Thanks to the ongoing and progressive distillation of vampire mythology in pop culture, these creatures of darkness have been somewhat defanged over time. The twisted and horrifying vision of the original Nosferatu has given way to cute and sparkly creatures who are terrifying in an altogether different way.
In the early 1980s – the year was 1983 to be exact – there were still creative visionaries walking among us who knew how to do the whole vampire thing right. Tracy and Laura Hickman created a little adventure known simply as Ravenloft, giving Dungeons & Dragons fans a dose of true terror.
In a surprising turn of events – and one well worth celebrating – D&D fans will get to revisit Castle Ravenloft in an all new adventure that pits players against the dreaded vampire Strahd von Zarovich. Due out on March 15, 2016, Curse of Strahd has all the makings of a classic D&D release and, better yet, has been written in collaboration with the original Ravenloft authors Tracy and Laura Hickman. How awesome is that?
On working with Tracy and Laura, principle story designer Chris Perkins had this to say in the official announcement for Curse of Strahd:
"Revisiting the land of Barovia with the creators of the original Ravenloft adventure has been a highlight of my professional career," said Chris Perkins, principal story designer at Wizards of the Coast. "Tracy and Laura Hickman created a timeless villain whose faults reflect the darkest traits of humanity. I can't begin to describe what it's like to walk through the halls of Castle Ravenloft with its creators as your guides."
The release goes on to give a brief overview of what fans can expect in their adventures into spooky vampire doom.
Heroes from the Forgotten Realms and other D&D worlds can easily be drawn into Strahd's cursed land. Once there, they must contend with the horrors of Barovia. Its people are melancholy, misshapen and grotesque, living in fear of the wolves and other creatures that serve Strahd's evil will. The only hope for the trapped adventurers is to heed the warnings of a mysterious fortune-teller named Madam Eva. Drawing random cards from her tarokka deck, she directs adventurers to search Strahd's domain for artifacts and allies to help the master of Castle Ravenloft. That is, before he orchestrates your demise for his amusement and feasts on your terror.
The tarokka deck will come into play in some interesting ways, as a physical deck of cards has been produced by Gale Force 9 that will be available with the release of the Curse of Strahd adventure. Dungeon Masters will be able to use the deck to randomize locations within the adventure, adding a high degree of replayability into the mix.
To learn more about the upcoming release of Curse of Strahd be sure to visit the official Dungeons & Dragons website.
Source: Official Announcement
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