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

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
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.
I think it has potential with a very zombie fallout kind of feel. From the sound of things it will credibly force a group of players to care about a town longer than it takes to get a couple levels too since they cant just travel a bit more now that they ate level x.

Having a way to make players regret not giving a poo about the locals beyond their ability to act as job boards in a trivially telegraphed way is something I think will be really useful for dealing with certain types of players that are typically hard to guy onboard
 

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TheSword

Legend
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.
It’s the lack of nuance that I find disturbing. The fact that they are in love, marry, and in fact kiss repeatedly throughout the film means your criticism is at best over-ridden by later events and at worst deeply out of context. If Benni went around kissing or groping women or men... and they didn’t fall in love it would be a very different thing. If he did, they would be as entitled to play it for laughs as any other character.

My issue (and the reason I’m persisting on this line) is that you’re not saying O’Connell is a bad character for not getting consent. You’re saying the film (and by extension the team that made the film) has deep and terrible problems - with all the hyperbole from your previous posts that I won’t quote again.
Good grief, even the jokey video I posted recognized every single thing I brought up. This isn't rocket science.
Unlike your posts the video was comedy. Pointing out flaws in the characters for fun... not to raise outrage or disgust. Also the video was one persons opinion, not proof. As I said the video didn’t mention that Evie was working in the Cairo museum, for a highly educated Egyptian Egyptologist that kind of gives the lie to the idea that the only Egyptian characters were fat and greedy or desert warriors.

Criticism should itself be seen with a critical eye to debate whether it is fair or not.

I can’t speak to @Bedrockgames but I certainly don’t disagree with the majority of changes Wizards make.
 
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Azzy

KMF DM
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.
Dude! I totally called this. :D
 


Unlike your posts the video was comedy. Pointing out flaws in the characters for fun... not to raise outrage or disgust. Also the video was one persons opinion, not proof. As I said the video didn’t mention that Evie was working in the Cairo museum, for a highly educated Egyptian Egyptologist that kind of gives the lie to the idea that the only Egyptian characters were fat and greedy or desert warriors.

Criticism should itself be seen with a critical eye to debate whether it is fair or not.

This. The video is funny, and makes some good points, but often misses details (but then that is the nature of humor---it is built around exaggeration, etc). Also that channel often deliberately gets things wrong for humor and to antagonize fans so they respond (the guy who does it has said as much). I don't take issue with any of that though because the purpose of the channel is to get people to laugh and to troll fans a little (but in good fun, not to sneer at people). But serious criticisms should be more nuanced, and should allow for differences of opinions around conclusions as well as underlying assumptions. But a lot of what I am seeing looks more like religion than criticism to me. The problem I have is it comes off as this list of beliefs that, if you haven't encountered them, you are painted as a rube (i.e. the lit 1 comment), and if you encounter them but disagree (even if it is just with some of the points) you are painted as immoral or supporting immorality----I keep getting told that I am bad and wrong because stated their arguments, linked to things, and yet I persist in disagreeing with them: no one has to agree with you; we are all allowed to have our own ideas and thoughts and to encounter arguments but find them unpersuasive. Thinking someone is evil, bad, immoral or deeply flawed because you told them something and they still don't agree with you about it, is religious thinking.
 

"Orthodoxy" sure sounds loaded here.

I don't know how else to describe it when someone comes in with a list of beliefs, I don't share them all, and I receive that kind of judgment. I've encountered religious orthodoxy, and this is what it feels like. Umbran, I respect you as a mod. If you want me to bow out of this discussion I will. But I think people are seriously misguided on this stuff. And me not changing my mind about it isn't because I am refusing to listen. I've heard these arguments and thought a lot about them. But I have reached different conclusions. Not every discussion has to be someone shifting their point of view because someone makes a point. I am fine with others not agreeing with me. Agreeing to disagree is important. I just push back when I state my opinion and people start circling wagons around me or antagonizing me (and when I see it done to other posters who express an opinion deemed unpopular).
 

There's not much point in asking him to see your views when you do not seem to see his.
I've heard his views before. I simply don't agree with them. And I am fine with us disagreeing. I am not fine with what he said in response to our disagreement. I get that I will get some push back. @Charlaquin pushed back with some great points. That doesn't bother me at all. And I am happy to let those kinds of points stand because I see little value in going down a spiral of 'a disagree'. What you have to understand is a lot of people are feeling very stifled and unfairly judged when these topics come up and they don't agree with posters like Hussar.
 


I can’t speak to @Bedrockgames but I certainly don’t disagree with the majority of changes Wizards make.

I probably don't agree with many of the changes, but right now I am just responding to previews. Generally I am not a fan of how WOTC has handled Ravenloft. I realize that puts me in the older fan category. If people like the new aesthetics, that is fine by me. I have the black box, I have the 2E material. I can run it using that. Most of the stuff I dislike has more to do with the aesthetics, the focus on a wider range of horror and high fantasy, and the overall 5E approach. Just not for me. The political stuff I think gets misused by a lot of people, and I think sometimes companies use it as a shield from criticism. Don't really take issue with changes. But I think the way people mischaracterize some of the older material, some of the older tropes (which can be bad, but aren't always), is more my issue. To me it gets at some of the kinds of discussions we've had around orcs and dungeon crawls being bad here. I just think that takes good intentions into territory that is extreme
 


Coroc

Hero
The -ovich suffix denotes a patronymic though, not a family name. And if it was a patronymic, it would suggest that his father’s name was Zar, not that his father was a tsar. At any rate, it certainly wouldn’t be preceded by Von, which is Germanic, not Slavic, and also means “son of/daughter of”. And Strahd sounds like a slavicization of Stroud, which is English.
well ravenloft has more of these quasi real world / horror theme namings. e.g. Lamordia sounds like a mediteranean location, but Mord means murder in german. Vlad Drakov has been mentioned, everyone and his mother hearing that name would associate this with vampire. Adam - Adams family anyone? Funny no Ravenloftcharacter is named thursday, or Latricia or uncle furuncle :p
 

You are entitled to believe anything you like. But then other people are entitled to judge you based upon your professed beliefs.

Sure, they can judge me. But I can respond if the judgment, as I stated before, seems an unfair or inaccurate one. And I can especially push back if they put words in my mouth. I don't think anything I have said makes me immoral or bad at all. People can disagree over media tropes. Thinking that somehow tells you if someone is a good person or not, I think that is more worthy of judgment than simply disagreeing over them.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
well ravenloft has more of these quasi real world / horror theme namings. e.g. Lamordia sounds like a mediteranean location, but Mord means murder in german. Vlad Drakov has been mentioned, everyone and his mother hearing that name would associate this with vampire.
Right, but Strahd Von Zarovich isn’t just an obviously vampire-y name, it’s a linguistic mishmash that was obviously devised by someone who thought certain elements of Eastern European names sounded cool but didn’t really understand the naming conventions they were imitating.

That’s not necessarily a problem - it’s a made-up fantasy world, the names don’t have to follow real-world naming conventions. But based on the fact that a lot of Barovian names are like this, I assumed the same would hold true throughout the domains. Hearing that Ankhetpot is based on actual ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs was exciting.
Adam - Adams family anyone?
Umm... Pretty sure he’s named after the biblical Adam, just like the creature in every other adaptation of Frankenstein. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s where the Adams Family got it’s name from.
Funny no Ravenloftcharacter is named thursday, or Latricia or uncle furuncle :p
🤣
 

Sure, they can judge me. But I can respond if the judgment, as I stated before, seems an unfair or inaccurate one.
And people can respond back, within forum rules.
And I can especially push back if they put words in my mouth. I don't think anything I have said makes me immoral or bad at all.
Well, no, no one ever does. Everyone believes they are trying to do and say the right thing. But whether what they believe is true or not is up to others to judge.
People can disagree over media tropes. Thinking that somehow tells you if someone is a good person or not, I think that is more worthy of judgment than simply disagreeing over them.
"The medium is the message" - Marshall McLuhan

What appears in the media influences people opinions. It cannot stand outside of moral judgement.
 



Well, no, no one ever does. Everyone believes they are trying to do and say the right thing. But whether what they believe is true or not is up to others to judge.

This is a door that swings both ways. Like I said, i think I haven't said anything wrong. You can disagree but you don't have special insight into who I am because of exchanges over a gaming forum (just as I know next to nothing about you based on that). Good people can say bad things, bad people can say good things, and reasonable people can disagree on what constitutes bad language, bad media content, etc
 

Azzy

KMF DM
I just don't have the rose-tinted nostalgia glasses for Ravenloft the way some people do. I was a teenager when Ravenloft (the setting) first came out. Some of my friends were all in on the setting, but my thoughts on it at the time were that it was hokey and quaint. It was very Bela Lugosi and, well, to quote Bauhaus, "Bela Lugosi's Dead". The Universal Monsters had given way to rather different ideas of vampires and horror. Even Dracula had to have a facelift, giving way from Bela Lugosi to Christopher Lee to Gary Oldman. But Ravenloft never got the memo, and for the most part stayed chained to cliches and bad ripoffs of Dracula, The Mummy, Frankenstein, etc. while rarely offering anything new or truly inspired or subversive (IMO). And, while I guess that can be fun, I never had as high of an opinion of the setting that my peers did.

Personally, I'm glad that the new Ravenloft is giving something more than the staid same-old-same-old and not hewing so closely to literature and movies. The setting can still be played with the old fluff and the old lore and the old tropes, but for me I'm interested in seeing the new twists it adds and its attempts to take on additional types of horror subgenres.

I fully welcome the new Falkovnia and Anhktepot's new look.
 


Sort of off topic, but has anyone played A Plague Tale? I was running through it when the Ravenloft book got announced and thought it would make a perfect domain. Having deadly swarms dominate any area of darkness also helps make darkness scary, even for characters with darkvision.
 

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