CurseofStrahd_ProductImageThe newest Dungeons & Dragons campaign, Curse of Strahd, debuted at #6 on the Publishers Weekly Hardcover Fiction list, selling over 6000 copies in the first week of general release. The list is generated from book sales through book stores only and does not include sales from game stores. The book, written by the Wizards of the Coast development team in collaboration with the Ravenloft adventure’s authors Tracy and Laura Hickman, was released in hobby stores that are part of the Wizards Play Network on March 4th, and in mass market retail on March 15th.

The original Ravenloft adventure evolved from a Halloween game run by the Hickmans, with elements changing based on an in-game random development. “We played that game every Halloween and Laura and I wanted to keep the players guessing, even when they had played it with us before. So that became part of the design,” Tracy Hickman said. That continues in the new version with a visit to a mysterious fortune-teller whose readings from a tarot-like card deck determines the fate of allies and artifacts that could help the heroes.

The adventure has been well received in game stores, with stores reporting selling out of the basic D&D books in anticipation of the Curse of Strahd‘s release. This is the first D&D fifth edition campaign book that is not tied into other D&D properties, such as the Neverwinter MMO. The initial adventure, The Death House, has been made available for download. Mike Schley’s maps for the campaign can be purchased as a bundle at his website.

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Strahd 5th Edition

Curse of StrahdFan-favorite Dungeons & Dragons villain Count Strahd von Zarovich returns March 15th in Wizards of the Coast’s next published adventure, Curse of Strahd ($50). For characters levels 1-10, the new adventure is based on the 1983 Ravenloft module but features added content for Castle Ravenloft and the surrounding land of Barovia. Guiding characters in the vampire’s domain is the fortune-teller, Madam Eva. Her tarokka card deck will be available on the same day from Gale Force 9.


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Castle Ravenloft

Announced at a week-long D&D Experience in Indiana, Castle Ravenloft is a new board game set in the D&D universe.  Wizards of the Coast is taking a queue from more modern board games to create an hour-long experience for 6 players.

D&D’s Mike Mearls states “It’s going to be really tense and really claustrophobic.”

It’ll be interesting to see what the mechanics will be like once more information is released.  Will one player need to be the game master, like in Descent: Journeys in the Dark?  Will it be cooperative, like Pandemic?

Hopefully Wizards gets this right.  Ravenloft is an awesome setting, but that won’t be enough if the game isn’t up to snuff.