Showing posts with label ravenloft. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ravenloft. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Mail Call: 2nd Edition Settings

The one thing nearly everyone agrees on is that AD&D 2nd Edition had some fantastic settings.  At the time these settings were new there were so many and I was in college so I never had the chance to play them.  So  I stuck with Ravenloft.  It was a perfect match for me really.  Gothic horror, D&D, what was not to love?  I was always curious about the other settings though. 

Now thanks to DriveThruRPG's Print on Demand service I can satisfy my curiosity without breaking my bank. 

First up the hardcover edition of the Spelljamer Campaign Setting. This had been the boxed set, now it is a quality color hardcover book.   I am used to a high-quality product from DriveThru on their POD but this one is above and beyond.

There are some maps and what had been inserts from the boxed sets that are now printed in the book, so I suggest getting the PDF along with the book to print these out, but the book is just fantastic. I want to try using this with my current games, Basic-era and 5th Edition,  so I hope to report on well it converts over to either of those systems.  

I also grabbed the Planescape Campaign Setting. Again this had been a boxed set and is now a single softcover book.  Again, this set had some great maps and full-color inserts that are replicated here.  This is also a good case for picking up the PDFs as well. 



Both books are really fantastic looking and I am getting a great vibe from these. I would have loved them in the 2nd Ed days. I can't wait to try them in my current games especially in 5e.  Outside of some monsters, I think it could work out well.

In preparation, I even got out my old Monstrous Compendiums to read over. 

I also grabbed some Ravenloft books to replace one I sold and one I never bought.



Domains of Dread is largely as I remembered it.  The one I had back in the day was hardcover of course.  Expedition to Castle Ravenloft is the 3.5 version of the Ravenloft adventure.  I have the other "Expedition" books and this one compares well to the ones I have already.

With the new Ravenloft book for 5e on the way and the ones already out for 5e this will give a good way to see how well they all flow.  In truth, there is little in any edition that can't be converted over. 

The PODs at DriveThruRPG have been great and are getting better.  







Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Ravenloft Returns to 5e D&D (Again!)

The word is out that next D&D book/campaign setting is going to be Ravenloft and I could not be more pleased!  

Ravenloft coverRavenloft cover

What do we know so far?

It will be released on May 18th, 2021 and it has both the normal and game store exclusive covers.  I have already preordered both.

Thirty Domains of Dread will be detailed. These include Lamordia, Dementlieu (both from the original 2nd Ed set), Kalakeri (new), and Falkovnia (revised).

Likewise, we are getting old, new, and revised Darklords. One that seems to be causing a stir is  Dr. Viktra Mordenheim and her creation Alyss. Not sure if she is a genderswapped Viktor, a daughter or something else.  I mean, lets be honest, even Hammer did the wives and daughters of all their great movies. Ravenloft can too.

Gothic Horror will be covered as well as more traditional "ghost" stories, psychological horror, dark fantasy, and D&D's own brand of cosmic horror.  Which is good, I love all that Far Realm stuff.

While the book is called "Van Richten's Guide" the eponymous Van Righten disappeared before he could complete his last volume "Van Richten's Guide to Witches."  So I am expecting, and am promised, new monster hunters to carry on his legacy.   Our cover girl appears to be Ezmerelda d’Avenir, one of the newer vampire hunters in Barovia.

There are two new sub-classes, College of Spirits Bard and the Undead Pact Warlock.

For lineages, there are dhampir, hexblood, or reborn characters, which offer vampire, hag, and undead lineages, respectively. 

Characters can also get "dark gifts" to aid them in their fights...or to help them become the monster they truly want to be.

There will be 40 pages on monsters; some new and some familiar ones.  I am expecting to see a Brain in the Jar myself. 

And a new adventure. A new take on the House of Lament.  

Ravenloft through the editions

It also sounds like they have a wide variety of voices and inputs on this which is great; horror is a universal concept. Many are horror authors.  I while I do love my Gothic Horror, I also love all horror.  I am looking forward to seeing the Vistani become something more than an uncomfortable stereotype. 

So folks are complaining about the "loss" of Falkovnia, but's let's be honest here. Falkovnia and Vlad Drakov were nothing more than the "leftovers" after Barovia and Strahd mined all the Dracula lore. I never even used it much back in the 2e days and I am certainly not missing it now. Falkovnia is now a zombie apocalypse land and I think that works better to be honest.  We didn't really have one of those.  

Sithicus may or may not show up, but Lord Soth certainly won't.  Also not a surprise really. Those rights were a tangled mess anyway.

I am rather looking forward to this book.  Ravenloft was MY game for all of 2nd Ed AD&D and college. I bought every campaign book, adventure, and yes even novel I could get my hands on.  I was contributing to the Kargatane official netbooks of Ravenloft material.  My 2nd Ed AD&D is Ravenloft; I don't separate the two.

My only question is do I put this on my D&D5 shelf, my horror shelf, or my Ravenloft shelf?

Links

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

DMSGuild Witch Project: 5e Warlocks as Witches

Yesterday I reviewed some DMSGuild Druid circles that would work as witches.  Today I am going to look at some Warlock Pacts that would work as witches. 

For many a witch is a distaff warlock, but as you can imagine that has never really worked for me.  That is not to say you can't do it. I am currently playing a very witchy warlock. In fact the whole point of the character is to see if I can get a witch-like experience of the Rules As Written warlock.   



For these reviews, I am still following my rules


Warlock Patron: The Witch

This PDF is one page (cover not included in the download).  It is a PWYW with a suggested price of $1.00.  

While it is called the Warlock Patron The Witch, I am not seeing much to differentiate it from other warlocks. Nor anything about it that is particularly witchy.  I was hoping for warlocks that make pacts with ancient witches and Witch Queens like Baba Yaga, or even Tasha/Iggwilv.  So some neat ideas here and there, but not pulled together well enough for me. 

Which is too bad, the cover art had a lot of promise.


Warlock Patron- Hala

Hala was the Goddess of Witches for Ravenloft.  She was introduced in the late 2nd Edition days along with the Ravenloft Witch. 

This PDF is three pages (1 cover, 1.5 content) and sells for PWYW, suggested $0.50. 

In this case the warlocks do choose Hala as their patron and we get a Warlock pact that is very, very similar to what we saw in 2nd Ed Ravenloft, Van Richten's Monster Hunter Compendium Vol. 3. It works so well in fact that this could be the model for other witchy-type warlocks.  

Easily worth the $0.50.

Gingerbread Witch

This one is a neat idea.  A Warlock with a special kind of patron to become a Gingerbread Witch, ala the witch from "Hanzel and Gretel."
This PDF is a straight sale of $0.75 and you get three pages of class features to the Warlock. There is also a Gingerbread familiar which is a nice touch.  Though I am less impressed with the art; the author uses the Gingerbread man from the movie "Shrek."  This is doubly disappointing given the number of public domain images that could have been used or artists out there that would have done art for this. 
While the idea has some merit I don't see a lot of people playing this as a class option long term.


Lastly, I have one that covers Warlocks, Druids, Sorcerers and Wizards all as witches.

A Witch with Options- Witch Character Options

This 9 page PDF is PWYW with a suggestion of $2.00.  It covers four different subclass archetypes that can be used as the witch.  

There is Druid: Circle of the Coven, which draws on the natural powers associated with the Fey.  Sorcerer: Witch Stigma, which is a sorcerer with faerie blood, or witch blood if you prefer. Warlock: Haggardly Pact which is a pact with hags and finally the Wizard Arcane Tradition: Coven, which is similar to the witch kit found in AD&D 2nd ed or the witch subclass for wizards in D&D 4e.

Each one is like viewing the witch through the lens of the stated class. Each one also provides something unique, but also each one is an incomplete picture.  I think what might be fun is to have a coven of five witches, each one represented by a subclass here and one more as a Witch class. OR create a witchy subclass for the cleric.

That would be fun to try. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Review: Path of Horror Cards

I am a sucker for anything to add to my games. Cards. Stange dice to use only special occasions (not required to use like a d7), board games, props.  I know I don't *need* any of those things, but I like them and they are fun.  I'm going to spend some time talking about some of these items and how I am using them in the next couple of months.  

Up first is something I grabbed at the recent Free RPG Day.  

Path of Horror is a Story Path Card collection From Nocturnal Media.  

They retail for $11.99. DriveThruRPG also has them as PDFs you can print or POD for $3.99 and $11.99 respectively.

These cards in particular have a horror theme. 

The Game Master keeps the "Theme" cards and then deals out 2-3 cards to each player. The play can then play their cards at appropriate times.   In the end the Game Master can play the Climax cards.

The theme cards include things like "Lost Cause" or "Hint of Madness."  Other cards are "Remembered Dream" or "Found Item" or "Lurker."  The cards are all numbered, so lower number cards are played before higher ones.   They add a bit of color to your game and a bit more roleplaying and input from the players.  They also require the Game Master to think a little more on their feet than usual since not everything can be planned out.


Currently, my son is using them in his "Curse of Strahd" D&D 5 game and I am planning on using them in my "Ordinary World" for Night Shift and "War of the Witch Queens" for Basic-era D&D. 

There is quite a lot that can be done with these cards and since they rely on player input they can also be reused a lot. 

What attracted me to them originally was the cover of course.  The art reminded me of this card deck I had as a kid.  

Certainly worth giving them a try in your games.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Weekend Gaming: Wormholes and Chicken

Liam and Connor's 5e game is going on this weekend.  They are going deeper into Curse of Strahd, but as typical the party made a left turn when they should have just kept going straight.

While looking for a passageway across a mountain range they came across a "cave", turns out it was a wormhole, or rather the passageway for a small purple worm.

A special treat, we are using my old Ral Partha Ravenloft minis.

On the dinner front.  Tonight we made chicken stroganoff,  potatoes, and homemade focaccia bread.




In the meantime, I got some Blu-Rays in the mail for my October Horror Movie Marathon.


50 movies so far, ready to go!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

#RPGaDAY2018 DAY 15: Describe a Tricky RPG experience you enjoyed.

Here we are, the half-way mark!



DAY 15: Describe a Tricky RPG experience you enjoyed.

Back in my later college days, my old High School DM had moved down to my own.  We were not gaming together at this point; I was working on getting into grad school and he had a new girlfriend if I remember right.
But anyway he invited me over to help him run the "Nightmares of Barovia" adventure option found in I10: Ravenloft II House on Gryphon Hill.

He introduced me to his group and we began.  I ran Ravenloft II and everytime they characters fell asleep he would pick up with the same characters in Ravenloft I6.

We had to keep track of various things that players were totally oblivious too.

We played it at a marathon session over a Halloween Weekend.  This was back when my school (SIU) through some pretty notorious Halloween parties, but the city had shut it all down the university was send everyone home.

The adventures were great, individually.  Together...welll I don't think anyone at TSR actually ran the "Nightmare" option.   But it was great.  Though by hour 36-38 I was done.

Still it was hard, lots of juggling and so, so much fun as a DM.  I would do it again in the drop of a hat, but I'dd need someone that whose style would be a good match for this.  Plus we would need to meet ahead to discuss how to handle things not covered in the two adventures.

I'd also need a group of players that know of Strahd, but never played anything with him in it.  Or at least never played I6 or I10.


It would be fantastic!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Red, White and Blue Rose

June may have been "Blue Rose month" but I have so much more to say and do!

I am going to have a couple of upcoming "Plays Well With Others" coming up.  More details later, but here are some teasers.

First, something that was inspired by my old "Black Rose" game (Blue Rose + Ravenloft) and something that came to me in a flash on a recent run.  Something I am calling "Blood Red Rose".


Blue Rose + Vampire the Masquerade (2nd Edition).

Next is less of a Plays Well With Others and more of a "Campaign Model".
I give you my "White Rose"


Blue Rose + Swords & Wizardry White Box.

This is going to be great.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Review: Ravenloft 3.0

The 3.0 era was on us.  I had just come back to D&D from a long hiatus and to my surprise we were getting a new Ravenloft setting and it was going to be penned by Swords & Sorcery Studios/Arthaus/White Wolf.  Say what you like about WW, they do know vampires.

Ravenloft 3.0 was one of those books I bought in the new 3.x era and I loved how it looked.  I splurged and grabbed the limited edition version from my favorite local game store.


I thought the art was fantastic and loved how well it adapted itself to the 3.0 rules.  But I had already had some experiences with 3.0 and even had pictured up some Swords & Sorcery Studios books and enjoyed those as well. The races were a nice treat to be honest. For the first time I really felt like I could run a Ravenloft game with the likes of gnomes, halflings and especially half-orcs, now rebranded as Calibans and the new Giogoto.



I think though I was expecting more at the time.  SSS was part of White Wolf like I mentioned and I was hoping for some of what made Vampire: The Masquerade so good to be here.  In re-reading it now, so many years later, I find I had unrealistic expectations.  In truth this book is a much better organized and updated version of the 2e Domains of Dread book. The nice thing about Ravenloft (and many of the D&D worlds) is that the plot kept moving along despite edition changes.  Though there is also a nice timeline included so DMs can do what they want.

This book has a black and white interior when most others were going full color.  To me this is a feature, not a bug.  Ravenloft is world of shades of grey and the art here is helps convey this.   The book is a basic campaign guide including the people, the lands and most important for Ravenloft, the horrors of the lands.  There are some new feats and skills. No new spells, but suggestions on how magic will be altered by the Mists.  There is even a section on the Gods of  Ravenloft.

Since most of this book covers the lands, their inhabitants and the Cultural Level of each, there is not a lot of crunch.  Translation: You can use this with any other version of D&D you like.  Even the feats look like they would work well with 5e still.  Even the section on "Fear, Horror and Madness" would work well.

It lacks large foldout maps of the 2e days, but it is a surprisingly good resource to me these days.
Well worth picking up.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Review: Curse of Strahd (D&D 5e)

Quick question. Who played Dracula?

Your answer might depend on a lot of thing from when you first saw Dracula in a movie to your age to what your cultural background is.  I also bet that the choice of actor might also say something about your gaming choices, but I am not getting into that today.
Like Dracula, who keeps coming back from the grave to scare or charm a new generation, Strahd the Vampire and his home in Ravenloft keep coming back for each version of the D&D game.

You can easily buy a Ravenloft product to fit any version of D&D you like.  There have been subtle changes with each round of designers and editors.  To extend the Dracula movie metaphor more, I6 Ravenloft is "Hammer Horror" (Christopher Lee).  2e Ravenloft Domains of Dread (boxed sets and books) were "Bram Stoker's Dracula" (Gary Oldman).  3rd Edition was split between Wizards own Expedition to Castle Ravenloft ("Dracula 2000," Gerard Butler) and the Ravenloft setting from White Wolf/Arthaus (Lestat movies).  4e's board game, Undead books and Shadowfell books were different enough that these are more like the NBC TV series Dracula (Jonathan Rhys Meyers).
This new book is "Dracula Untold" (Luke Evans).

I have converted Strahd to a couple of different systems myself.  I have been playing in Ravenloft, the castle and the land, since the original module came out in 1983.  I played it when it first came out and it is one of maybe three adventures I have run under every version of D&D I have ever played.  Ravenloft has history both in game and in the real world.  It was my world of choice in the AD&D 2e years and the effect it has had on adventure design can't be overstated.   To call it a sea change is not hyperbole.

So the new 5e Ravenloft has a lot to live up too.

I mentioned here back in the Summer that I was going to run the original I6 Ravenloft adventure for my family at Gen Con 2015.  I spent most of July prepping for that, working out Strahd's 5e stats, converting the major magic items, filling in some details.  None of it was hard work really. Again I *know* this adventure like few others.  The hardest part was balancing out what has become the de rigueur method of handling a D&D 5 encounter with the more plot-driven nature of the Ravenloft adventure.   Having this new Curse of Strahd book then would have helped me out a lot.

The new book is a retelling of the same I6 Ravenloft adventure from 1983. On the down side there is not much about the "Demi-Plane of Dread" as we knew it back in 2e.  This is more 4e Shadowfell.  Including it as part of the Shadowfell actually gives the DM more flexibility to be honest.   So that is good.  I did not notice much from the disappointing 3e Expedition to Castle Ravenloft here. So that is also a plus.

The book itself is hardcover, full color, 256 pages. Suitable for levels 1 to 10 for D&D 5.  The "Castle Ravenloft" adventure itself has been upgraded to level 9.

The first 90 pages or so are some introductions, some background and the updates Castle Ravenloft adventure.   There is an introduction and forward here too. The subtle snark directed at the likes of Twilight in Tracy Hickman's forward can't be missed.  There is a page on how to run a horror-themed game. It's nice, but nothing new and by no means complete.   If you really want to run a horror game find a copy of +Kenneth Hite's "Nightmares of Mine" or Spooky: The Definitive Guide To Horror Gaming.

The book is basically a sandbox, with Castle Ravenloft (the place and the adventure) in the "middle".  It is designed for adventurers from 1st to 10th level.  There are a few really interesting "side treks" including the low level "Death House", the medium level "Argynostholt" and the high level "The Amber Temple".  Death House is available for free from WotC.  So I would grab that first if you are on the fence about this.

Souls vs. Shells
One of the new "features" of this book is the idea that not everyone in Barovia has a soul.  Now if you were playing this as a horror game then this would be a truly frightening concept. The scenarios that are implicit in this are numerous.  Hapless villagers moving through their lives in drudgery, unfeeling save for a pervasive dread.  Or worse yet the same said villagers coming to the PCs begging them to find their lost souls.  Or PCs born in Barovia discovering they are among the "Soulless Shells".   Sadly though as a D&D game I see this only working as an excuse for PCs to murder bystanders.

There are some interesting character options, like the new Haunted One character background.  The iconic magic items like the Sunsword and the Holy Symbol of Ravenkind are here too.  As well as the Tome of Strahd.   The Gothic Trinkets are a really nice touch to be honest.
There are some new monsters too.  The is a fantastic full color tear out map of Castle Ravenloft (roughly 32" by 24") on one side and Barovia on the next.

I think in the end I was hoping for more.  Maybe not so much as a repeat of the 2e Ravenloft Domains of Dread campaign world, but something...more.

There will be a Tarokka deck you can buy later.
http://dnd.wizards.com/products/tabletop-games/rpg-products/tarokka-deck
I think I still have my 2e one around somewhere, but I prefer to use Tarot cards myself.

You can read the table of contents here.
http://tribality.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/01_CoS_TableofContents_4s09.pdf
I got excited when I saw that "Barovian Witch" listed under NPCs and had hoped to see an update to the 2nd Ed "Witches of Hala" but sadly this was not the case.  But it has given me some ideas.

I know. This is Pathfinder, but this is what a witch in Ravenloft could look like.
Ok bottom line time.  Who should buy this and who should avoid it?

Buy this if...
You are a fan of Ravenloft and want to have a complete collection.
You are a fan D&D 5e and want to have a complete collection.
A fan of adventure design and want to see how a 1st ed to 5th ed conversion can be done.
If you are planning to ever run Ravenloft under 5e.
Like the idea of playing in the Barovian sandbox.  This is actually a big one to be honest.

Avoid if...
You are not planning on running the classic Ravenloft adventure.
You are not playing D&D 5e.
Want to do your own conversion of one of the many options out there for taking on Strahd in his castle.

There are no new classes or races.  Not even rules for playing a Vistani.
There are no new spells or rituals either.  This seems like a bigger miss to me.

In the end you have to decide for yourself.  I am certainly not someone that needs tips on playing horror game, nor am I going to run Ravenloft (the adventure) under 5e (already did it) and don't need help converting.  There isn't anything here I could not have done on my or haven;t already done on my own.  But I got it anyway.  Hopefully there will be a sequel for levels 11-20.

Just like Dracula, Strahd can (and will) come back.  There are even details in the book about how it happens.  So maybe a sequel is already in the works?

Now that would be fun!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Ravenloft, Now on DM's Guild

Curse of Strahd is coming out on March 15.  If you live near a Wizard's Premier store you can get your copy now.  With this releaseWotC has also opened up Ravenloft to the DM's Guild.

http://media.wizards.com/2016/downloads/DND/CoS_DMsGuild.pdf
http://support.dmsguild.com/hc/en-us/categories/202531048-DMs-Guild-General-Information

I hadn't really considered doing anything for the DM's Guild.  Not because of the pricing structure, but because it was more restrictive than the OGL, but this might make me change my mind really.

Back in college during the dawn of 2nd Ed I played the hell out of Ravenloft.  For me really Ravenloft and Second Edition are synonymous.  I know my experience is not entirely unique.  Of course back then I was a poor college student; money could go for pizza, beer or D&D books.  Guess which one usually lost.

The result was what we all did back then, we wrote our own material.  Now I will admit that my writing from the late 80s and early 90s was not great. So maybe only 5% of things I did then would be worth publishing in any forum or form.  But some of that stuff I really liked and would like to see it see the light of day.  So to speak.

Time to dive into my archives and see what I have.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Link Roundup

Lots of things going on today. So here are a list of links I have been reading or need to read in detail still.  Thought I'd share.

Curse of Strahd is coming.  Ravenloft was my all time favorite module to play and run. The Demiplane of Ravenloft was my world of choice during the 2nd Edition days.  So I am finding it hard to wait till this new book comes out.  Thankfully my FLGS is a Wizard's Premier store, so I should be picking up my copy this weekend.  But until then here are some things to keep us all busy.
Looks great so far!

The Witch is out. The movie that is. I have been following this film for months, so I hope it lives up to the hype.  So far I pleased with everything I read, though I am not trying to read to much to be honest.  Some of my fellow bloggers have already seen it.
I need to see this movie.

Once a again a tip o' the hat to my good friend +Calvin Heighton at Calvin's Canadian Cave of Cool for this one.
It's a "Dragon Wagon" with a surprisingly familiar font.


Is this the conveyance of some mad wizard?  A collector from the future? A Gamma World/D&D crossover?  No idea, but damn if I don't want to do something with this.
Here are some more links of information/pictures.

Need to learn a new language?  Well there is a Chrome add-in that simulates language immersion by swapping out words you read with those of the chosen language.  Which language?  Any language in Google Translate's database.  Trying it out now.

Finally the same folks that brought us the Harry Potter fan film The Greater Good just finished their newest fan film, Severus Snape and the Marauders.  I do love a good fan film!



I have to say the casting of this is spot on.

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Return of Strahd

The news is finally out, Ravenloft is coming back.
I have known about this for a while now from multiple reliable sources but obviously could not say anything.

Curse of Strahd is the next campaign for D&D 5.

http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/news/return-ravenloft

http://dnd.wizards.com/products/tabletop-games/rpg-products/curse-strahd

So yeah...I am REALLY excited about it.

I just hope that Barovia is not relocated to the Forgotten Realms. We all know it is from Mystara!

But in any case this looks great and I can't wait till March 5th!  (Yeah I get new releases 10 days early).



Thursday, August 27, 2015

RPG a Day 2015, Day 27

Day 27: Favorite idea for merging two games into one

I have had a few to be honest.  In fact they get their own label here, Plays Well With Others.

My favorite though is "Black Rose", my mixing of Blue Rose with Ravenloft.

Here are some of the posts from back then.


It was a lot of fun.


Sunday, August 16, 2015

RPG a Day 2015, Day 16

Day 16: Longest Game Session Played

Back in college I went over to my High School DM's house.  He had come down to college where I was because I had talked the place up so much.

We co ran a Ravenloft game, "Dreams of Ravenloft" where basically one of us ran I6 and the other I10.  Anytime the characters fell asleep they would wake up in the other reality.  Not know which one was real or not.

I went over on a Friday afternoon and we played straight to Sunday night.  This was back before cell phones so my roommates had no idea where I was.  So it was only about 56 hours, but it was 56 continuous hours, minus some time for naps.

Can't do that anymore.



Monday, August 3, 2015

Back From Gen Con!

Well another Gen Con has come and gone.
I had a great time.  I got to meet up with some old friends, met some new friends and "met" people in person that I have only talked to on social media.

Wednesday night we played Baker Street with author and designer +Bryce Whitacre.  It was so much fun.  My kids had a blast with it. Expect a full review soon.

Every night we played Ravenloft, the classic I6 module.  I used the fifth edition conversion I found, but I am suspecting now after playing 5e for a bit that 5e characters and bit stronger than their 1e counterparts.

The entry hall of Castle Ravenloft

Strahd's crypt, Saturday night.
We managed to get through the entire adventure over the course of Gen Con which was perfect really.

I even got my original module from 1983 signed by Tracy Hickman.



We got in an RPGA/DDI game as well and a few others.  Most were good, but we also had two clunkers.   ProTip: When you are demoing a game and the one image looks like another, but different meaning image, don't throw your graphic designer under the bus. It makes YOU look bad.

I also got to meet in person John and Matt of ODAM Publishing. I didn't hit their booth in time to grab a book, but the copy they had left looked fantastic.

More on what I did pick up later.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Halfway, Fortunes of Ravenloft and the Foreshadowing

Got in a lot of gaming this weekend!

Saturday the Order of the Platinum Dragon found themselves still stuck in the mists.  They stumbled on to Halfway.  Here they met the Dealer and had the Fortunes of Ravenloft read.  We are not going to play Ravenloft till Gen Con, but I have 5 nights to run it.



I used Tarot cards for the Fortunes (because why not).  I have done that in the past, but I also found this AD&D1st Ed to D&D5 conversion of Ravenloft that also used Tarot cards.
With the PDF out I can print both of these out and run it from those.

Sunday we went "back in time" to the Dragonslayers.  They finished up their exploration of the Barrier Peaks.  Here they encountered, for the very first time, the Illithids.  Something that was not lost on my kids.

The "Order of the Platinum Dragon" characters are all the children or grand children of the "Dragonslayers".   So I am setting up the Mind Flayer threat a generation early.

I know what I have in store for the Order, I just need to figure out what is next for the Dragonslayers.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Castle Amber, Butterbeer and the Order of the Platinum Dragon

Sunday was a humid, rainy day in Chicagoland.  So what better to do than stay inside and play some D&D!

We decided to finish up Castle Amber taking them straight through all the wilderness encounters.  The boys meet Skylla, though true to her rumored appearance in the D&D cartoon she appears as an old woman. They also have no idea that she is evil.


She did help them a bit on where various towns were.  She wanted out of the Averoigne to get back to Glantri.  There is a small problem now, but I will get to that.

The boys decided that the name of their group is The Order of the Platinum Dragon. We celebrated with some homemade butterbeer.


It was quite good, but we could saved time and had the same amount of calories and fat with we had just drank some melted butter with a couple tablespoons of sugar.

The Order managed to dispatch the Beast of Averoigne and The Colossus of Ylourgne. They were able to con and bribe the Ring of Eibon from the Archbishop.  All in all, a really good session.


The Order summoned the Tomb of Stephen Amber and the mists closed in on them.  Normally that is where the adventure ends and they are back in their own world.  Instead when the mists cleared they discovered they are in Barovia.  Well, they don't know that yet, all they know is they are not home yet.

The Sword of Sylarie was not destroyed as per the module. It is half of what will become the Sun Sword.

So up next it is the Order vs. Castle Ravenloft.
Time to grab my copy of Ravenloft and start reading again.  Should not be to bad, I have run this many, many times.

It's going to be a lot of fun!