Follow TV Tropes

Following

History TabletopGame / Ravenloft

Go To



* IronicHell: Each domain is tailored to its darklord. All are given great power but at the cost of what they truly desire. Strahd is an immortal warrior-wizard and unquestioned ruler but can never possess the woman he loves. Azalin rules the largest domain in Ravenloft and is probably the most powerful Darklord there is, but cannot learn new magic. Others include a werewolf who hates his human side but will become human if he acts like an animal, a sadistic killer whose presence removes pain and whose touch cures all ills (including death), and a wolfwere who wants to rule his domain but whose people acknowledge no ruler.

to:

* IronicHell: Each domain is tailored to its darklord. All are given great power but at the cost of what they truly desire. Strahd is an immortal warrior-wizard and unquestioned ruler but can never possess the woman he loves. Azalin rules the largest domain in Ravenloft and is probably the most powerful Darklord there is, but cannot learn new magic. Others include a werewolf who hates his human side but will become human if he acts like an animal, a sadistic killer whose presence removes pain and whose touch cures all ills (including death), and a wolfwere who wants to rule his domain but whose people acknowledge no ruler. A particularly "fun" example is ''Magazine/{{Dragon}}'''s description of the way Sithicus changes after Lord Soth returns to Krynn: the domain was originally all about lack of consistancy and twisting memory, because Soth's thing was clinging to who he used to be. Once Inza, whose flaw was self-deception, became the darklord, it changed into a realm where nobody can forget their past.


* TheBluebeard: [[CaptainObvious Bluebeard]] and Urik von Kharkov.

to:

* TheBluebeard: [[CaptainObvious Bluebeard]] Bluebeard and Urik von Kharkov.

Added DiffLines:

** Doctor Victor Mordenheim looks exactly like ChristopherLee from the mid-Seventies.


* BeingEvilSucks: If one trope holds true on Ravenloft, it's this one. Do evil things (or use necromantic spells) and you may attract the attention of the Dark Powers. They'll give you some neat ability, but with a generous side of BlessedWithSuck and RedRightHand. Be ''really'' evil, and they'll turn you into a Darklord- the all-powerful ruler of a domain struck with a curse that keeps them trapped and miserable forever.

to:

* BeingEvilSucks: If one trope holds true on Ravenloft, it's this one. Do evil things (or use necromantic spells) and you may attract the attention of the Dark Powers. They'll give you some neat ability, but with a generous side of BlessedWithSuck and RedRightHand. Be ''really'' evil, and they'll turn you into a Darklord- Darklord - the all-powerful ruler of a domain struck with a curse that keeps them trapped and miserable forever.



* EvilerThanThou: Fiends play this role to the Darklords. The Darklords usually tend to have a few redeeming characteristics, where as Fiends are wholly evil.

to:

* EvilerThanThou: Fiends play this role to the Darklords. The Darklords usually tend to have a few redeeming characteristics, where as whereas Fiends are wholly evil.



** The Amber Temple from TabletopGame/CurseOfStrahd is dedicated to this, with vestiges of evil entities trapped in giant blocks of amber. Their shenanigans still affects the world, but it otherwise seems to have worked remarkably well, with only one having escaped.

to:

** The Amber Temple from TabletopGame/CurseOfStrahd is dedicated to this, with vestiges of evil entities trapped in giant blocks of amber. Their shenanigans still affects affect the world, but it otherwise seems to have worked remarkably well, with only one having escaped.

Added DiffLines:

* BeingEvilSucks: If one trope holds true on Ravenloft, it's this one. Do evil things (or use necromantic spells) and you may attract the attention of the Dark Powers. They'll give you some neat ability, but with a generous side of BlessedWithSuck and RedRightHand. Be ''really'' evil, and they'll turn you into a Darklord- the all-powerful ruler of a domain struck with a curse that keeps them trapped and miserable forever.

Added DiffLines:

* TigerByTheTail: Wyan of Viktal started the Inquisition to combat TheFairFolk and those who conspire with them, but the group has become fanatical over time, and often not really interested in giving the accused due process. Wyan is a good man and not happy about this, but knows he would likely end up burned at the stake if he tries to speak out or leave.

Added DiffLines:

* KillTheLights: In ''Adam's Wrath'', while the {{PC}}s are infiltrating the underground caves, Adam will touch the luminescent fungus that provides the only light in the area. When he does this, the light will immediately turn off throughout the area, leaving the {{PC}}s in darkness. Adam knows the area much better than the {{PC}}s and will take less of a penalty while fighting in darkness than the {{PC}}s will.


* GreatDetective: [[{{Expy}} Alanik]] [[SherlockHolmes Ray]].

to:

* %%* GreatDetective: [[{{Expy}} Alanik]] [[SherlockHolmes Alanik Ray]].



* WolverinePublicity: No fewer than a half dozen different darklords have visiting Barovia and being chased off by Count von Zarovich as part of their background. Lord Soth got around this by already having as much PopularityPower as the Count, who only escaped with his undead hide intact by kicking out one of Soth's ghostly servants who'd sought shelter with him. Soth [[BatmanGambit cared more about getting revenge]] on his disloyal servant than on repaying the insults the Count had visited on him, and so chased his servant all the way to the Misty Border, where he eventually caught and killed him ''(again)'', but not before being caught by the Mists and trapped in his own domain.
** Played straight and averted in the ''Domains of Dread'' core rulebook, which introduced Vecna and Kas as darklords. Unlike the Lord Soth example, Vecna's entrapment was explicitly acknowledged by various TabletopGame/{{Greyhawk}} sourcebooks when he was described as missing and/or trapped. Played straight as Vecna and Kas were two of the most famous TabletopGame/{{Greyhawk}} characters in the setting and introduced some measure of celebrity to Ravenloft, but averted when the two were given a pair of domains adjacent to one another and in their own separate cluster where they could war against each other eternally, effectively making their appearance a sideshow that wouldn't disrupt the Core domains as a whole. Vecna, already a demigod at the very limits of the Dark Powers to hold and contain, managed to escape within a few years in an insane GambitRoulette scheme that involved luring Iuz to Ravenloft, absorbing his essence to become a true god, and using his power to warp the Mists into shunting him into [[TabletopGame/{{Planescape}} Sigil]] where, as a true God within the Cage, his very presence began breaking down the rules of reality ''(and replacing them with those of 3rd edition)''. Problematic for violating the explicit rules of three different settings? Or awesome for violating the explicit rules of [[TabletopGame/{{Greyhawk}} three]] [[TabletopGame/{{Planescape}} different]] [[TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}} settings]]? Your call.

to:

* WolverinePublicity: WolverinePublicity:
**
No fewer than a half dozen different darklords have visiting Barovia and being chased off by Count von Zarovich as part of their background. Lord Soth got around this by already having as much PopularityPower as the Count, who only escaped with his undead hide intact by kicking out one of Soth's ghostly servants who'd sought shelter with him. Soth [[BatmanGambit cared more about getting revenge]] on his disloyal servant than on repaying the insults the Count had visited on him, and so chased his servant all the way to the Misty Border, where he eventually caught and killed him ''(again)'', but not before being caught by the Mists and trapped in his own domain.
** Played straight and averted in the ''Domains of Dread'' core rulebook, which introduced Vecna and Kas as darklords. Unlike the Lord Soth example, Vecna's entrapment was explicitly acknowledged by various TabletopGame/{{Greyhawk}} sourcebooks when he was described as missing and/or trapped. Played straight as Vecna and Kas were two of the most famous TabletopGame/{{Greyhawk}} characters in the setting and introduced some measure of celebrity to Ravenloft, but averted when the two were given a pair of domains adjacent to one another and in their own separate cluster where they could war against each other eternally, effectively making their appearance a sideshow that wouldn't disrupt the Core domains as a whole. Vecna, already a demigod at the very limits of the Dark Powers to hold and contain, managed to escape within a few years in an insane GambitRoulette scheme that involved luring Iuz to Ravenloft, absorbing his essence to become a true god, and using his power to warp the Mists into shunting him into [[TabletopGame/{{Planescape}} Sigil]] where, as a true God within the Cage, his very presence began breaking down the rules of reality ''(and replacing them with those of 3rd edition)''. Problematic for violating the explicit rules of three different settings? Or awesome for violating the explicit rules of [[TabletopGame/{{Greyhawk}} three]] [[TabletopGame/{{Planescape}} different]] [[TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}} settings]]? three different settings? Your call.


** Played straight and averted in the ''Domains of Dread'' core rulebook, which introduced Vecna and Kas as darklords. Unlike the Lord Soth example, Vecna's entrapment was explicitly acknowledged by various TabletopGame/{{Greyhawk}} sourcebooks when he was described as missing and/or trapped. Played straight as Vecna and Kas were two of the most famous TabletopGame/{{Greyhawk}} characters in the setting and introduced some measure of celebrity to Ravenloft, but averted when the two were given a pair of domains adjacent to one another and in their own separate cluster where they could war against each other eternally, effectively making their appearance a sideshow that wouldn't disrupt the Core domains as a whole. Vecna, already a demigod at the very limits of the Dark Powers to hold and contain, managed to escape within a few years in an insane GambitRoulette scheme that involved luring Iuz to Ravenloft, absorbing his essence to become a true god, and using his power to warp the Mists into shunting him into [[TabletopGame/{{Planescape}} Sigil]] where, as a true God within the Cage, his very presence began breaking down the rules of reality ''(and replacing them with those of 3rd edition)''. Problematic for violating the explicit rules of three different settings? Or CrowningMomentOfAwesome for violating the explicit rules of [[TabletopGame/{{Greyhawk}} three]] [[TabletopGame/{{Planescape}} different]] [[TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}} settings]]? Your call.

to:

** Played straight and averted in the ''Domains of Dread'' core rulebook, which introduced Vecna and Kas as darklords. Unlike the Lord Soth example, Vecna's entrapment was explicitly acknowledged by various TabletopGame/{{Greyhawk}} sourcebooks when he was described as missing and/or trapped. Played straight as Vecna and Kas were two of the most famous TabletopGame/{{Greyhawk}} characters in the setting and introduced some measure of celebrity to Ravenloft, but averted when the two were given a pair of domains adjacent to one another and in their own separate cluster where they could war against each other eternally, effectively making their appearance a sideshow that wouldn't disrupt the Core domains as a whole. Vecna, already a demigod at the very limits of the Dark Powers to hold and contain, managed to escape within a few years in an insane GambitRoulette scheme that involved luring Iuz to Ravenloft, absorbing his essence to become a true god, and using his power to warp the Mists into shunting him into [[TabletopGame/{{Planescape}} Sigil]] where, as a true God within the Cage, his very presence began breaking down the rules of reality ''(and replacing them with those of 3rd edition)''. Problematic for violating the explicit rules of three different settings? Or CrowningMomentOfAwesome awesome for violating the explicit rules of [[TabletopGame/{{Greyhawk}} three]] [[TabletopGame/{{Planescape}} different]] [[TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}} settings]]? Your call.

Added DiffLines:

* DiseaseByAnyOtherName: The population of Valachan is regularly plagued by a mild "disease" they call White Fever. In reality, it's anemia caused by the vampire dark lord taking controlled sips from his subjects. (Not so much out of mercy as because he doesn't want rivals for the food supply.)

Added DiffLines:

* ProtagonistJourneyToVillain: The Dark Powers find this very entertaining, and are only too eager to facilitate it.


Added DiffLines:

* RedemptionEqualsDeath: In general, once a character has reach advanced corruption levels from powers checks, only a HeroicSacrifice is enough to redeem them.

Added DiffLines:

* FisherKing: Each Darklord is intimately tied to his or her domain. They have limited ability to sense things going on or when something's really out of whack with their land. This most notably manifests with the disruption of reality caused by demons and other supernatural outsiders.


* 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 keeping with a number of Frankenstein movies (which present the secular version of this, with the Monster as inherently evil due to Dr. Frankenstein using a criminal's brain to create him), it's at odds with Mary Shelley's original novel, where it's the Monster's continued rejection by humanity that makes him a villain, and with modern audiences, who nowadays regard the Monster as a TragicVillain at worst and believe that Victor Frankenstein is the true "monster" of the story. ''The Created'', a supplement which introduces several golems, also conflicts with this, introducing some golems that aren't evil (yet.)



* 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. ''The Created'', a supplement which introduces several golems, also conflicts with this, introducing some golems that aren't evil (yet.)



* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The map of Ravenloft's Core in the first release was very... {{patchwork|map}}, to say the least. For starters, Bluetspur, a lightning blasted wasteland filled with underground tunnels of Mind Flayers, was directly adjacent to domains with temperate forests. The [[IDontLikeTheSoundOfThatPlace Nightmare Lands]], an almost completely featureless desert ''(as long as you're awake)'' and Vechor, a domain ran by an insane RealityWarper whose terrain changes by the hour, were right next to relatively normal domains filled with wheat fields. Another domain centered around a religion based on starvation as holy was smack dab in the middle of the Core's breadbasket, surrounded by lands of plenty on all sides. The opportunity to fix this came with the [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt Grand Conjunction]], which, as a side effect, rearranged domains to correspond with roughly similar ecologies and created Islands and Clusters, domains separate from the Core that correspond with each other without seeming ''too'' out of place.

to:

* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The map of Ravenloft's Core in the first release boxed set was very... {{patchwork|map}}, to say the least. For starters, Bluetspur, a lightning blasted wasteland filled with underground tunnels of Mind Flayers, was directly adjacent to domains with temperate forests. The [[IDontLikeTheSoundOfThatPlace Nightmare Lands]], an almost completely featureless desert ''(as long as you're awake)'' and Vechor, a domain ran by an insane RealityWarper whose terrain changes by the hour, were right next to relatively normal domains filled with wheat fields. Another domain centered around a religion based on starvation as holy was smack dab in the middle of the Core's breadbasket, surrounded by lands of plenty on all sides. The opportunity to fix this came with the [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt Grand Conjunction]], which, as a side effect, rearranged domains to correspond with roughly similar ecologies and created Islands and Clusters, domains separate from the Core that correspond with each other without seeming ''too'' out of place.



* GothicHorror: 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).

to:

* GothicHorror: 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 (Jekyll and Hyde) and Markov (the Island of Dr. Moreau).



* IgnoredEpiphany: Lord Soth faces this in ''Knight of the Black Rose''and it is one of the basic requirements to become a darklord in the first place. Someone capable of acknowledging their own faults automatically has too much humanity left to qualify (ironically, it's likely the in-universe reason why Soth was eventually released from the Mists was his eventual subversion of the trope when he eventually [[DespairEventHorizon hit rock-bottom]]).

to:

* IgnoredEpiphany: Lord Soth faces this in ''Knight of the Black Rose''and Rose'', and it is one of the basic requirements to become a darklord in the first place. Someone capable of acknowledging their own faults automatically has too much humanity left to qualify (ironically, it's likely the in-universe reason why Soth was eventually released from the Mists was his eventual subversion of the trope when he eventually [[DespairEventHorizon hit rock-bottom]]).



* MagicPoweredPseudoScience: It is possible for non-magic-using characters to create Dread Golems or even Undead, but it is stated that these creations gain their dark lifeforce from the Dark Powers granting it to them.

to:

* MagicPoweredPseudoScience: MagicPoweredPseudoscience: It is possible for non-magic-using characters to create Dread Golems or even Undead, but it is stated that these creations gain their dark lifeforce from the Dark Powers granting it to them.



* * NightmareSequence: Depending on wether or not the players have played the original I6 Ravenloft, the opening of I10 Ravenloft II: House on Gryphon Hill can be this. The DM is told to, if the players have fought Strahd before, retell their battle so that it ends in the death of the heroes. If they haven't, they find themselves in a battle against Strahd, a battle the DM is encouraged to have Strahd win, no matter what. When they die, they wake up.

to:

* * NightmareSequence: Depending on wether whether or not the players have played the original I6 Ravenloft, the opening of I10 Ravenloft II: House on Gryphon Hill can be this. The DM is told to, told, if the players have fought Strahd before, to retell their battle so that it ends in the death of the heroes. If they haven't, they find themselves in a battle against Strahd, a battle the DM is encouraged to have Strahd win, no matter what. When they die, they wake up.



* WorldsMostBeautifulWoman: Tatyana to Strahd, to the point that he wants nobody else, despite attempts at trying to find a substitute.


Added DiffLines:

* WorldsMostBeautifulWoman: Tatyana to Strahd, to the point that he wants nobody else, despite attempts at trying to find a substitute.

Added DiffLines:

* AndIMustScream: Victor Mordenheim's wife is kept alive hooked up to his machines. She wants to just die but he won't allow it. Or to be more exact, the ''Dark Powers'' won't allow it. In one module, the party can try freeing her and letting her die, but the Powers will resuscitate her and hook her back up shortly afterwards.

Showing 15 edit(s) of 288

Top

Example of:

/
/

Feedback