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.

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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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You are advocating Death of the Author, where the text is divorced from any greater meaning brought to it from knowing the author's reasoning.
No, actually I am arguing the opposite. I am saying what the film maker intended is very important. I don't know how you are getting death of the author from what I just said
 

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Is it possible to analyze the politics of Star Wars without looking a George Lucas's liberal views, or gender in Harry Potter without looking at J.K. Rowling's recent issues with transphobia? Yes, but it's only one way and not always the right way.

I think media is always an attempt to communicate something. If you aren't even going to make an effort to understand what the author was trying to communicate, I don't think that is a fair reading. Now it can have broader meanings than what the author intended. And people can take it and give it new meaning. But I do think it is silly to ignore what the author was trying to do
 

I don't understand the disagreement.
Indeed you don't.
All I am saying is context matters in a media. Something simply being in a film doesn't automatically make it an endorsement of that thing (thus content does not equal message).
No it doesn't. but I'm not talking about TEXT. Text doesn't influence people. They see it and they either agree with it or not.
Now I am against hateful propaganda. But I also probably would guess we disagree on how to combat that (but that is a whole other conversation). I am certainly not an apologist for it (especially when my dad's side of the family fled Russia due to pogroms, and I've met holocaust survivors and survivors of the killing fields)
No, your not an apologist for that. But if you say "You can say anything you like, it's only media, it doesn't matter" you are giving free reign to people who would say that, or worse.
 


No, your not an apologist for that. But if you say "You can say anything you like, it's only media, it doesn't matter" you are giving free reign to people who would say that, or worse.

People can say what they like but others can object to it. I am not saying people can say whatever and it doesn't matter. When the Westborough Baptist church was protesting funerals, what they had to say was bad. They were allowed to say it, but I disagreed strongly with their message. And I certainly wouldn't think their message would be something that should appear in a TSR product or something. But I do think it would be fair real world material to use in an RPG (not to advocate their position but to have something that reflects a real life extremist group in say a counter terrorrism scenario).

I am saying people are overreacting to content that isn't even meant to convey the message they think it conveys. That is my point. People see a storyline with a female doing X and they automatically assume it is a moral message about how females are supposed to be. I am saying people are taking a very simplified lens to reading and interpreting this stuff, and I think it is resulting in much less interesting content.
 

Indeed you don't.

No it doesn't. but I'm not talking about TEXT. Text doesn't influence people. They see it and they either agree with it or not.
then we are just using different language to say the same thing. In your language I think I am saying text does not equal subtext. To me that is what content does not equal message means
 

Remathilis

Legend
This is absurd. I have seen Raging Bull countless times. I never hit a woman, because I was raised to not hit women. I watched Scarface countless times too. I never went out and shot anyone, never wanted to (I hate guns, and I hate gun violence in real life). Also never became a cocaine dealer, bought a Ferrari (never even wanted one despite the product placement in the film), etc. I don't think the impact is as clear here as people think. And definitely subliminal stuff doesn't appear to be as strong as we once thought. Again, I remember the whole craze about subliminal ads, and subliminal messages in heavy metal. It turned out to be largely bunk, largely moral panic. That said, like anything else, it doesn't have zero impact. That is why people need to be able to watch things with a discerning eye and separate reality from fantasy. But that doesn't mean you have to excise all bad things from media.
You are putting Descartes before de horse.

Lots of people have read the Turner Diaries; a late 1970's dystopian novel about overthrowing the government. It's very popular with the militia movement in the US. Reading it probably never turned someone into a militias member with a bunker and an arsenal, but it did a LOT to reinforce the beliefs of those who already believed. Media can do that; reinforce held beliefs, making them impenetrable to new facts and points of view. Birth of a Nation or Triumph of the Will probably didn't make someone a Klansman or a Nazi; it convinced someone who was already sympathetic to those beliefs that they were right.
 


People can say what they like but others can object to it. I am not saying people can say whatever and it doesn't matter. When the Westborough Baptist church was protesting funerals, what they had to say was bad.
How do you know? How do you judge "good" from bad"? I'm sure they just as sincerely believe they are "good" and we are "bad".
They were allowed to say it, but I disagreed strongly with their message.
Why should they have been allowed to say it? I'm sure there where those who saw what they where saying and agreed with it.
And I certainly wouldn't think their message would be something that should appear in a TSR product or something. But I do think it would be fair real world material to use in an RPG (not to advocate their position but to have something that reflects a real life extremist group in say a counter terrorrism scenario).
That's a strawman - I'm not the one advocating Ravenloft's allegory about religious extremism should be removed. That was someone else. It's the hurtful depictions of race and gender that many of use are glad to see the back of.
I am saying people are overreacting to content that isn't even meant to convey the message they think it conveys. That is my point. People see a storyline with a female doing X and they automatically assume it is a moral message about how females are supposed to be.
If women are only shown in a certain way, one can only conclude that is how the author thinks they are supposed to be.
I am saying people are taking a very simplified lens to reading and interpreting this stuff, and I think it is resulting in much less interesting content.
Of course, people are not literary critics. One always has to assume the majority of readers will draw the simplest possible interpretation from the text.
 

Remathilis

Legend
In an attempt to steer the thread back, what're you most looking forward to seeing/reading in Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft?
I want to dive in now and see the changes, the Easter eggs, and the subtle nods. I have a feel for the nature of the changes but not the details and I can't wait to see the setting for the first time again.
 

You are putting Descartes before de horse.

Lots of people have read the Turner Diaries; a late 1970's dystopian novel about overthrowing the government. It's very popular with the militia movement in the US. Reading it probably never turned someone into a militias member with a bunker and an arsenal, but it did a LOT to reinforce the beliefs of those who already believed. Media can do that; reinforce held beliefs, making them impenetrable to new facts and points of view. Birth of a Nation or Triumph of the Will probably didn't make someone a Klansman or a Nazi; it convinced someone who was already sympathetic to those beliefs that they were right.
In fact I have often quoted “writing history with lightning” here: something often attributed to Woodrow Wilson after he saw a screening of Birth of a Nation (there is a paper about it that all history students have to read because it gets into how we understand the past and how it can be shaped by things like film). But Scarface isn’t the Turner Diaries and Souragne isn’t Birth of a Nation.
 


How do you know? How do you judge "good" from bad"? I'm sure they just as sincerely believe they are "good" and we are "bad".
Paul, I am not your student. I had a religious and moral upbringing (my father was a pacifist). I understand how to read moral philosophy. I am not interested in having a discussion about what the good is with here. Suffice it to say, I am sure they felt they were good (which is one reason I always say we should be compassionate in how we reach out to people we think are doing wrong) but what they were doing disrupted the funerals of young men and women killed in war, and spread a message of hatred against gay people. We can analyze why that might be wrong from a philosophical point of view but I don’t need more than my upbringing to understand it is wrong
 


Reynard

Legend
Didn't read whole thread... article over at DDB with sneak peek at Carrionettes, including stat block and some more art from the book.

Carrionettes: Play Killer Toys From Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft

Is no fun, is no Blinsky! ;)


View attachment 136790
Pretty cool, creepy villains. If I were to use them, I think I would enlist the player to run the carrionette in that possessed them, rather than knock the play out of the action for whatever amount of time. Alternatively, a whole gang of them that take over the party, leaving the PCs to save themselves while trapped in cursed toy bodies would be a pretty cool adventure.
 

Paul, I am not your student. I had a religious and moral upbringing (my father was a pacifist). I understand how to read moral philosophy. I am not interested in having a discussion about what the good is with here.
I'm not asking you what the good is. I'm asking you how you know?

Ans once you have decided something is wrong, what are you going to do about it?

If you believe intolerance is wrong, does that mean you tolerate the intolerant?
 

If women are only shown in a certain way, one can only conclude that is how the author thinks they are supposed to be.

this is where I disagree. The intentions of the writer matter a lot here. I addressed this earlier in the thread when I said writers often tackle the same theme to work through a creative idea or to grapple with something personal. Black box was the work of two writers. I think you can see a recurring theme like that and leap to a negative interpretation: the writer feels x about women or the writer is saying women are only good for y. Or you can be more charitable, even try to find out what what the author meant. For example a poster mentioned something about female domain lords who wanted babies but couldn’t have them, lost babies etc, and said it is saying women need a man and to have babies. I disagree. I think more likely one of the two writers had sone kind of experience that made those details come out in the writing (and I gave a personal example of my mother having a baby who died to illustrate how those kinds of things can work their way into your writing without being a message that the poster assumed).
 

I'm not asking you what the good is. I'm asking you how you know?

Ans once you have decided something is wrong, what are you going to do about it?

If you believe intolerance is wrong, does that mean you tolerate the intolerant?
I am not having this discussion with you. Like I said: I am not your student. I understand where you are trying to go.
 



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