• NOW LIVE! -- One-Page Adventures for D&D 5th Edition on Kickstarter! A booklet of colourful one-page adventures for D&D 5th Edition ranging from levels 1-9 and designed for a single session of play.
log in or register to remove this ad

 

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!

CF44D3FC-AF00-4860-A655-B64EE5F77949.png



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.

Screen Shot 2021-02-23 at 11.07.39 AM.png

The Mist Beckons


2.png

1.jpeg

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

Screen Shot 2021-02-23 at 11.19.04 AM.png
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


log in or register to remove this ad

dave2008

Legend
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.
That would be interesting, but I don't think WotC is interested in doing that. Lots of great options in the 3PP / DMsGuild market though.
 








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.
This is exactly what I was hoping for. Big changes, new darklords, entirely new domains. Pretty much the only way I'd end up buying this, and it sounds like they did it. Smart move from my perspective and I'm now actually kind of excited about this.
 

That is basically how we play too and why I don't try to use "horror" for a long-term campaign.
I've seen it go the opposite way as well, i.e. players basically not wanting to go on after losing their PC, not in like a "ragequit" way, just in a "clearly no longer excited about this" way, and neither that nor "Who cares... I'll re-roll" really preserve the horror. I think one just has to accept that it's more of a "horror theme" rather than expecting horror every single session. Not even specialized horror-games like CoC can consistently manage that, in my experience.
 

Eric V

Hero
To me the best thing to set the mood for horror is a real fear of character death. That can be easily achieved without gimmicks and parlor tricks (as I understand the phrase). You do need player buy-in as that kind of fear doesn't work for everyone.

I'm mean, that is really the biggest "horror" aspect of Call of Cthulhu back when I played it in the 80s. It was the fear of my player dying or going insane. Nothing else mechanically really set the mood IMO. The idea that you are not heroes is different than most D&D, but it is pretty easy to achieve in D&D.
For my groups, what made "horror monsters" (basically undead) so terrifying was level drain. When that spectre hits you and now all of a sudden you're level 6, that is scary. :)
 






Khozma

Villager
For my groups, what made "horror monsters" (basically undead) so terrifying was level drain. When that spectre hits you and now all of a sudden you're level 6, that is scary. :)
There's still life drain and sometimes ability drain effects in the place of level drain in 5e, at least (i.e., HP max and ability score reduction mechanics). I hope the new bestiary has some gnarly monsters with interesting mechanics like shadows, maurezhi, wights, yagnoloths, and intellect devourers, which are a few that come to mind as having energy drain-esque effects.
 

dave2008

Legend
This is exactly what I was hoping for. Big changes, new darklords, entirely new domains. Pretty much the only way I'd end up buying this, and it sounds like they did it. Smart move from my perspective and I'm now actually kind of excited about this.
Just don't get to excited. I fear with 30 domains to cover you are not going to get a lot on each one. That being said, this is one of the factors that has increased my excitement as well.
 


Visit Our Sponsor

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top