Thursday, July 25, 2019

Everything Goes Better with Ravenloft

Well, maybe not everything, but I think Ravenloft could mix with several of the other D&D settings like chocolate and peanut butter.

Art by Bruce Pennington
Blood Red Sun [Dark Sun/Ravenloft]
Some Dying Earth stories have more than a touch of the Gothic to them (Clark Ashton Smith's Zothique stories immediately come to mind), so this is really a natural. As the sun dimmed and sputtered, the Dark Powers grew stronger and fed upon the energy of the planet, slowing leeching it of life. Replace the sorcerer-kings with the Dark Lords, and (probably) loose the mists. Some tweaking of the domains might be in order, to make them a little less Dracula and a little bit more Vathek, but that's up to you.

Planet of the Vampires [Spelljammer/Ravenloft]
Each domain is a world, and the mists and phlogiston are combined into one. Maybe give Spelljammer more of a 18th Century or even Victorian vibe: Combine Kipling (his sci-fi stories like "With the Night Mail" and his horror yarns) with Stoker.

And why limit myself to AD&D settings?

Terror Under the Eternal Sun [Hollow World/Ravenloft]
I'm thinking ditch most of the Hollow World idea, except for it being the repository of things preserved from the outer world. Take it back to it's Burroughsian roots and have a land of dinosaurs and mostly primitive peoples, except for these areas and mists containing weird, otherworld realms of madness. Probably the realms of dreads should be a bit smaller, maybe just a castle and a village in some cases. Like Turok meets Dracula.


Tedankhamen said...

Back in the day, I ran a Mystara game where someone got ported to Ravenloft. Committed suicide On arrival rather than get level drained. Player was a weird chap.

Jack Guignol said...

The Dark Sun/Ravenloft mash-up is kinda canon: Ravenloft pulled a bit of Athas into the Mists and now it's a domain ruled over (supposedly) by a Dark Lord who was a Sorcerer-King. (If I'm remembering right, the Sorcerer-King's chief templar is the real Dark Lord.)

bombasticus said...

That's really good. The best part for me is the final note on scale. If the entire world shrinks to a castle and a village (and maybe an underground complex) you get a great claustrophobic expressionistic effect . . . we have always lived near the dungeon, for the world is hollow & I have touched the sky. It also makes resources count a lot more because much of it is non-renewable except under certain rules and you can't just hit the road if you screw it up. Thinking about it.

Trey said...

Yeah, that was one of the planks of my re-imagined Ravenloft pitch: make it just one valley: one Gormenghastian castle, one small village.