D&D General The thread where I review a ton of Ravenloft modules

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Well, it's a pretty minor quibble in any case, it just seemed more complicated than it really needed to be.
Ever read or watched a detective story? Murders are always far more complicated than they need to be. People accept the genre trope and enjoy the story.

People accept that dragons fly and breathe fire because it conforms to genre tropes. In genre fiction, realism means “conforms to tropes” not “is like the real world”. A villain with a mobile phone is realistic in our world, but not in a genre world because it does not conform to tropes.
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The writer offers up a huge section on how to deal with greedy PCs – most of which involve the DM just absolutely screwing them over or killing them outright.
Seems to me the easiest out is that the mansion is still owned by someone in the family who survived - maybe a distant uncle or cousin who is the person hiring the PCs to investigate the manor, meaning that all the treasure in the vault wouldn’t go to the PCs. Still fits in with the detective story vibes.


possibly changing some of the coins into real estate holdings, or something more mundane like that.
Deeds in the family name so it is clear the patron owns and can sell other property to pay off his debts and pay off the party would be good as it is not something the party can claim without the patron.


Yes, the quest-giver is the one who has a claim to the property. All I'm saying is, if he dies in the process (because he accompanies you on the quest), the PCs could have a free-for-all. Easier solution would be to just let him NOT accompany you, and then he claims what is rightfully his. It could be that the author chose to have him accompany the party so they wouldn't steal with impunity before he could see what all was available (because he doesn't actually know what's in it).

This is an example of trope conflict. In standard D&D, the trope is it takes place in a lawless Wild West. If you see something you want, you can take it, without consequences; if someone gets in your way you can kill them, without consequences.

In a gothic story there is civilisation. If you take something that doesn’t belong to you, it is stealing, and there are consequences; if you kill someone, it is murder, and there consequences.

Note that in a gothic story, justice is often poetic, or divine, rather than civil.

But this is going to be a problem if players coming from regular D&D have learned to be murder hobos, and can’t unlearn it.


I'm curious to know how folks have dealt with pantheons in Ravenloft? I'm thinking of going back to my 2nd edition roots, and laying into the Legends of Lore. Celtic deities, in particular, feel like they would be quite at home here. I normally use an FR pantheon, but it seems a little too heavy here. I might even go so far as to have each domain have kind of a different set of deities. Though, my vision of domains is probably a bit more nebulous than what the canon visions of them might be.

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Most Gods worshiped in Ravenloft might very well be the Dark Powers in disguise. As I recall, in order to reach their faithful in the Demiplane, a God needs to send a servitor (a Solar or equivalent, able to give out spells) there, at which point they are trapped forever (and probably constantly tormented/tempted to fall by said Dark Powers).

If the first novel is still canon, then Lathander of the Realms presumably has reach in at least Barovia. Being a NG (when he isn't in his cranky LN persona), Lathander would probably be happy to grant powers to any Good (and possibly True Neutral) Divine caster.

That's about all I can really guess at, however. Outer Planar beings can have their connection to their home planes severed, losing some of their powers, but being warped in other ways (Inajira seemed to function, but then there's Baltoi, the 20' long (and 24 Hit Die!) Marilith encountered in RE1, Adam's Wrath, who lost her magic, but grew a size category as a result of her exposure to the Demiplane).

There is a bit on this in VGR, but I think this is the key quote "For your adventures, you define what deities are worshiped in a domain and whether those deities are actual gods, manifestations of the Dark Powers, or one masquerading as the other."

One important point is that domain are usually lifted from other planes, so the deities people believe in will reflect what world the domain was originally part of (irrespective of if they are actually real or able to reach Ravenloft).

It also calls out Ezra as a setting-specific deity, whist suggesting she may actually be the Raven Queen. But Ezra often stands in as pseudo-Christianity in these adventures.

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