Getting Started on Ravenloft



Jan 21, 2007 14:54:36
So, my group has just finished Expedition to Castle Ravenloft and I wanna start them on the real 3.5 RAVENLOFT Campaign setting. How do I get started?


Jan 21, 2007 15:10:23
i would say go to your local book/hobby/gaming store and see if they have any of the books in stock in the back of the store or in the used rpg books section
or buy them as pdfs fron a few places online
you might be able to buy the hardcovers online from places like amazon or barnes & noble


Jan 21, 2007 16:43:43
What books do I need?


Jan 21, 2007 16:55:19
i do believe that there are three core books
the campaign book, players handbook and the DMs guide...start with them and if you can get those, build a bigger library if available


Jan 21, 2007 19:09:21
The RL Campaign book from Arthaus is for 3E. The RL PHB & DMG are for 3.5 instead. Buying both the RLPHB and RLC book isn't necessary, although some folks prefer the version of the character classes presented in the campaign book to the 3.5 book's versions.

There are also two versions of the Ravenloft monster-book from Arthaus, "Denizens of Darkness" for 3E and "Denizens of Dread" for 3.5.

After the core books, the Gazetteers are practically a must for a full-fledged campaign, and "Legacies of the Blood" is an excellent buy as well. (Be warned: "Heroes of Light" and "Champions of Darkness" are widely regarded as pretty awful, compared to the rest of Arthaus's d20 products.)


Jan 21, 2007 22:19:48
You just need a campaign setting.

If you're just looking for world information any of the old world books will do.
The modern Ravenloft Third Edition/Ravenloft PHB are alright if you want the new rules and possible new monster upgrades.
The Gazetteers are wonderful but not necessary.

Anything else is cake.


Jan 22, 2007 13:30:00
Depending on the scope of the campaign you want to run, I would even suggest yet ANOTHER potential route:

Pick up the Gazetteers and Secrets of the Dread Realms, plus Heroes of Horror. As good as the RLCS is, after playing with one, then both, then the other in my own campaign, I have come to prefer the Taint rules over the saving throws for Fear/Horror/Madness checks.

If your campaign is going to be small in scope, then drop Secrets of the Dread Realms from the mix and make the Darklords stat-free.

(Let's see what feathers THIS ruffles.)


Jan 23, 2007 9:58:44
Don't spend more than you have to! If you have all the standard 3ed. stuff then just buy the old campaign setting on PDF. It'll give you all the fluff you need (and a little help to make things spooky). Plus on PDF you can rip the pictures/maps etc. as player handouts.

Good luck!




Jan 23, 2007 11:42:38
What books do I need?

First you need to know more about the setting - I'd strongly suggest the Ravenloft FAQ in my sig.

Then I'd suggest again strongly the Ravenloft campaign setting (or Ravenloft players handbook) and the Ravenloft Gazetteer 1. This last book includes Barovia and the lands surrounding it. I guess that is where you'll start your campaign.

Third, if budget allows, get the other Gazetteers, Van Richten's Arsenal, and if you can, the other Ravenloft books - including the 2nd edition stuff as many ideas can be used from these (IMHO, stay away from 3e Heroes of Light and Champions of Darkness as they are not very good).

There is also the Van Richten Guide to the Mists, available for free on the White Wolf web site.

Then read all the netbooks you can find, and note the ideas you'd like to throw at your players.

Have fun!



Jan 29, 2007 11:24:24
One of the campaign setting books/boxes is a must, and been discussed -- If you're looking for some adventures there are a number of classic scenarios available for free download on the WotC site:

The relevant adventures are:
'Ravenloft II: The House on Gryphon Hill' (a 1st Edition sequel to Expedition),
'Touch Of Death',
'Night Of The Walking Dead',
'Feast of Goblyns',
'Ship Of Horror',
'From The Shadows' and
'Roots Of Evil'

They'll take some work converting the rules and setting, but if nothing else they're a good source for cannibalism.

Also as Joël points out haunt the Fraternity website -- it’s good for more than just the FAQ.

Hope that helps...



Feb 03, 2007 14:09:28
In order of importance:

1. Ravenloft PHB - In my mind, all you need to play Ravenloft. Among other things, it has a fairly in-depth description of all the Domains (more then enough to play them) and it has mechanics and abilities for all the major monsters (ghosts, vamps). If you just want to take Ravenloft out for a test spin, this is all you need. The vampire and ghost things at the end make it useful even if you never play RL again.

2. Gazetteers - Not all of them (at first), but if you are willing to spend more money, read through the RLPHB and decide which domain(s) fascinate you the most, then buy the book which has it. Personally, I think Gaz I is the best for newcomers, but they're all good.

Beyond that, anything would work, but I think the following are useful as well.

3. Van Richten's Arsenal & Denizens of Dread - The VRA is for players, the DoD for DMs. The first has prestige classes, spells, items, magic, feats, all sorts of nice things for players wanting to make their characters more Ravenloft-specific. Denizens of Dread, on the other hand, is a nice place to find horror themed monsters to throw at your PCs, though the classics in RLPHB are more then enough. Fair warning, DoD is riddled with errors, so make sure to check out the Errata on the FoS website.

Stay away from Champions of Darkness and Heroes of the Light. Also avoid Forged of Darkness should you see it somewhere online. Baaaaaaaad....