Fighting Strahd – Tactics and Strategy

The GUIDE index for Curse of Strahd and other related articles can be found here ! Count Strahd Von Zarovich is a tough opponent. Fighting Strahd should always feel dangerous, like the conflict will go sour from one moment to the next. He is described in the book in page 240. You would do well by scanning it, taking a picture or taking good notes of all the info in that page for fast reference in game. It’s a big stat block. Strahd is strong in all areas, his lowest score being Wis (15). However the score of most importance is Intelligence, which is often neglected when deciding what to do or how to roleplay Strahd. He has a score of 20 Intelligence, which is higher than the average mind flayer if you want to compare it with a race that is considered highly intelligent. Strahd became more powerful after…

Epilogue

The GUIDE index for Curse of Strahd and other related articles can be found here ! After countless adventures, Curse of Strahd must finally come to an end. The module spans level 1-10 although it can also end sooner, or if the DM chooses it, expand it to higher levels. By definition, en epilogue is the section of a book that explains whatever happened after the story concluded, it’s an afterthought. The goal of this part of the story is to bring closure to it. There are many ways in which this adventure may finish, however it does, you should be ready with an epilogue; a recount of things that happen in the story and any known characters after the adventure ends. The final confrontation with Strahd should be a deadly affair, a difficult challenge impossible to circumvent. It only has two possible outcomes, either Strahd prevails or he is…

Chapter 15 – Werewolf Den

The GUIDE index for Curse of Strahd and other related articles can be found here ! The last numbered chapter in Curse of Strahd. This is about the werewolf pack that lives in Barovia. They are sometimes allowed by Strahd Von Zarovich to go cross the mists so that they can kidnap people and children from the neighboring lands of the Sword Coast. Werewolves are cool and all but this is the most optional part of the module. You can skip it entirely and nothing happens. You can even use the werewolves and skip the den and nothing happens. So, if you plan on using werewolves as a moving part of the adventure and you used the adventure hook “Werewolves in the Mist” that’s the only good reason to visit this chapter. That adventure hook serves as the only purpose to playing the chapter since the PCs would have come…

Chapter 14 – Yester Hill

The GUIDE index for Curse of Strahd and other related articles can be found here ! This is a short chapter. You will have noticed there are some encounters with druids in the random encounter tables. These folks wear ragged clothes and their demeanor and appearance is savage. It’s never stated in the book specifically, but rather implied, that all these druids are part of the same druidic circle. Centuries ago they became trapped in Barovia like everyone else. Since they are druids and their duty and labor is with the land itself they probably were not so preoccupied with being permanently inside. Overtime the original druids died off and were replaced by the younger generations. After some two or three generations, their values and ideals shifted, these druids were now part of a closed system were there was a big difference regarding their original ideologies. The difference was Count…

The Dark Gifts – Dialogue Compendium

The GUIDE index for Curse of Strahd and other related articles can be found here ! This is a special article which serves as an expansion for Chapter 13 – The Amber Temple. As described in page 191, each of the amber vaults contains 1 or more amber sarcophagi. Inside each sarcophagus a sliver of pure evil is trapped. This is the vestige of a dead god; what remains of an entity of pure evil. They are still somewhat sentient and will interact with PCs telepathically if they touch the sarcophagi. The intention of this part of the module is to seduce players with promises of power that can come with a high cost. Worst case scenario, the player might lose control of his PC or set him in a way to death while roleplaying any acquired personality traits. The book specifies the name of the entity and gift it…

Chapter 13 – The Amber Temple

The GUIDE index for Curse of Strahd and other related articles can be found here ! The Amber Temple, better known as the TPK (Total Party Kill) temple. This place is as mysterious and dangerous as it gets. The real danger here is that nothing stops a party of level 5 PCs from coming here in search of Strahd’s information or one of the magic relics needed to fight him. The adventure suggests this place is an appropriate challenge for a level 9 party. Even that can prove dangerous depending on how things unwind inside the temple. The place was built by good wizards to guard evil entities’ remains. Over time they were corrupted by the darkness inside and killed each other (as if these things never ended up like that). Exethanter is an evil Archmage that arrived soon after and took on the task of guarding the temple. He…

Chapter 12 – The Wizard of Wines

The GUIDE index for Curse of Strahd and other related articles can be found here ! This is a very interesting chapter. For starters it’s optional, but this one has strong hooks that connect it to other areas in Barovia and other quests. Due to these interconnections it is probable that the party will wind up at the winery and try to help the Martikovs. This winery is the best in the multiverse because it is the only one that supplies it’s products free of cost to all towns in the Valley of Barovia and Castle Ravenloft. That’s right ! Free alcoholic drinks for all Barovians. And it is also implied that they ship it for free too. Even Strahd Von Zarovich has profited from this since his wine cellar features the Wizard of Wines products, plus wines imported by the Vistani. If your party has been following the clues all…

Chapter 11 – Van Richten’s Tower

The GUIDE index for Curse of Strahd and other related articles can be found here ! After the Valley of Barovia was conquered by Strahd’s armies and the construction of Castle Ravenloft began, an archwizard named Khazan was hired to aid on the project. After the castle was complete he retired to the Barovian countryside. He built a tower in an island in Lake Baratok and a bridge to get to it. It is also explained in the chapter’s intro (page 167), that Khazan eventually visited the Amber Temple and acquired lichdom. He later became an advisor for Strahd. Long after that, Khazan tried to achieve demilichdom in order to project his life-force outside of Barovia. He was trying to escape and failed. His body was destroyed and Khazan was no more. Khazan’s bodily remains are buried in crypt number 15 (page 88), his Staff of Power can be retrieved there.…

Chapter 10 – The Ruins of Berez

The GUIDE index for Curse of Strahd and other related articles can be found here ! It is not specified in a timeline, but some time ago, probably a century or more, there was a fourth settlement in the Valley of Barovia. This was the town of Berez. The Burgomaster’s name was Lazlo Ulrich (weird uh? I was expecting Berezovich, following the name conventions of Barovia). Not much is said about the town and its people. Berez is located right on the Luna River shore, in a place that became a swamp due to Strahd’s anger, around 4.5 miles south of lake Zarovich. Berez became a place of importance for Strahd Von Zarovich when he became aware that an incarnation of Tatyana Federovna lived there. The peasant girl was named Marina; her countenance and personality reminded Strahd of Tatyana. He lured her and feasted on her blood one night. His…

Chapter 9 – Tsolenka Pass

The GUIDE index for Curse of Strahd and other related articles can be found here ! Waiting in the southernmost part of the Valley of Barovia is a mountain range. There is a serpentine dangerous path that meanders through the mountains, this is the Tsolenka Pass. The place is dangerous in and by itself because of the crude weather, it is so cold that exploration without proper clothes will be impossible. The adventurers will not come this far south without a clear reason to do so. There are only two reasons why the PCs would go down this way: They know or suspect the location of the Amber Temple and are looking for it. They come in search of a magic relic and suspect that it is located in the Tsolenka guard tower. This place is highly dangerous for low-ish level parties. If the PCs are looking for the Amber…