On the return of Ravenloft.
Last week I discovered that Ravenloft was being re-released and updated for the current edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Even though I don’t really play tabletop roleplaying games any more, I squeaked out loud and got a little too excited. Ravenloft was, and still is, my favorite of the old school D&D campaign settings and a flood of old memories came rushing back. (Spelljammer is a close second.)
When I was younger I devoured every aspect of the demiplane of dread. I owned the boxed set of books, its specific monster manual, and I read nearly all of the novels. I loved the concept of the world and the leaders of its various domains inspired by classic horror icons of literature. Strahd von Zarovich is one of my favorite vampires. (Jander Sunstar is a close second.) That classic painting of him standing on the balcony of his castle, looking out into the night as bats fly by and gargoyles stand watch informed me, in my youth, as to what a proper vampire looks like. I was passionate about the game world. My best friend and I nearly got into a friendship-ending argument over the validity of having a two-headed dog as a pet for my character.
Nostalgia is selling like crazy these days, and while I try to avoid reboots and reimaginations I’m helpless before the vampiric lure of Ravenloft’s return. With the original writers of the game in charge of its update, I feel like it’s going to be a faithful trip down memory lane.
But I still haven’t forgiven you for what you did to my two-headed dog, Dave.