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Author Topic: Ravenloft 5E  (Read 2151 times)

Armchair Gamer

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Re: Ravenloft 5E
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2021, 12:52:29 PM »

I don't think I've ever seen a Ravenloft campaign being run with adventurers native to the Demiplane.

  It was the intended style as of Domains of Dread and the 3rd Edition relaunch, but I think there were a total of two adventures and two anthologies produced with that as the guiding principle. (There were more than two post-Domains of Dread adventures, but a couple of them really highlighted the 'weekend in Hell' approach--The Forgotten Terror and Vecna Reborn.)

  Without good adventurers or even a good 'Player's Guide' supplement to help train players and DMs how to play natives in Ravenloft, it's no wonder that it never took off.

Quote
P.S.: Also, Masque of the Red Death was a variation of Ravenloft much more akin to traditional Gothic Horror, and very well done IIRC. I've only run one Ravenloft campaign ever, so never had a chance to try Masque in my groups.

    Masque is good despite the Enlightenment biases of its history. :)
« Last Edit: February 23, 2021, 12:58:01 PM by Armchair Gamer »

RandyB

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Re: Ravenloft 5E
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2021, 01:01:52 PM »


P.S.: Also, Masque of the Red Death was a variation of Ravenloft much more akin to traditional Gothic Horror, and very well done IIRC. I've only run one Ravenloft campaign ever, so never had a chance to try Masque in my groups.

    Masque is good despite the Enlightenment biases of its history. :)

The major strength of Masque is that it puts the Gothic horror of Ravenloft back into its original context: the 19th century.

The major weakness of Masque is its Enlightenment biases. Gothic horror originally challenged those biases, while Masque doubles down on them.

Armchair Gamer

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Re: Ravenloft 5E
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2021, 01:03:57 PM »
The major weakness of Masque is its Enlightenment biases. Gothic horror originally challenged those biases, while Masque doubles down on them.

  Fortunately, most of those show up in the 'secret history' section and can easily be ignored or reinterpreted. And the Gothic Earth Gazetteer wins points with me by celebrating Leo XIII and giving him a connection to van Helsing, who is the head of the iconic Lawful Good qabal. :)

Armchair Gamer

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Re: Ravenloft 5E
« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2021, 01:09:42 PM »
More details at https://www.forbes.com/sites/robwieland/2021/02/23/the-mist-beckons-a-return-to-ravenloft-for-dungeons--dragons/ and https://www.dndbeyond.com/posts/945-the-mist-has-lifted-around-d-ds-new-sourcebook-van

They've radically reimagined Dementlieu and Falkovnia, and gender-swapped Dr. Mordenheim.

  EDIT: It also sounds like it's going to be less 'older D&D' and less 'pure Gothic', judging from the art samples (there's a piece with two tieflings who look more vulnerable than anything) and the comments.
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Further teased and suggested were even more flavors of horror: from most dangerous games to traditional ghost stories, and even D&D’s spin on cosmic dread. 
“I’m a huge fan of all things horror, so it was an absolute thrill to frame this book around bringing frightening elements like mummy lords, cosmic terrors, and urban legends to more D&D tables,” said Schneider.

F. Wesley Schneider is taking lead, and he's a Ravenloft fan from way back--he got his start in the Kargatane's Book of S* netbooks. So I expect a mix of fanservice and reimagining from this one.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2021, 02:01:23 PM by Armchair Gamer »

Azkaliban

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Re: Ravenloft 5E
« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2021, 01:18:36 PM »
The major strength of Masque is that it puts the Gothic horror of Ravenloft back into its original context: the 19th century.

I completely agree. The Gothic Earth Gazetteer and A Guide to Transylvania were fantastic! Why meddle in obscure demi-planes in the Ether when you can take you PCs to somewhere they think they know and do battle against the original Vampire Lord?
I lost my soul when I fell to earth ... My planets called me to the void of my birth.

Starglyte

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Re: Ravenloft 5E
« Reply #20 on: February 23, 2021, 01:19:00 PM »
This is one of the books on my 5e wishlist (the other being a Daleands/Cormyr/Moonsea guide for FR).

I know Wes is a huge fan off Ravenloft, so I have some hope. That being said, I haven't bought any WOTC products since Wildmount and I don't see myself getting anything beyond Ravenloft. Just getting this for old time sakes.

BedrockBrendan

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Re: Ravenloft 5E
« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2021, 01:30:03 PM »
The major strength of Masque is that it puts the Gothic horror of Ravenloft back into its original context: the 19th century.

I completely agree. The Gothic Earth Gazetteer and A Guide to Transylvania were fantastic! Why meddle in obscure demi-planes in the Ether when you can take you PCs to somewhere they think they know and do battle against the original Vampire Lord?

I had the complete opposite reaction. I liked the freedom of a fictional setting. The Gothic earth stuff, while it was interesting, just never clicked with me. I love history, but I had a really hard time getting into the Guide to Transylvania. I think because I was drawn to Ravenloft more for the over the top elements, than by any fidelity to its gothic roots (though it was the thing that got me to start reading gothic horror).

One thing I would argue is that Ravenloft was never really meant to be pure gothic horror. It was really classic horror, drawing a bit on gothic, but also on lovecraft (actually a lot of the horror advice in the black boxed set was drawn from lovecraft), and I think that worked in terms of playability more than if it were rigorously modeled on an academic attempt at doing gothic horror. Not that there isn't gothic horror there, just there is also an awful lot of old horror movie stuff in there too, a lot of camp, a lot of the howling, etc.

BedrockBrendan

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Re: Ravenloft 5E
« Reply #22 on: February 23, 2021, 01:32:50 PM »
More details at https://www.forbes.com/sites/robwieland/2021/02/23/the-mist-beckons-a-return-to-ravenloft-for-dungeons--dragons/ and https://www.dndbeyond.com/posts/945-the-mist-has-lifted-around-d-ds-new-sourcebook-van

They've radically reimagined Dementlieu and Falkovnia, and gender-swapped Dr. Mordenheim.

  EDIT: It also sounds like it's going to be less 'older D&D' and less 'pure Gothic', judging from the art samples (there's a piece with two tieflings who look more vulnerable than anything) and the comments.
Quote
Further teased and suggested were even more flavors of horror: from most dangerous games to traditional ghost stories, and even D&D’s spin on cosmic dread. 
“I’m a huge fan of all things horror, so it was an absolute thrill to frame this book around bringing frightening elements like mummy lords, cosmic terrors, and urban legends to more D&D tables,” said Schneider.

F. Wesley Schneider is taking lead, and he's a Ravenloft fan from way back--he got his start in the Kargatane's Book of S* netbooks. So I expect a mix of fanservice and reimagining from this one.

Ravenloft had a lot of very interesting, original female domain lords. I don't quite get the gender swapping there. I can sort of understand why they may felt the need to change Falkovnia, given the current climate on things. But I really found the old take much more interesting than zombies. Escape from Falkovnia was a great type of adventure. And it was drawing on dark history that resonated well with most players

Armchair Gamer

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Re: Ravenloft 5E
« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2021, 02:02:04 PM »
Ravenloft had a lot of very interesting, original female domain lords. I don't quite get the gender swapping there. I can sort of understand why they may felt the need to change Falkovnia, given the current climate on things. But I really found the old take much more interesting than zombies. Escape from Falkovnia was a great type of adventure. And it was drawing on dark history that resonated well with most players

  According to an article on comicbook.com, they've also genderswapped Vlad Drakov. Since Drakov was the Vlad Tepes expy, with strong pushes in a Hitler direction from 3E (the 3E version of Falkovnia was one of that era's sour notes, for me; too overt and heavy-handed), that switch for 'representation' could evoke … interesting reactions … from the Usual Suspects.

horsesoldier

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Re: Ravenloft 5E
« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2021, 02:11:14 PM »
How can a PC have Hag lineage? What non-evil characters would want someone with Hag lineage with them?

soundchaser

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Re: Ravenloft 5E
« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2021, 02:28:03 PM »

  According to an article on comicbook.com, they've also genderswapped Vlad Drakov. Since Drakov was the Vlad Tepes expy, with strong pushes in a Hitler direction from 3E (the 3E version of Falkovnia was one of that era's sour notes, for me; too overt and heavy-handed), that switch for 'representation' could evoke … interesting reactions … from the Usual Suspects.
That's hilarious and an awesome twist without much subtlety.

RandyB

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Re: Ravenloft 5E
« Reply #26 on: February 23, 2021, 02:36:39 PM »
Ravenloft had a lot of very interesting, original female domain lords. I don't quite get the gender swapping there. I can sort of understand why they may felt the need to change Falkovnia, given the current climate on things. But I really found the old take much more interesting than zombies. Escape from Falkovnia was a great type of adventure. And it was drawing on dark history that resonated well with most players

  According to an article on comicbook.com, they've also genderswapped Vlad Drakov. Since Drakov was the Vlad Tepes expy, with strong pushes in a Hitler direction from 3E (the 3E version of Falkovnia was one of that era's sour notes, for me; too overt and heavy-handed), that switch for 'representation' could evoke … interesting reactions … from the Usual Suspects.

Is WOTC trolling, or stupid? I wouldn't put money down...

BedrockBrendan

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Re: Ravenloft 5E
« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2021, 03:09:10 PM »
Ravenloft had a lot of very interesting, original female domain lords. I don't quite get the gender swapping there. I can sort of understand why they may felt the need to change Falkovnia, given the current climate on things. But I really found the old take much more interesting than zombies. Escape from Falkovnia was a great type of adventure. And it was drawing on dark history that resonated well with most players

  According to an article on comicbook.com, they've also genderswapped Vlad Drakov. Since Drakov was the Vlad Tepes expy, with strong pushes in a Hitler direction from 3E (the 3E version of Falkovnia was one of that era's sour notes, for me; too overt and heavy-handed), that switch for 'representation' could evoke … interesting reactions … from the Usual Suspects.

My memory was it was already getting into that territory in the 2E material so I checked the entry in the black box. For some reason I remembered the hawk brand being for demihumans, but it was for everyone born in the domain. Demihumans were essentially state property and used like slaves and chattel. The police force is basically the military. I seem to recall these themes getting more pronounced as the line evolved (but can't remember the S&S books on it as I found those impossible to get into). I feel like the association was close enough that in one campaign, when I advanced the timeline and increased technology to stuff like Zeppelins and cars, Falkovnia served as a Germany stand in for a WWII like scenario.

Do you happen to remember where they take it in the 3E S&S material?

Omega

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Re: Ravenloft 5E
« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2021, 03:30:12 PM »
I found most of White Wolfs take on Ravenloft to fall flat really. It had some little gems here and there but like alot of the 2000s onwards WW product, its mostly sub-par.

BedrockBrendan

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Re: Ravenloft 5E
« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2021, 03:36:47 PM »
I found most of White Wolfs take on Ravenloft to fall flat really. It had some little gems here and there but like alot of the 2000s onwards WW product, its mostly sub-par.

I couldn't get into it either. I would devour the TSR ravenloft stuff (especially the earlier material), but the WW books were verbose in the wrong ways, and just didn't land with me somehow. Also by making the setting literally have no consistent scale (which if I remember was their way of dealing with some inconsistencies of scale between releases under TSR) it made it that much harder to run (I was always fine running it with the old overlay hex map for the black box)