Van Richten’s Guide To Ravenloft, New Strahd Campaign Book Available For Pre-Order
One of the most successful Dungeons & Dragons campaign books in recent years was The Curse of Strahd. It took players to the spooky nation of Barovia, pitting parties against the ancient vampire Strahd von Zarovich. Though he first appeared in a 1983 book, the 2016 D&D 5th edition is a fan-favorite. So, new campaign book Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft, now available for pre-order, expands on the popular setting with new locations, races, subclasses, and monsters. The new book will add 30 new domains to the setting, all of which will have unique horror elements for the D&D player to experience. Amanda Hamon, one of the game designers, promised that this new book will allow players to build on their Curse of Strahd adventure.
The titular figure in this book is the Van Helsing of the D&D world, Rudolph Van Richten. Rather than a first-person narrative like in the last rules expansion, Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, the information comes via correspondence between Van Richten and other heroes of the Domains of Dread. This faux correspondence highlights the areas in this demiplane outside of Barovia. Also, there are zombie adventures in a place called Falkovnia and undead experimentation adventures in Lamordia. A creepy and battle-ridden forest called Kalakeri or the fairy-tale setting of Dementlieu are just some of the new places players can go adventuring.
Image by Anna Podawarna via Wizards of the Coast
From the D&D website:
“Travel (perhaps even by choice) to familiar domains and discover new ones—as Ravenloft’s expanded Domains of Dread return for the first time in fifth edition! Includes rules and advice for building custom domains and Darklords using established horror tropes or your own special blend. Discover a host of new backgrounds and trinkets themed specifically for a horror setting, as well as new character lineages, including the dhampir, hexblood, and reborn. Find two new subclasses, the College of Spirits for bards and the Undead pact for warlocks.”
The really interesting thing about Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft will be the “Dark Gifts,” a new game mechanic. Like dragonmarks in the Eberron: The Last War setting, these will be items that players can apply to their backgrounds. This will bestow benefits to the player while also giving their characters a personal connection to one of the Dark Domains. More details on these will be released close to the book’s publication date.
Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft is available for pre-order now and will be published on May 18, 2021.
What do you think? Are you excited for this new chapter in the D&D multiverse? Share your thoughts, reactions, and favorite additions in the comments below.
Featured Image by Paul Scott Canavan via Wizards of the Coast
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.