I6: Ravenloft, is among the greatest D&D adventures of all time. for very good reasons. It holds a special place in my heart, and I have such good memories of both playing and dm’ing this adventure.
Strahd has come to 5E! Curse Of Strahd is now available everywhere. *NOTE* This review is based off my time READING the book (as I have several times) I have not yet dm’d or played the adventure. I’ll give my thoughts on that after I have done so, this is just a overview review of the book.
Curse Of Strahd is laid out via the following chapters
- Getting Started (Introduction & Chapters 1 & 2)
- The Adventure (Chapters 3-15 & Epilogue) – for players levels 3-10
- Character Options (Appendix A)
- Death House Starter Adventure (Appendix B) – for 1st Level Characters
- Treasures and Monsters/NPCs (Appendices C & D)
- Tarokka Deck, Handouts, Maps (Appendices E & F, Maps)
The breakdown for the full book is as follows
- Cover Price: $49.95 At Retail/Game Shops (Amazon lists for $29.97)
- 256 pages
- 15 chapters
- 6 appendices
- Foreword by Tracy Hickman
- Multiple handouts for players
- A 2-sided, fold out map
With the breakdown of numbers out of the way, let’s talk what I think about the book.
Under raging storm clouds, the vampire Count Strahd von Zarovich stands silhouetted against the ancient walls of Castle Ravenloft. Rumbling thunder pounds the castle spires. The wind’s howling increases as he turns his gaze down toward the village of Barovia. A lightning flash rips through the darkness, but Strahd is gone. Only the howling of the wind fills the midnight air. The master of Castle Ravenloft is having guests for dinner—and you are invited.
WOTC have outdone themselves with the art in this book. That artwork is top notch. I can’t speak enough of about that, there were many times I found myself pausing for longs period of times while reading the book, just admiring the artwork.
I have to say if you are interested the Barovia or the lands surrounding this is your book, You can take what is in here and create your own horror themed adventures for a party to go through, all you need to need to know is here in the book.
I’ll touch briefly on the adventure. this is a retelling of the classic I6. So if your familiar with that you will be right here, there are few twists and turns they have done, but it stays very true to the original material. As I said above, I have not yet ran the adventure, I’m very much looking foward to doing so. The book is designed to take your party from level 1 to level 10. It’s open ended, so you can start however you like.
One thing I would say is this, if you are just a PLAYER and have no plans to DM this, and are only going to try to survive the mists with your party, then DO NOT BUY THIS. you will SPOIL EVERYTHING. This book is NOT FOR PLAYERS. it’s more for the Dungeon Master to run, or to create new adventures on. Again, players this BOOK IS NOT FOR YOU. (I’m not saying it’s a bad book, in fact the opposite, it’s so good but not for the player on the DM)
On the subject of DM. I would also add this is NOT for the first time DM. It would just frustrate you to no end. this adventure is VERY open ended. there is no Start here, then your party moves to here etc. (Other then the intro adventure Death House, which is designed to get your party from 1-3, but the bulk of Ravenloft is open ended. You get enough information to start and go, but you will need to fill in some of the pieces.
Curse of strahd is horror done right, it’s an open ended look into Ravenloft and an opening to bring the lands of Barovia. WOTC has done Ravenloft right, and not changed the classic I6. But added to it, for that I applaud them. you don’t mess with a classic.
To my players, Strahd is waiting for you, and this time it wont be so easy. *Cue the lightning and thunder and menacing laugh*
*Special thanks to WTOC for providing a review copy of this wonderful book*