View Full Version : [3.5] Ravenloft Adventure Path

2009-01-17, 04:36 PM
Hey all,

I'm hoping to run an adventure path as a leadup to Expedition to Castle Ravenloft (6th level). I'm looking for adventures to take the party from 1st to 6th, with the following requirements:

Free, if at all possible, but I'm willing to buy what I need :smallamused:
Horror-themed, undead always a bonus :smallcool:
Fun! :smallsmile:

I will be letting players know the nature of the campaign up front, so I'm guessing they'll take appropriately themed characters (Cleric, Paladin, White Necromancer etc.).

Secondly, I believe that White Wolf did a series of 3.5 Sword & Sorcery Ravenloft supplements. Does anyone know if these were any good, and/or if they are available to purchase anywhere?

Lastly, does anyone have any other suggestions? I'm guessing I'll be using Libris Mortis, Heroes of Horror and Exemplars of Evil quite heavily in this game. Any other thoughts? This campaign won't be kicking off for the better part of a year yet, so I've got plenty of time to prepare and stock up.

2009-01-17, 05:43 PM
Ravenloft mentioned, gushing will ensue:

S&S/Arthaus put out 3.0 and 3.5 Ravenloft books, sanctioned by WotC. They're great where it counts - atmosphere and making the setting a self-realized world of horror rather than a place where you go for one-off horror adventures. They are kinda wobbly on the rules - a lot of the monsters in the 3.5 version of the monster book (Denizens of Dread and Denizens of Darkness) aren't actually fully 3.5 converted, etc. It's never been a problem for me, especially since rules shouldn't be necessary in a horror game very often.

I heartily recommend the Ravenloft sourcebooks - all of them! - but be careful when picking out the core book and the monster book. You want the 3.5 versions, not the 3.0 versions. (The rewrites go beyond just updating rules, which they actually did a bit haphazardly.)

Denizens of Dread is the 3.5 monster book. The Player's Guide is identified as v3.5 on the cover. The DM's Guide isn't, and I'm not sure if there's a 3.5 version at all, but that doesn't matter - the book is almost entirely about running a gothic horror game, not about rules, which is freaking awesome.

Secrets of the Dread Realms (contains loads of info on the biggest Dreadlords) and all the Van Richten's Guides are great (also, how totally Sam & Dean of season 1 are the two Van Richten girls?). The Gazetteers are pretty excellent. Dark Tales & Disturbing Legends is cool - I freaking love the bogeymen, they are genuinely scary all by themselves. (And having the Scissorman as a Ravenloft monster is just awesome! Poor Struwwelpeter.) Heroes of Light is way more useful than Champions of Darkness.

Note that Heroes of Horror offers a completely different style of horror. It's more modern, and not really gothic at all. It is, however, far more viscerally terrifying than gothic horror, which tends to be more abstractly terrifying or haunting. I personally suggest combining the two styles.

Ravenloft is all about classic adventures, and one of my favorite tricks is to take faery tales and turn them into horror stories.

- Little Red Riding Hood. The wolf is a werewolf, naturally. Perhaps whoever is in the role of the grandmother was actually infected.
- Cinderella. "Cinderella" is a horrible deformed monster, kept locked inside by her stepmother and stepsisters out of fear and loathing (or possibly even justified horror at her dangerous nature). Once a month or once a year, she assumes fair and beautiful shape and slips out, perhaps to kill a victim, or perhaps to simply enjoy a life that is forbidden to her...
- The Golem of Prague. You can play this pretty much straight. A Gundarakite priest of Ezra living in a Barovian town creates a clay golem (possibly toned-down, but that's not a requirement, since horror enemies should be impossible to face in straight combat), which goes out of control and begins to kill things.
- Snow White. The princess is an Unholy Scion. The mother kills herself in a moment of lucidity, and the father falls under the girl's control instead. The step-mother wises up to what is going on when the fiendish girl is in her teens, and manages to seal her away. Evil dwarves get the PCs to help bring her back by killing the "evil stepmother" ... when the truth is revealed, they have to deal with the terror they've released.
- Rumpelstiltskin. A shadow fey / arak / modified efreeti (in Ravenloft, it would probably be possessing a human body) grants a woman's wish, but keeps taking her new-born children for years. The PCs come onto the scene and begin to unravel the net of horrors, made all the worse by the woman actually agreeing to the grotesque demands of the creature for years, all for her greed and fear...
- The Pied Piper. A wererat piper leads the children of a town off to be devoured by his lycanthropic kin in the sewers...
No matter what you do, try to pick some gothic themes to feature - desperation, hubris, wrath, jealousy, greed, betrayal...

Of course, Expedition to Castle Ravenloft is not actually designed as a horror adventure/campaign, but as a regular D&D one, so you'd have to tinker around with the style a lot to make it work.

Fax Celestis
2009-01-17, 05:49 PM
If you want to go with the faerie tale thing, I recommend looking at d20 Grimm. I forget who puts it out, but it's a readily available PDF.

This adventure (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/oa/20021130a) is far too high level, but the idea behind it is feasible and probably a good build up if you don't mind adapting it.

2009-01-19, 09:47 AM
Is there a Dungeon Magazine index somewhere that sorts adventures by level and issue number?