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D&D 5E Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft Table of Contents

As shared by DMs Guild brand manager Lysa Penrose.

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Faolyn

Hero
exactly.... that's clearly something wotc could not possibly under any reasonable conditions be expected to consider anyone ever running into a need to make those kind of choices,
Since one of the major rules of RPGs is "No plan survives first contact with the players," WotC--and every DM out there--should be well aware that DMs have to make all sorts of choices that were never expected to be made "under any reasonable conditions." Because players are, by definition, anti-reason.

That kind of thing could even be anticipated and discussed in the page62 magic & metaphysics single page where they could discuss relevant things to consider for both players and gm's to consider when deciding a course of action or something. ... of course maybe tit will be a page of really useful stuff like chicken shaped magic missile bolts because someone could do that for them instead.
And since you have absolutely no idea what's going to be Magic & Metaphysics and we don't know what the Cyre 1313 is going to be like, I don't even get what your complaint actually is.

Nor do I know where you're getting "chicken shaped magic missile" from. Because they recommend that spells take on different appearances in Ravenloft? That's actually important, because horror is all about the mood, and the appearance of spells can help to set that mood.
 

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overgeeked

B/X Known World
DMs have to make all sorts of choices that were never expected to be made "under any reasonable conditions." Because players are, by definition, anti-reason.
I love that. It’s so true. Especially when they go to forums.
Nor do I know where you're getting "chicken shaped magic missile" from.
It’s the example from Tasha’s about personalizing your spells. It’s literally the art for that section. Farmer casting a chicken-shaped magic missile.
 

Faolyn

Hero
It’s the example from Tasha’s about personalizing your spells. It’s literally the art for that section. Farmer casting a chicken-shaped magic missile.
Ah, I forgot that bit.

But for generic D&D, especially one where that kind of humor works well, yeah, I can definitely see a player out there flinging magic chickens at people.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Mod Note:

Hey, @tetrasodium , could you tone down the sarcasm several notches, please? If you haven't noticed, it doesn't actually help resolve anything, and likely makes things worse than they need to be.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Since one of the major rules of RPGs is "No plan survives first contact with the players," WotC--and every DM out there--should be well aware that DMs have to make all sorts of choices that were never expected to be made "under any reasonable conditions." Because players are, by definition, anti-reason.


And since you have absolutely no idea what's going to be Magic & Metaphysics and we don't know what the Cyre 1313 is going to be like, I don't even get what your complaint actually is.

Nor do I know where you're getting "chicken shaped magic missile" from. Because they recommend that spells take on different appearances in Ravenloft? That's actually important, because horror is all about the mood, and the appearance of spells can help to set that mood.
While neither of us knows, the original hope was that wotc doesn't just toss the entire conversation & decision making process of adapting spells to fit ravenloft entirely onto GMs & leave players without something they could point at as if such a thing was something unforeseeably far out of left field to be worth including any pagespace for. You mostly scorned the very idea because someone could do it. TCoE devotes about 3/4 of a page to personalizing spells without actually changing anything mechanically & probably half if not more of that about chicken legs on spells rather than anything mechanical.
 

Faolyn

Hero
While neither of us knows, the original hope was that wotc doesn't just toss the entire conversation & decision making process of adapting spells to fit ravenloft entirely onto GMs & leave players without something they could point at as if such a thing was something unforeseeably far out of left field to be worth including any pagespace for.
They honestly don't need to give much detail about how spells work differently in Ravenloft.

First--and I'm going through the Black Box here--like many things in AD&D, they used somewhat flowery language that isn't really necessary. For instance:

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When they could have simply said "Dispel Evil: This spell doesn't work on creatures" and saved most of a paragraph. Does the spell work on enchantments, a player may ask. Well, is the enchantment a creature? No? Then yes, the spell will work on enchantments.

There are basically four rules for altering spells that I can see them using in 5e:

1. You can't use a spell, magic item, or trait to teleport outside of Ravenloft or travel to another plane.

2. If you use a spell, magic item, or trait to summon a creature to you from another plane of existence, that creature can't return to its home plane when the spell's duration ends, and you no longer have any control over it. Possibly this rule can be altered by talking about how the Mists corrupt summoned creatures--a mini-template would be nice, but WotC has been reticent about using those.

3. Spells that target corpses, inflict necrotic damage, or reduce the target's hit point maximum or attribute score require a Dark Powers check. But since they're almost certainly not including Dark Power's checks in this edition, this rule can be ignored.

4. Spells can't be used to teleport or scry past the borders of a Domain, but work normally within a Domain.

Maybe they need to change the detect/dispel/protection from evil and good spells, but beyond that, they probably don't have much to change on an individual basis.

Everything else for altering spells to fit Ravenloft is going to be about flavor.

I seriously doubt they're going to give necromantic spells the huge boost that they had in 2e RL or say only evil characters can cast certain spells.

You mostly scorned the very idea because someone could do it.
No, no I didn't. Not in the slightest.

TCoE devotes about 3/4 of a page to personalizing spells without actually changing anything mechanically & probably half if not more of that about chicken legs on spells rather than anything mechanical.
That's a piece of quote and a piece of art.

The purpose of that section isn't to change a spell on the mechanical level. It's not about applying metamagic or researching a spell. It's to aid players in roleplaying their characters more by imagining how their personalities affect their spellcasting.
 

Yeah, that would definitely mess up the mood of a Ravenloft game.
If a player wants their magic missiles to look like chickens, one would question if they have sufficiently bought into the tone of a Ravenloft game. Maybe run something different with that player? On the other hand, if their magic missiles look like phantom skulls, they probably get it.

DMs have the right to veto anything they want in any case.
 

Remathilis

Legend
While neither of us knows, the original hope was that wotc doesn't just toss the entire conversation & decision making process of adapting spells to fit ravenloft entirely onto GMs & leave players without something they could point at as if such a thing was something unforeseeably far out of left field to be worth including any pagespace for. You mostly scorned the very idea because someone could do it. TCoE devotes about 3/4 of a page to personalizing spells without actually changing anything mechanically & probably half if not more of that about chicken legs on spells rather than anything mechanical.
Curse of Strahd fit a dozen suggestions for spell modifications on a single page. They aren't as radical as 2e (or heaven forbid, 3e WW) but it covered some basics.
 


Remathilis

Legend
So Cyre 1313 was the last train leaving Cyre on the day of Mourning, held up for a mysterious VIP (the Last Passenger, it's darklord) and didn't escape the destruction of Cyre. It now moves through the Mists ferrying the dead to their final destination.

It's about a paragraph of info, more giving you a skeleton to work off of than a domain.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
So Cyre 1313 was the last train leaving Cyre on the day of Mourning, held up for a mysterious VIP (the Last Passenger, it's darklord) and didn't escape the destruction of Cyre. It now moves through the Mists ferrying the dead to their final destination.

It's about a paragraph of info, more giving you a skeleton to work off of than a domain.
If you have access to the book, could you talk about the fear and stress mechanics?
 


So Cyre 1313 was the last train leaving Cyre on the day of Mourning, held up for a mysterious VIP (the Last Passenger, it's darklord) and didn't escape the destruction of Cyre. It now moves through the Mists ferrying the dead to their final destination.

It's about a paragraph of info, more giving you a skeleton to work off of than a domain.

That was pretty much in line with what I suspected, although the ferrying the dead part is a neat twist.
 


Ash Mantle

Adventurer
Here's another more in-depth first look into Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft

Be warned though, it's basically a flip through of the book through to the end, so if you don't want spoilers it's probably best to skip this video.

It's really looking like it's a must-buy for me, the book is just chock-a-block full of inspiration and general coolness.
A big spoiler for the monsters, though it probably comes as no surprise, is that Proficiency is listed but Alignments are not listed.
 



overgeeked

B/X Known World
So fear and stress apparently work like this...

Seeds of Fear. Characters have up to three Seeds of Fear, specific things that they're afraid of. There's a d12 list, but you can make up your own. When a player RPs their character responding appropriately to their Seeds of Fear, they gain Inspiration. But no more than 1 per 24 hours. That's it. So if they already have Inspiration, there's no bonus for playing along.

Fear. DC15 Wisdom save or be frightened until the end of your next turn. Various reasons for having to make that check, including encountering a Seed of Fear.

Stress. Characters have a Stress Score that goes up and down based on stressful/relaxing situations. From 0 to whatever. This Stress Score is applied as a penalty to any ability checks, attacks, and saving throws.
 

JEB

Hero
So fear and stress apparently work like this...

Seeds of Fear. Characters have up to three Seeds of Fear, specific things that they're afraid of. There's a d12 list, but you can make up your own. When a player RPs their character responding appropriately to their Seeds of Fear, they gain Inspiration. But no more than 1 per 24 hours. That's it. So if they already have Inspiration, there's no bonus for playing along.

Fear. DC15 Wisdom save or be frightened until the end of your next turn. Various reasons for having to make that check, including encountering a Seed of Fear.

Stress. Characters have a Stress Score that goes up and down based on stressful/relaxing situations. From 0 to whatever. This Stress Score is applied as a penalty to any ability checks, attacks, and saving throws.
Stress sounds pretty good. Fear is mostly good but relying on Inspiration was probably a misstep. (Reinforces my mixed feelings on Inspiration having that cap of 1 for sure.)
 

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