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

You’re also not in control of nightmares either
Directed Dreaming exists.

An air of unreality is an important element of the Gothic genre (including Romance etc as well as Horror). That's the point of using Ravenloft rather than putting your horror/grimdark story in a more "real" setting. It's much more horrific if your pod people are taking over Baldur's Gate, but it's more Gothic if it takes place in a land of mists and unreality. Literary symbolism is important in Ravenloft, and the mists are a symbol of uncertainty.
 

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I agree in some respects. I think there needs to be room for minor darklords or villains who don’t merit their own domains, or I’d prefer domains within domains. For example, Maligno and Odiare. I would never make Odiare an island in the mists. I would just make it a town that exists in some place like Borca (which I envisioned as being based on Renaissance Italy anyways.)
There are several examples of domains within domains in VGR. The Carnival, The Vhage Agency and The House of Lament are all examples of this.
 

TiQuinn

Registered User
Directed Dreaming exists.

An air of unreality is an important element of the Gothic genre (including Romance etc as well as Horror). That's the point of using Ravenloft rather than putting your horror/grimdark story in a more "real" setting. It's much more horrific if your pod people are taking over Baldur's Gate, but it's more Gothic if it takes place in a land of mists and unreality. Literary symbolism is important in Ravenloft, and the mists are a symbol of uncertainty.
Not the vibe that I want to emulate in my Ravenloft campaign then and I disagree that it’s essential to the setting. I would much rather have something that seems pulled from the Hammer horror movies crossed with The Night Stalker or The X-Files.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
There are several examples of domains within domains in VGR. The Carnival, The Vhage Agency and The House of Lament are all examples of this.
We had those before VGR came along also. Davion was a dream within the Nightmare Lands. While it took a while to stabilize as such, "Necropolis" (i.e. the former city of Il Aluk) eventually became its own domain, wholly inside of Darkon. Markovia is a literal island, surrounded by the Sea of Sorrows (which is its own domain), etc.

The proper term for these is "pocket domain", with some of them being "floating pockets" that can temporarily overwrite a piece of another domain (and, in rare instances, other worlds, letting hapless characters enter that domain directly instead of through the Mists).
 

TiQuinn

Registered User
There are several examples of domains within domains in VGR. The Carnival, The Vhage Agency and The House of Lament are all examples of this.
Not saying there aren’t examples. Just that there could be more. For instance, did anyone in the Nocturnal Sea or Sea of Sorrows (Meredoth, Bluebeard, Stezan D’Polarno, the werebat guy) really need to be darklords?
 

Not the vibe that I want to emulate in my Ravenloft campaign then and I disagree that it’s essential to the setting. I would much rather have something that seems pulled from the Hammer horror movies crossed with The Night Stalker or The X-Files.
Hammer movies have a very different vibe to the other things you mention, and very much play into that air of unreality - that they were mostly filmed on a sound stage disguised by dry ice plays into that, and is very much what Ravenloft is supposed to be.

Night Stalker or X-Files needs a more grounded setting, one in which the PCs are confident they understand the way the world works. The closer to the real world it is, the more disturbing it will be for the players. If I wanted to run an adventure of that sort, I would use FR, Greyhawk, Eberron, or a real world setting (see Call of Cthulhu).
 

TiQuinn

Registered User
Hammer movies have a very different vibe to the other things you mention, and very much play into that air of unreality - that they were mostly filmed on a sound stage disguised by dry ice plays into that, and is very much what Ravenloft is supposed to be.

Night Stalker or X-Files needs a more grounded setting, one in which the PCs are confident they understand the way the world works. The closer to the real world it is, the more disturbing it will be for the players. If I wanted to run an adventure of that sort, I would use FR, Greyhawk, Eberron, or a real world setting (see Call of Cthulhu).
Orrrrrrr…you can run Ravenloft with the core domains as their own “world”. 😊

Also I didn’t say either Hammer or Night Stalker but both. 😎
 

Not saying there aren’t examples. Just that there could be more.
VGR is focused more on helping DMs create their own domains. Three examples are enough for that. If you are being picky, there are more - Cyre 1313, and the way they describe the Sea of Sorrows.

And no, every villain/boss does not need to be a dark lord. Again, VGR moves away from the Dark Lord of the week approach of the 2nd edition box. They (and the dark powers) are more commonly treated as background than central to the plot.
 
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Orrrrrrr…you can run Ravenloft with the core domains as their own “world”. 😊
If you can walk off the X-Files onto the set of a Hammer movie it undermines the real world character of the X-Files (Hammer doesn't care, it wasn't trying to be the real world in the first place).
 

TiQuinn

Registered User
If you can walk off the X-Files onto the set of a Hammer movie it undermines the real world character of the X-Files (Hammer doesn't care, it wasn't trying to be the real world in the first place).
Well, as I said, it can and I have ran it other ways and found a lot of benefits in doing so, and didn’t feel like any of the Gothic or nightmarish elements were being lost.
 

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