I will start writing things about The curse of Strahd soon. I’m currently running the campaign. Maybe I will write a guide, just like I’m doing with Out of the Abyss. One of the most important facts about this adventure is to understand that this is Strahd’s land and curse, everything orbits around him, the PC’s are but pawns in the adventure. And Strahd is a character both simple and profound at the same time. A misunderstood soul who is ultimately perceived as just cruel and malignant. So here is a suggestion/tip of an encounter with Strahd.
Whenever the PC’s are walking the streets of Vallaki, it doesn’t matter if this is before or after the sun festival, they will hear the approaching sound of hooves, horses galloping fast. They turn around to see the main street full of people running to get out of the way of Count Strahd’s black carriage. He’s coming to have a word with Lady Fiona Wachter about future plans for the town. The PC’s are at the far side of the street and will see how a man with a little girl jump out of the way. Unfortunately, the little girl is not quick enough and is crushed under the hooves of the horses and the carriage’s wheels. The carriage suddenly stops and Count Strahd Von Zarovich steps down from his carriage to see what happened. The girl’s father, speechless, takes his daughter’s body. He holds her tight, watching the Count with an expressionless stare.
Count Strahd starts to walk toward the ruined man, he tenses up in fear, unknowing what to do or how to react. Strahd reaches for his front pocket and produces a silk pouch. He takes some gold coins out of it and tosses them to the man. They lay scattered in front of the girl’s father. Count Strahd Von Zarovich, turns around and climbs to his vehicle again to continue with his business.
The PC’s will most probably not be a match for him at this moment, but if they decide to intervene or confront Strahd. He will at first introduce himself (if he hasn’t done so before) and try to talk his way out of it, he’s not in the mood for a fight. While talking he will be using his charming gaze to diminish the party’s offensive. If openly attacked, they party will see how the damage does absolutely nothing to him (the heart of sorrow). Strahd, angered will answer with a blight spell to get rid of the nuisance.