Over 30 years after its initial release, Ravenloft is still considered to be one of the all-time great Dungeons & Dragons modules. Ravenloft inspired a sequel and further campaigns, but the original story is now set to get an updated edition from Wizards of the Coast later this year. Additionally, the husband and wife team of Tracy and Laura Hickman are returning to write the new Ravenloft module for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition.
The Hickmans created the original Ravenloft module, which introduced Strahd von Zarovich, a vampire necromancer who quickly became one of the most memorable villains in the Dungeons & Dragons mythos. Strahd had deeper motivations than most villains, and he could be extremely difficult to defeat within the game.
“I think my favorite story in all of that was playing the game with one friend of ours who came to really understand the tragic story of Strahd,” said Tracy Hickman during an interview with Polygon. “So much so that he was prepared for the final encounter with the vampire, but he had such sympathy for his story that when at last he found him in the dungeon — in the crypt in this particular game — draped over the tomb of his lover he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. He felt so badly for the monster.”
While the original Ravenloft story was laid out in 32 pages, the Hickmans’ new updated version will clock in at 250 pages, with several new locations and secrets to explore. The Hickmans had actually been updating their own version of Ravenloft for decades during their annual playthrough with family and friends.
One of the bigger changes for the updated Ravenloft module will be the addition of tarokka cards, which Dungeon Masters will deal during the game to predict fortunes for the players in a fashion similar to tarot cards. The tarokka cards will also give the DM “specific instructions” about how to reveal the secrets of the storyline, to help create a more organic experience for the players.
The new Ravenloft module, Curse of Strahd and the tarokka deck will be released on March 19.
Are you excited about the new edition of Ravenloft? Roll for initiative and share your thoughts below!
Image Credit: Wizards of the Coast