51

Strahd's name is of generic Eastern European inspiration. He rules Barovia, his brother is Sergei, the woman in their love triangle is Tatyana — all extremely Eastern European names by the standards of Midwest America in the late 80s. So, there are some points of commonality among Eastern European languages — or, more to the point, points of commonality in ...


35

This requires answering a few other, related questions So I wanted to first spend some time declaring my sources: namely, the 2e books Ravenloft Campaign Setting, Darklords, and Islands of Terror, a selection of Ravenloft novels (including Carnival of Fear, Dance of Death, and others whose titles escape me), the 2e and 3.X Dungeon Master's Guide, the 3.X ...


29

The history of Ravenloft under WotC has consistently been "gothic horror", with no modern horror explicitness. From I6 Ravenloft and I10 Ravenloft II in 1e, to Domains of Dread and Expedition to Castle Ravenloft, the setting is "dark" in the sense that Hammer Films were dark, but if a minor can handle that kind of media they will be fine with Ravenloft. ...


28

It Depends on the Darklord Not all Darklords are also the temporal rulers of their Domains (though some are), and not all of them reveal or flaunt their true natures. Indeed, some Darklords are deliberately denied political rulership of their domains (such as the Darklord Adam) as a way to isolate them and make them lonely. Of those who conceal their true ...


28

Let me start off by saying that Curse of Strahd certainly has some very challenging encounters, many of which can be stumbled into at points when the party is woefully under-levelled. I've only run it once so far, but that did end in a TPK. It's important to note, however, that this type of danger is a common feature of sandbox campaigns. On top of that, ...


28

You're going to have to find another way out. Per the Curse of Strahd book (emphasis added): Alterations to Magic The land of Barovia resides in its own demiplane, isolated from all other planes, including the Material Plane. No spell — not even wish — allows one to escape from Strahd’s domain. Astral projection, teleport, plane shift, and similar ...


26

The Dark Lords are all about punishing people. They would be considered sadistic, if they demonstrated any pleasure in administering these punishments. It is the need for punishment that drives their selection of Dark Lords. Take Strahd von Zarovich himself... This cycle repeats ad infinium - the torture, the punishment, is in getting oh so close, but ...


21

Its body disintegrates and a lower-ranking modron evolves to take its place. In D&D 5th edition, destroyed monodrones are simply replaced with newly-built ones, and higher-ranking modrons are replaced by promotion of lower-ranking ones (Monster Manual, p. 224): If a modron is destroyed, its remains disintegrate. A replacement from the next lowest ...


18

Resolve the Dramatic Conflict Whether this will work for you depends entirely on your GM and how he sees the Ravenloft setting. One interpretation is that people are drawn through the mists to take part in a mystery play that shows them and the Lord the consequences of that Lord's evil. The only way out of a domain in this case is to finish the play. A ...


17

You're asking the wrong question, "maximum level" is irrelevant. It assumes a max level 2e character is calibrated with a max level Pathfinder character, which they're not, and that there is a maximum level, which there's not - see 2e DMG Chapter 3, "Above 20th Level," there is no cap in 2e. Your real question is "What level Pathfinder PCs are appropriately ...


17

The "Alterations to Magic" section on page 24 of the Curse of Strahd adventure mostly describes how teleportation and planar travel are affected by the Barovia demiplane. The "Cosmetic Spell Modifications" section, which is the part your question refers to, states (emphasis mine): At your discretion, a spell can be modified cosmetically to enhance the ...


16

Very early on in the supplement, under the section describing Barovian culture, myth, and society it states that all Barovians are expected to contribute in a variety of ways: Barovians live within a closed ecosystem. Every Barovian adult is expected to learn a trade or serve a function. Barovians stitch their own clothing, craft their own furniture, grow ...


16

RAI compliant: Major Artifacts can beat Ravenloft's travel restrictions. (Ravenloft PHB p.123): At the DM's discretion, the abilities and spell effects created by major artifacts may remain unchanged in Ravenloft. Major artifacts may even possess the power to pass through closed domain borders or burst free of Ravenloft's clutches entirely. However, evil, ...


14

The Domains of Dread are in the Shadowfell The plane of Barovia is a Domain of Dread, and Domains of Dread are located physically in the Shadowfell, in a far remote corner of the plane and hidden away from the rest of the Shadowfell. (DMG 51–52) The Raven Queen is also located in the Shadowfell, where she controls several domains, but that is where the ...


13

I'm afraid there is no clear cut answer. Ravenloft is supposed to be a rather dark, gothic horror setting. That has not changed. However, if this really means it's creepy and frightening depends entirely on the surroundings and mood of the game when played. I have played the very same adventure (although it wasn't 5e) once in bright daylight with people ...


13

I'd say no The way I read this: No spell — not even wish — allows one to escape from Strahd’s domain. Astral projection, teleport, plane shift, and similar spells cast for the purpose of leaving Barovia simply fail, as do effects that banish a creature to another plane of existence. These restrictions apply to magic items and artifacts that have ...


12

I'm assuming that "Count Strahd von Zarovich" is supposed to be a German noble name or of German origin, because of the dark and gothic setting and the fact that "von" was a German nobility title in earlier times and still exists in many older German names. Strahd is pronounced with a German long "a" (which would probably be like an English short "a"). Note ...


12

Nothing Using just the available D&D5E resources for Ravenloft, consult the section in Chapter Two of Curse of Strahd on Alterations to Magic (emphasis added): The land of Barovia resides in its own demiplane, isolated from all other planes, including the Material Plane. No spell — not even wish — allows one to escape from Strahd’s domain. Astral ...


12

The relationship between the two adventures is fascinating and confusing. The short answer is: No, they are not very similar, at least not in a way that ruins or spoils one adventure for someone who's played the other. On Castle Ravenloft itself: Big Expedition to Castle Ravenloft Spoiler: On the structure of the two adventures: So your players who've ...


11

In the Curse of Strahd module, it doesn't give an exact year that these events take place. Everything can be kind of fluid because of the nature of Barovia, which I won't get into because that might be a bit spoiler-y. However, according to the module: In terms of Barov's handling of the dusk elven royalty, again, no hard number of years, but in some ...


10

I'm afraid there's just no way for a party to escape Ravenloft if their DM doesn't want them to leave. There are no mechanics that could get you out of there without your DM's approval, and, in game, there are no known and not even remotely reliable methods - no spells, no special abilities, no nothing - that would work. There might be portals back to your ...


10

There is no such thing as "White Powers" Not officially, at least. Mind you, I'm no expert in Ravenloft, having read only the 2nd edition core book, 3rd edition core book, nearly all the creature books (Van Richten's guides and bestiaries), and maybe a dozen adventures. Other than that, I have browsed the Mistpedia extensively when creating my own campaigns....


10

You still can't use the Invocation under certain circumstances From the chapter 2, Lands of Barovia (CoS spoilers, emphasis mine): Other than the information above, all the normal rules for illumination apply in Barovia as usual. The rules for vision and light specify 3 distinct categories of illumination: The presence or absence of light in an ...


9

This answer is based off actual experience (I asked this exact question in middle school). I am basing this off of my German teacher's pronunciation whenever I showed her the module in 7th grade (1993) (yes, I was in 7th grade when I bought that box set - and in 8th grade when I bought I, Strahd. She said this: Strodd fon Tsar Oh Vichks (She was a dual ...


9

It depends on the kind of Domain you're dealing with There are two significant classes of Domain in Ravenloft - Core domains, and Islands of Terror. Let's address Core domains first. Core Domains Core domains are part of the so-called Core (Ravenloft Campaign Setting), a continent in Ravenloft composed of many Domains that are all connected to each other ...


9

In the broader cosmology (i.e. digging back to prior editions), Ravenloft is just one of many Demiplanes of Dread. Each of them is the Domain of a Dark Lord. The Domains are created by the Dark Powers as a customized prison and punishment for each Dark Lord. What the Dark Powers are or why they create these grand torture chambers is deliberately left unknown ...


9

Curse of Strahd (page 26) seems to say that the only nonhuman "natives" of Barovia are the dusk elves: The elves of Greenhall are not native to Barovia. Their origin, and the exact nature of Greenhall, are laid out in DDAL04-02 The Beast: To be more specific: So your option 2 is correct: The female elves are not dusk elves. (As far as I can tell, their ...


8

The villagers of Barovia definitely know what he is: if you look at the letter from the Burgomaster to the PCs, published in the House of Strahd adventure, it says: "[my daughter] has been bitten by a creature calling its race "vampyr". For over 400 years, he has drained this land of the lifeblood of its people..." They also recognise him as a threat to ...


8

No. You have already pointed out that: Deities and other planar rulers can prevent portals created by this spell from opening in their presence or anywhere within their domains. In past Ravenloft products, the Dark Powers have been established as having the power of over-deities within Ravenloft. (For details, please see this D&D lore question: What ...


8

There is absolutely no reliable way to leave Ravenloft Yes, that's right. The point of Ravenloft is to be an inescapable prison for the Dark Lords, their eternal torment, their eternal suffering. And everybody else that gets sucked into Ravenloft is there to extend their pain. That said, nearly half the published modules under 2nd edition had one way or ...


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