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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

I get why they have small entries, because do we really want huge reprints of older material?
Because the vast, vast, vast majority of D&D players and GMs have never encountered the older material before. The increase in the player base means that every book is an introduction to something that is new.

And, because 5e is very much about table-canon rather than their own canon, the modern version of D&D is about giving story outlines and plot points, not stone-etched plot arcs and railroads.
 

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Faolyn

Hero
At a guess, they’re fat and happy with their magically created food whilst the rest of the population starves.
In Van Richten's Guide to the Walking Dead, they \had a ghoul with that backstory; he'd been executed for either stealing food or magically making food (can't remember which), and now was always hungry. He could swallow Medium creatures whole. I'm not fond of the Weathermay-Foxgrove twins, but there were some pretty cool creatures in the three guides they narrated.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
The irony of someone complaining that shortening it to Ez is racist when it's not even a Romani name... I've never heard this bullocks that shortening people's names is intolerance. Obviously a lot of nicknames are, but just being shorter isn't anything.
I mean, it can be a micro aggression to shorten someone’s name, depending on context. Like, if you’re shortening it because you find their whole name difficult to pronounce and you can’t be bothered to try? That’s pretty insensitive. But this isn’t that. This is a Vistani character who was named after one of the most famous “Romani” characters in fiction, whose name isn’t actually Romani, and who by the way was secretly a white girl who had been abducted in the original story. Changing her name is probably for the best, but since it’s been established in the canon for so long, that’s not necessarily a great option either. Shortening it makes a lot of sense in that context.

Personally, I have it be an assumed name. She’s known for employing disguises and false identities, so having a fake name - particularly one that plays into what ignorant Barovians think sounds quintessentially Vistani - makes a lot of sense. But shortening it to Ez is probably the better option for the published book. Especially because that way individual groups can choose whether they want Ez to be a nickname, or to retcon it to be her whole name, or ignore it and keep calling her Ezmerelda, as suits their table’s needs.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I wish it had a bit more player side and as usual when there is only a small amount of players options its for magic users. I am sure martial types have adapted there ways to deal with some of the horrors they face.
Based on Mythic Odysseys of Theros, the Dark Gifts likely have application to a broad range of character types.
 

AmerginLiath

Adventurer
My first thought looking at this, after reading other notes on the book, is how easy it would be to use the Creating A Dark Domain rules to build a version of The Village from The Prisoner, a bucolic bureaucratic nightmare that chaotic murderhoboes can neither escape from nor seem to rile up any…
 





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.
They probably sat down, went through all the domains and decided which merited the treatment. Even on our threads here, there's lots of consensus that there was plenty of duplication and overlap. Scrapping the weaker domains and giving whatever good stuff it had to a similar but better domain makes for a better product overall. If people really want the OG versions, they're all over on DMs Guild/DriveThruRPG or on the (semi-illegible) Ravenloft wikis. (Seriously, who puts navy blue on a black background?)
 
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But the 2nd Ed did, and that's being erased as well
We assume it's being erased. All we have right now are theories about what happened to the older dark lords and why Azalin is wandering around. It's entirely possible that this book does follow 2E chronology for many or even all the domains, and stuff has happened in the ensuing decades. For one thing, the demiplane is inside the Plane of Shadows and has been broken into pieces, so something heavy duty happened, which could have all sorts of other consequences.

Just because we didn't get a mediocre series of novels out it doesn't mean there wasn't a Realms Shaking Event for Ravenloft.
 

Also: Wolfweres were always dumb. They were an old school "ha HA, the players will never see this coming" spin on jackalweres and werewolves that were purely intended to screw over the players. They don't occupy any particularly interesting game niche and have rightly not reappeared in 5E. There's nothing that's been done with them that can't be done by some flavor of werewolves, whether a clan that hates other werewolves or variant werewolves that turn into humans but are wolves in their natural state.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
Also: Wolfweres were always dumb. They were an old school "ha HA, the players will never see this coming" spin on jackalweres and werewolves that were purely intended to screw over the players. They don't occupy any particularly interesting game niche and have rightly not reappeared in 5E. There's nothing that's been done with them that can't be done by some flavor of werewolves, whether a clan that hates other werewolves or variant werewolves that turn into humans but are wolves in their natural state.
I never really got into the distinctions between werewolves, wolfweres, and loup-garou in the D&D game. They are all just flavors of werewolf that can be summarized by one MM entry and perhaps a couple of statblocks.
 

Faolyn

Hero
Also: Wolfweres were always dumb. They were an old school "ha HA, the players will never see this coming" spin on jackalweres and werewolves that were purely intended to screw over the players. They don't occupy any particularly interesting game niche and have rightly not reappeared in 5E. There's nothing that's been done with them that can't be done by some flavor of werewolves, whether a clan that hates other werewolves or variant werewolves that turn into humans but are wolves in their natural state.
They're interesting if you consider them to be more like trickster spirits than just another type of werewolf. Wolfweres are never mindless, slavering beasts, aren't bound by the moon, don't spread lycanthropy, and can appear, AFAICT, in any number of human(oid) forms of any gender or appearance--Harkon canonically has a female form as well as his male form, although he seems to prefer the male form. The fact that they used to be vulnerable to iron instead of silver gives them a very fey heritage.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
They're interesting if you consider them to be more like trickster spirits than just another type of werewolf. Wolfweres are never mindless, slavering beasts, aren't bound by the moon, don't spread lycanthropy, and can appear, AFAICT, in any number of human(oid) forms of any gender or appearance--Harkon canonically has a female form as well as his male form, although he seems to prefer the male form. The fact that they used to be vulnerable to iron instead of silver gives them a very fey heritage.
Thats actually a kinda cool take on wolfwere but I’ve never really seen them treated as anything other than an alternate werewolf. Also Jacklaweres are a better take on the Trickster spirit. I wonder if having Harkon be a Jackalwere and more Fey would work
 


Faolyn

Hero
Thats actually a kinda cool take on wolfwere but I’ve never really seen them treated as anything other than an alternate werewolf. Also Jacklaweres are a better take on the Trickster spirit. I wonder if having Harkon be a Jackalwere and more Fey would work
Unfortunately true (that nobody uses them as anything but werewolves). I honestly wouldn't mind Harkon being a jackalwere--they're not including Farelle so they wouldn't be stepping on that domain's toes--but the climate and terrain isn't quite right. I don't know if Kartakass would do as well if it wasn't in such picturesque temperate forest, and jackals are much more desert-y.
 

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