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D&D 5E [Updated with cover!] The D&D Book Is.... Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft!

Yesterday's hints that a new D&D book would be announced today have born fruit -- we now have a product description and a title! It's a Ravenloft setting book, with tools and new rules for horror-themed games, and new horror-themed character options. I'll update this post with a product image as soon as one is revealed -- the official announcement allegedly comes today!

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Here’s some info on Dr. Rudolph Van Richten! He's a vampire hunter (he appeared in Curse of Strahd, and he's been around in the Ravenloft setting for decades) and is basically Van Helsing to Strahd's Dracula. His name appears on a whole pile of 2nd Edition D&D sourcebooks, all titled "Van Richten's Guide to.... Vampires/Ghosts/Werebeasts, etc."

The Ravenloft setting, of course, features a bunch of 'domains' other than Barovia itself, each ruled by its own Dark Lord. Strahd rules Barovia, but even other signature D&D villains like Lord Soth and Vecna have been placed in Ravenloft ruling dread domains of their own, along with an assortment of other domain rulers.

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The Mist Beckons


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The image below is not of the upcoming book, but of one of the many D&D 2nd Edition Van Richten's Guides.

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

dave2008

Legend
Its not that I'm uninvensted in my characters (then again I havent played one in close to 20 years) to me its a game and I dont take it overly serious. If my character dies or has something bad happen its not that big of a deal.
That is basically how we play too and why I don't try to use "horror" for a long-term campaign.
I get the horror one shots. To me thats the only way they work, anything more than that becomes boring and lacks variety. And it does take player buy in which sometimes is hard to get if they just want to hang out and roll dice for a few hours. Im sure there is value in this book but I wouldnt run a Ravenloft campaign these days.
This is my experience as well.
 

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iltharanos

Explorer
"More than 30 new and familiar Domains of Dread."

This is interesting for a number of reasons. If they use the old lore, and the new setting book is in the same timeframe as Curse of Strahd, that means the geography of the Core would be radically different from the current timeframe of the 3e books (20 years or so of difference). Makes you wonder too if the new domains are geographically adjacent to the Core or if they're "Islands of Terror" just floating in the Mists. For that matter, they may not even use the concept of geographically adjacent domains and every domain could just be free-floating through the Mists with travel being random.
 

I think your cool, RJ, keep it up.
Wasn't trying to be or insinuating that I was so I'm not sure where you came up with that idea? I play D&D recreationally, just as I'd watch a hockey game or go to a concert. Hope Im not playing the game wrong? You've found a myriad of players you enjoy playing with, good for you.
 

Hatmatter

Adventurer
Wasn't trying to be or insinuating that I was so I'm not sure where you came up with that idea? I play D&D recreationally, just as I'd watch a hockey game or go to a concert. Hope Im not playing the game wrong? You've found a myriad of players you enjoy playing with, good for you.
It was my way of saying I like your posts. Stay cool.
 

The fact that it's a jungle setting isn't radical reimagining. Older editions of Ravenloft had at least one "jungle" setting: Sri Raji. Sri Raji was Indian-inspired, which judging from Kalakeri, might be something similar.
I gave the vid a watch. New darklords and big changes to previous domains. Falkovnia losing Vlad Drakov and instead going with a zombie apocalypse theme for example.
 

dave2008

Legend
This looks like a paint job rather than a focused modification of the rules to make horror possible in 5E. That's not unexpected, but mildly disappointing anyway.
Hard to tell at this point IMO, but the 5e standard is to have as minimal rules modification as possible. So I wouldn't expect a bunch of new rules or radical departures. But you never now.

To be honest, the more I read about the content the more interested I've become. I was initially a maybe leaning to likely just buying the monsters on D&D Beyond; now I am a probable to buying the book and get the monsters on D&D beyond
 












Hatmatter

Adventurer
Quite surprised that they didn’t use this as a pivot to an Innistrad setting book.
I remember there were some predictions last year that Innistrad might be covered as one of the new campaign settings; it made sense. But, speaking for myself, I am glad that they are first covering the traditional D&D setting before doing Innistrad. But, I would love to see Innistrad down the line.
 

Reynard

Legend
Hard to tell at this point IMO, but the 5e standard is to have as minimal rules modification as possible. So I wouldn't expect a bunch of new rules or radical departures. But you never now.

To be honest, the more I read about the content the more interested I've become. I was initially a maybe leaning to likely just buying the monsters on D&D Beyond; now I am a probable to buying the book and get the monsters on D&D beyond
I was just hoping that 5E was far enough along in its life cycle that we were going to start seeing some 2E style rules overhauls to get the flavor right for the subgenre, and Ravenloft being both different in tone and assumed era than standard D&D, was a prime candidate. I wasn't expecting an AiME level overhaul (though that would be cool, too) but a concerted effort to show just what D&D can do with a few substantive tweaks.

Basically I want a 5E that can actually do Deborah Anne Woll's "Relics and Rarities" stories and world justice.
 


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