Chances are we are going to go see the new Dracula movie tonight. But tomorrow I would like to get in some gaming. My home group is nearly done with Castle Amber so given the season (and their levels) I want to segue right into Ravenloft.
For those that have played it you know that Stephen Amber send the party back to their own reality once they free him. But what if he didn't? What if didn't have the power to do that since freeing him also meant letting go of all his power. Stephen fades, Château d' Amberville crumbles to dust and the party is left standing in the mists. Where are they to go?
I have for years talked about the similarities between Château d' Amberville and Castle Ravenloft and the connections between Mystara and the Demi-Plane of Dread. It is likely that this is all taking place in the Demi-plane of Dread (Ravenloft) or the Dimension of Nightmares (Mystara) where even the Immortals fear to go.
Why do this?
I was thinking about the Doctor Who Series 2 episodes "Rise of the Cybermen" and "Age of Steel". The Doctor, Rose and Mickey (who had not traveled with them before except for one episode) get stuck in an alternate universe. Mickey stays behind.
The pay off on this is when we get to the Series 2 Finale and Mickey is back, and not just back, but since he traveled through "the Void" he and Rose are saved from being killed outright by the Daleks and it was Mickey who passed on his time travel energy (or void energy) to the Genesis Ark.
What's the point of this? Well the reason they went to the parallel universe were not apparant at the time, but paid off in the finale. From a story arc they all, including and especially Mickey, needed to go to that parallel universe when they did.
My players are in Ravenloft because they have to be. They needed to free Stephen Amber and stop the Amber family because that gets them to Castle Ravenloft which in turn gets them the Sunsword and the Holy Symbol of Ravenkind. They are going to need those in the coming darkness.