Chapter 5 – The Town of Vallaki

The GUIDE index for Curse of Strahd and other related articles can be found here ! This is pivotal point in the Curse of Strahd Module. After the Village of Barovia, this will be the first settlement the party will visit. They might have heard that the town is secured and walled. That people can prosper there and that the Burgomaster is in a constant fight against Strahd’s evil. However nothing is farthest from the truth. In reality, Vallaki is a bomb about to explode, and the adventurers cannot stop it. How and when it blows are the only factors that could be managed to work differently, but the conflict will burn down the city to its core. This is real because of the current political situation in Vallaki, and the different powers at play. No DM should feel constrained to blow the fuse, this settlement was written in this…

Chapter 4 – Castle Ravenloft

The GUIDE index for Curse of Strahd and other related articles can be found here ! Castle Ravenloft is the biggest chapter in the book. With over 40 pages describing the different 88 areas inside, it is a daunting task to get ready for it. It’s important to have in mind that it is unlikely that the castle will be explored completely. A party might have some exploration in mind or a feeling of curiosity, but in reality, Castle Ravenloft is a place where the party will run out of resources sooner or later, and they most probably won’t long rest inside the castle. Additionally, Castle Ravenloft is not a dungeon crawl to visit all in one go. The party will have to come and go several times during the course of the module. The better approach to Castle Ravenloft comes from the player’s intentions for visiting it. It is…

Roleplaying Strahd Von zarovich – Curse of Strahd Guide

The GUIDE index for Curse of Strahd and other related articles can be found here ! Introduction to Strahd Von Zarovich The module Curse of Strahd naturally revolves around Count Strahd von Zarovich. The spot light is on him during the entire time, everything in the Valley of Barovia is as it is due to him. There are many ways to roleplay Strahd. Much has been said about his motivations and personality. This long chapter of the guide will deal with how to approach everything that has to the with the Lord of Barovia. The chapter includes different alternatives for most stuff and general advice on how to run the game and Strahd himself (Some of this advice disregards the guidelines for running Strahd in page 10, there he is portrayed as more of a senseless monster and not so “alive”). The aim of this guide is to make Strahd…

The Lands of Barovia – General Info

The GUIDE index for Curse of Strahd and other related articles can be found here ! There were two important things in the original Advanced Dungeons and Dragons modules back in the day that are missing in the 5e book. The Dark Powers Checks Barovia responds to evil acts, it encourages it, nurtures it. When a PC committed an evil act willingly, on the DMs judgment, this could cause a dark powers check. It was an opportunity for Barovia’s malignant energies to suffuse their power into the PC. The PC had a chance to resist this influence. If he failed he could be granted an evil feature or punishment. Overtime, as PCs continued committing evil acts, they would slowly turn into dark beings. Which is in a way what happened to Strahd Von Zarovich. I have no opinion really about this option, I believe there are supplements out there to…

Out of the Abyss – Chapter 17 – Against the Demon Lords

The GUIDE index is here ! Before we start, you might want to read this recap of the final chapter in one of my games. We have finally gotten this far. It’s the end of the campaign, a wrap up to this awesome long journey. Not many get here, it’s really difficult for some people to have a group steady enough to play over 60-70 hours of D&D. So congratulations to you and your group for getting to the end of Out of the Abyss. This chapter is very open ended. Mostly it depends on decisions taken by the PCs or how you as the DM lead the previous encounters against the demon lords. However you choose to play this chapter, it’s important to have a mega epic fight at the very end; it’s only logical that the final confrontation will be the toughest. However we will see that the book…

Out of the Abyss – Chapter 16 – The City of Spiders

The GUIDE index is here ! Chapter 16 in the book is the fetid wedding, but, if you’ve been following my guide, you know I switched the order of those two chapters. In my opinion it makes more sense to do it like this, but if you disagree, the chapter order in the book, works alright too. After acquiring all the different ingredients and components to build the Dark Heart, Vizeran needs several days to build it. It is during this downtime that the PCs have to decide how they are going to go about slipping inside Menzoberranzan. Objective Their mission is to infiltrate the city, enter Sorcere (the spellcaster’s tower), get access to Gromph’s office and Inner Sanctum, obtain Gromph’s Grimoire, leave the Dark Heart, and finally get out. I will add an extra objective. The city is protected against teleportation magic since Demogorgon appeared. After retrieving the Grimoire,…

Out of the Abyss – Chapter 15 – The Fetid Wedding

The GUIDE index is here ! Alright, Chapter 15 in the book is actually The City of Spiders. But as I mentioned previously in this guide, it doesn’t make much sense to visit Menzoberranzan, then get out to crash the fetid wedding, only to come back again to Menzoberranzan to place the dark heart (if that is the PCs decision). But of course you are welcome to do it as ordered in the book. This is just my personal informed suggestion for the order of chapters; I feel it correctly conveys the dramatic rise of wildness and danger of the demon lords. This is actually a very short chapter, and hastily written as much of the second part of the adventure. If you play it as is, you’ll find that a level 13-14 party is going to walk through it unscathed; at those levels, adventurers are almost super heroes. It’s…

Out of the Abyss – Chapter 14 – The Labyrinth

The GUIDE index is here ! Very much like the Dark Lake, the Labyrinth is not a single place or “maze” but a gigantic region in the lowest reaches of the underdark. Because of its depth, It’s larger than the Wormwrithings. It is important to note that it’s not a two-dimensional plane, but rather a semi-spherical area, Which means that when the PC’s arrive, they enter the Labyrinth from its upper limits. When exploring it, they can move horizontally but also descend into the deepest parts of it. Many cities and forgotten realms have been buried and forgotten over Millennia  in this place. The PC’s could stumble upon unexplored dungeons or old cities during their travels through the Labyrinth.  The place is magically imbued in a way that disorients anyone who is inside (except minotaurs), similar to the Wormwrithings, there are countless caves and passages that seem to go everywhere and nowhere at…

Out of the Abyss – Extra encounters No. 1

Make sure you visit my Guide to Out of the Abyss. The first part of the adventure involves lots of traveling, A LOT OF traveling. According to page 25, you should roll twice daily, while traveling through the underdark. Page 18 explains the time it takes to get from one place to the next, for example, a party traveling from Sloobludop to Gracklstugh will take 28 days at normal pace. Rolling randomly for encounters in this time period can result in over 20+ encounters, quite too much if you want to keep the game dynamic. Also, considering that some people play D&D every two weeks or even monthly, it could take such a group months in real time just to get from one point of interest to the next.  This is something I mentioned in chapter No. 2 of my OoTa guide. It is a lot more fluent and convenient to…