Last updated
Ravenloft Dungeons and Dragons logo.png
Designers Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Bruce Nesmith, Andria Hayday, William W. Connors, Andrew Cermak, John Mangrum, Andrew Wyatt, et al.
Genres Gothic horror

Ravenloft is a campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game. It is an alternate time-space existence known as a pocket dimension or demiplane, called the Demiplane of Dread, which consists of a collection of land pieces called "domains", brought together by a mysterious force known only as the Dark Powers. Each domain is tailored to and mystically ruled by a being called a Darklord who is forever trapped and surrounded by magical mists surrounding the domain. Strahd von Zarovich, a vampire in the original AD&DRavenloft I6 module released in 1983, became the first Darklord, both ruler and prisoner of his own personal domain of Barovia. The story of how Count von Zarovich became Darklord of Barovia was detailed in the 1993 novel I, Strahd: The Memoirs of a Vampire . As originally established in the Ravenloft: Realm of Terror boxed set known as "the Black Box" released in 1990, the Ravenloft campaign setting was located in the Ethereal Plane. As a physical manifestation of that plane, lands, monsters and even people were created out of the mysterious mists, and the realm acted as a prison where one could enter or be transported, but means of escape were few. Other Ravenloft Domains and Darklords were eventually added in various AD&D 2nd edition (and then later in 3rd edition) products establishing a core continent attached around Barovia which could be traveled to by others if their respective lords allowed entering or leaving their borders; while some Domains remained isolated in the mists and were referred to as Islands. [1]


Creative origins

In 1978, Tracy and Laura Hickman wrote adventures that would eventually be published as the Dungeon & Dragons modules Pharaoh and Ravenloft . [2] Strahd von Zarovich was created by the Hickmans "after Tracy returned home from a disappointing session of D&D. Back in First Edition, the game was less of a storytelling game. [...] It didn't make sense to [Tracy] why a creature like a vampire was just sitting around in a random dungeon with oozes, goblins, and zombies. So he and his wife set out to create a vampire villain with fleshed-out motivations and history". [3] When the Hickmans began work on Ravenloft, they felt the vampire archetype had become overused, trite, and mundane, and decided to create a frightening version of the creature for the module. [4] They play-tested it with a group of players every Halloween for five years [5] on their own game system with the adventure titled Vampyr. [3] However, the Hickmans kept being asked about their "Ravenloft game", and so the Ravenloft name stuck. The duo eventually caught the attention of D&D's original publishers. They were hired to adapt it into the first edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and it was released as Module I6: Ravenloft [3] in 1983 by TSR. [5]

Publication history

1st edition

The first appearance of the setting was in Ravenloft , a stand-alone Advanced Dungeons & Dragons adventure module, published in 1983. [6] [7] [8] [9] In 1984, it won the Strategists' Club Award for Outstanding Play Aid. [10] It was popular enough to spawn a 1986 sequel, Ravenloft II: The House on Gryphon Hill , and an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Gamebooks novel, Master of Ravenloft, the same year. [10] [11] [12]

2nd edition

Ravenloft was launched as a full-fledged campaign setting, for AD&D 2nd Edition, in 1990, [13] with the Realm of Terror boxed set, popularly known as the "Black Box", and winner of the Origins Award in 1991 for "Best Graphic Presentation of a Roleplaying Game, Adventure, or Supplement of 1990". [14]

The campaign setting was revised twice during AD&D 2nd Edition: first as the Ravenloft Campaign Setting or "Red Box", then as the Domains of Dread hardback.

In 1994, Ravenloft spun off into a sub-setting called Masque of the Red Death , set on Gothic Earth, an Edgar Allan Poe-influenced alternative Earth of the 1890s, where fantasy creatures and magic exist in the shadows of civilization. [15]

TSR also published a series of novels set in Ravenloft. Each was typically focused on one of the Darklords that inhabited the Ravenloft world, with several focusing on the figure of Count Strahd von Zarovich. Many of these early novels were by authors who would later receive wider fame as horror/dark fantasy authors. These authors have included Elaine Bergstrom, P. N. Elrod, Christie Golden, and Laurell K. Hamilton. [16] [17]

3rd and 3.5 edition

A major revision of the Dungeons & Dragons was released in 2000, the first edition published by Wizards of the Coast (which had acquired TSR in 1997). [18] In the same year, Wizards of the Coast licensed the Ravenloft brand to White Wolf Publishing. [19] Under its Sword & Sorcery Studios (and later Arthaus imprints), White Wolf Publishing released the 3rd Edition d20 System Ravenloft Campaign Setting (2001) [20] and the 3.5 Edition Ravenloft Player's Handbook (2003).

The campaign settings published by White Wolf introduced a number of alterations, many due to conflicts with existing Wizards of the Coast intellectual property. Specific references to D&D-specific deities were replaced with new names in the White Wolf Ravenloft settings (for example, Bane was changed to the Lawgiver). The license to the Ravenloft trademark reverted to Wizards of the Coast on August 15, 2005, but White Wolf retained the right to continue to sell its back stock until June 2006. The timing of this reversion meant that the Ravenloft supplement Van Richten's Guide to the Mists did not see print. Instead, it was released by White Wolf as a free download in late September 2005. [21] The majority of the Van Richten's Guide series had already been published by TSR in the 1990s, before White Wolf's involvement.

In October 2006, Wizards of the Coast released Expedition to Castle Ravenloft, a hardcover version of the original 1st Ed. adventure, updated for the Dungeons & Dragons v.3.5 rule set. [22] This version includes maps from the original Ravenloft adventure, and new character-generation options. Expedition to Castle Ravenloft is a stand-alone supplement set for any D&D worlds, and only requires the three core books for usage. This book's setting is distinct from the Ravenloft of the White Wolf product line. [23] Shannon Appelcline, author of Designers & Dragons, highlighted that by 2006 people were beginning to wonder if Wizards of the Coast might be preparing a fourth edition of Dungeons & Dragons and stated that "the release of Expedition to Castle Ravenloft (2006) might just have offered another clue to the changing winds that lay ahead. First, it was a new line for 3.5e, suggesting that their original series of 3.5e books was coming to an end. Second, it was a fond look back at one of the most notable adventures from the AD&D days, just the sort of thing that Wizards published in the waning days of 2e". [24] :294 Appelcline later noted that, once fourth edition was officially announced, "the Expedition books that had begun publication in 2006 were revealed to indeed be part of Wizard's slow slide into 4e". [24] :295

4th edition

In 2007, Wizards of the Coast announced the printing of two new Ravenloft novels for 2008, Black Crusade and The Sleep of Reason, [25] fueling more speculation. A short story by Ari Marmell, "Before I Wake", based on the realms of Darkon, Lamordia, and Bluetspur was released on October 31, 2007, on the Wizards of the Coast website as a special for Halloween; it featured characters inspired by H. P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith. [26]

In 2008, Ravenloft was revealed to be re-introduced to 4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons, as was depicted in the October issue of the Dragon online magazine.[ citation needed ] The Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition supplement Manual of the Planes (2008) established that in the retconned cosmology, the Domains of Dread (and by extension the Ravenloft setting) were now located within the Shadowfell, a mirror-plane of death and gloom lying adjacent to the mortal realm. [27] [28] While a 4th edition update to the Ravenloft setting was announced at Gen Con 2010, [29] the product was never released. [22]

In 2010, Ravenloft was the setting for the Castle Ravenloft Board Game . [30] [31] Ravenloft also appeared in official magazine articles, such as, Dungeon #207 "Fair Barovia" (October 2012) [32] and Dragon #416 "History Check: Strahd and Van Richten" (October 2012). [33]

5th edition

In 2016, Barovia (one of the main locations within Ravenloft) was the main setting for adventure module Curse of Strahd which acts as an adaptation of the original Ravenloft module for the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons. [34] [35] The adventure states: "The lands of Barovia are from a forgotten world in the D&D multiverse [...]. In time, cursed Barovia was torn from its home world by the Dark Powers and bound in mist as one of the Domains of Dread in the Shadowfell". [36] The module was developed in-house by the Wizards of the Coast team, led by Christopher Perkins, with story contributions by original creators Tracy and Laura Hickman. [34] [36] Charlie Hall, for Polygon , explained that "instead of reinventing the wheel, principle[ sic ] designer Chris Perkins brought in the module's original writers — the husband and wife team of Tracy and Laura Hickman — to create the very best version of the famous module yet. [...] Tracy and Laura have been hosting nearly annual sessions of the original Ravenloft at their home, for friends and family, over the course of decades. When Perkins asked for their input, they flew out to meet with the team. The result was a torrent of ideas for new locations, characters and encounters". [34]

Wizards of the Coast released a new edition of the Curse of Strahd module, entitled Curse of Strahd: Revamped, [37] on October 20, 2020. [38] This module is the first released with the publisher's new focus on diversity and inclusion. [39] Wizards of the Coast stated that "the adventure includes the latest errata and a revised depiction of the Vistani" who are based on stereotypes about the Romani people. [40]

Wizards of the Coast released a new Ravenloft campaign sourcebook, Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft (2021), which introduces other Domains of Dread to the edition. [41] [42] It was published on May 18, 2021. [43]

Fictional setting

Ravenloft is primarily a Gothic horror setting. Dungeon Masters are encouraged to use scenes that build apprehension and fear, culminating in the eventual face-to-face meeting with the nameless evil. [44] Characters have a much greater significance attached to their acts, especially if they are morally impure, as they risk coming under the influence of the Dark Powers (through the game process called "dark powers checks") and gradually transforming themselves into figures of evil.

The magical mists of Ravenloft could appear anywhere in the Dungeons & Dragons universe, drawing evil-doers (or player characters) into the Ravenloft setting. One exception is the phlogiston of the Spelljammer setting. [45] [ full citation needed ] [46] [ page needed ] The phlogiston blocks all planar travel, but the Ravenloft mists can appear in deep space inside crystal shells, according to the Complete Spacefarer's Handbook. [47] [ page needed ]

Luis Javier Flores Arvizu named the continuous presence of supernatural beings as one of the factors that made Ravenloft a very well received role-playing game setting during the 33 years of its existence. [48]

The Dark Powers

The Dark Powers are a malevolent force who control the Demiplane of Dread. Their exact nature and number are deliberately kept vague, allowing for plot development in accordance with the Gothic tradition of storytelling – where the heroes are frequently outclassed and outnumbered by unknowable evil forces beyond their control. [49]

The Dark Powers most frequently serve as a plot device for Ravenloft, especially concerning the Darklords, the de facto visible rulers of the Ravenloft Demiplane. Where the player characters are often tormented and opposed by the Darklords, the Darklords are themselves tormented and opposed by the Dark Powers. The difference lies in order of power—while many D&D adventures focus on allowing a band of heroes to prevail over a Darklord (much as in the spirit of Bram Stoker's novel Dracula ), no such victory over the Dark Powers seems possible, or even conceivable, for the Darklords. Vecna and Lord Soth "escaped" Ravenloft, but are the only two Darklords known to have done so; Vecna by attaining the status of Greater God (and thus becoming too powerful for the Dark Powers to contain) and Lord Soth by ignoring his domain and punishment, causing the Dark Powers to lose interest in imprisoning him, and agents of his former curse on the world of Krynn coming to collect him.

Most frequently, the Dark Powers make their wishes and intentions known through subtle manipulations of fate. Thus, Barovia's vampire lord Strahd von Zarovich's many attempts to win back his love, Tatyana, are doomed to failure, but the Dark Powers arrange such that he never truly loses hope. Each time, for example, Strahd's own actions may be partially culpable for his failure, and as such he may go through crippling self-recrimination, rather than cursing the gods solely and giving up. Most other Darklords have similar tales of frustration, kept all the more unbearable because the flicker of the possibility of success is never truly extinguished.

Not all Darklords acknowledge the Dark Powers directly, however. Strahd, for example, in his own memoirs, speaks only of a force known as Death, who mocks him with the voices of his family and former colleagues throughout his life. Vlad Drakov, the Darklord of Falkovnia whose military expeditions are doomed to constant failure, seems even to be totally oblivious to any non-mortal factors in his repeated defeats.

The Dark Powers also seem capable of non-evil manipulations. Although their machinations are often directly responsible for the misery of many of Ravenloft's inhabitants, they also appear to play a role as dispensers of justice. Some tales of innocents who have escaped Ravenloft for happier environs are attributed to the Dark Powers, who have judged a being worthy of reward and release from their misty domain.

Domains of Dread

There are many Domains of Dread that makeup the landscape of Ravenloft. The Domains are surrounded by strange mists that can ensnare both people and places in Prime Material Plane and pull them into the Domains. Each Domain is ruled by a Darklord, but each Darklord was imprisoned in their Domain by the Dark Powers. [50] [51] The Dark Powers "are believed to have been responsible for the overall creation of the Dread Domains". [50] The concept of Domains and locations in Ravenloft besides Barovia and Mordent was introduced in the 2nd Edition campaign setting book Ravenloft: Realm of Terror (1990). [1] This book outlined that the size of Ravenloft is "40,000 square miles [spanning] 26 different domains, including Barovia and Mordent. All of the core domains are overviewed in Ravenloft, as are eight 'islands'". [1] The revised 2nd Edition boxset Ravenloft Campaign Setting (1994) is an update to Realm of Terror, but it removes Domains that were destroyed in the Grand Conjunction adventure series and adds new Domains. [52] The metaplot of the adventure series was used to update the setting: "David Wise, leader of the 'Kargat' of Ravenloft designers at TSR, has said there were a few reasons for the changes. Some domains were changed or removed because they didn't fit into Ravenloft ecologically [...]. Some domains were removed or merged because their lords were too similar, and finally some islands of terror were kicked to the curb just because they were 'less exciting'. [...] A few domains that had appeared since the publication of Ravenloft: Realm of Terror were notably missing [...]. All told, Ravenloft Campaign Setting covers 20 core domains and nine islands". [52] The 5th Edition campaign guide Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft (2021) includes an overview of 39 Domains and many Domains are given a "wholesale revision" while "other Domains keep their original lore but are advanced in other ways". [51] Rob Wieland, writing for Forbes, explained that in this book "many of the domains have new Darklords that reflect their original character but have details changed to better fit the type of horror the domain is supposed to represent". [53]

Some of the more notable Domains include:


Darklord is the title used to refer to the mystically imprisoned and cursed ruler of a domain. A Darklord was originally an individual who had committed a truly horrific crime, which drew the attention of the enigmatic Dark Powers. The Dark Powers then proceeded to craft a personal kingdom around the Darklord. This crafted domain serves both as a kingdom and a prison: [50] the Darklord gains incredible powers whilst within its borders but can never leave it, although most Darklords can seal their domain borders with a thought. [59] Within their domains, the Darklords are forever tormented by the objects of their desires, which are often the objects for which they committed their crimes.


The Vistani are a nomadic ethnic group. They are based on depictions of the Romani people. Since their introduction in the original Ravenloft module (1983) as fortune-tellers, they became a unifying element in the Ravenloft and the Masque of the Red Death campaign settings, which offer Gothic horror scenarios. In a Ravenloft adventure, the Vistani have some control of the Mists of Ravenloft, which divide realms, [60] while the players are generally confined to a region from which they must escape by solving one or more problems. Players generally need help from the Vistani to travel reliably from one open realm to another.

The Vistani people were "described as superstitious" [61] and had "abilities to curse and hypnotize players or cast spells like Evil Eye". [62] They were also originally stereotyped "as 'uncivilized' and heavy drinkers", but this portrayal was removed in the adventure module Curse of Strahd Revamped (2020). [62] Their portrayal was further retconned in Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft (2021); the Vistani people are no longer considered superstitious but instead focused on their traditional practices and their abilities are grounded in the forms of magic found in Dungeons & Dragons. [63]

The fictional character Rudolph van Richten, a famous Monster Hunter in Ravenloft and author of a series of guides to hunting and slaying various monsters, had a great enmity for the Vistani for most of his monster-hunting career, but his opinion improved during his penning of Van Richten's Guide To The Vistani, during which he befriended a mortu (a Vistani outcast).

Official products

Ravenloft has acted as the official campaign setting for multiple Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying adventure modules, sourcebooks and accessories. It has also been the main setting for novels and video games. [64]

Video games


Game designer Rick Swan commented in 1994 that when the Ravenloft setting first came out, it "just didn't seem special, a Forgotten Realms variant with a few more bats", but after supplements like Forbidden Lore , The Created , and the Van Richten's Guide series, Swan felt that "the Ravenloft campaign has proven to be a credible adventure alternative for players interested in the dark side of the AD&D game. Though it lacks the flamboyance of Call of Cthulhu and the, er, bite of Vampire , the Ravenloft setting remains the hobby's most enduring fusion of horror and fantasy". [66]

Darker Days Radio declared Ravenloft the "greatest D&D campaign setting", citing the unique gothic horror elements and classic villains such as Azalin Rex. [67]

In the Io9 series revisiting older Dungeons & Dragons novels, Rob Bricken highlighted that Vampire of the Mists "isn't scary, per se, but Strahd wreaks enough horror and carnage to drive home that Ravenloft is much, much more sinister than the Forgotten Realms. [...] Ravenloft (and I guess Forgotten Realms) vampires have all the tropes: They can turn into bats, wolves, and mists, and they don't cast reflections. They can control animals and enthrall people, to a degree. They can't cross running water, and they have to be invited into a home to enter. Unless they're an extremely powerful vampire like Strahd, natch". [68]

Shelly Jones, in the journal Analog Game Studies: Volume IV, highlighted the Tarokka Deck mechanic used in both the original Ravenloft (1983) module and the 5th edition Curse of Strahd (2016) module to add randomization to the game and increase replayability. Jones wrote: "The Tarokka Deck incorporates an inconsistency in the game play that reflects fragmented traumatic memory and reifies the inconsistency present within an abusive relationship". [69] Jones also highlighted that "without sunshine as a key time-tracking element, players are forced to rely upon other means to signal the passage of time within Barovia. Further adding to that disorientation is the knowledge that the players have been abandoned from anything familiar or real. [...] This alienating effect, based upon the physical environment as well as the psychological manifestations, traumatizes characters". [69]

The Ravenloft setting has been criticized [61] [62] [70] "for reinforcing harmful stereotypes through its portrayal of the Vistani, an in-fiction analogue for the Roma people". [71] In 2020, Wizards of the Coast announced "in the editorial process for Strahd's reprint, as well as two upcoming products, Wizards worked with a Romani consultant to present the Vistani without using reductive tropes". [72] On this update, Jon Ryan, for IGN , wrote that "it's worth noting that the book's illustrations of the Vistani still evoke Romani culture, and some players may still associate certain abilities [...] with outdated cultural stereotypes". [73] Julie Muncy, for Io9, criticized the "granular changes" to the Vistani people as not very extensive and that "while there's a real opportunity here to do better work—the aforementioned diversity pledge also mentioned future works that will feature the Vistani people and aim to complicate their depictions—starting that work with a fancy collector's edition feels less like a promise to do better and more like a victory lap". [62] Muncy also highlighted that the unrevised parts, such as the art and specific magical abilities, still lean "into tropes that suggest the Romani have mystical, dangerous powers, tropes that have been used in the past to target Romani for persecution". [62]

Christian Hoffer, for ComicBook.com, highlighted that in Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft (2021) the Domains of Dread "all now function as originally intended: prisons meant to torture specific souls. Many of the original Ravenloft domains featured strange punishments that didn't necessarily fit the crime of the Darklord. The revised domains are usually a better utilization of the ironic intent that flavors the immortal prisons of Ravenloft. The domains also now include a variety of different horror genres rather than a fixation on gothic horror. Finally, much of the misogynistic, colonialist, or racist elements have been purged out of this new iteration of Ravenloft. Although these changes will likely be the most talked about part of the book in some circles, these changes seem to have occurred naturally during the course of updating Ravenloft to reflect more diverse horror genres and to make the domains conform to Ravenloft's internal laws". [51]

In other media

Related Research Articles

Dragonlance is a shared universe created by Laura and Tracy Hickman, and expanded by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis under the direction of TSR, Inc. into a series of fantasy novels. The Hickmans conceived Dragonlance while driving in their car on the way to TSR for a job interview. Tracy Hickman met his future writing partner Margaret Weis at TSR, and they gathered a group of associates to play the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. The adventures during that game inspired a series of gaming modules, a series of novels, licensed products such as board games, and lead miniature figures.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tracy Hickman</span> American writer

Tracy Raye Hickman is an American fantasy author and designer of games and Virtual Reality (VR) experiences. He co-authored the original Dragonlance novels with Margaret Weis as well as numerous other books. He also designed and created role playing game material while working for TSR and has cowritten novels with his wife, Laura Hickman. He is the author or co-author of over 60 books.

<i>Ravenloft</i> (module) 1983 adventure module for the Dungeons & Dragons game

Ravenloft is an adventure module for the Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) fantasy role-playing game. The American game publishing company TSR, Inc. released it as a standalone adventure booklet in 1983 for use with the first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game. It was written by Tracy and Laura Hickman, and includes art by Clyde Caldwell with maps by David Sutherland III. The plot of Ravenloft focuses on the villain Strahd von Zarovich, a vampire who pines for his lost love. Various story elements, including Strahd's motivation and the locations of magical weapons, are randomly determined by drawing cards. The player characters attempt to defeat Strahd and, if successful, the adventure ends.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lord Soth</span> Dragonlance character

Lord Soth, the Knight of the Black Rose, is a fictional character appearing in the fantasy realms of Dragonlance and later Ravenloft. He is depicted as a death knight and fallen Knight of Solamnia from the world of Krynn.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Strahd von Zarovich</span> Fictional roleplaying character

Count Strahd von Zarovich is a fictional character originally appearing as the feature villain in the highly popular Advanced Dungeons and Dragons adventure module I6: Ravenloft. Later, this character and his world would be explored in follow-up modules, novels, and the Ravenloft campaign setting. Within this setting, Strahd is the first and best-known of Ravenloft's darklords. He is a powerful ancient vampire. He is also a master necromancer, a skilled warrior, and the unquestioned ruler of the domain of Barovia.

Darklord is a title used to refer to the mystically imprisoned and cursed ruler of a domain in Ravenloft, a campaign setting in the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game.

The Vistani are a nomadic ethnic group in the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game. They are based on depictions of the Romani people, and over time this depiction has been criticized as overly stereotyped and pejorative, and subject to some revisions in the D&D canon.

The flexibility of the Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) game rules means that Dungeon Masters (DM) are free to create their own fantasy campaign settings. For those who wanted a pre-packaged setting in which to play, TSR, Wizards of the Coast (WotC), and other publishers have created many settings in which D&D games can be based; of these, the Forgotten Realms, an epic fantasy world, has been one of the most successful and critically acclaimed settings. Many campaign settings include standard sword and sorcery environments, while others borrow Asian, Central American, swashbuckling, horror and even space-travel themes.

Vampire (<i>Dungeons & Dragons</i>) Fictional monster from Dungeons & Dragons

In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, a vampire is an undead creature. A humanoid or monstrous humanoid creature can become a vampire, and looks as it did in life, with pale skin, haunting red eyes, and a feral cast to its features. A new vampire is created when another vampire drains the life out of a living creature. Its depiction is related to those in the 1930s and 1940s Hollywood Dracula and monster movies. In writing vampires into the game, as with other creatures arising in folklore, the authors had to consider what elements arising in more recent popular culture should be incorporated into their description and characteristics.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Laura Hickman</span> American fantasy author (born 1956)

Laura Curtis Hickman is an American fantasy author, best known for her works in game design and fantasy novels cowritten with her husband, Tracy Hickman. She was one of the first women to write and publish a tabletop adventure.

<i>I, Strahd: The Memoirs of a Vampire</i>

I, Strahd: The Memoirs of a Vampire is a 1993 fantasy horror novel by P. N. Elrod, set in the world of Ravenloft, and based on the Dungeons & Dragons game. Its plot centers on the army commander Strahd Von Zarovich who takes up residence in Ravenloft and then, consumed by envy and regret for lost youth, succumbs to the temptations of the dark arts.

<i>House of Strahd</i> D&D module

House of Strahd is an adventure module for the 2nd edition of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, published in 1993.

<i>Ravenloft: Realm of Terror</i>

Ravenloft: Realm of Terror is a boxed set accessory published in 1990 for the Ravenloft campaign setting for the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bruce Nesmith</span> American game designer

Bruce Nesmith is a game designer who has worked primarily on role-playing games. He was Creative Director at TSR, working on a variety of games including Dungeons & Dragons, and is a senior game designer at Bethesda Game Studios, where he has worked on AAA titles such as Fallout 3, Fallout 4 and Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and was lead designer on Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

William W. Connors is a game designer who has worked primarily on role-playing games.

<i>Curse of Strahd</i> D&D 5e adventure module

Curse of Strahd is an adventure book for the 5th edition of the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. It was released on March 15, 2016 and is based on the Ravenloft module published in 1983.

<i>Van Richtens Guide to Ravenloft</i> D&D 5e campaign setting

Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft is a sourcebook that details the Domains of Dread from the Ravenloft campaign setting for the 5th edition of the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game.



  1. 1 2 3 Appelcline, Shannon. "Ravenloft: Realm of Terror (2e) | Product History". DriveThruRPG. Retrieved 2021-05-13.
  2. Hickman, Tracy. "Tracy Hickman's Works with Laura Curtis". TRHickman.com. Archived from the original on 2009-07-26. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
  3. 1 2 3 David, Ari (2020-03-15). "Strahd Is More Than Just Dungeons & Dragons' Dracula". CBR. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  4. Winter, Steve; et al. (2004). "Ravenloft". 30 Years of Adventure: A Celebration of Dungeons & Dragons . Wizards of the Coast. p. 114. ISBN   0-7869-3498-0.
  5. 1 2 Varney, Allen (August 1998). "Profiles: Tracy Hickman". Dragon . Wizards of the Coast (250): 120.
  6. "Dungeons & Dragons FAQ". Wizards of the Coast. 2003. Archived from the original on 2000-08-18. Retrieved 2009-02-09.
  7. Rateliff, John D. "L2. The Assassin's Knot". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on 2001-06-17. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
  8. 1 2 Hickman, Tracy; Hickman, Laura (1983). Ravenloft. TSR. p. 30. ISBN   0-88038-042-X.
  9. Mona, Erik; Jacobs, James; Dungeon Design Panel (2004). "The 30 Greatest D&D Adventures of All Time". Dungeon. Paizo Publishing (published November 2004) (116): 68–81.
  10. 1 2 Schick, Lawrence (1991). Heroic Worlds: A History and Guide to Role-Playing Games. Prometheus Books. p. 102. ISBN   0-87975-653-5.
  11. Sargent, Carl (March 1987). "Open Box: AD&D Adventures". White Dwarf . Games Workshop (87): 2–3.
  12. Bulmahn, Jason; Jacobs, James; Mike McArtor; Mona, Erik; Schneider, F. Wesley; Todd Stewart; Jeremy Walker (September 2007). "1d20 Villains: D&D's Most Wanted; Preferably Dead". Dragon. Pazio. 32(4) (359): 54–69.
  13. "The History of TSR". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on 2008-09-24. Retrieved 2005-08-20.
  14. "Origins Award Winners (1990)". Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design. Archived from the original on 2007-11-05. Retrieved 2007-10-29.
  15. Connors, William (1994). Masque of the Red Death and Other Tales. TSR, Inc. ISBN   1-56076-877-0.
  16. "Golden, Christie 1963–". Contemporary Authors . January 1, 2007. Archived from the original on 2014-09-21. Retrieved 2012-09-27 via HighBeam Research.
  17. Melton, J. Gordon (1994). The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead. Detroit: Visible Ink Press. p. 852. ISBN   0-8103-2295-1.
  18. "What Happened to Gygax - TSR?". gygax.com. Archived from the original on 1999-01-28. Retrieved 2006-07-04.
  19. "White Wolf To Publish Ravenloft". icv2.com. Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  20. Cermak, Andrew (2001). Ravenloft Campaign Setting – Core Rulebook (3e). Mangrum, John W., Wyatt, Andrew. Renton, WA: Sword & Sorcery. pp. 8–18. ISBN   1-58846-075-4. OCLC   48893605.
  21. "Van Richten's Guide to the Mists". Archived from the original on 2006-07-23.
  22. 1 2 "Everything You Need To Know About Ravenloft". Storm Giant Games. January 3, 2020. Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  23. "Product Spotlight: Expedition to Castle Ravenloft". Archived from the original on 2014-07-26. Retrieved 2019-08-24.
  24. 1 2 Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN   978-1-907702-58-7.
  25. "Fiction – Dungeons & Dragons". ww2.wizards.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on 2007-05-19. Retrieved 2007-10-23.
  26. "Before I Wake". Archived from the original on 2009-06-03. Retrieved 2020-01-15.
  27. Baker, Richard (2008). Manual of the Planes. Renton, Wash.: Wizards of the Coast. p. 51. ISBN   978-0-7869-5002-7. OCLC   1090865842.
  28. 1 2 Hoffer, Christian (January 25, 2019). "'Dungeons & Dragons' Unofficially Returns to the Shadowfell With New Supplement". ComicBook.com. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  29. "D&D Podcast: D&D Preview Show Gen Con 2010". Wizards of the Coast. August 9, 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-12-21. Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  30. Appelcline, Shannon. "RM4 House of Strahd (2e) - Wizards of the Coast | Product History". Dungeon Masters Guild. Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  31. Ewalt, David M. (May 23, 2011). "Take A Dungeon Crawl With The Castle Ravenloft Board Game". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  32. "Fair Barovia | Article | RPGGeek". rpggeek.com. Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  33. "History Check: Strahd and Van Richten | Article | RPGGeek". rpggeek.com. Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  34. 1 2 3 Hall, Charlie (2016-01-18). "D&D's Ravenloft returns with the help of its original creators". Polygon. Retrieved 2020-08-21.
  35. "Curse of Strahd – Dungeons & Dragons". dnd.wizards.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  36. 1 2 Perkins, Christopher; Crawford, Jeremy; Mearls, Mike (2016). Curse of Strahd. D&D 5th edition. Renton, Washington: Wizards of the Coast, Inc. p. 5. ISBN   9780786965984. OCLC   944137375.
  37. "Dungeons & Dragons: Curse of Strahd Revamped Announced for October Release". IGN India. 2020-07-29. Retrieved 2020-10-23.
  38. "Curse of Strahd Revamped | Dungeons & Dragons". dnd.wizards.com. Retrieved 2020-11-21.
  39. Hall, Charlie (2020-07-31). "One of Dungeons & Dragons' best campaigns is getting two extravagant new reprints". Polygon. Retrieved 2020-10-23.
  40. Macgregor, Jody (2020-08-03). "Popular D&D tabletop campaign Curse of Strahd is being re-'vamped'". PC Gamer. Retrieved 2020-11-21.
  41. Hall, Charlie (2021-02-23). "Next Dungeons & Dragons campaign book reboots the many realms of Ravenloft". Polygon. Retrieved 2021-02-23.
  42. Whitbrook, James (February 23, 2021). "How Dungeons & Dragons' Next Sourcebook Expands Its View of Horror". io9. Retrieved 2021-02-23.
  43. 1 2 3 4 5 Hall, Charlie (2021-05-12). "Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft is the biggest, best D&D book of this generation". Polygon. Retrieved 2021-05-13.
  44. Hite, Ken (1999). Nightmares of Mine. Iron Crown Enterprises. p. 171. ISBN   1-55806-367-6.
  45. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition
  46. The Polyhedron magazine, issue 151.
  47. Complete Spacefarer's Handbook
  48. Rangel Jiménez, Mauricio (2021). Lanzando los dados: aproximaciones académicas a los juegos de rol (in Spanish). Universidad Iberoamericana. ISBN   978-607-417-763-3.
  49. Bicudo de Castro, Vicente; Coelho, Heitor; Frambach, Danilo (2023). "Mistification: The Dreadful Side of Cloud Computing". Coolabah (34): 91–111. doi: 10.1344/co20233491-111 . S2CID   259964519.
  50. 1 2 3 "Dungeons & Dragons: 10 Things to Know About Ravenloft Before Van Richten's Guide". CBR. 2021-05-13. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
  51. 1 2 3 4 5 Hoffer, Christian (May 11, 2021). "Dungeons & Dragons: Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft Provides a New Take on a Beloved Campaign Setting". ComicBook.com. Retrieved 2021-05-12.
  52. 1 2 Appelcline, Shannon. "Ravenloft Campaign Setting, Revised, Boxed Set (2e) | Product History". DriveThruRPG. Retrieved 2021-05-13.
  53. Wieland, Rob (May 17, 2021). "An Exclusive Look Inside Van Richten's Guide To Ravenloft". Forbes. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  54. 1 2 3 "D&D: Why Ravenloft's Lamordia Is Perfect For Frankenstein Fans". ScreenRant. 2021-05-13. Retrieved 2021-05-13.
  55. 1 2 3 "Dungeons & Dragons: The Best Domains in Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft". CBR. 2021-05-22. Retrieved 2021-05-22.
  56. 1 2 Ryan, Jon (5 May 2021). "How D&D is Going Full 'Zombie Apocalypse' Mode in Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft". IGN. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
  57. 1 2 "D&D's Guide to Ravenloft: Magical Disaster Horrors Await Players". io9. 2021-05-17. Retrieved 2021-05-17.
  58. "D&D's Ravenloft settings include Lamordia, a domain of 'stitches and semi-dead flesh'". Syfy.com. 2021-05-03. Retrieved 2021-05-22.
  59. "D&D Fans: The Lack Of Darklord Statblocks In Van Richten's Is The Point". TheGamer. 2021-05-16. Retrieved 2021-05-17.
  60. "Is Dungeons & Dragons Getting Ready to Return to Ravenloft?". ComicBook.com. August 6, 2020. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
  61. 1 2 "Curse Of Strahd Revamped: What It Changes From The Original". TheGamer. 2020-10-22. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
  62. 1 2 3 4 5 Muncy, Julie (July 27, 2020). "D&D's Culturally Sensitive Strahd Revamp Is Here, But It'll Cost You [Updated]". io9. Retrieved 2020-11-21.
  63. Hall, Charlie (2021-05-18). "Dungeons & Dragons retcons one of its most problematic characters". Polygon. Retrieved 2021-05-18.
  64. "Ravenloft: Reviews". Fraternityofshadows.com. Retrieved 2020-01-15.
  65. Wilson, Jason (2018-06-26). "Neverwinter: Ravenloft module launches on PC". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2020-01-15.
  66. Swan, Rick (May 1994). "Role-playing Reviews". Dragon . Lake Geneva, Wisconsin: TSR (205): 100–101.
  67. "Darkling #33". Darker Days Radio. January 26, 2014. Retrieved 2019-01-24. Ravenloft game overview.
  68. Bricken, Rob (December 12, 2020). "Dungeons & Dragons & Novels: Revisiting Vampire of the Mists". io9. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  69. 1 2 Jones, Shelly (2017). "The Psychological Abuse of "Curse of Strahd"". Analog Game Studies. IV (I). ISSN   2643-7112.
  70. "Dungeons & Dragons' Racial Reckoning Is Long Overdue". Wired. ISSN   1059-1028 . Retrieved 2021-05-14.
  71. Hall, Charlie (2021-05-03). "D&D's new Ravenloft book swaps outdated tropes for a high-fantasy approach". Polygon. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
  72. "Dungeons & Dragons Team Announces New Plans to Address Race and Inclusivity in the Game". io9. June 18, 2020. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  73. Ryan, Jon (July 27, 2020). "Exclusive: First Look at D&D's 'Curse of Strahd Revamped' Collector's Edition". IGN . Retrieved 2020-11-21.
  74. "D&D's Dungeon Masters Guild Wants Players To Monetise Fan Content". Kotaku Australia. 2016-07-31. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  75. Lemon, Marshall (January 12, 2016). "Wizards of the Coast Puts Out New Dungeons and Dragons Open License With Forgotten Realms Content | The Escapist". Escapist Magazine. Archived from the original on 2019-10-29. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  76. Hall, Charlie (2020-01-13). "Dungeons & Dragons basically has DLC now, and it's excellent". Polygon. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  77. Hoffer, Christian (September 14, 2019). "Terrify Your Players With Creepy New Dungeons & Dragons Adventure". ComicBook.com. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  78. 1 2 3 Hoffer, Christian (February 4, 2019). "'Tales From the Mists' is 'Dungeons & Dragons' Spooky New Show". ComicBook.com. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  79. "Tales from the Mists | Dungeons & Dragons". dnd.wizards.com. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  80. "For the last time, until next time, we shall see you in the Mists..." Twitter. MistTalesDnD. July 6, 2020. Retrieved 2021-02-24. [self-published]
  81. "D&D's TALES FROM THE MISTS Gives You a Different Kind of Chill This Winter". Nerdist . 2019-02-07. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  82. Hoffer, Christian (April 1, 2021). "Dungeons & Dragons Launches The Black Dice Society, a Creepy Ravenloft Streaming Show". ComicBook.com. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  83. 1 2 Baird, Scott (2021-04-01). "D&D: The Black Dice Society Arrive In Ravenloft On April 1". ScreenRant. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  84. "Coming SOON from: @cypheroftyr @DeejayKnight @nouralogical @Mark_Meer @NotSaige @thebeccascott and @BDaveWalters We're announcing properly March 22 and the adventure begins Thursday April 1 at 4 PST!". Twitter. The Black Dice Society. March 12, 2021. Retrieved 2021-03-22. [self-published]
  85. "'The Black Dice Society': How to Watch the Twitch Premiere of This Official 'Dungeons & Dragons' Stream". Collider. 2021-03-26. Retrieved 2021-03-28.

General and cited sources