A classic Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting will be returning this summer, as Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft is bringing the Demiplane of Dread into the fifth edition of the game. There is a good chance that existing D&D players have already visited Ravenloft, as Barovia from Curse of Strahd is considered to be part of the setting.
The major D&D campaign worlds are planets that connect to other planes through magic. Ravenloft is its own demiplane containing several realms, all of which are separated by a magical mist. These Domains of Dread are each ruled over by a Darklord. There have been times when the mists of Ravenloft ensnare adventurers from places like the Forgotten Realms or Greyhawk, and the only way out involves defeating the Darklord. Needless to say, many adventurers have perished while taking on a Darklord, with Strahd vanquishing many heroes in the halls of Castle Ravenloft.
The Domains of Dread will be returning this summer, as Wizards of the Coast has announced that Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft will be bringing the Ravenloft campaign setting back on May 18. Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft will feature details about more than thirty of the Domains, as well as their corresponding Darklords. These will include familiar faces and places, like Strahd in Barovia, the twisted fairy tale realm of Dementlieu, and the storm-lashed country of Lamordia. There are some classic Domains that have been reworked, with Falkovnia now being home to a zombie apocalypse and its twisted Darklord being the only thing preventing the realm from being overrun.
Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft will also feature new content that can be used in other D&D campaigns. The horror-themed D&D races from Unearthed Arcana (the dhampir, the hexblood, and the reborn) will all appear as playable lineages. The Dark Gifts of Ravenloft are similar to Backgrounds, in that they’ll help tie people to the Domains of Dread, along with giving them powers that have specific drawbacks.
There are also two new D&D subclasses in the book: the College of Spirits for Bards and the Undead pact for Warlocks. College of Spirit bards can evoke the powers of stories, while Undead Warlocks gain access to dark powers that chip away at their humanity. Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft will also include new monsters and guides for altering existing monsters for a horror setting.
Curse of Strahd has been one of the most popular D&D campaign settings in the latest edition of the game. Fans love the mixture of gothic horror and high-fantasy, as their characters enter a realm where the odds are stacked against them. Ravenloft was fleshed out during the days of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, and it will be exciting to see which of the infamous Domains have returned, which ones have been reshaped over the centuries, and what new realms await the players who are unfortunate enough to find themselves trapped within the mists.
Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft will be released on May 18, 2021.
Source: Wizards of the Coast