sell me on ravenloft



Apr 23, 2004 16:32:05
this game has been around for as long as i've been gaming and longer still. i've never played a game and never had much inclination, but i watched vampire hunter d:bloodlust (i think thats what it was called) and started thinking back to that old nintendo game castlevania and suddenly the idea blossomed for me. I played alot of vamp:masquerade in middle school so it's not too alien a setting for me.

so you, as ravenloft players, please try and convince me this is the way to go with your hypnotic vampire powers.

or if it sucks, that'll be helpful to know also.


Apr 23, 2004 16:54:42
Well Ravenloft is not just a setting of vampires but all classic monsters. Think the big ones from the all those great Universal horror movies. Wolfmen, mummies, witches etc. All the dark things that go bump in the night.
The setting also hold a strong connection to classic mythology and folk tales. All the stories heard as a child that frightened you and kept you up late at night.

The setting is designed for players. Why? Because they odds are so stacked against them. People live in a world filled with the creatures of darkness, the legions of the night. So there is always evil to fight and little chance of victory. Its not like other fantasy of D&D settings where a single party can go off and save the world a dozen times and destroy the forces of evil. In Ravenloft it is a heartfelt struggle for life and victory, and it is the small victories there than matter.

Why should you play Ravenloft? Because it’s got great atmosphere and is not some fantastic hard to imagine world. The cultures are recognizable and the places often mirror the real world.

Castlevania and such may not be the best comparison, for it is not just about laying the smackdown of evil creatures. It can be but the setting isn’t designed for it. This isn’t VanHellsing here. Instead the heroes have to slowly find the weaknesses of their foe and track down its lair. The odds are against them and they are overpowered by the might and supernatural strength of their foe. Imagine the book Dracula, VanHellsing in that and the rest are but fleas to Dracula, he could kill them in a second in a direct fight. So the heroes just need to be that much smarter and more cunning.


Apr 23, 2004 17:48:41
thanx, thats exactly what i wanted to hear.

WoC should pay you a commission for that.



Apr 26, 2004 0:22:37
I want to re-iterate what was said in the last paragraph by the Jester. This setting is designed for the thinking player. It is far more like Stokers novel than what I presume the movie Van Helsing will be like. Just *FINDING* the thrice cursed bad guy (or gal) and then learning *HOW* to beat them is often the hardest part of the adventure arc.

Fighting a "random encounter" is often a bad thing - especially if you don't know what you're up against.

RL is customizable, but really it isn't about becomeing a super-tough guy and slugging it out with evil. Its about being 1 hour till dusk and you aren't sure where the damn coffin is so you can stake the leeching fiend. Because if you don't get there in time IT will get up and makes a snack or a puppet out of you.

Most RL players love that. IMO on those grounds the setting sells itself.

-Eric Gorman


May 03, 2004 23:31:58
I am also thinking of buying Ravenloft and I must say that Jester's post has pretty much sold me on it! Thanks.



May 04, 2004 12:44:25
so many points to sell it on... I know (hope) that you have already been sold the idea, but incase not, here is my two scratches at the door worth..

I was introduced to most of my current gamers when I joined their AD&D group. I wanted to give them the thrill that I got from gaming with them and under the GM who run us.

Ravenloft has allowed me to run them through scenarios that have
stunned them.
(and of course ive been able to wholly sicken them with brief insights into my own twisted imagination)

I run a campaign once where they went through some horific ordeals that tested their ability to roleplay to extremes. Then at the right time, (which was due to happen after they had progressed 1 level, not 6. And should have happened at the end of the first gaming session...not a few months later) I had them "awake" to find that their entire experiences had simply been part of an experiment of some mad and demented scientist. They woke up to find they were not powerful wizards, fighters, clerics and thiefs. They awoke to find they were kidnapped butchers, carpenters and farmers. Who were simply let loose from the castle to go on with their ordinary lives.

I could not have done that in Forgetten Realms setting and have it accepted as a "way of life", nor do i feel that i could have got away with it.

Since then I was kinder to them. I had to be, i got fed up of being pelted with dice and looks that could kill, everytime i mentioned "dreaming".

Ravenloft still allows me to give the same group of players similar experiences. But there are so many every day things, and so many innocent things that Ravenloft allows and inspires you to corrupt that the setting will allow me to use ravenloft to enrich (and shake) their gaming lives for years to come.

Hope that helps


May 04, 2004 16:10:29
This isn’t VanHellsing here.

Rudolph Van Richten anyone ?



May 04, 2004 16:27:53
Just to add in my 2cp...

Ravenloft is a setting of atmosphere and emotion; two things that are somtimes quite difficult to achieve in standard "fantasy" settings.

The domains are generally more historic than fantasy in nature, so it is easier to personalize and empathize with what your characters are going through. For instance, in the typical Greyhawk or Forgotton Realms campaign, characters practically grow up surrounded by magic, undead, other humanoid races, and fantastical monsters. Therefore, when the characters meet a new or particularly grizzly threat, it doesn't make a very big impression, and they just whoop out their swords and beat it up. In Ravenloft, the terrrible, disgusting, and ferocious tend to be more unuaual and shocking for the characters, and the rules for Fear, Horror, and Madness help to quantify these reactions.

Of course, you can have all of these components in a more typical setting, but Ravenloft is a setting dedicated to them.


May 04, 2004 16:51:53
Ravenloft is what you make it, any other setting is what you make it as well.

The only difference is Ravenloft has been struggling and only has fan support and WW backing, so you will have to pretty much create your own adventures if you do not want to use the old ones from the 2E days. There is also no new novels out for Ravenloft that you can draw inspiration from.

It however is a good setting to run IMO.