ravenloft wilderness campaign. any ideas?



Mar 28, 2004 17:53:42
any help would be welcome. adventures, hooks, npcs, prestige classes and general freaky spooky happenings...

i'll be altering the core classes somewhat so any pc classes are welcome also


Mar 29, 2004 14:26:17
You can try Corrupted Innocents, but your tastes may vary.

It is a canon Ravenloft adventure from 1991. The link is a recap I wrote on it a while back. It's the only "wilderness" adventure I can think of right now...


Apr 01, 2004 4:58:04
The four domains I think of for wilderness adventures are (1) Verbrek which is featured nicely in Gaz IV (which should give you lots of ideas), (2) Forlorn which has an old boxed set with plenty of adveture ideas in it, (3) Tepest which the first half of the Shadow Rift advenutre is in and (4) Vorostokov which had a pretty good adventure called (?) Dark of the Moon.

The two things to keep in mind are (1) why are the PCs there and (2) why can't they go somewhere else?

There just aren't a lot of reasons to go out into the wood in RL. I'm smirking as a write this because it just seems to me to be the almost typical "bad idea" that starts a lot of horror movies. Unless you're just real unlucky and the mists take you there, you get dumped by the Vistani mid trip for whatever reasons, or you have to hide from something worse I have a hard time thinking why I'd want to venture into the wilds. How about a caravan that goes awry? Not original but would give the PCs some NPCs to interact with. Maybe PCs need to track down something in the wilds as part of lifting a curse? Or maybe they have a reason to go after some entity like a master lycanthrope or the RL version of the Blair Witch?

Some places do keep you from getting out easily. In cases like Verbrek, Forlorn and Vorostokov it may be that there simply is no other place to get to within the domain (except the lairs of your enemies, small villages that can only provide limited aid for a time, and possibly creepier ruins). As a DM you can potentially make liberal use of the plastic nature of RL to "bend the land" as you need. Holdstock's novels about Mythago Wood might be a good resource for a forrest that is, for lack of a better term, "multi-dimensionable" but essentially understandable with enough research...

Hope something there helps!

-Eric Gorman


Apr 01, 2004 7:14:03
Someone might invite you to their lonely hunting-lodge....


Apr 01, 2004 11:03:29
"Kartakass" could also be used, but the wilderness is of course a little stereotypical. Mountains, rivers, forest and a lot of Lycanthopes.
But If you want a city/wilderness campaign I would be great.
Otherwise I would recommend Verbreck, its lack of a strong government, makes it ideal for an exploration campaign.


Apr 01, 2004 19:41:10
I think he was talking about the domain named the wilderness...

The only quest I am thinking about in this domain is to kill the crocodile or simply escape form the domain...


Apr 02, 2004 11:31:46
That's the Wildlands, not wilderness.


Apr 03, 2004 7:20:19
I once run a campaign that had players in a land that shifted into Kartakas and they got robbed by a halfling thief who "shifted" with them. They spent ages tracking her through woodlands and across half the land, before finding her in a lair in a disused keep.

The group had to get through and around several areas of woodland that were werewolf terrotories. Had werewolfs of various levels and inclinations/allignments throughout. Some would help pc's, some would hunt the pc's.

Chucked in a couple of undead tree ents, and shadow unicorns for good measure. ooo and a deaths head tree and to really scare em when they went up a couple more levels, I had a temporary "shift" to the castles Forlorn" adventure and have them witness a few "highland games" - goblyn style and of course a brief meeting with Aggie ;)

They soon got sick ofthe wilderness though and headed for the towns. Not sure why they got sick of it, may have had something to do with the ghost of a werewolf lord that stalked them ... ohh and the monster lynching that turned out to be a haunting




Apr 05, 2004 13:40:37
Originally posted by HvF
I'm smirking as a write this because it just seems to me to be the almost typical "bad idea" that starts a lot of horror movies.

LOL, well, that's one way to pu it


Apr 05, 2004 13:42:23
Hmmm...I always ran Kartakass as something straight out of The Sound of Music....strange thing is, after the first few minutes of amused singing on my part, it seemed to fit hauntingly well...



Apr 09, 2004 0:04:53
PCs will need:
Lots of holy water
Innovation and Creativity
Awareness of what could happen
More holy water


Apr 20, 2004 6:46:32
Check out the domain "Forlorn". It has lack of government and reminds me a little bit of a highlander cultural thing. Summarized, there are mainly human druids fighting goblins which are under the darklords influence (check out Gaz-I for much more details).
Due to the lack of government, this domainĀ“s borderlands are an ideal place for any creature that has something to hide, or wants to prepare some vile darkness stuff (some kind of cracy/evil/obsessed scientist/arcanist doing some vile research for example). Hunt the players through the wood until they bump into the bad guys house. ... web it from there...



Apr 23, 2004 13:13:12
An Idea I just had

An abandoned monastery out in the middle of the woods, It can be found while the players take a wrong turn. There is one light lit in the steeple window of the monastery/temple. IT is haunted by the ghosts of the slain monks/priests, who were ravanged by natures warriors ( BEars, Wolves, panthers etc,) Friends of a druid and also their master. He commanded them to attack, because the monastery was built upon an ancient druidic burial sight and grove,

Its the classis pagan vs organized religion

I dont know how this pertains to you but its just an idea Ive had. Man I got to play Ravenlfot again

plese exscuse my spelling

Azalin your time is coming to an end. Mosoula is going to get you!!!!!!! hehehehehehehehehehehehheheheheheheh

Unstoppable lich my ass


Apr 26, 2004 8:57:30
Wilderness adventures are pretty hard to keep interesting if you ask me. I usually don't use them as there are hardly any roleplaying opportunities.

Anyway. Here's my input. Colonization. The fronteer of the civilised world. How about a race of two parties towards some sort of civilisation long dead. Of course in Ravenloft the fronteer will be totally different than it was in human history, you can make it as dark and twisted as you like. Even a haunted forest which no sane man will enter can be the fronteer.

On finding the lost civilisation, the party will learn more and more why this civilisation is 'lost'. A vistani curse, creature or decaying plague are some of the possible causes. But a mummy could also be used. It's up to you.

Hope you can use some of these ideas!



May 04, 2004 18:04:48
Since this is ravenloft, the first technique to use is isolation. Getting lost. The second is nature and her ravages. The PCs may well start out somewhere known, but due to inclimate weather find it hard to keep their bearings. Eventually, they fail to recognize the area around them, but wander.. apparently hoplessly lost. (This transition should not involve the mists, which can be overdone, but is much the same mechanic without an obvious wall of mist being employed.)

Lost, the characters now have to find their way. The first thing that detracts from horror is when a PC is able to use magic to provide basic food supplies. Thus, we twist that magic first.. we can be creative, but the idea is to force the characters to look for water and hunt for food. That's when they get in trouble.

They can run into anything as a random encounter, but some signs of others who have been here and starved to death is a good idea. Still, as this is a roleplaying game.. challenging encounters with wolves, bears, and even giant spiders are all appropriate.

The PCs should note that the trees are a very hard and hardy wood, difficult to chop firewood.. and little dead wood lays on the ground.

At night, the storms are hard and hardy.. the characters should have made a shelter (no handy caves nearby) and will find their shelter serving them only poorly as the rain and wind lash at them.

Barring solid effort on their shelter, you can have the wind blow it to bits, leaving them struggling with the weather (perhaps catching cold) and unable to sleep well enough to regain spells unless they make a difficult concentration check.

Having warmed them up to the area, you can start using more strange monsters.. like animated plants, undead treents, and some occasional undead(typically the corpse they found at the abandoned hunting lodge they stumbled across if they made a good search check during their day's travel.)

As they continue to wander, you can have them come across magically cursed pools (or pools with various aquatic humanoid monsters that prey on them if they camp nearby at night.) A pool might erase memory for a day, fill the drinker with terrors and horrible visions of ghastly deaths for themselves and their friends, or simply cause painful sickness.

Rocks can start 'falling' from the hillsides above the characters. Trees are described as brooding, hills as slouching, ravines as hungry, etc..

The group hears sounds of chopping in the night. Like someone is out there with an axe. If they have animals or NPCs they can do without, they might go missing in the middle of the night (eaten and gone forever.) They should associate the sounds of chopping with the dissapearances, but this a red herring.

They can then stumble upon a village of tough woodsmen and women who are initially suspicious, but don't seem willing to turn seemingly good people away without a reason. (It should seem that at least some of them are sour enough to leave he PCs to hang, but a few less surly sorts curtly refuse to leave them out in the wild if they want to hold up in the town for 'a while, but not forever.')

If the PCs leave, then repeat the horrible wandering monster type encounters until they think again of the villiage. If they return, then they can seek shelter which the town begrudingly supplies, but the surly ones are even more insistant that they go on their way, "since they were too good to stay with the likes of us last time." Still, the better hearts prevail and the PCs can stay for no longer than a week.

The weather turns colder (it should have been turning colder for several days) and it begins to snow one day. (Work by your 'feel' for the party so that the snows start a day before the group is about to leave, but have no 'horrible events' happen in town.) The snow is hard, and would make leaving treatcherous. The PCs can leave.. if they really want.. but will have to contend with serious dangers of frostbite and find that thier magic cannot easily combat the icy cold .. as if something were interfering with their invocations.

When the snow blows, the townsfolk have to keep their fires burning fast, hard, and hot. This causes them to quickly burn though their firewood supplies. The axe sound is heard more quickly and fiercely in the blizzard as the winds grow colder and fiercer. Eventually, it is disclosed that the axeman is one of their citizens who had to go out into the blizzard itself to chop firewood lest everyone freeze to death one winter.

Apparently, he kept chopping all night and.. in the morning when the snow cleared, they found him frozen to death still clinging to his axe. Apparently, the ghost continues to chop wood.. chopping ever harder when the winter comes.

The true horrible story involves rumors of a necromancer who lives on the highest heights of the tallest mountain. He, apparently, became a lich but was cursed to always be hungry and cold. In truth, he became and undead treent-like creature (more man-sized and mostly man-shaped, but made of hard, black wood.) He is always thirsty.. his rootlets burying into a living humanoid's chest and digging down into the heart, from where it drinks every bit of blood in the victim. While drinking, he feels warm and free from hunger again, but when finished he is as famished as always.

The way to defeat him is to find the ghost (who's axe is supernaturally keen and able to chop the wood in the forest) and take the ghost axe from him. This axe can be used to chop apart the necromancer-undead-treentish thing and then returned to the ghost if the ghost wasn't killed in order to get the axe.