the usual 1d4 bonus for firearms against heavily armoured or shielded targets.
fix bayonet - a bayonet can be fixed to or removed from a musket as a bonus action. A musket with a fixed bayonet cannot make ranged attack rolls until the bayonet is removed. An unfixed bayonet counts as a shortsword.
recoil - a character wielding weapon with the recoil property who moves before attacking in the same round must have at least the listed strength or make the attack roll at disadvantage. If the weapon does not have the two-handed property, the wielder can remove this penalty by wielding the weapon with two hands.

special rules
pepperbox pistol - when using this weapon, you can ignore the loading property for the first 6 attack rolls. Once you have made six attacks, this property ceases to function until you spend one minute of uninterrupted time to reset it.
 






Huh--that's a new look for them, if that is them. Interesting change! Although if this is them, it's odd that Gennifer has a sword, when she always used a pistol before. I wonder what that says about the tech level they're going for. Personally, I imagine firearms being relatively common in Ravenloft.
Having a range of different weapons and selecting the best one for the situation is a key skill for a successful monster hunter.
 



TheSword

Legend
Supporter
Now we’re just quibbling over semantics. Point is, Ravenloft recommends certain modifications to D&D to make it better fit the genre. You know, cause it’s a horror setting and D&D isn’t a horror game by default. Like I said.
If you view D&D ‘default’ as the game the average table plays, with average encounter building, average treasure, average encounters per day, typical access to NPCs, resources, shops. Average opportunities to take short and long rests and all core options being available and no non-core options (certainly not 3pp).

Then I suspect not many people actually play default D&D for any campaign. I don’t think ‘default’ is a very useful term for looking at D&D 5e in any guise.

A Ravenloft campaign may add published optional rules, but will largely effect monster choice, encounter generation and give steers to PC and NPC design. It’s hardly some brand new type of game. Plenty of people use the published optional rules. It doesn’t stop it being good ole D&D!
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I can't see that behind the paywall, but jeez, when you step back and think, it's mindboggling how much has changed over the past 10 years or so that we're actually getting hype previews of new D&D sourcebooks in Forbes of all places...
D&D and other tabletop RPGs have been on Forbes for years now. Rob Weiland writes RPG articles for them regularly (he also writes one here on EN World every Friday!)
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
If you view D&D ‘default’ as the game the average table plays, with average encounter building, average treasure, average encounters per day, typical access to NPCs, resources, shops. Average opportunities to take short and long rests and all core options being available and no non-core options (certainly not 3pp).

Then I suspect not many people actually play default D&D for any campaign. I don’t think ‘default’ is a very useful term for looking at D&D 5e in any guise.
I never made any claims as to the commonality of default 5e games.
A Ravenloft campaign may add published optional rules, but will largely effect monster choice, encounter generation and give steers to PC and NPC design. It’s hardly some brand new type of game. Plenty of people use the published optional rules. It doesn’t stop it being good ole D&D!
Of course it doesn’t stop being D&D. I literally said you can do horror in D&D. I think some folks are reading a whole lot of baggage into a pretty innocuous statement. Ravenloft is a horror setting, D&D isn’t a horror game. Doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t run horror games in D&D. I like horror D&D a lot. That’s why I’m so excited for Van Richten’s Guide.
 

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