The Adventure Review is a series of blog posts I make mainly for my future self, a summary of the D&D modules I game mastered to put all those great memories into words. However if they can be useful to you too, it’s even better! ⚠️ There are heavy spoilers ahead, you’ve been warned.
The adventuring party:
- Nyx Folkore (Mel), a gnome magician
- Selena, a human bard
- Darwin, a human Paladin
- Eskel, a human monk
What we loved the most:
- The Villain, with a capital V. What a character! Strahd is one of those bad guys your players will truly hate
- The setting, especially the Vistani and the Dark Powers
- The Tarokka card reading
- The town of Vallaki and all its subplots
- The Wizards of Wine, and the Keeper of the Feather
- The time pressure that I induced at the end of the campaign (they had 3 days to find the remaining 2 artifacts before Strahd's wedding with Ireena)
- The final fight with Strahd, from the top of Castle Ravenloft to the catacombs.
The moments we'll always remember
- The Monk dying at Vallaki's main square and coming back from the dead mere minutes later, with dark blood and a black spot in his eyes
- An encouter with Strahd with three duplicates of a the bard, bringing fear, distrust and pure chaos to the party. More details here: The most terrorizing Strahd encounter I pulled off yet.
- When a Dark Power called Darkness succeeded in turning our mage to the dark side. The others fought her in the Amber Temple to prevent this outcome, but she misty-stepped to break the Dark Power’s sarcophagus
- How animate object on 10 marbles covered in holy water can do 100HP of damage in one turn to a Vampire
What was a bit less fun/didn’t stuck as a vivid memory:
- The werewolf plotline
What I learnt as a GM with this module:
- How to milk external resources such as the Curse of Strahd subreddit to get awesome new content, art and ideas!
- How to weave the PC's backstories into the main plot (thanks Dice, Camera, Action! for that)
- How to run a deep, complex villain
- How to craft some props for the players, such as this bloodied letter prop
Will I replay it in the future?
I WANT TO. It was the best campaign I ever ran, and it has a lot of replay potential. It’s not a module I would run for first time players but otherwise I WANT to run it again.
What whould I change?
Incorporate even more stuff from Reddit/other sources. Run the Interactive Tome of Strahd. Use the Into the Mists soundtrack from Travis Savoie. But most of all: make Strahd a female (might do a post about it one about how it went if I come to it).
The resources I used:
- Curse of Strahd subreddit (especially MandyMod's Fleshing Out Curse of Strahd)
- The Wedding at Ravenloft
- Wizard of Wines wine bottle labels
- Castle Ravenloft realistic maps
All the posts in this series: