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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


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Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Does anyone know what the Vhage Agency domain is?, I’ve not heard of that one before.

Also I just noticed Star Spawn Emissary in the monster listing, is that a sign of Lovecraftian horror beyond Bluetspur?

A couple of surprising inclusions:
  • Staunton Bluffs always seemed to me to be superfluous with Mordent around; they even duplicate the 'angry ghost darklord' trope. Curious to see what might exist to distinguish SB from Mordent.
  • Valachan was never one of my favorite domains, but its darklord had a suitably tragic backstory and was distinguishable enough from other major setting vampires that he didn't seem superfluous. No idea who Chakuna is or how the new character changes the 'role' of the domain..

Probably my favorite inclusion is Scaena, though -- the idea of a mobile domain whose darklord isn't actually confined to the domain itself (but still always returns, for curse-specific reasons) makes for a great mind-trippy domain to use on your PCs. Hopefully the writeup in the book will inspire me to dust off my notes and include an expanded Scaena in the DMs Guild; if used correctly, Scaena and its darklord can have your players wondering if they've ever actually left Ravenloft, or indeed ever can.

--
Pauper

With the Carnival also becoming a Domain I’m actually wondering if they are going to make a few more mobile domains or have a mechanic that allows shifting the lesser domains around as DMs want them. That would explain retaining Staunton Bluffs when it could have easily been collapsed into Mordent.

And for some reason I’m recalling that Chakuna was the name of the Panther that became Von Khakov (because people couldnt parse a Black panther having a Russian name), I’m unsure if that was a 3e change or am I misremembering things that never happened?
 
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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.
Mechanically, it makes no difference to the players if it's a wolf that turns into a man, or a man who turns into a wolf. So you might as well use the same stat block for both.
 

It strikes me, people are bemoaning the lack of a Lycanthrope race, but...one of the Dark Gifts could easily be Lycanthropy, based on the example of Mythic Odysseys of Theros, where you had Supernatural Gifts such as being the Oracle of the Gods or an artificial construct.

Theros had 9 Supernatural Gifts in five pages, and the Dark Gifts section is 6-7 pages long. I could see possibly more than 9 here, given the lack of a Piety system equivalent which elongated a couple of the Supernatural Gifts.
D&D Beyond did an article on PC lycanthropes last week. Embracing Your Wild Side: Playing As a Lycanthrope in D&D.

And Candlekeep Mysteries has rules for PC wereravens. I'm guessing that "the order of the feather" listed under "Travellers in the Mists" are wereravens.
 
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A little disappointed but unsurprised that none of the new Domains of Dread introduced in 4E were included. Granted several of them were tied to to the default setting's lore.

I'm curious if the Raven Queen will be mentioned in any capacity.
 

grimslade

Doddering Old Git
The big difference between Werewolves and Wolfweres was the Song of Lethargy ability. The slow effect before the cute bard transformed into Crinos and tore into your party's healer was suitably terrifying. Harkon Lukas was always phrased as being different than other wolfweres so I could see him as Darklord being a unique critter. No need to write up the wolfwere yet. Making the wolfwere into the Reynard and leaning hard into the fey theme is a great hook for a classic monster.
 


It sounds like it might have a human population that is being manipulated by the God Brain darklord to ignore all the unnatural cosmic elements rather than being a blasted wasteland and caves of mind-flayers below.
There are 2 pages of "adventures in Bluetspur", so there must be something to do there...
Harkon Lukas was always phrased as being different than other wolfweres so I could see him as Darklord being a unique critter.
I wonder if each of the main Darklords gets a statblock in their own section, since they don't get one in chapter 5.
 

Faolyn

Hero
Valachan was never one of my favorite domains, but its darklord had a suitably tragic backstory and was distinguishable enough from other major setting vampires that he didn't seem superfluous. No idea who Chakuna is or how the new character changes the 'role' of the domain.
Thought: Von Kharkov took a bride every year in an attempt to be human. Chakuna was one of them, and she took over as darklord one way or another.
 


I can understand Kalidnay couldn't be published yet because Dark Sun as setting is not ready yet, but I don't like the return of G'Henna, the dread domain I most reject. Maybe you can tolerate some tropes in your game, but the ones from G'Henna have been used, and abused too many times.

Yagno Petrovna and the cult of Zakhata is possibly the most hateful one from the demiplane of the dread. If this returns, it needs a total reboot. I can accept the idea of a religion promoting fast as a way to learn self-control, but based in the intentional starving is ridiculous. How could they replace the previous religion with other so "unconfortable"?
 
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Faolyn

Hero
Yagno Petrovna and the cult of Zakhata is possibly the most hateful one from the demiplane of the dread. If this returns, it needs a total reboot. I can accept the idea of a religion promoting fast as a way to learn self-control, but based in the intentional starving is ridiculous. How could the replace the previous religion?
One possibility is that the land is prone to drought, poor or diseased crops, locusts, etc., keeping the hunger aspect of the domain without making it into a forced starvation thing. Which I agree is stupid--at some point, your populace would simply be too weak to do anything to feed the demands of the god, even if the priesthood was really good at calculating caloric needs.

Another possibility is that the demand for food sacrifice has become a demand for human sacrifice. Which still could be by starvation, but that would only be for the individual sacrifices instead of for everyone.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
I can understand Kalidnay couldn't be published yet because Dark Sun as setting is not ready yet, but I don't like the return of G'Henna, the dread domain I most reject. Maybe you can tolerate some tropes in your game, but the ones from G'Henna have been used, and abused too many times.

Yagno Petrovna and the cult of Zakhata is possibly the most hateful one from the demiplane of the dread. If this returns, it needs a total reboot. I can accept the idea of a religion promoting fast as a way to learn self-control, but based in the intentional starving is ridiculous. How could the replace the previous religion?
The Wicker man movie (Christopher Lee as Darklord) comes to mind as sharing similar themes - a pagan cult on an isolated island are facing famine and turn to human sacrifice (burning people and livestock), PCs sent to investigate.

The Ghenna module Circle of Darkness is an okay story too, where PCs get to make some meaningful choices.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I can understand Kalidnay couldn't be published yet because Dark Sun as setting is not ready yet, but I don't like the return of G'Henna, the dread domain I most reject. Maybe you can tolerate some tropes in your game, but the ones from G'Henna have been used, and abused too many times.

Yagno Petrovna and the cult of Zakhata is possibly the most hateful one from the demiplane of the dread. If this returns, it needs a total reboot. I can accept the idea of a religion promoting fast as a way to learn self-control, but based in the intentional starving is ridiculous. How could they replace the previous religion with other so "unconfortable"?
Sometimes religion is evil. If that’s not something you want in your game, exclude it or change it. It’s meant to be a horror setting. Sometimes religion is horrible.
 

So no Lord Soth :(

Cool that they're including body snatchers in here... a little late for me as I just spent a bunch of time homebrewing off the bodythief monster from Pathfinder for a brief current arc that just started. 🤷
 

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