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D&D General What are your favorite Domains of Dread?

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Hi all! This is not a poll as their are a TON of different Domains (too many to list), but I was curious what Domains people here have the most fondness for. By Domains of Dread, I mean the demiplane regions of Ravenloft, which have had different levels of descriptions and modules in past editions of D&D.

As an example, I have a fondness for the Burning Peaks, or the double-domain of Vecna and Kas, two powerful foes of Greyhawk. Locked in an endless war as punishment for their various misdeeds, the old master and the betrayer sending deathless armies to fight forever on the border. Vecna's fortress here was even a city inside a giant skull, Citadel Cavitius. Gave off plenty of campy Skeletor vibes!

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What Domains are your favorites? Feel free to share stories of games we either DMed or played, I love reading people's stories here!
 

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Stormonu

Legend
I did a major rewrite of Night of the Walking Dead for 4E, but only finished about 3/4 of it - I need to pick it back up and update for 5E.

As for favorite Domain, why that’d be Barovia. For one thing, we wouldn’t have Ravenloft without it. And I just like the slow, decaying feel of a Slavic country it exudes.
 

Hi all! This is not a poll as their are a TON of different Domains (too many to list), but I was curious what Domains people here have the most fondness for. By Domains of Dread, I mean the demiplane regions of Ravenloft, which have had different levels of descriptions and modules in past editions of D&D.

As an example, I have a fondness for the Burning Peaks, or the double-domain of Vecna and Kas, two powerful foes of Greyhawk. Locked in an endless war as punishment for their various misdeeds, the old master and the betrayer sending deathless armies to fight forever on the border. Vecna's fortress here was even a city inside a giant skull, Citadel Cavitius. Gave off plenty of campy Skeletor vibes!

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What Domains are your favorites? Feel free to share stories of games we either DMed or played, I love reading people's stories here!

Is this strictly limited to the islands of terror, or are we talking any domain (including core domains)? Domains of Dread to me indicates any domain in Ravenloft, but the nomenclature has been all over the map as it is an old line.

My favorite domains are probably: Borca, Sithicus, Kartakass (my favorite of all), Tepest, Verbrek, Souragne, G'henna, Valachan and Falkovnia. Probably forgetting one or two.
 

jgsugden

Legend
I have my own version of the Ravenloft concept. The current evolution has these "Demi-planes" existing within the Shadowfell.

The Shadowfell is a reflective plane and reflects what happens in the Prime. When there is something truly horrific on the Prime, that Shadowfell reflection takes on a life of its own and the Shadowfell isolates it with the mists to prevent it from spreading throughout the plane. That reflection that took on a life of its own might be a creature, an object or a location - but the reflection will always be intelligent, evil and obsessed with something.

Often, the manifestation is a copy of a very evil being, but it might also end up being the "evil twin" of a good being, an intelligent version of an item at the center of a horrible event, or an intelligent version of the location of the event.

There a few of these Demiplanes that are highly inspired by the 2E boxed set, but most of them are unique to events that took place in my campaign setting. PCs have rarely ventured there in years past (before I refined the concept to have the Demiplanes in the Shadowfell), but I've used it to allow PCs to revisit a horrific event from the past without using Time Travel, such as:

  • Allow PCs to witness the Tragedy of Vecna and Kos.
  • Allow them to see how a great Catacalysm was caused in the holiest of cities.
  • Allow them to observe the death of a God and the destruction of his life force.

Technically, I have a Barovia clone in the game, but it has never been visited, and I don't have any plans that I feel would draw PCs there.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Is this strictly limited to the islands of terror, or are we talking any domain (including core domains)? Domains of Dread to me indicates any domain in Ravenloft, but the nomenclature has been all over the map as it is an old line.

My favorite domains are probably: Borca, Sithicus, Kartakass (my favorite of all), Tepest, Verbrek, Souragne, G'henna, Valachan and Falkovnia. Probably forgetting one or two.

I mean any Domain!
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I have my own version of the Ravenloft concept. The current evolution has these "Demi-planes" existing within the Shadowfell.

The Shadowfell is a reflective plane and reflects what happens in the Prime. When there is something truly horrific on the Prime, that Shadowfell reflection takes on a life of its own and the Shadowfell isolates it with the mists to prevent it from spreading throughout the plane. That reflection that took on a life of its own might be a creature, an object or a location - but the reflection will always be intelligent, evil and obsessed with something.

Often, the manifestation is a copy of a very evil being, but it might also end up being the "evil twin" of a good being, an intelligent version of an item at the center of a horrible event, or an intelligent version of the location of the event.

There a few of these Demiplanes that are highly inspired by the 2E boxed set, but most of them are unique to events that took place in my campaign setting. PCs have rarely ventured there in years past (before I refined the concept to have the Demiplanes in the Shadowfell), but I've used it to allow PCs to revisit a horrific event from the past without using Time Travel, such as:

  • Allow PCs to witness the Tragedy of Vecna and Kos.
  • Allow them to see how a great Catacalysm was caused in the holiest of cities.
  • Allow them to observe the death of a God and the destruction of his life force.

Technically, I have a Barovia clone in the game, but it has never been visited, and I don't have any plans that I feel would draw PCs there.
Very 4e, if you don’t mind me saying so. I do mean it as a compliment.
 

Sithicus - prior to Soth's departure, with its rotting trees and listless elves and giant beetles overseen by a huge keep where Soth broods over his memories forever.
Paridon - shorn of its relatively silly Darklord with an overly convoluted backstory, it's a classically atmospheric gaslamp kinda place
Richulemont - the elegant jewelled glamour over a festering den of rats

Souragne, Har'Akir, Barovia, even Rokushima Taiyoo are nice and atmospheric too.
 
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Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
I've always been torn on Sithicus; while Soth fits the domain well enough and the domain itself seemed great, I don't really like how he was pulled from Dragonlance.

Overall, I've always been a fan of Bluetspur, both because I love mind flayers and because I love weird squirmy horror.
 
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Remathilis

Legend
I was working on a campaign set in Darkon in the interim period between the Requiem and Azalin's return. Azalin is missing, Death had control of Il Akuk but cannot leave the city of the dead. Demi-Lords control the six regions, the State Religion is crumbling and the Church of Ezra is ascendent. But even as these factions fight for control, perhaps the only way to prevent annihilation is to bring back the One True King of Darkon...
 


Barovia is the one domain I remember the best and probably the only one we played in. I read Vampires in the Mist and Knight of the Black Rose, both pretty good novels, and iirc both took place in that domain. When I think of Ravenloft thats the domain that comes to mind first as the quintessential domain. If I were to ever run a campaign in the setting I'd probably set it there. I have I, Strahd, and Specter of the Black Rose which I never read, maybe I should get around to that one day. In my opinion the campaign setting couldve done without quite a few of the domains, some just felt like filler. I'd rather have seen 10 well rounded and detailed domains than 30 sparse ones.
 

JEB

Adventurer
Despite my fondness for Ravenloft as a setting unto itself, I tend to find the weird or isolated domains more compelling. Particularly pocket domains like The Winding Road, Scaena, and Davion. I also like Forlorn, for some reason.

Honestly, though, I tend to find the darklords more interesting than many of the domains themselves.
 




Voadam

Legend
Pre Grim Harvest Darkon for me. The most straight D&D domain but still full Ravenloft. So elves and dwarves and wizards but also secret police who are secretly vampires and such. Lots of opportunity for below the dark lord level of stuff to be going on with smooth D&D interactions as opposed to many of the realms' "everybody here hates X (normal PC concept)".
 



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