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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

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Hmm, no racial vampires. Disappointing. I guess I need to look through what's available at DM's Guild.

I hope that Life in the Domains of Dread listing does does heavy lifting and gives us a good-aligned religion for the natives and some information on languages. Each domain having its own language seems unworkable but for some of us, it'll be a little silly to have everyone just speaking Common instead.
Doing varying levels of archaic Common is an easy trick.
 

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Faolyn

Hero
So maybe I missed some lore, and I have not run Curse of Strahd, but why wouldn't Azalin be the lord of Darkon anymore? Always has been one of more favorite characters.
They're likely either reversing time to when he blew himself up in trying to escape (he got better), or they're saying he blew himself up again, or the Dark Powers got tired of him and/or decided other people in Darkon were eviler.
 




Faolyn

Hero
I find it interesting that neither Invidia nor Nova Vaasa are mainstream domains anymore.

And the brought the Nightmare Lands back. I wonder what they're going to do about the Abber nomads.
 


overgeeked

B/X Known World
I find it interesting that neither Invidia nor Nova Vaasa are mainstream domains anymore.

And the brought the Nightmare Lands back. I wonder what they're going to do about the Abber nomads.
I’m wondering why they didn’t get more pages and expand the other domains. There’s certainly enough material to draw from to flesh most if not all those listed domains to the “full” treatment. They could have easily done another 50-100 pages. I’m glad we’re getting this much but honestly wondering why it wasn’t 320-some pages like Eberron.
 


I’m wondering why they didn’t get more pages and expand the other domains. There’s certainly enough material to draw from to flesh most if not all those listed domains to the “full” treatment. They could have easily done another 50-100 pages. I’m glad we’re getting this much but honestly wondering why it wasn’t 320-some pages like Eberron.

If they ever get the Adept program back to putting material on DM's Guild again, I would think some of them would get expanded on there.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I’m hoping the fear and stress mechanics are good. The fear mechanic in the DMG wasn’t great. Here’s to hoping stress is something like Call of Cthulhu’s Sanity and/or Darkest Dungeon’s stress mechanic. That would be tasty.
These days I’m not so big on sanity systems, but a good stress and trauma system like Darkest Dungeon has would be awesome.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
So here is my theory (and I'll show my work best I can).

In 2e, there was an event called the Requiem, in which Azalin tried to escape Ravenloft by becoming a Dark Power. It didn't go as planned, and he scattered his essence throughout Darkon until he could gather enough of himself together to reform. In the meantime, demi-lords (six of them) controlled the six regions of Darkon and the capital of Il Aluk was turned into Necropolis, with Death as its Darklord (Death being a reaper-like entity made from a failed Azalin clone). Darkon during that era was divided and leaderless and on the verge of being reclaimed by the dead.

Flash forward. Black Dice Society has stated Darkon experienced the Hour of Ascension, where the dead are reclaiming the land. Azalin Rex is gone, and factions fight for control of the land. Sound familiar? Thought so. However, this doesn't appear to be the Requiem as Il Aluk still stands, there is no Death, and Azalin has appeared in the stream, stating he has slipped his bonds and goes and visits his old Friend Strahd. Further, we have a nice piece of art in the art thread of Strahd and Azalin having a civil conversation about the meaning of life. Further, Azalin is name checked both as a Patron in Tasha and in the Undead Warlock UA.

THEORY

Darkon's Hour of Ascension is basically replicating the post-Requiem Darkon, but without the Necropolis elements. Azalin is around, but he's not the "Lord of Darkon" anymore as he's found a way to wander around the Domains (alternatively, he's locked out of his own domain and must watch it spiral into civil war, a sad curse for a king). So, he strikes deals with PCs to move chess pieces on the board. So Azalin will be in there, but in a way he can stir more trouble beyond his domain...

EDIT: So see the name "Firan Zal'honan" in the Mistwalker's section? Google it. I think that's settled.

DOUBLE EDIT: Also this.https://pbs.twimg.com/media/E0VOLhMVgAQb_vj?format=jpg&name=large
Personally I like that they’ve removed Azalin and hopefully the stupid ’False Memory curse’. Darkon as a big domain and as the most D&D-like domain has potential to be the homebase for both native and transported PCs. I think listing Inheritors of Darkon is really evocative and I am hoping that it is indicator that Darkon is being opened up for a ‘battle for the throne scenario’, with multiple candidates in a position to become the new Darklord - with the PCs taking a pivotal role in the intrigues, maybe even allowing for PCs (via the new Ravenloft Lineages) to become the new Lord of Darkon.

Having Azalin as the Undead Patron works too

(also I just noticed, I dont see Paridon)
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
These days I’m not so big on sanity systems, but a good stress and trauma systems like Darkest Dungeon has would be awesome.
Like Call of Cthulhu’s Sanity in the sense it’s a ticking clock with negatives at various stages (e.g. failed check, too many lost points from one roll, too many lost points in a day, zeroing out, etc). Something like starting at zero and gaining stress from certain things, making a check to see how much stress you get, rolling against your stress so it’s a death spiral, etc. I really hope it’s not just a new stat you occasionally check like honor and sanity in the DMG.
 
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I'm reminded of the 4th Ed FORGOTTEN REALMS where they changed everything the authors didn't like and reworked the setting
Except instead of there being a Realms Shaking event that tied the 4th Ed Realms to the old Realms the new book is just pretending the old setting never existed
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Like Call of Cthulhu’s Sanity in the sense it’s a ticking clock with negatives at various stages (e.g. failed check, too many lost points from one roll, too many lost points in a day, zeroing out, etc). Something like starting at zero and gaining stress from certain things, making a check to see how much stress you get, rolling against you stress so it’s a death spiral, etc. I really hope it’s not just a new stat you occasionally check like honor and sanity in the DMG.
Agreed, I think making it just an ability score is possibly the worst way to do a sanity/stress system. CoC’s Sanity isn’t my favorite either, as it feels mostly like a second health track, which... works, but I think there are just better designs for such things these days, like the Cthulu Hack’s Sanity system for example.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I'm reminded of the 4th Ed FORGOTTEN REALMS where they changed everything the authors didn't like and reworked the setting
Except instead of there being a Realms Shaking event that tied the 4th Ed Realms to the old Realms the new book is just pretending the old setting never existed
I’d honestly rather they went the just ignore it route rather than some ham-fisted world event.
 

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