Beyond Gothic Horror in the new D&D Book Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft


Slasher, macabre fairy tale, zombie apocalypse, and that's not even all

Brand new and exciting news from Wizards of the Coast, with Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft, a new horror adventure book for Dungeons & Dragons due on 18th May 2021. 

The book will expand on the ever popular world explored in Curse of Strahd, which saw players find the Count amid the mists of Barovia, in Ravenloft. However, this is not the only Domain of Dread that makes up Ravenloft, and each contains its own dark lords and horror styles, which this book will allow you to explore, including new adventures, monsters, lineages, and subclasses. 

“I’m a huge fan of all things horror, so it was an absolute thrill to frame this book around bringing frightening elements like mummy lords, cosmic terrors, and urban legends to more D&D tables,” said Wes Schneider, senior game designer and lead designer of Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft. “Working with exciting new voices in horror and visual artists like D&D concept artist Shawn Wood was essential to make sure we’re updating the aesthetic for today’s fans while staying true to the roots of Ravenloft.”

Examples given include the domain of Lamordia, which explores the horror of experimentation in creating undead beings from deceased body parts by Dr. Viktra Mordenheim,  the surreal, fairytale masquerades of Dementlieu; endless zombie hordes of Falkovnia, and more. Plus, there'll also be rules and advice for how to create custom domains, meaning if the many variations of horror offered don't suit your favourite, you can create your own. 

Given the topic, it will also contain advice on playing safely within groups, ensuring every member of the party is comfortable with the content of the adventure. 

In addition, you'll be able to create more terrifying characters with Dark Gifts, which offer benefits, but at a deep cost. You'll have the opportunity to play as a dhampir created by a vampire, a hexblood descended from a hag, or a reborn brought back from the dead, allowing you to play around with features of monsters that were previously unplayable in core D&D. Plus, there's additional subclasses, with the College of Spirits for the bards, and the Undead pact for warlocks. 

The game is full of easter eggs and nods to old D&D lore, which you can also see within the cover art promised. The header image is the alternative cover by Scott M. Fischer, available only through game stores, and to the right is the standard cover by Anna Podedworna. The book will release on 18th May 2021.

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