It’s been a few months since Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything brought with it a bunch of necessary adjustments to the way D&D handles race, so it’s time to expand on those new mechanics with a new sourcebook. Which, as it turns out, is actually a very old sourcebook with a fresh face.
As much as the two share the same name, Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft is nott just Advanced Dungeons & Dragon’s Ravenloft module updated with 5E mechanics. And neither is it 2016’s Curse of Strahd, according to senior D&D designer Wes Schneider, who spoke to IGN about the upcoming sourcebook.
“We wanted to make sure that if you played Curse of Strahd or other adventures in Ravenloft, that Van Richten’s Guide isn’t just like, ‘Oh, well, I did that,’” said Schneider, adding that VRGtR goes well “beyond just Gothic Horror.”
Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft includes new character subclasses, new lineages, new monsters, and new Dark Gifts for players to curse themselves with. It’ll also contain a brand new adventure module for players to run with a fresh take on some classic horror themes.
Starting with the subclasses, the College of Spirits lets bards talk to the dead through games and trinkets (think Ouiji boards), while the Undead Pact for warlocks provides them with an alternative to the old Undying Pact. Both were recently previewed in Unearthed Arcana.
The new lineages include dhampir, hexblood, and reborn, while the new monsters include classics like werewolves and mummies, but also monsters from Eastern folk tales.
Those familiar with Ravenloft and Curse of Strahd know all about the Domains of Dread–miniature planes ruled over by a Darklord that all follow a certain horror genre. There’s of course the vampire lord Strahd Von Zarovich in Curse of Strahd, but Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft will include new Domains of Dread as well, including one that’s centered around a zombie apocalypse.
Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft is available to pre-order now for $50 and will release on May 18, 2021. Certain stores will receive versions with alternate cover art, so contact your local game store to see if you can grab one of those.
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Actually a collective of 6 hamsters piloting a human-shaped robot, Sean hails from Toronto, Canada. Passionate about gaming from a young age, those hamsters would probably have taken over the world by now if they didn’t vastly prefer playing and writing about video games instead.
The hamsters are so far into their long-con that they’ve managed to acquire a bachelor’s degree from the University of Waterloo and used that to convince the fine editors at TheGamer that they can write “gud werds,” when in reality they just have a very sophisticated spellchecker program installed in the robot’s central processing unit.
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