History TabletopGame / Ravenloft

5th Jun '18 6:46:08 AM ErikModi
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* {{Railroading}}: A lot of early ''Ravenloft'' adventures forced the party to go from Point A to Point B. Some even recommend the party ''die'' in order to get where they need to go. Also, the nature of the setting makes this very, very easy for a GM. Characters going in the wrong direction? Have undead hordes keep attacking them out of nowhere -- it happens all the time here. They want to visit another domain? Just close it off, problem solved. Want the party in a specific place?
Have the Mists envelop them, and when they emerge, they're somewhere else, even the opposite side of the world ''in the opposite direction they were traveling in!'' It's given the setting something of a bad reputation.

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* {{Railroading}}: A lot of early ''Ravenloft'' adventures forced the party to go from Point A to Point B. Some even recommend the party ''die'' in order to get where they need to go. Also, the nature of the setting makes this very, very easy for a GM. Characters going in the wrong direction? Have undead hordes keep attacking them out of nowhere -- it happens all the time here. They want to visit another domain? Just close it off, problem solved. Want the party in a specific place?
place? Have the Mists envelop them, and when they emerge, they're somewhere else, even the opposite side of the world ''in the opposite direction they were traveling in!'' It's given the setting something of a bad reputation.
5th Jun '18 6:45:09 AM ErikModi
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* {{Railroading}}: A lot of early ''Ravenloft'' adventures forced the party to go from Point A to Point B. Some even recommend the party ''die'' in order to get where they need to go. Also, the nature of the setting makes this very, very easy for a GM. Characters going in the wrong direction? Have undead hordes keep attacking them out of nowhere -- it happens all the time here. They want to visit another domain? Just close it off, problem solved. It's given the setting something of a bad reputation.

to:

* {{Railroading}}: A lot of early ''Ravenloft'' adventures forced the party to go from Point A to Point B. Some even recommend the party ''die'' in order to get where they need to go. Also, the nature of the setting makes this very, very easy for a GM. Characters going in the wrong direction? Have undead hordes keep attacking them out of nowhere -- it happens all the time here. They want to visit another domain? Just close it off, problem solved. Want the party in a specific place?
Have the Mists envelop them, and when they emerge, they're somewhere else, even the opposite side of the world ''in the opposite direction they were traveling in!''
It's given the setting something of a bad reputation.
10th May '18 9:25:17 PM jormis29
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There is also a {{Spinoff}} setting, ''TabletopGame/MasqueOfTheRedDeath'', released in 1994, which takes place on an alternate version of Earth that has been under the influence of some entity called [[Creator/EdgarAllanPoe the Red Death]]. It features many of the above mentioned classic characters that ''Ravenloft'' drew inspiration from as villains.

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There is also a {{Spinoff}} setting, ''TabletopGame/MasqueOfTheRedDeath'', released in 1994, which takes place on an alternate version of Earth that has been under the influence of some entity called [[Creator/EdgarAllanPoe [[Literature/TheMasqueOfTheRedDeath the Red Death]]. It features many of the above mentioned classic characters that ''Ravenloft'' drew inspiration from as villains.
19th Apr '18 7:29:27 PM nombretomado
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* PatchworkMap: Justified by the very nature of the world. The [[PowersThatBe Dark Powers]] have even been known to add, subtract, or rearrange the patches from time to time. {{Egregious}} examples include the Shadow Rift (a huge, seemingly bottomless chasm in the middle of the Core's landmass where two other Domains used to be) and Todstein (an island in the southern Nocturnal Sea with an arctic climate whereas both the coast at the same latitude and the islands to its north are temperate).

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* PatchworkMap: Justified by the very nature of the world. The [[PowersThatBe Dark Powers]] have even been known to add, subtract, or rearrange the patches from time to time. {{Egregious}} JustForFun/{{Egregious}} examples include the Shadow Rift (a huge, seemingly bottomless chasm in the middle of the Core's landmass where two other Domains used to be) and Todstein (an island in the southern Nocturnal Sea with an arctic climate whereas both the coast at the same latitude and the islands to its north are temperate).
19th Apr '18 7:28:47 PM nombretomado
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* MorePredatorsThanPrey: Many, many gamemasters adjust the population figures and sizes of the domains up by a factor of ten or more to avert this trope. Especially {{egregious}} is the Domain of Verbrek, which quite literally has more werewolves than humans living in it.

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* MorePredatorsThanPrey: Many, many gamemasters adjust the population figures and sizes of the domains up by a factor of ten or more to avert this trope. Especially {{egregious}} JustForFun/{{egregious}} is the Domain of Verbrek, which quite literally has more werewolves than humans living in it.
4th Apr '18 7:52:15 PM Argon2
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* WhereTheHellIsSpringfield: While Strahd and Barovia appear to have been pulled out of another D&D realm into the Land of Mists, the backstory is written to be vague on which setting he came from, allowing him to be reasonably inserted into the history of most of them. The same is true for most, but not all, Dark Lords.

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* WhereTheHellIsSpringfield: While Strahd and Barovia appear to have been pulled out of another D&D realm into the Land of Mists, the backstory is written to be vague on which setting he came from, allowing him to be reasonably inserted into the history of most of them. The same is true for most, but not all, most Dark Lords.
18th Mar '18 6:40:00 PM WanderingBrowser
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Added DiffLines:

* DeliberateValuesDissonance: The sourcebook "Van Richten's Guide to the Created", the {{golem}} sourcebook, takes a firm attitude that the Created are [[AlwaysChaoticEvil inherently evil due to the circumstances of their creation]], depicting them as soulless abominations against the natural order that should only be destroyed. Whilst this is in line with Mary Shelly's original depiction of FrankensteinsMonster, where the Monster was the intended villain as a living blasphemy, it's rather jarring to modern audiences, who nowadays regard the Monster as a TragicVillain at worst and believe that Dr. Frankenstein is the true "monster" of the story.
8th Mar '18 11:31:14 PM WanderingBrowser
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* AlwaysChaoticEvil: Even if 3rd edition ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' moved a lot of monsters from the ''always'' ChaoticEvil to ''usually'' Chaotic Evil, the ''Ravenloft'' setting adamantly keeps its critters and other nasties in the ''always'' evil section. Don't look for FriendlyNeighborhoodVampires. Enforced even, for lycanthropes -- normally nonevil lycanthrope types (such as werebears, who in other settings are AlwaysLawfulGood) are evil in the Land of Mists. Even the likes of [[WhenTreesAttack treants]] and [[InvertedTrope unicorns]] are evil there.

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* AlwaysChaoticEvil: Even if 3rd edition ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' moved a lot of monsters from the ''always'' ChaoticEvil to ''usually'' Chaotic Evil, the ''Ravenloft'' setting adamantly keeps its critters and other nasties in the ''always'' evil section. Don't look for FriendlyNeighborhoodVampires. Enforced even, for lycanthropes -- normally nonevil lycanthrope types (such as werebears, who in other settings are AlwaysLawfulGood) are evil in the Land of Mists. Even the likes of [[WhenTreesAttack treants]] and [[InvertedTrope unicorns]] {{unicorn}}s are evil there.there.
** Amazingly, it's also subverted; Ravenloft is home both to one of the few ''non-evil'' species of werebeast, the Wereraven, and to the Bruja, which are Hags[[note]]a WitchSpecies embodying the WickedWitch archetype[[/note]] that have turned to good.



* AnimateDead: Spells that do this are much more powerful in Ravenloft, however, undead are also significantly harder to keep ''under control''.

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* AnimateDead: Spells that do this are much more powerful in Ravenloft, Ravenloft... however, undead are also significantly harder to keep ''under control''.



* BizarreAlienPsychology: Reading the far-too-alien mind of an aberration will force humanoid characters to make a Madness check.

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* BizarreAlienPsychology: Reading the far-too-alien mind of an aberration aberration, golem, undead, lycanthrope... really, just about any actual monster, will force humanoid characters to make a Madness check.



* BlackMagic: Almost every spell that even tangentially relates to the dead is evil and can attract the Powers' notice, including objectively benign ones like [[BackFromTheDead Raise Dead]].

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* BlackMagic: Almost every spell that even tangentially relates to the dead is evil and can attract the Powers' notice, including objectively benign ones like [[BackFromTheDead Raise Dead]].Dead]] and Death Knell[[note]]senses whether or not somebody is dead[[/note]].



* CorruptChurch: The Darkonian sect of the Church of Ezra.

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* CorruptChurch: CorruptChurch:
**
The Darkonian sect of the Church of Ezra.Ezra has... issues. The Borcan branch has a strict official policy of staying out of politics and willfully turns a blind eye to the depredations of the nobility; this is how they avoid incurring the local darklord's wrath. The Darkonese sect is a fundamentalist sect with an apocalyptic doctrine, willing to conduct ColdBloodedTorture both to interrogate "monsters" and to convert members of other religions, which they see as heathens who are dooming themselves to hell.
** Zhakata is a fake religion whose god only exists inside the head of its demented high priest.
** The Church of the Lawgiver has an extremely strict and stratified worldview in which social mobility is impossible and not only has no restrictions on the power of those in authority, but actively encourages leaders to do whatever they want.



* CreepyCrows: Zigzagged. On the one hand, Barovia is home to both Wereravens[[note]]the only Good aligned species of werebeast in Ravenloft[[/note]] and to Ravenkin[[note]]giant, spellcasting, talking ravens who are Good aligned, have some mysterious connection to the lost Barovian sun god Andral, and are dedicated enemies of vampires in general and Strahd in particular[[/note]], which thoroughly subvert this trope, although the Ravenkin's ability to spy through the eyes of normal crows can be used to play this trope straight. Played thoroughly straight with the Corvus Regis ("King's Ravens"), who are intelligent, talking ravens bred as as spies by the lich-king of Darkon, Azalin.



* EpiphanicPrison

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* EpiphanicPrisonEpiphanicPrison: At least in theory, this is what each domain is supposed to be to its resident Darklord. Few, if any, have learned the lesson being taught.



* FantasticRacism: Demihumans get a lot of mistrust, alienation and prejudice in the setting, to the point the third edition rules introduced an "Outsider Rating" that posed an increasingly high penalty to most diplomatic-focused skills. Sadly, it's kind of justified by the fact that Ravenloft is officially crawling with all manner of monsters that look ''almost'', but not ''quite'', like normal human beings. These include several varities of AlwaysChaoticEvil [[OurWerebeastsAreDifferent werebeasts]], [[OurVampiresAreDifferent multiple types of vampire]], and even weirder creatures ("Red Widows" are an [[OneGenderRace always female]] race of sapient {{Giant Spider}}s that can shapeshift into [[EvilRedhead always-redhaired humanoid forms]] and which reproduce by mating with humanoids, paralyzing them, and then [[FaceFullOfAlienWingWong laying the eggs into their bodies]]).

to:

* FantasticRacism: Demihumans get a lot of mistrust, alienation and prejudice in the setting, to the point the third edition rules introduced an "Outsider Rating" that posed an increasingly high penalty to most diplomatic-focused skills. Sadly, it's kind of justified by the fact that Ravenloft is officially crawling with all manner of monsters that look ''almost'', but not ''quite'', like normal human beings. These include several varities varieties of AlwaysChaoticEvil [[OurWerebeastsAreDifferent werebeasts]], [[OurVampiresAreDifferent multiple types of vampire]], and even weirder creatures ("Red Widows" are an [[OneGenderRace always female]] race of sapient {{Giant Spider}}s that can shapeshift into [[EvilRedhead always-redhaired humanoid forms]] and which reproduce by mating with humanoids, paralyzing them, and then [[FaceFullOfAlienWingWong laying the eggs into their bodies]]).



* GothicHorror

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* GothicHorrorGothicHorror: The foundation of the game's genre. Many of the Darklords are outright pastiches of famous Gothic Horror monsters, most notably Strahd (Dracula), Mordenheim and Adam (Frankenstein and his Monster), Malken (Jeckyll and Hyde) and Markov (the Island of Dr. Moreau).



* MadDoctor: Doctor Mordenheim (a CaptainErsatz for Doctor Frankenstein), and Doctor Heinfroth (keeper of the resident BedlamHouse). Darklord Frantisek Markov (a CaptainErsatz for Doctor Moreau) has no medical training, but he doesn't let that stop him experimenting on any animals-- or humans-- unfortunate enough to cross his path.

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* MadDoctor: Doctor Mordenheim (a CaptainErsatz (an {{Exply}} for Doctor Frankenstein), and Doctor Heinfroth (keeper of the resident BedlamHouse). Darklord Frantisek Markov (a CaptainErsatz (an {{Expy}} for Doctor Moreau) has no medical training, but he doesn't let that stop him experimenting on any animals-- or humans-- unfortunate enough to cross his path.



%%* MonsterMash

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%%* MonsterMash* MonsterMash: There are lots and ''lots'' of different monsters in the Demiplane of Dread.



* {{Railroading}}: A lot of early ''Ravenloft'' adventures forced the party to go from Point A to Point B. Some even recommend the party ''die'' in order to get where they need to go. Also, the nature of the setting makes this very, very easy for a GM. Characters going in the wrong direction? Have undead hordes keep attacking them out of nowhere -- it happens all the time here. They want to visit another domain? Just close it off, problem solved.

to:

* {{Railroading}}: A lot of early ''Ravenloft'' adventures forced the party to go from Point A to Point B. Some even recommend the party ''die'' in order to get where they need to go. Also, the nature of the setting makes this very, very easy for a GM. Characters going in the wrong direction? Have undead hordes keep attacking them out of nowhere -- it happens all the time here. They want to visit another domain? Just close it off, problem solved. It's given the setting something of a bad reputation.
11th Dec '17 5:37:49 PM backpack
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Added DiffLines:

* WhereTheHellIsSpringfield: While Strahd and Barovia appear to have been pulled out of another D&D realm into the Land of Mists, the backstory is written to be vague on which setting he came from, allowing him to be reasonably inserted into the history of most of them. The same is true for most, but not all, Dark Lords.
21st Nov '17 12:51:33 PM WaterBlap
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** More literal than usual - if a Ravenloft woman is gifted with unusual beauty, it's generally so the Powers can torment her with particularly vile suitors that think NoMeansYes and RapeIsLove. Or, alternatively, torment her by gifting her with supernatural beauty that causes her to kill or repel potential soulmates.

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** More literal than usual - if a Ravenloft woman is gifted with unusual beauty, it's generally so the Powers can torment her with particularly vile suitors that think NoMeansYes and RapeIsLove.NoMeansYes. Or, alternatively, torment her by gifting her with supernatural beauty that causes her to kill or repel potential soulmates.
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