History YMMV / Ravenloft

22nd Apr '18 5:18:25 PM QueenofSwords
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* UnfortunateImplications: Some of Ravenloft's backstory and thematic elements are... problematic in the modern age.
** One could argue that the underlying Gothic Horror morality the setting depends on is a case of this, as many of its defining elements and moral rules now fall under ValuesDissonance.
** The Vistani are heavily stereotypical gypsies straight out of black & white horror film. They're enigmatic, mysterious, mystical beings who hold truck with dark powers and are connected to supernatural forces beyond the comprehension, who have a reputation as thieves, kidnappers and willing agents of evil. Add in that being half-Vistani is treated as being as inhuman as being, say, a half-elf, complete with traits like going mad on nights of the full moon, and they are just ''full'' of problematic elements.
** By extension, the existence of a Gypsy kit for thieves was very swiftly dropped and has been staunchly ignored since third edition.

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* UnfortunateImplications: ValuesDissonance: Some of Ravenloft's backstory and thematic elements are... problematic in the modern age.
** One could argue that the underlying Gothic Horror morality the setting depends on is a case of this, as many of its defining elements and moral rules now fall under ValuesDissonance.
this trope, as what was acceptable (and encouraged) in Gothic Horror's heyday is ''not'' acceptable now..
** The Vistani are heavily stereotypical gypsies {{Roma}} straight out of black & white horror film. They're enigmatic, mysterious, mystical beings who hold truck with dark powers and are connected to supernatural forces beyond the comprehension, who have a reputation as thieves, kidnappers and willing agents of evil. Add in that being half-Vistani is treated as being as inhuman as being, say, a half-elf, complete with traits like going mad on nights of the full moon, and they are just ''full'' of problematic elements.
** By extension, the existence of a Gypsy kit "Gypsy kit" for thieves was very swiftly dropped and has been staunchly ignored since third edition.
22nd Apr '18 5:08:34 PM QueenofSwords
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** The Vistani; some love them for their usefulness as convenient plot hooks and sources of things that the party needs at the moment, others dislike them for their perceived connection with Ravenloft's reputation for {{railroading}}, and others still loathe them for their perceived CreatorsPet stats. And then there's the ongoing cold war between those fans who defend the Vistani's existence because they are literally lifted wholesale from the "magical gypsies" who featured repeatedly in Universal Horror and Hammer Horror films that are the backbone of Ravenloft, and those fans who find the Vistani to be too on the nose due to their UnfortunateImplications.

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** The Vistani; some love them for their usefulness as convenient plot hooks and sources of things that the party needs at the moment, others dislike them for their perceived connection with Ravenloft's reputation for {{railroading}}, and others still loathe them for their perceived CreatorsPet stats. And then there's the ongoing cold war between those fans who defend the Vistani's existence because they are literally lifted wholesale from the "magical gypsies" {{Roma}}" who featured repeatedly in Universal Horror and Hammer Horror films that are the backbone of Ravenloft, and those fans who find the Vistani to be too on the nose due to their UnfortunateImplications.
11th Apr '18 4:11:16 PM Dravencour
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** Count Strahd Von Zarovich's murder of his brother Sergei over Tatyana, the woman both men loved, on their wedding day, leading to Tatyana throwing herself off the wall of Ravenloft as Strahd pursued her.

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** Count Strahd Von Zarovich's DealWithTheDevil to become a vampire, and his murder of his brother Sergei over Tatyana, the woman both men loved, on their wedding day, leading to Tatyana throwing herself off the wall of Ravenloft as Strahd pursued her.
18th Mar '18 6:36:35 PM WanderingBrowser
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* BrokenBase: Falkovnia is one of the biggest domains, being an important part of the Core, but is also one of the most contentious in the entire setting. The reason is its combination of HumansAreTheRealMonsters and Military Horror, which some fans find admirable -- emphasizing that one does not have to have dark powers to be a complete and utter ''bastard'' -- and other fans loathe. Haters of the domain derisively describe Falkovnia as a ham-fisted medieval-flavored land of NaziCommies being run by a one-dimensional Vlad the Impaler rip-off.

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* BrokenBase: BaseBreaker: Some of the elements of Ravenloft are rather contentious amongst the fandom.
**
Falkovnia is one of the biggest domains, being an important part of the Core, but is also one of the most contentious in the entire setting. The reason is its combination of HumansAreTheRealMonsters and Military Horror, which some fans find admirable -- emphasizing that one does not have to have dark powers to be a complete and utter ''bastard'' -- and other fans loathe. Haters of the domain derisively describe Falkovnia as a ham-fisted medieval-flavored land of NaziCommies being run by a one-dimensional Vlad the Impaler rip-off. rip-off.
** The Vistani; some love them for their usefulness as convenient plot hooks and sources of things that the party needs at the moment, others dislike them for their perceived connection with Ravenloft's reputation for {{railroading}}, and others still loathe them for their perceived CreatorsPet stats. And then there's the ongoing cold war between those fans who defend the Vistani's existence because they are literally lifted wholesale from the "magical gypsies" who featured repeatedly in Universal Horror and Hammer Horror films that are the backbone of Ravenloft, and those fans who find the Vistani to be too on the nose due to their UnfortunateImplications.
* BrokenBase: It goes without saying That Ravenloft is both loved and hated amongst fans of TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons. Some love it for its attempt to be a Gothic Horror Fantasy setting, others loathe it and deride it for its reputation as the NintendoHard setting that encourages {{Railroading}}.
** Even within the fandom of Ravenloft, there is a split between those who prefer to run it as more of a VideoGame/{{Castlevania}} style "High Fantasy with Gothic Backdrop" setting and those who favor a more purist, fantasy-downplaying straight Gothic Horror setting.
** The various changes to spells in an attempt to preserve the ability to offer mysteries and moral ambiguities (as well as to aid in {{railroading}}) are either loved or hated.
** By extension, the Powers Checks mechanics; some love them as being very thematic and a good way to reinforce the "descent into damnation" setting element, others think of them as a ScrappyMechanic.



*** Later editions suggest that Hazlik raped (or possibly just lusted after) his rival's ''male'' apprentice, and the womanly tattoos he was forced to wear was punishment for that.

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*** Later editions suggest Third edition retconned that Hazlik raped (or possibly just lusted after) his rival's ''male'' apprentice, Hazlik's ''rival'' was female and the womanly tattoos apprentice he lusted after, and was forced to wear subsequently framed as raping, was punishment for that.male.



* SerialNumbersFiledOff: The Japanese and USA covers of ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIISimonsQuest'' clearly [[http://www.castlevaniadungeon.net/games/cv2.html copied]] the original ''Ravenloft'' cover image in the background, only replacing Strahd's head. The background was removed entirely from the European cover, making it obvious that someone realized what was going on at some point.

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** Malignio makes most Ravenloft fans roll their eyes; his entire characterization can be summed up as "what if Pinocchio was evil?" and his name is literally Italian for "evil".
* SerialNumbersFiledOff: ScrappyMechanic: Several prominent examples.
** The Arcanist kit for wizards is a specialist wizard who can turn undead like a cleric, which is a very handy trick in Ravenloft. The problem? It only has decent access to two schools of magic, Divination and Necromancy, and both of those are effectively unusable in Ravenloft[[note]]the vast majority of Divination spells flat out ''don't work'' in Ravenloft, whilst casting ''any'' Necromancy spell provokes a Powers Check[[/note]]. Plus, it has to make increasingly difficult Powers Checks every time it gains a level. The result is a class with an awesome theme that is literally unplayable in its native setting.
** The Class Weaknesses mechanics introduced in the 3.5 Ravenloft Player's Handbook are such a strong example of this that they have universally been rendered FanonDiscontinuity. Except for a handful of classes[[note]]Barbarians are more vulnerable to Horror & Madness checks, especially if provoked by arcane magic; Bards have a 50% failure rate on healing spells that decreases as they level up[[/note]], all of these weaknesses revolve around an increased vulnerability to Powers Checks in some way -- Clerics and Paladins double their chances of failing Powers Checks; Druids, Fighters, Monks, Rangers and Rogues have a chance of automatically having to take a Powers Check whenever they level up, and Sorcerers & Wizards have to make Powers Checks whenever they learn a spell from the Enchantment, Evocation or Necromancy school.
* SerialNumbersFiledOff:
**
The Japanese and USA covers of ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIISimonsQuest'' clearly [[http://www.castlevaniadungeon.net/games/cv2.html copied]] the original ''Ravenloft'' cover image in the background, only replacing Strahd's head. The background was removed entirely from the European cover, making it obvious that someone realized what was going on at some point.point.
** ''Many'' of the Darklords are blatantly ripped off from Gothic Horror novel characters. Dr. Mordheim and Adam are Dr. Frankenstein and his Monster, Tristan Hiregaard and Malken are Jekyll and Hyde, Dr. Markov is Dr. Moreau, Dr. Dominari is Dr. Caligari... Bluebeard is ''literally'' the same Bluebeard as in the fairy tale.




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* UnfortunateImplications: Some of Ravenloft's backstory and thematic elements are... problematic in the modern age.
** One could argue that the underlying Gothic Horror morality the setting depends on is a case of this, as many of its defining elements and moral rules now fall under ValuesDissonance.
** The Vistani are heavily stereotypical gypsies straight out of black & white horror film. They're enigmatic, mysterious, mystical beings who hold truck with dark powers and are connected to supernatural forces beyond the comprehension, who have a reputation as thieves, kidnappers and willing agents of evil. Add in that being half-Vistani is treated as being as inhuman as being, say, a half-elf, complete with traits like going mad on nights of the full moon, and they are just ''full'' of problematic elements.
** By extension, the existence of a Gypsy kit for thieves was very swiftly dropped and has been staunchly ignored since third edition.
** Baron Kharkov, the most prominent "African" Darklord, is basically "What if Film/{{Blackula}} was also a were-panther?" He's a panther who was turned into a man by an evil wizard that used him to assassinate a woman. Through a long string of events, he wound up as a panther who turns into a man, who is also a vampire, who constantly seeks human brides, but invariably murders them out of paranoia that they've figured out he's not human.
** Hazlik is a non-heterosexual man who was framed for raping another man, punished with stigmatic tattoos that denounce him as effeminate, and is plotting to avoid being caught in his spell that will commit genocide on his own race by switching bodies with his ''female'' apprentice. His depravity and his homosexuality aren't connected, and he's a rare inversion of the TransEqualsGay trope, but still, a lot of people find him rather uncomfortable.
18th Mar '18 6:36:35 PM WanderingBrowser
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22nd Oct '17 11:18:56 PM Clendy82
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Added DiffLines:

*** To wit, her Ravenloft-based writeups are almost entirely based on metaphor. For instance, her home tower is described as having been constructed [[WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs 'from the broken promises of men']], with very little clear historical information about her. The information from her [[TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms Forgotten Realms]] sources are little better, as she was a very minor bit player even there.
9th Jul '17 10:11:33 AM Faolyn
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Added DiffLines:

*** Later editions suggest that Hazlik raped (or possibly just lusted after) his rival's ''male'' apprentice, and the womanly tattoos he was forced to wear was punishment for that.
10th Sep '16 10:56:06 PM Dravencour
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* MoralEventHorizon: The setting has an official term for one of these -- an "Act of Ultimate Darkness", which is a requirement for becoming one of the setting's dreaded Darklords -- a near-perfect blend of {{hypocrisy}}, [[ThisIsUnforgivable depravity]], [[KickTheDog cruelty]], and [[ItsAllAboutMe selfishness]]. The clincher, though, [[NeverMyFault is absolute refusal to acknowledge that what they did was wrong]]. Indeed, that's part of ThePunishment for Darklords -- that if they worked up the moral strength to admit that what they have done is inexcusable and that they reaped what they sowed, their curse would be [[CursedWithAwesome moot]]. Then again, the books say that if they were the sorts of people who'd be able to do that, they would never have become Darklords in the first place. Notable examples include:

to:

* MoralEventHorizon: The setting has an official term for one of these -- an "Act Notable Acts of Ultimate Darkness", which is a requirement for becoming one of Darkness by the setting's dreaded Darklords -- a near-perfect blend of {{hypocrisy}}, [[ThisIsUnforgivable depravity]], [[KickTheDog cruelty]], and [[ItsAllAboutMe selfishness]]. The clincher, though, [[NeverMyFault is absolute refusal to acknowledge that what they did was wrong]]. Indeed, that's part of ThePunishment for Darklords -- that if they worked up the moral strength to admit that what they have done is inexcusable and that they reaped what they sowed, their curse would be [[CursedWithAwesome moot]]. Then again, the books say that if they were the sorts of people who'd be able to do that, they would never have become Darklords in the first place. Notable examples include:
9th Sep '16 2:47:36 PM WillBGood
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* MoralEventHorizon: The setting has an official term for one of these -- an "Act of Ultimate Darkness", which is a requirement for becoming one of the setting's dreaded Darklords -- a near-perfect blend of {{hypocrisy}}, [[ThisIsUnforgivable depravity]], [[KickTheDog cruelty]], and [[ItsAllAboutMe selfishness]]. The clincher, though, [[ObliviouslyEvil is absolute refusal to acknowledge that what they did was wrong]]. Indeed, that's part of ThePunishment for Darklords -- that if they worked up the moral strength to admit that what they have done is inexcusable and that they reaped what they sowed, their curse would be [[CursedWithAwesome moot]]. Then again, the books say that if they were the sorts of people who'd be able to do that, they would never have become Darklords in the first place. Notable examples include:

to:

* MoralEventHorizon: The setting has an official term for one of these -- an "Act of Ultimate Darkness", which is a requirement for becoming one of the setting's dreaded Darklords -- a near-perfect blend of {{hypocrisy}}, [[ThisIsUnforgivable depravity]], [[KickTheDog cruelty]], and [[ItsAllAboutMe selfishness]]. The clincher, though, [[ObliviouslyEvil [[NeverMyFault is absolute refusal to acknowledge that what they did was wrong]]. Indeed, that's part of ThePunishment for Darklords -- that if they worked up the moral strength to admit that what they have done is inexcusable and that they reaped what they sowed, their curse would be [[CursedWithAwesome moot]]. Then again, the books say that if they were the sorts of people who'd be able to do that, they would never have become Darklords in the first place. Notable examples include:
29th Jul '16 7:11:17 AM Anddrix
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* BaseBreaker: Falkovnia is one of the biggest domains, being an important part of the Core, but is also one of the most contentious in the entire setting. The reason is its combination of HumansAreTheRealMonsters and Military Horror, which some fans find admirable -- emphasizing that one does not have to have dark powers to be a complete and utter ''bastard'' -- and other fans loathe. Haters of the domain derisively describe Falkovnia as a ham-fisted medieval-flavored land of NaziCommies being run by a one-dimensional Vlad the Impaler rip-off.

to:

* BaseBreaker: BrokenBase: Falkovnia is one of the biggest domains, being an important part of the Core, but is also one of the most contentious in the entire setting. The reason is its combination of HumansAreTheRealMonsters and Military Horror, which some fans find admirable -- emphasizing that one does not have to have dark powers to be a complete and utter ''bastard'' -- and other fans loathe. Haters of the domain derisively describe Falkovnia as a ham-fisted medieval-flavored land of NaziCommies being run by a one-dimensional Vlad the Impaler rip-off.
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