Friday, 14 Aug 2020

One of Dungeons & Dragons’ best campaigns is getting two extravagant new reprints

One of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons’ most famous adventure modules, Ravenloft, tells the story of the vampire Strahd von Zarovich and the cursed valley of Barovia. In 2017, Wizards of the Coast released a revised edition, titled Curse of Strahd, with the help of its original authors. It’s gone on to become one of the most popular adventures for the modern 5th edition ruleset. Now it’s being revised again, and released as a pair of lavish collectors’ editions timed for Halloween.

Curse of Strahd Revamped will be one of the first modules revised by Wizards to align with the developer’s renewed focus on diversity and inclusion. The campaign setting was called out for its insensitive portrayal of the Romani people, and Wizards said in a press release that the module will have other changes and updates made as well. The $99.99 boxed set will be released Oct. 20 at local game stores and on Amazon.

Curse of Strahd Revamped comes in a coffin-shaped box.
Image: Wizards of the coast

What’s wonderful about this boxed set is that is comes with a Dungeons Master’s screen — which is especially helpful for this sandbox-style open-world campaign — and a deck of foil-stamped Tarokka cards. These tarot-like cards are a vital prop for setting up randomized elements of the adventure.

[Warning: The link below leads to some spoilers for Curse of Strahd Revamped. If you haven’t run the adventure before, or aren’t planning to be the Dungeon Master for your group, best to stick to the copy below.]

In addition to the $99.99 edition, Beadle & Grimm’s — which licenses D&D content for lavish boxed sets — is also making a $399.99 version of the module. It’s currently up for pre-order at $359.99.

What’s extraordinary about this Curse of Strahd Legendary Edition is that it comes with tons of handouts, maps, and props for use at the table. First, Beadle & Grimm’s takes care to shred every D&D adventure module down into its component parts. That presents the DM with far less paperwork to manage at the table. They also include encounter cards, 60 in total, for running the game’s many combat and non-combat events. The Legendary Edition also includes physical letters written by Strahd himself, which serve as hooks and clues to collect during the adventure. There’s jewelry, coins, and other physical props galore, plus a new map of Barovia created by Deven Rue.

The real treasure here, however, is the entirety of Castle Ravenloft — the setting for the climactic showdown at the end of the module — is included as a series of physical maps.

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I’ve been running Curse of Strahd for the better part of a year with my local playgroup, and I can tell you that some of the most fun my party has had comes from wandering the twisting stairwells and towering spires of this haunted, gothic fortress. To play things out at the table, I ended up created my own Ravenloft map using a home printer and a half-dozen sheets of foamcore. The prospect of opening up a box and having that all ready to roll on day one, well, that would have saved me a lot of time.

Beadle & Grimm’s says in the product listing that this is just the first of many collaborations with Wizards of the Coast to enrich its back catalog of 5th edition modules. Look for more information on their website.

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