D&D 5E Ravenloft Previews of Dementlieu, Lamordia, and Har'Akir

WotC has been sprinkling previews of individual Ravenloft domains to various websites -- including Dementlieu, Lamordia, and Har'Akir. Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft is only a couple of weeks away, coming out on May 18th!

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Dementlieu
  • Forbes takes a look Dementlieu, which has inspirations like Cinderella, The Masque of the Red Death, and Dark City. "Dementlieu is one of over 30 domains of dread detailed in the book. It’s a sharp contrast to Barovia’s dark forest and looming Gothic castle on a hill. Instead it’s covered in a glamorous sheen of fine clothes and fancy parties. Everyone is dying to be invited to the Grand Masquerade held by Duchess Saidra d’Honaire every week on her private island. And, in many cases, killed if they are discovered at the ball if they’re not supposed to be there."
  • Syfy Wire looks at Lamordia, inspired by Frankenstein. "Many of the Domains of Dread are inspired by some horror tale or piece of creepy folklore, and Lamordia definitely has its roots in Frankenstein. But while the Domain is inspired by that classic horror story, its elements are then shot through the lens of D&D adventures and explored to dozens of horrific extremes. Mordenheim's land isn't just about resurrection gone awry, it's also the Domain for all different types of science gone wrong, bizarre experiments, body horror weirdness, and grim tales of society versus a frigid land. Just as there's more to Frankenstein than a scientist who abandoned his child, there's more to Lamordia than stitches and semi-dead flesh."
  • Polygon has Har'Akir, an Egyptian-themed domain. "Why is there a Domain that is a desert that is riddled with these ancient, inexplicable haunted monuments and ruined pyramids? How does a Domain like that exist? How does it make sense? To an extent it doesn’t, and it’s going to be the players that come and explore that, who are some of the only people that realize that the entirety of the domain is, to an extent, gaslighting them."
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Ankhetop, darklord of Har'Akir

 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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JEB

Legend
It means that WotC adjusting lore to better fit the times is not a big deal. They still have a cool IP that folks like. It's more like the way adaptations are treated. Sure, some people were mad when the X-Men films came out because of the changes from the source material, but the majority of the target audience enjoyed them (well, X1 and X2 anyway...).
Adjusting the lore, sure. But there are changes in the spirit of the original, and changes that aren't.

Going to your example, the X-Men films certainly changed things from the source material... but generally seemed true to it even if the specific details changed. If Wolverine had been a completely different character from the original, for example - say an adorably scrappy animal sidekick - some fans would have been reasonably upset, and having the same name as the original character would make his reception worse, not better. Even if some people liked the new, cute Wolverine on his own merits, it would likely have been seen as a misstep.

But as I said, we'll see with Ravenloft in a few weeks. Many of the previews suggest sweeping changes with a deep skepticism of major elements of the original... but we won't know if they hit the right spot until we read it for ourselves.
 

The first full DnD campaign I ever participated in was a Ravenloft game I DMed back in the summer of 2003. I had all of the 2e Ravenloft material in the 90s and had been a fan long before I ever actually played.

I have a feeling that there is a good portion of the customer base like me - I'm familiar with the setting but I'm looking forward to seeing it rebooted with a fresh perspective on old themes instead of relying heavily regurgitated tropes.
 




Hussar

Legend
What kind of baffles me in these threads is that people act like this is something coming out of left field. WotC has consistently stated that it is devoted to making the game more inclusive and excising the more problematic elements from the game. This started in 2014 with the PHB having non-gendered language in the character description section. It's been just short of seven years now and every single book they've published since that time has had more and more inclusive language in it and an eye out for problematic elements.

Have they been 100% successful? Nope. They've made mistakes. But, no one can claim that they aren't making the attempt.

We've been going round and round on this (for example, this thread: D&D 5E - 5e's new gender policy - is it attracting new players? ) for years now. At what point are people going to get the message?
 

Reynard

Legend
Technically, Ythryn isn't a burial site, despite it being referred to as a necropolis. RotFM does have an elven burial site and a tomb of a frost giant queen for players to desecrate though.
It's D&D. You can take my tomb raiding and grave robbing from my unironically cold dead hands.
 

Necrozius

Explorer
Well I was on the fence about this one but now I’m in. If I want to reintroduce old stuff I can dust off my old books anyway. Some of them have nice maps I can use with this new book.

As far as mood... well that’s in the hands of the DM, honestly. I can telegraph whatever I want to the players. I may be at odds with some of the design choices but so many others are pretty good, actually.

You can bet that I’ll be printing off scans of that glorious black and white Stephen Fabian art for my custom DM screen. :)
 

I agree. But, it does make any discussion largely pointless as any criticism, no matter how mild, is immediately seen as an attack on the person. Which is totally not meant. But, the tendency to conflate personal taste with objective value is very prevalent.

Not at all. I am not going to get into the full discussion with you again, because the threads been derailed enough. But your posts routinely attack the posters who say they like old tropes, or who defend old movies. @Charlaquin I might disagree strongly with on some points, but has responded to what I've said (which is why I felt fine just letting @Charlaquin have the last word in our exchange on this topic). You stepped beyond that and told us we were advocating horrible things. And you did it in a way that very much called our characters into question. It wasn't 'well this is critical analysis and it is meant to do this'. It was "this is how it is, there is no other way, and if you persist in arguing what you are arguing for, you are arguing for racism" (and that is probably a mild characterization of your post). I'm just done with this nonsense (and it isn't becomes I am regressive or racist, or want to advocate for racism or anything stupid like that: its because I disagree with you about movies and media, and how to contextualize and understand old tropes). What started out as something well intentioned is just becoming repressive at this point
 

TheSword

Legend
What kind of baffles me in these threads is that people act like this is something coming out of left field. WotC has consistently stated that it is devoted to making the game more inclusive and excising the more problematic elements from the game. This started in 2014 with the PHB having non-gendered language in the character description section. It's been just short of seven years now and every single book they've published since that time has had more and more inclusive language in it and an eye out for problematic elements.

Have they been 100% successful? Nope. They've made mistakes. But, no one can claim that they aren't making the attempt.

We've been going round and round on this (for example, this thread: D&D 5E - 5e's new gender policy - is it attracting new players? ) for years now. At what point are people going to get the message?
People get the message. Most people can take a measured approach to things and see that change is good and positive.

Then again, many people in favor of measured change get frustrated by extremism. The kind of language that tries to shut things down rather than see them improve. Or finds the worst possible interpretation and then tries to extrapolate a whole world of other issues out of context.

If Richard O’Connel kisses Evelyn from behind his prison bars that speak to his character. The viewer makes a decision about the kind of person the character is. In this case a flippant, disrespectful rogue. (Just like Indiana Jones, Han Solo... pretty much anyone played by Harrison Ford) It doesn’t mean the writer or director supports sexual assault, or that Brendan or Rachel think thats acceptable. Or that someone who enjoys the film would go out and do it. Or that films involving mummies support sexual assault.

As I said, perspective and context should be taken into consideration.
 
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Hussar

Legend
It is non-consensual sexual touching. Full stop. That it's played for laughs is more a sign of the times than anything else. Note I never said anyone was bad or advocated anything. I said that the movie contains a scene of a sexual assault that is played off for laughs. It's hardly the first movie to do so. If by, "speaking to his character", you mean someone who sexually touches women without consent, then, okay, fair enough.

Imagine the reaction if it was the character of Benny that did the exact same thing. Do you think it would still be played off for laughs?

And, @Bedrockgames, you consistently complain about every single change that WotC makes that even hints at anything related to being more inclusive. Repeatedly. Every single time. So, yeah, you'll have to excuse me if I don't really bother with a more measured approach anymore. You continually refuse to recognize anything wrong with any old trope. There is never any inherent issues. It's rather frustrating discussing with someone who absolutely refuses to see any issue, ever. No old trope is ever problematic for you, so, you presume that it shouldn't be problematic for anyone.

And, when I specifically tell you what the problems are, with proof (even a video this time), it still gets swept aside an brushed off.

Every single time.

It's not a case of "simply disagreeing". You refuse to acknowledge any problematic element in old tropes, ever. Despite the fact that this is all well established material. Old tropes are full of racism and bigotry is like saying rain is wet. Having to "prove" it over and over again is so disheartening. This is all basic Lit Crit 101 stuff that any 1st year university student learned. Anyone whose paid any attention to the criticisms of the genre for the past twenty years or so has seen this stuff a million times. It doesn't have to be proven. It is proved, well established and generally accepted.

Good grief, even the jokey video I posted recognized every single thing I brought up. This isn't rocket science.
 

Reynard

Legend
In a vain, final attempt to drag this thread kicking and screaming back on topic:

IGN has a preview of Falkovnia, which "has been reimagined as a nightmarish Groundhog's Day-style loop, where a struggling nation—which happens to be ruled by a brutal warlord—is endlessly besieged by massive hordes of the walking dead, who just so happen to look like everyone this warlord has ever killed."

Discuss.
 
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Necrozius

Explorer
Ooh that's cool. I've never attempted a "Groundhog day" themed module or setting before. There may have been some before (I'm sure someone will point out), but this is new to me.
 

Reynard

Legend
Ooh that's cool. I've never attempted a "Groundhog day" themed module or setting before. There may have been some before (I'm sure someone will point out), but this is new to me.
I have a con in the summer and have been trying to come up with a good multi-session event. I think "Groundhog Day Zombie Apocalypse" just might fit the bill.
 

Remathilis

Legend
Ina vain, final attempt to drag this thread kicking and screaming back on topic:

IGN has a preview of Falkovnia, which "has been reimagined as a nightmarish Groundhog's Day-style loop, where a struggling nation—which happens to be ruled by a brutal warlord—is endlessly besieged by massive hordes of the walking dead, who just so happen to look like everyone this warlord has ever killed."

Dsicuss.
Hmmm...

Spoilers from BDS and this got me thinking.

So the domain isn't 28 Days Later where there is just ruins and zombies, but every month on the full moon, an army of the living dead lay siege to the capital and everything in between. Then they leave or are defeated but return next month to do it again and the ranks have swelled from the dead of the last month adding to them. It also means when the Army of the Dead isn't there, Falkovia goes back to "normal", growing food and repairing damage to prep for the next assault.

It captures the hopelessness of war without relying on Drakov's stupid "attack Darkon repeatedly to the same effect" element. So far, the reimagined domains have given my a lot more ideas than thier old versions did.
 

Reynard

Legend
Hmmm...

Spoilers from BDS and this got me thinking.

So the domain isn't 28 Days Later where there is just ruins and zombies, but every month on the full moon, an army of the living dead lay siege to the capital and everything in between. Then they leave or are defeated but return next month to do it again and the ranks have swelled from the dead of the last month adding to them. It also means when the Army of the Dead isn't there, Falkovia goes back to "normal", growing food and repairing damage to prep for the next assault.

It captures the hopelessness of war without relying on Drakov's stupid "attack Darkon repeatedly to the same effect" element. So far, the reimagined domains have given my a lot more ideas than thier old versions did.
Never having used or played in Ravenloft before, despite starting gaming in 1985, I find these domains really interesting. I run short, self contained campaigns at conventions and the Falkovia domain story feels like a perfect fit for a 4 session ongoing.
 

Ash Mantle

Adventurer
In a vain, final attempt to drag this thread kicking and screaming back on topic:

IGN has a preview of Falkovnia, which "has been reimagined as a nightmarish Groundhog's Day-style loop, where a struggling nation—which happens to be ruled by a brutal warlord—is endlessly besieged by massive hordes of the walking dead, who just so happen to look like everyone this warlord has ever killed."

Discuss.
Sounds like a great way to have tower defense style apocalyptic events in our games, and I'm all here for that :)
 

Ooh that's cool. I've never attempted a "Groundhog day" themed module or setting before. There may have been some before (I'm sure someone will point out), but this is new to me.
I believe they are talking about a reset like CoS has, rather than a literal "repeat the adventure until you get it right" setup.
 

And, @Bedrockgames, you consistently complain about every single change that WotC makes that even hints at anything related to being more inclusive. Repeatedly. Every single time. So, yeah, you'll have to excuse me if I don't really bother with a more measured approach anymore. You continually refuse to recognize anything wrong with any old trope. There is never any inherent issues. It's rather frustrating discussing with someone who absolutely refuses to see any issue, ever. No old trope is ever problematic for you, so, you presume that it shouldn't be problematic for anyone.

And, when I specifically tell you what the problems are, with proof (even a video this time), it still gets swept aside an brushed off.

Every single time.

It's not a case of "simply disagreeing". You refuse to acknowledge any problematic element in old tropes, ever. Despite the fact that this is all well established material. Old tropes are full of racism and bigotry is like saying rain is wet. Having to "prove" it over and over again is so disheartening. This is all basic Lit Crit 101 stuff that any 1st year university student learned. Anyone whose paid any attention to the criticisms of the genre for the past twenty years or so has seen this stuff a million times. It doesn't have to be proven. It is proved, well established and generally accepted.

Good grief, even the jokey video I posted recognized every single thing I brought up. This isn't rocket science.

I have different opinions than you. I am a fan of Ravenloft since the boxed set. I give my opinions on changes, because WOTC (a massive RPG publisher) has released previews, and presumably did so to get reactions from the audience. As a gamer, I think there is nothing immoral about giving my opinions. But I have always been careful to say people have different views than me and that is fine. I have no problem with people loving it, and with disagreeing with me on tropes.

I have more charitable views of the tropes, and whether we can handle tropes from older movies and films (my views on this are actually complicated, but suffice to say, it think you fix the world by going out into it, doing good, walking with the sinners, and not judging people: I don't think you fix the world by scrubbing media until its pure, interrogating people until they are pure). Doesn't mean I think all media ever was perfect or without problems. But I do think there is a lot of people overreacting, making mountains out of mole hills, and using their outrage of perceived problems in media to be actively cruel towards people who simply disagree on that front.

Not everyone takes basic lit. not everyone has your life experience. And even people who take lit, don't all agree on the merit of this kind of analysis. Try to see there are more views than the orthodoxy you are promoting
 

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