The PCs escaped from Aggarath and found themselves in Falkovnia. Originally hailing from Toril, the party walked south in hopes of reaching Calimshan but, instead, approached Aerie and fought an elite Talon patrol. The session ended with the PC defeating the patrol.

So I began thinking what should happen next. I started creating Rudolph, a 64-year old Talon of Taladas using Death Unchained and some other Ravenloft texts for AD&D, 2nd Edition but paused when I realized Rudolph had to be a monster.

A Falkovnian soldier is supposed to consume darklord Vlad Drakov's brew upon joining the military, and consuming the brew makes it so the consumer now experiences pleasure by watching folks be tortured to death. Torture is an automatic power check as per Domains of Dread (16). This should make many soldiers—at least partially—into actual physical monsters unless the soldier eschews such pleasure. (A difficult thing to justify in a Ravenloft campaign!)

Drinking Drakov's brew doesn't give the drinker a free pass to torture. Consequences really do seem to be in order. Thus, even in a military with a very high casualty rate, a longtime soldier should probably be a straight-up monster unless he eschews the vast—and sick and twisted—pleasure that's a result of having consumed Drakov's brew. (The brew "is rumored to contain the gritty powder of a ground-up talisman of ultimate evil and swamp water from the lair of a will o' wisp.")

Is there an official rule somewhere that mitigates power checks for NPCs in the Ravenloft setting? Or is Falkovnia just a breeding ground for future darklords?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for your patience. I edited this for clarity and to incorporate some of the comments; I hope that's okay. If I've gotten details wrong or omitted necessary details or, really, for whatever reason, please edit the question further. Good luck on getting an answer! \$\endgroup\$ May 20, 2020 at 17:49

1 Answer 1


Yes, it is officially recommended that NPCs don't have powers checks.

Page 44 from Realms of Terror (the Red Box Set):

"For nonplayer characters, however, the main thrust of a powers check - to promote roleplaying - is lost. For this reason, it is advised that Dungeon Masters use powers checks only for player characters."

  • \$\begingroup\$ Confirming, page 44 from book Realm of Terror in Ravenloft Campaign Setting box. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lucas
    Nov 30, 2020 at 14:49

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