More Gothic Horror with Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft
Surprisingly, this spooky collection of adventure resources is releasing nowhere close to Halloween. Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft is to release on May 18th this year! Within this tome, Wizards of the Coast has a heaping helping of goodies to make your adventure more terrifying. Let’s delve into the Demiplane of Dread, and hopefully make it back alive.
New Races and Subclasses
Remember the spooky races I wrote about a while back? Where better to make them official than in this compendium? For those who don’t want to look at the whole article, I’ll recap quickly here. There are three new race options: dhampir, hexblood, and reborn. Dhampir are vampiric, but don’t necessarily have to suck blood. I like the idea of a dhampir who steals the color from things they find pretty! Hexbloods have been touched by magics and are forever changed because of it. One could become a hexblood through a bad deal with a witch or a benevolent fey creature. Lastly we have reborn. These guys aren’t alive, but aren’t dead either. Reborn can range in flavor from zombified corpse to science experiment gone wrong (or would that be right?).
As for subclasses, we have two: College of Spirits for the Bard and The Undead patron for Warlock. Based on the Unearthed Arcana containing the two, they both easily fall into the gothic vibe. College of Spirits is about communing with the dead to provide buffs for your party and detriments to the baddies. The Undead patron makes your Warlock extra frightening, literally. One of the main features is that you can don a “Form of Dread,” and force everything you hit to make Wisdom saves or be scared of you.
For the first time in D&D 5e, Ravenloft’s expanded Domains of Dread will be printed! There will also be Dungeon Master tools to aid in building your own domains as well as Darklords.
On top of the new character options, there will be new gothic backgrounds. My guess is we’ll see more that are similar to Haunted One, previously featured in Curse of Strahd.
Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft will include “Dark Gifts” for characters. From the way it’s phrased in the announcement, it seems that these will be boons gained from being in the Domains of Dread, but will also have drawbacks. Hopefully it’s more exciting than “here’s a +1 sword, oh also you’re insane,” maybe “you can cast hex at will, and also you’re still insane.”
Lastly, the book will include new monsters to feature in Ravenloft, as well as a new adventure!
For the official announcement, check out the Dungeons and Dragons site here! You can pre-order Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenlofthere (affiliate link)