Dungeons & Dragons’ new e book reboots the geographical regions of Ravenloft

The following marketing campaign e book for fifth version Dungeons & Dragons is titled Van Richten’s Information to Ravenloft and it’s due out on Might 18. The 256-page quantity main points 30 new and reimagined geographical regions from the Ravenloft multiverse, packaged as micro-settings on your subsequent marketing campaign. Each and every realm comes entire with its personal distinctive villain for gamers to combat towards, plus heroes new and outdated to combat along.

Lovers of the preferred Curse of Strahd marketing campaign will know Ravenloft because the lair of the vampire Strahd von Zharovich, nevertheless it’s additionally the title of an expansive marketing campaign atmosphere printed all the way through the 1990s. Van Richten’s Information will element the various geographical regions scattered in the course of the mists outdoor of Strahd’s valley of Barovia, or even come with steerage for growing your personal realm of terror. There are many additional choices for growing characters tied to these geographical regions, plus an all new 20-page journey referred to as The Area of Lament.

“I’m an enormous fan of all issues horror,” stated Wes Schneider, senior recreation clothier at Wizards of the Coast and lead clothier of Van Richten’s Information, “so it was once an absolute thrill to border this e book round bringing horrifying parts like mummy lords, cosmic terrors, and concrete legends to extra D&D tables.”

Just like the impending Candlekeep Mysteries, the e book could have more than one authors. Amongst them is Wizards’ new senior clothier Amanda Hamon (previously of Kobold Press), Cassandra Khaw (Not anything However Blackened Tooth), Molly Ostertag (The Witch Boy), and Ok. Tempest Bradford (The Copper Scarab).

Right through a press preview tournament, Wizards’ Schneider and Hamon have been each readily available to tease among the 30 geographical regions on be offering. They come with Barovia, after all, the place the unique Curse of Strahd marketing campaign takes position, but in addition many extra.

Dementlieu, dominated through the harsh Saidra díHonaire, is a twisted take at the fairy story style. Lamordia is house to Dr. Viktra Mordenheim, who chases her escaped flesh golem, Elise, around the land. Falkovnia has a brand new ruler named Vladeska Drakov and has been reimagined as a realm on the point of a zombie apocalypse. There’s Kalakeri, which attracts its inspiration from Indian folklore and mythology, the place darklords Ramya, Arijani, and Reeva every vie for keep watch over. The remaining realm teased is named Valachan, the place the darklord Chakuna relentlessly hunts down participant characters for game.

Gamers could have extra than simply magical pieces and strong spells at their disposal. Scattered all the way through the mists can be different tough non-player characters to assist them of their trips. They come with Curse of Strahd’s Esmerelda d’Avenir, the tough Weathermay-Foxgrove twins, and touring detective Alanik Ray.

A player character stands in a room filled with magical curious, a spirit haunting them in the mirror.

Symbol: Paul Scott Canavan/Wizards of the Coast

The e book may also come with a long segment on atmosphere protected limitations to stay everybody at ease on the desk.

“A horror role-playing recreation is a lot more non-public and is for much longer [than a film or a television show]. It additionally doesn’t have an off transfer,” Schneider stated all through the preview tournament. “So if any individual does get uncomfortable on the desk, if it seems that the entire tale is set secretly the worst factor that ever took place on your existence, what do you do with that? How do you steer clear of coming into that state of affairs, how do you get out of it, and the way do you ensure that all of your recreation workforce is being supportive of the ones issues?”

Van Richten’s Information may also come with new choices for gamers referred to as Darkish Presents, that are characteristics that may assist attach participant characters with the atmosphere and its issues. There’s two new subclasses to experiment with. They come with the School of Spirits, which permits gamers construct a Bard that may adjust truth through telling horrifying tales. In the meantime, Warlocks can select to derive their powers from an impressive Undead Patron — possibly complicating the tale through opting for the villain in keep watch over of the world the place their specific marketing campaign is ready.

The e book may also come with 3 new possible personality lineages: Dhampir, Hexblood, and Reborn. All 3 have been the topic of a contemporary Unearthed Arcana playtest packet. Schneider stated that whilst they serve as routinely as races, they may be able to even be one thing {that a} personality transitions into over the process an journey.

“If […] you run into reports with vampires or with hags,” Schneider stated, “and it is smart to take the tale in a course that basically adjustments the root of your personality, those lineages provide the alternative to discover that.”

Cultural sensitivities loom massive over tabletop gaming in this day and age, and role-playing video games particularly. Remaining yr, writer Wizards of the Coast apologized for racist stereotypes in its fashionable fabrics, vowing to do higher at some point. Content material warnings now seem on its again catalog, a lot of which is to be had digitally. That incorporates 1997’s Domain names of Dread, printed through TSR, which Van Richten’s Information to Ravenloft maximum carefully resembles.

“Some older content material would possibly replicate ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that have been common in American society at the moment,” notes the Domain names of Dread content material caution on DriveThruRPG.com. “Those depictions have been improper then and are improper nowadays.”

Esmerlda d’Avenir stands ready to fight Strahd, whose love Tatyana is reflected in his blade.

Trade quilt at will come with a steel end, proven right here as empty areas bordered in pink.
Symbol: Scott M. Fischer/Wizards of the Coast

To steer clear of repeating previous errors, Wizards stated it labored carefully with cultural experts on Van Richten’s Information. Most significantly, Wizards stressed out that this marketing campaign e book was once created with every age in thoughts.

“We needless to say many people at the moment play with their children, play with more youthful gamers,” Schneider stated. “Horror doesn’t want to imply an R-rated film. It doesn’t imply for adults most effective. You don’t want to convey your folks with you to peer this D&D revel in. Horror can also be cartoons like Scooby Doo or just like the outdated Ghostbusters cool animated film. The ones type of issues have horror parts to them whilst additionally being motion tales, journey tales, thriller tales, suspenseful tales. It doesn’t want to be all gory and visceral.”

Van Richten’s Information to Ravenloft is now up for pre-order on Amazon, by way of D&D Past, and on Roll20. Another quilt, that includes Esmerlda d’Avenir and a different steel end, can be to be had from native recreation shops.

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