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D&D 5E Meet Ravenloft's Harkon Lucas and Rudolph Van Richten

WotC has shared some artwork from Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft, featuring the titular vampire hunter himself, and the darklord of Kartakass, Harkon Lucas.

rudolph.jpeg

"Rudolph Van Richten prepares for his next expedition, watched over by the spirit of his son, Erasmus."

harkon.jpeg

"A born liar and shape-shifter, Harkon Lukas orchestrates elaborate manipulations.
He's rarely seen without his signature wide-brimmed hat; wolf's tooth necklace; and violin, which he calls Bleeding Heart."
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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Great. Now I need to create a Club 54-ish Ravenloft domain. Disco Inferno, it is!

That's actually a good idea.
Everything looks like a party, non-stop dancing. Until you realize the dancing truly is non-stop. As in you dance until you're dead. And then they raise you as undead and still make you keep dancing. Forever.
 

I wonder about a female version of Harkon Lucas as a "silf" ( = Shapesifter I would f..).

Maybe there is some plot in the retcon or reboot, but we shouldn't worry too much if we want to enjoy the game. And the canon is not too important if the DMs adds his own ideas altering the metaplot.

Now I am thinking about Blade the vampire-hunter, the first look in the 70's comics, the new hair-style in the 90's revival as member of the night-stalkers (I bought that comic when he wasn't famous yet), and the next look after the action-live movies. Lots of characters from comics show the change of fashion through the different ages, for example the Louis Lane from the golden age.
 

Deleted. I'm far too annoyed by the "consistent art direction" thread to want to bother commenting on it.
What I find irritating about those folk is it is actually trying to dictate to DMs what their game should look like. When my players arrive in a new region one of the things I try to do is give it a distinctive look. That might be fashions, architectural styles, that sort of thing (Trenchcoats and fedoras are big in Korranburg). I use some of my own art, as well as scavenging things I think fit from the net. I don't want WotC telling me what my game should look like.
 





Voadam

Legend
That's actually a good idea.
Everything looks like a party, non-stop dancing. Until you realize the dancing truly is non-stop. As in you dance until you're dead. And then they raise you as undead and still make you keep dancing. Forever.

Alternatively there is a lot of folklore traditions of fey and uncontrolled forever dancing to tap into instead of undead.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I wonder about a female version of Harkon Lucas as a "silf" ( = Shapesifter I would f..).
Mod Note:
...find got you in trouble because this is a family-friendly site and we don't need that sexualization here?

There are sites for that. Go to them, please. Don't bring them here. Thanks.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
To be fair, I don't think many gamers would really want their characters wearing real medieval-style clothing, since it was a lot of big dress-like outfits or giant codpieces or curly-toed shoes. Or pantalloons. Or giant ruffs around the neck. Or giant hats. Historically accurate (not that D&D takes place in the real world) but kinda silly and not particularly cool.
A fun video talking about what knights wore in (some parts of) medieval Europe. I definitely think you can get closer to reality and still look cool, but I don't think it's something dnd actually needs to do.

And one about medieval hoods and later silly hats!

Warning, this one will make you hungry!
I would make that bronze age (Theros, Conan) to 1920s (Eberron).

But yes, fashion can be whatever the DM decides, and is going to vary between regions, so if a PC wants to dress differently they can justify that too.
Even Eberron's "1920's" is definitely only loosely inspired by the fiction of the 1920's, with much earlier fashion, and an absense of an equivelent to the car, telephone, radio, or gunpowder weaponry. You can tell a story very like a 1920's bank or train heist in Eberron, but it definitely takes some translation of the thematics. Which is good! It helps make Eberron it's own thing that one of the characters in that caper might be a knight who normally wears plate armor, and a person made of living wood and stone, and a death-fetishist elf duelist, and a 3 foot tall sharpshooter with an animal mask and a pet dinosaur.
@Jaeger, as someone who bangs this drum about the depictions of ships in D&D, I feel your pain. It's jarring when you see something that is really, really anachronistic in the game and no one else seems to notice it at all. ((No, an 18th century English Ship of the Line is not really plausible in a D&D level technology. And, FFS, at least don't draw the bloody gunports on the thing))
I'd probably buy a good "slightly more realistic but still very simple" ship suppliment from a 3pp, but I certainly don't see why dnd should need to have "realistic" ships, especially in the context of tech level. I mean, we're talking about another world where magic exists and people use plate armor in the same battle where people are using rapiers, and another guy is punching holes in people's armors with his bare fist.

The gunports are for the arcane mangonels, obviously. :D
I find it refreshing that this thread turned into an argument over clothing in fantasy RPGs and not an angry tirade over the lazy race-swap they did on Harkon himself. At least with the gender-swapped Darklords they appear to have massaged their backstory enough to make them unique takes on the trope. Since they went through the trouble there, if they were looking to add a Darklord of color, I would have preferred they went a bit farther to make an actual, new character to replace Harkon. Oh well.

That said, his new race plus his attire plus him being a "loup garou" and not a wolfwere is giving me strong Creole vibes for this domain.
Why would anyone be upset about Karkon being Black?
Harkon is a shape-changer, yes, but there are a lot of different types of shape-changers in D&D that follow different "rules" for how their shape-changing works.
The wiki says he can look however he wants, but has prefered male and female human forms, but I guess the source material says he is stuck in one form per gender per race?
 

Even Eberron's "1920's" is definitely only loosely inspired by the fiction of the 1920's, with much earlier fashion, and an absense of an equivelent to the car, telephone, radio, or gunpowder weaponry.
It has magi-tech equivalents to all those, not to mention more modern things, like iPads. As for fashion, I threw away the 3rd edition art and went with what I considered more appropriate.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It has magi-tech equivalents to all those, not to mention more modern things, like iPads. As for fashion, I threw away the 3rd edition art and went with what I considered more appropriate.
I've never seen anything like a modern tablet in Eberron, not anything like a car, really. There are floating wagons, but they're still pulled by animals. And I won't fall into the guns rabbithole, so lets just leave it at; I disagree, on that one.

And there certainly aren't telephones. No one in Eberron is having a fluid conversation in real time over great distance, except maybe high level magic users that can cast Dream. The closest we have is essentially a magical telegraph, except instead of a guy punching a trigger erratically for a minute, waiting, and then telling you what came back, a guy whispers into a magic stone, waits a minute, and then tells you want came back.

Then we have radios. Hoooo-boy! Absolutely nothing in Eberron comes anywhere close to a radio. Not by miles. Wroat cannot send a proclamation out to all corners of Breland on a moment's notice. The closest they can get is sending telegrams to every sending station in the kingdom, and paying the premium for Sivis to pay Orien to send couriers to outlying areas with the message. It can still easily takes days for a message to reach a small farm town on the border. In the actual 1920's, such a town, at worst, would only have 1 radio, or something, and would very much hear the news the same day. By the late 1920's, in America at least, radios were fairly ubiquitous, and were changing the culture of the nation, changing how sports worked, changing how information was disseminated generally, and changing how we consumed media.

I'm sorry, but a magic item that records a stage play and then plays it back is not, remotely, equivalent.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The biggest difference between Eberron's magitech and the stuff it takes the place of is ubiquity vs rarity. Airships aren't just new, they're only really usable by a single company. Sending stations are in any major city and many medium sized towns, but public access to them is pretty limited. They're expensive, and there's no competition.
Wands that cast cantrips require extensive training to have any hope of using, unless you have a natural gift for spellcasting, so if someone is pointing a wand at you confidently, you know they aren't the average Joe. Washing stones are something a town has one of, in the town square, and people are thus going to the town square to do their laundry.

Lamplighting is a trade skill equivalent to a pre-industrial ferrier or a modern electrician.

It's absolutely not the same, at all. It can have a similar vibe, but there is not a 1920's DnD setting. There is a setting that borrow some of the themes and aesthetic from the fiction of the 1920's and 1930's, but also from a bunch of other stuff.
 




doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Eberron has more fun with the papers, but yeah, Waterdeep actually benefits a lot, IMO, from running it a lot like one would run Sharn, but with less corruption.

The big difference in my FR vs Eberron is simply that Waterdeep is a very rare city in all it's magical technology. Even Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter aren't as advanced, though they have their own cool things going on. Waterdeep is The City. It's got subways propelled through tunnels by arcane mass drivers that create wild lightning storms within the tunnels (so watch out you don't get to close when a car isn't stopped in front of you, wards protect the platforms and the train cars, but only if you stay within them), fully-functional plumbing with running water and magically purified waste disposal that converts waste into fertilizer for farms and ships it out at a tidy profit, tenser trolleys (ie floating trolleys) that are worked by teams of invisible phantom workers that you can hear but not see, and Kaladesh style personal vehicles to take you across the city and up to the tops of various enormous buildings.

but that's MY FR, inspired by the much more magitech Waterdeep of the 4e era.
 
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