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

This is one adventure that you probably rate a lot higher than me, but a couple of points:

Medical research is a thing, not all doctors practice on patients.

The house may already have been there, no reason the doctor built it himself. I can think of several real world dwellings on small islands.

Likewise, he may have had servants until the “incident”. Maybe he already cut them up for his research?

The isle moved. It’s a Ravenloft thing. It was in some other world until the “incident” when it was drawn into Ravenloft. That’s where most domains come from.
 

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der_kluge

Adventurer
I really appreciate you doing all the Dungeon adventures. I was big in buying and running 2e Ravenloft and have most of the modules and I am at least familiar with most but I only got one Dungeon issue with a Ravenloft adventure, the Ebonbane one. I mostly left Dungeon for one friend to be his exclusive stuff when he DMd while I ran my Ravenloft campaign when I was DMing.
Certainly! I still have 3 more (that I know of!) to go - Felkovic's Cat (Which looks mostly terrible), Jigsaw (which is Masque of the Red Death module), and Fair Barovia (which is a 4th edition module from Dungeon #207!)
 

der_kluge

Adventurer
This is one adventure that you probably rate a lot higher than me, but a couple of points:

Medical research is a thing, not all doctors practice on patients.

The house may already have been there, no reason the doctor built it himself. I can think of several real world dwellings on small islands.

Likewise, he may have had servants until the “incident”. Maybe he already cut them up for his research?

The isle moved. It’s a Ravenloft thing. It was in some other world until the “incident” when it was drawn into Ravenloft. That’s where most domains come from.
All that could be true, except in the first few paragraphs, it says as much:

"One hundred years ago, Blake Ramsay (ok, apparently, I spelled it wrong), sailed from his home in Mordentshire toward the misty borders of the Sea of Sorrows. He and his family would find a new home, he had determined, in a place where he could follow his medical pursuits without interruption from the harsh structures and laws of the doctoral community."

"... He promptly set about building a home, finding the silent natives of the island very helpful, and he settled down to study."

So, I guess he used the local natives to help him build a home, but even that is a pretty big stretch. The module goes on to say that they avoid him, though it doesn't explain why they were so willing to help him build a home here in the first place. I mean, they don't have homes themselves, so that's pretty crazy in and of itself.
 


der_kluge

Adventurer
How goes the Ravenloft campaign, @der_kluge ?
Things have gotten busy, but my plan is to post an update, and some of my notes.

Just a quick update, since you asked - my first two sessions were basically a rewrite of Bleak House. I was at least partially inspired by that module by starting my party out inside an asylum. The asylum in Bleak House is small. I completely rebuilt the asylum and designed a 3-story structure and populated it with a host of characters, including some that would tie into modules further down into the campaign's future. I also intended for a dinner with the mad Dr. Heinfroth, but my players had different plans. They released a dhampir out of solitary confinement, who went on a feeding frenzy, and they exploded Heinforth's electrical generator which he used to deliver shock treatment therapies. Creating enough chaos, they managed to escape the facility, and ventured into the swamp outside, which led them to "Night of the Walking Dead".

The first part NotWD is brilliantly rich in detail. After getting a Tarokka reading from the Vistani in the swamp (I replaced the boxed text with an actual reading). Then they found Luc in the swamphouse. I gave Luc a banjo and played some creepy banjo music that was chef's kiss. Because of the PCs recent history in the asylum, they were trying to connect Luc to the events in the asylum, and spent literally an hour and a half at Luc's cabin trying to reason this out. They made it to Marais d'Tarascon where they witnessed the funeral procession, and that's where the last session ended.

The second half of NotWD I basically rewrote. It didn't make any sense to me that Jean would both want to eat human flesh "to emulate his brother" and also turn to murder. Both actions seemed kind of absurd to me. Instead, I changed some of the sequence of events here. I also needed to remove the Hyskosa scroll because I've no intention of running that series of quests, or doing that storyline. So, in the asylum, the PCs met Jacques, a thief who was put into the asylum only recently by Jean as punishment for having Marcel killed. Jacques, unaware that Marcel was a twin, spread a rumor of powerful magic "in the old crypts" that convinced Marcel to go looking for it, where he was killed by a wight. Jean then sought out a voodoo priest in the swamp who used voodoo magic to try and revive Marcel, but instead he rises up as a zombie lord. In the module, Jean consults with the 2nd level cleric (who curiously has a stash of Raise Dead scrolls). So, I've introduced a new Voodoo priest in the swamp, the addition of a wight who is trapped in the old crypts (which I have placed outside of town).

My party is only 1st level still, so I'll probably take them to 2nd so they've got some hope of surviving here, but they also have no equipment. I made them fight giant frogs in the swamp, and they literally fought them off with a wrench, a sickle, and a garden hoe they stole from the asylum's garden shed. I'll post all my notes for these once I've had a chance to pull them together.
 
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der_kluge

Adventurer
I had forgotten about it, but @Stormonu (on pg. 13) had posted a 4e rewrite of Night of the Walking Dead way early in this thread. I wish I'd remembered to look through it, because it actually has some great encounters and ideas. I'll have to take a look through this before my next session.
 

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