Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Curse of Strahd

Looks like Ravenloft is back

But which Ravenloft is this? Is it the Ravenloft of the original AD&D module, the 2e campaign setting, the aborted 4e reboot, or something new? Well, let's see what we can glean from some choice quotes from this interview at Geek & Sundry:

“What we’ve done in Curse of Strahd is given you a bigger sandbox. The land of Barovia is more detailed than it has been previously, and there are more cool places to go and more cool people to meet, and a mechanism to guide you.”

This definitely makes it sound like Curse of Strahd isn't a 5e update of the Ravenloft campaign setting. According to Chris Perkins, we're going to get a lot more information on Barovia, but I'm doubtful from what's said here that we're going to get much in the way of a bigger picture of the other Domains of Dread, if they're mentioned at all. 

I'm...strangely okay with that. It might be nice to see them start small with Ravenloft and built outward into something different. I thought what I wanted was a big reboot of the entire campaign setting, but what I might really want is a series of adventures set in disparate, not-really-connected domains that are fleshed out in the adventures. (The Mists make everything connected enough for any purpose.)

"Curse of Strahd incorporates material from the original adventure and expands upon it. It shows you more of the vampire Strahd’s domains and the people who live there, and all kinds of crazy shenanigans.”

Ah, so this makes it sound like Curse of Strahd is at least partially a reimagining of the original Ravenloft adventure, and possibly its derivatives like House of Strahd and Expedition to Castle Ravenloft. I'm fine with that being the basis, but I hope there's enough new material to make this exciting for Ravenloft veterans.

“In our stories… there are black people in Barovia. There are powerful women… Even Strahd’s tastes are more open-ended than they used to be. If you look at Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Dracula himself is not beyond romancing a man. Strahd the vampire is attracted to charismatic, magnetic people. Period.”


Also, I like that cover image and am glad they ditched Smurf Strahd. I like this gaunt, ennui-ridden Strahd who is tossing tarroka cards by the wayside because he knows that it is his hand that guides your stupid mortal fate. However...I don't really understand the background behind Strahd.