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stonegod's Expedition to Castle Ravenloft: Ch. I [OOC]


Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
In the wilds between the fields of Karnnath and the holds of Mror, an isolated valley holds necromantic secrets from before the Conqueror's time. But it holds a curse that blights the land and its people. What started as an expedition for lost arcane knowledge has turned into something else---a chance to redeem a place lost, or to fall to its madness forever.

IC: Ch. I, Ch. II, Ch. III | OOC: Ch. I, Ch. II, Ch. III | RG

The following motley crew:
Current cast:
Past cast:
  • Selase Kolandra (Doomhawk): Human Vol adherent. Killed by the zombies of Barovia, risen by their plague, and put down by her companions.
  • Bergeron "Foebender" d'Jorasco (Kralin Thornberry): Halfling Jorasco scholar. Slain by the foul death magic of a mad Barovian priest.
  • Sir Khensu Feral (GwydapLlew): Shifter Silver Flame Inquisitor. Patrolling.
  • Daellin ir'Ayellan (drogthery): Elven Cyran undead hunter. Killed by the mad spirit of the monastery.
  • Perriwimple (Kafkonia): Human brute. Killed by the mad spirit of the monastery.

An Eberron mystery and horror themed campaign based upon the recently released Expedition to Castle Ravenloft. Important: If you have played the original I6 (Castle Ravenloft) let me know as there are strong similarities between the two!

I plan on posting at minimum once ever other day, with one post per day a goal for me. This is to keep the game flowing and interest/momentum high. Players should endeavor to be able to follow a similar once-per or every-other day routine with the expectation that I will NPC inactive players (especially in combat).

Here, of course! Here being ENWorld.

Always loved Ravenloft and have been itching to give it a try. Do not have the resources to play it in RL.

Characters will be created using a 32 pt. point-buy for characters at 6th level. Hit points are max at first level, then alternating low-high average. The following sources are allowed: Core, the XPH, the Complete Series (including Psionics and Mage), the PHBII, the DMGII, all Eberron books, and Heroes of Horror. Please use the character sheet provided on the Rogue's Gallery thread. Also include your concept description of your character: Provide a background, primary role, quirks, and distinguishing abilities your character possesses (and justification for them/how they play to your concept). Character start with default gold for their level (13,000 gp at 6th) with no more than half of that gold spent on one item. No more than 200 gp may be left at the end of character creation (spend it or loose it!).
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Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
Items of Interest
[sblock=Dramatis Persona]Mateush Ochem Historian of the Twelve, and nominal head of the Barovian expedition. A Karrn entering his middle age, Mateush is meticulous about his cleanliness and hygiene.

Ferrik Dalboran d'Sivis A Sivis heir of some minor standing, was meant to provide contact with the outside world. Killed in the wolf attack on the caravan.

Adalstan d'Cannith A well humored Aundarian with close cropped curls and a mischievous smile. Not well liked by the Karnn Cannith faction being tacitly associated with Cannith North due to his heritage, and was 'honored' with his place on the expedition as a consequence. Provide artificing services as needed.

Ismark the Lesser Son of the Burogmaster of Barovia and now its nominal head. A pale man of dark hair who harbors fine fur clothes with rich trimming in a country style. Known for his dark humor, and is harboring a lot of ill will since his father's death. Recently disappeared.

Arik Dazed proprietor of the Blood on the Vine inn in Barovia.

Tobias Gorzen Deneith mercenary guard for the expedition. Former companion of Ladreth. Killed in the zombie incursion.

Andrzej Crotchety elder farmer on the outsides of Barovia. Father of Katrina.

Katrina Fetching young farmer identified by a bright red head-scarf. Daughter of Andrzej.

Sir Urik Boisterous warrior against the ills of Barovia. Last of the Knights of the Raven, an ancient Barovian order. Once again accompanied by the raven Hurrn.

Madam Eva Soothsayer of the Visanti. A true seer that read the fortunes of the party.

Father Danovich Former priest of the Barovian church, feel into madness and corruption at the death of son. Somehow responsible for the necromantic plague. Killed by Janis for his part in Orwell's death.

The Monstrosity An unnatural stitching together of corpses, it was the source of the zombie plague and Danovich's creation. May have once been the priest's son Doru. Destroyed by the party.

Mad Mary Smothering mother of Gertrude, her daughter that disappeared before the troubles in town. Apparently mentally cracked.

Ireena Supposed daughter of the Burgomaster, she seems more able than her morose 'brother.' Possibly has some sort of dealings with a mysterious stranger calling himself the new Lord of Barovia.

Bildrath Owner of the only shop in town. A prickly sort, not made any better by the death of his nephew Perriwimple.

Saint Ecaterina A famed near-martyr in Karrn's cause, founded several monasteries, one of them on Lysaga Hill. Disappeared, apparently having died after going mad at seeing the Lysaga monastery despoiled.

Sergei ir'Zarovich Supposed new Lord of Barovia and descendant of the ir'Zarovich line. Possibly in a relationship with Ireena.

The Green Crone Mysterious figure seeking to free a dark power to take over Barovia.

The Mad Nymph Apparent leader of the Barovian lycanthropes. A beautiful fey twisted by madness in a lair at once otherworldly and foul. Slain by the party.

Vincent Korr d'Deneith A Deneith mercenary whose brother was killed by a tainted Khensu during the lycan attack on Barovia. May be infected with lycanthropy.[/sblock][sblock=Taint Rules]Taint is supernatural corruption of the body and mind. Though virtuous heroes attempt to fight it off, even the most stalwart hero's body and soul can be corrupted.

Taint is measured by two scores: Corruption (physical) and Depravity (mental). Tainted places, creatures, or scenes may cause it. As taint accumulates, various bad side effects occur.

Religious organizations know of ways to fight off or protect against taint, though it is difficult to identify. Here is what is known.
- When first exposed, restorative magic (restoration, etc.) can lessen taint. This must be done soon to remove the taint, and can prevent spilling over into the next level of taint. However, if it settles in (a day), only a miracle or wish lessen this level.
- Other spells (atonement, remove curse, etc.) can reduce taint. It cannot remove taint below its currently level (its too ingrained).
- There are rituals of certain faith that can reduce taint. Mental depravity can be reduced with week long rituals, while time in a sacred spring can reduce corruption.
- There are certain sacred substances that can help protect from taint; but they only last for so long. Some might be found in the caravan... or perhaps in the ruined Barovian church.[/sblock][sblock=Handouts][sblock=Letter from Burgomaster]
Hail to thee of might and valor:

I, a lowly servant of the township of Barovia, send honor to thee. We plead for thy so desperately needed assistance within our community.

The love of my life, Ireena Kolyana, has been cursed by the ancient witches of Lysaga Hill, and even the good people of our town are powerless to free her from this enchantment. She wastes away under the witches' curse and I would have her saved from this menace.

There is much wealth in this community. I offer all that might be had to thee and thy fellows if thou shalt but answer my desperate plea.

Come quickly, for her time is at hand! All that I have shall be thine!

Kolyan Indirovich
Burgomaster of Barovia
Ashyln's Sketched Map of Barovia

Ismark's Map
[/sblock][sblock=The Lightbringers]Guild: The Lightbringers are an expansive guild of undead hunters that readily hands out charter memberships to anyone who wants to stamp out undead. The Lightbringers have no central headquarters. Most Lightbringers are worshipers of the Sovereign Host, with reverence of Dol Arrah forefront. Some worshipers of the Silver Flame have membership in the Lightbringers, seeing it as another manifestation of the Flame's workings.

Symbol: The Lightbringers' symbol is a stylized half-sun, half-moon disc.

Credo: "Suffer no false life."

Being a Lightbringer: The Lightbringers' organization requires a prospective member to have 4 ranks in at least one of several associated skills (see below). The guild accepts all classes, levels, and races. Initiation fee and annual dues are 100gp. Every guild member makes a commitment to slay undead (level of commitment is up to the member).

Associated skills: Concentration, Gather Information, Heal, Knowledge History, Knowledge Local, and Knowledge Religion.

Benefits: Guildmembers receive the following benefits:
- Food and lodging at an affiliated Temple in a large city
- 10% discount on guild services
- One free restoration spell per week from an affiliated temple
- +2 bonus on Diplomacy and Gather Info on fellow guild members
- Can request aid from affiliated temples to fight undead
- Bards, Clerics, Paladins, and Rogues receive optional substitution levels

Substitution Levels: Members of the Lightbringers may possess the following class substitution levels. They may be taken at the appropriate class level. Characters who have already leveled past the given level, may retrain when leveling-up at the cost of 25 XP * the level of the ability.

[sblock=Bard Substitution Levels]Bard 1st: Undead Bardic Knowledge replaces bardic knowledge. You may use a bardic knowledge-like check, but only against undead. You gain a +5 circumstance bonus on this check. You can use this in addition to a Knowledge (religion) check to learn about an undead creature or some other bit uf undead lore.

Bard 1st: Inspire turning replaces inspire competence. By spending a bardic music use, you may bolster the turning (or destroying) attempt of one ally within 30 ft. who can here you. The ally is treated as being two levels higher for the purpose of turning undead as long as they hear your performance. The effect duration is concetration, up to 2 minutes. It is a supernatural, mind-affecting ability.

Bard 6th: Repel Domination replaces the suggestion ability. You gain a +2 bonus on saving throws vs. mind-affecting spells or abilities from undead questions. Furthermore, if you succeed on the saving throw, the undead is shaken for the rest of the encounter.[/sblock][sblock=Cleric Substitution levels]Cleric 1st: Destroy Undead replaces Turn Undead, see Complete Divine p. 87 variant rule. It is a supernatural ability.

Cleric 1st: True Daylight replaces one domain granted power. Use one Turn Undead to power up a casting of the daylight spell. This special daylight spell lasts 1d4 rounds and has only 10' radius. However, it acts like true daylight for affecting vampires and other light-sensitive creatures. This is an extraordinary ability.

Cleric 1st: Positive Healing replaces one domain granted power. Use one Turn Undead to gain fast healing 2 for five rounds. This is a supernatural ability.[/sblock][sblock=Paladin Substitution levels][Paladin 1st: Detect Undead replaces Detect Evil. Finds undead only. Similar to the spell detect evil[/u], except that you don't need to concentrate for multiple rounds to determine exact number/location instead information is immediately available. This is a spell-like ability.

Paladin 3rd: Dol Arrah's/The Flame's Blessing replaces Divine Health. Smite Evil gets an extra bonus vs. undead: +2 to attack and +1 point of damage per two paladin levels. This is an extraordinary ability.

Paladin 6th: Warded Special Mount replaces one weekly use of remove disease. A Lightbringer's paladin mount is immune to all death spells, magical death effects, energy drain, and any negative energy effects.[/sblock][sblock=Rogue Substitution levels]Rogue 3rd: Penetrating Strike replaces trap sense. Whenever you flank a creature that is immune to sneak attack damage, you still inflict half of your sneak attack damage as bonus dice. If you can't flank them (i.e. Beholders, etc.) or they are flat-footed, then you do not get bonus damage dice -- you must flank the creature which is immune to sneak attack in order to get bonus damage under this rule. This is an extraordinary ability.[/sblock][/sblock][sblock=New Alchemical Items]Alchemical Flare Bolts Crossbow bolts with a mixture of phosophorous, silver, and garlic. Do an additional 1d6 fire damage to corporeal undead. Weight: 1 lb. per 10. Cost: 150 gp (10 bolts).

Alchemical Fiare Stakes Dagger-like weapons destroyed after a use. Do an additional 1d6 fire damage to struck corporeal undead until removed (a standard action that provokes an attack of opportunity). All stakes are removed with a single action. Weight: 1 lb. per 10. Cost: 150 gp (10 stakes).

Alchemical Sun Flash A sealed flask with the power of daylight. A splash weapon with increment 10 ft. Does 1d6 fire damage (1 splash). It also cause a brilliant flash within 10 ft and a brilliant light for 100 ft for a second. Creatures in the flash zone with light sensitivity or similar weakness are dazzled for one round. Vampires and others that are powerless in sunlight are limited to standard actions for one round. Weight: 1 lb. Cost: 50 gp[/sblock][sblock=Fortunes of Ravenloft]
  • The Sunsword A weapon of power, lost in the woods. Only to awaken in a lost tomb.
  • The Holy Symbol of Ravenkind Now a tool of witches, to be found where they roam. Must be cleansed at its origin chapel.
  • Tome of Strahd Holds the secrets to the Curse on the land, and a part of how to destroy it.
  • Zombies The source of the zombie plague, and its destruction.
  • The Unasked Question Unknown. Eva indicated that the group will be back 'to ask their last question.'


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Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
Welcome aboard, folks! The above post summarizes the character creation rules. Please start filling out your characters in the Rogue's Gallery and let me know when they are ready for approval. If there are any questions, let me know.

Don't forget to work on how your characters know each other/work together. I can provide some help on this if need be.


Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
Some general thoughts on characters. These are not things you have to do, but interesting things to consider with your concepts.

GwydapLlew It is your call if you wish to keep your paladin mount ability or go with the PHBII charge replacement (assuming you go paladin 5/rogue 1 instead of paladin 4/rogue 2).

DEFCON1 Since Doomhawk will provide primary healing (assuming Selase channels positive energy), it is your choice on whether to explore a favored soul 1/rogue 4/shadowbane stalker 1 combo vs the cleric route. Gives you more spell slots to use for your abilities at the expense of the turn-undead ability that could go to divine feats.

Doomhawk I love the Vol twist here. Strictly speaking, if Selase is LG, then she cannot rebuke undead, only turn them. If you chose to rebuke instead (which I'll give you as an option being a devotee of Vol), you'll lose the ability to spontaneously cast cure spells, which might hurt things.

drogthery scout 3/ranger 3(/Cyran avenger 1) might be an interesting take on your concept, though that would delay entry to Cyran avenger and the PHBII alternate ability. If he was a half-elf or human, then scout 2/ranger 4(/Cyran avenger 1) would work as well.

Isida Kep'Tukari Marot may wish to consider the Enlightened Spirit PrC from Complete Mage as an indication of his "path of redemption."

James Heard Janis, I'm assuming, is keeping a low profile for now. I have no issue with the reserve feats at first glance, though I'll want to see your choices. A reserve feat wizard and a warlock can complement each other if you and Isida look at it carefully.

Isida Kep'Tukari

If the Isida had access to the Complete Mage, then she just might consider said PrC. She may have to purchase it...

Anyways, this isn't so much for me, but do we have any XP play for item creation?


The main reason why I was thinking staying with cleric was specifically because of the divine feat Sacred Vengeance. With a warlock, archer and wizrd, I'm guessing that Jarrith will need to be more of a melee combatant as needed. And if that is the case... then my sneak attack ability will often be useless since this is primarily an undead campaign. At least by taking Sacred Vengeance as a divine feat, I can occasionally do some sort of okay damage while in melee and make use of the 3+ turn undead chances I get per day.

Of course... if you felt like saying there was a feat out there that allowed sneak attack to be used against undead... (which to be honest I've never understood why there wasn't, since Power Attack and feats like that work against them)... then I might just have to rethink things along the favored soul line, or perhaps ask about swapping turn undead for the smite ability mentioned in Unearthed Arcana as an option for clerics.


Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
Isidia If someone has a particular need (i.e., Janis wanted to scribe some scrolls), I'd consider it. Probably in the range of 500 XP ish.

DEFCON There will be means to gain some abilities that some consider... supernatural. It will allow some sneak attack damage to be applied to undead assuming you are at least 3rd level in rogue. Of course, there are also some abilities that will augment clerical powers (destroy undead, for example). Don't want to give away the specifics at this point, however.

James I have nothing against the class, though choosing class skills outside Janis' concept (e.g., Disable Device) might get a frown from me.

James Heard

If Janis could swap out her familiar and scribe scroll feat for something that I thought I might actually want and use that would be more like it. As it is I'm considering more and more the option of sucking it up and statting her out as a Sorcerer (even though I really don't like the class much) just to see what she'd end up looking like.


Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
James Heard said:
If Janis could swap out her familiar and scribe scroll feat for something that I thought I might actually want and use that would be more like it. As it is I'm considering more and more the option of sucking it up and statting her out as a Sorcerer (even though I really don't like the class much) just to see what she'd end up looking like.
Scribe scroll is one of the lynchpin feats for a wizard; its how they balance the Vancian system of magic.

The PHBII has a familiar swap-out for specialists: It grants a few spell-like abilities depending on the school. Does not have one for generalists, though I'm up for suggestions.

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