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Ravenloft Articles in Dragon Magazine

Send your comments for this section to Joel@FraternityOfShadows.com!


As this section has not been updated for a while, you may also find it useful to peruse Mistipedia's list of Ravenloft-related Dragon articles. (And if you know of an article that isn't listed there, feel free to go ahead and add it!)

Ron Laufer


Dragon#162 (October 1990) - The Game Wizards

Author: Bruce Nesmith

Content: tips for Ravenloft DMs

Comment: tips on improving descriptions; playing with deception, suspense, and unexpected and hiding information.

Dragon#162 (October 1990) - The Mind of the Vampire

Author: Nigel D. Findley

Content: tips on role-playing undead (ghosts, liches and vampires)

Comment: More then a year before the release of his VRGttV, Mr Findley explores the mind of these three types of undead, and offers adventure hooks with possible motivations for these powerful undead. Perhaps the first article ever exploring undead as formidable opponents from their motivations and personality. Based on the 'classic' undead from the monster manual (i.e. the touch-aging ghost, etc.).

Dragon#174 (October 1991) - Are you having bad thoughts ?

Author: Bruce Nesmith

Content: Revised rules for 2ndedition psionics in Ravenloft.

Comment: With a cool Dalì inspired drawing by Ruth Thompson, perverting twists on familiar mind powers (later found in Forbidden Lore, the Red Box and Domains of Dread).

Dragon#174 (October 1991) - Out of the mists

Author: William W.Connors

Content: Three new Ravenloft creatures -Shadow Asp, Fenhound and the Psionic Lich

Comment: Intro letter penned by Van Richten himself. First version of Har'Akir's Shadow Asp (later found inMC1 and Denizens of Dread), the Fenhound (MC3), and the Psionic Lich (MC3,and VRGtLich).

Dragon#174 (October 1991) - Cry wolf!

Author: Tim Malto

Content: three magical wolves - Dread Wolf, Vampiric Wolf, and the Stone Wolf.

Comment: high fantasy stuff, the Dread Wolf is an undead companion to mages, Vampiric Wolf (a silly one, IMHO),and a Stone Wolf (golem-like guardians).

Dragon#205 (May 1994) - Game Wizards: Visit the revisited Ravenloft setting - if you dare

Author: Dorin Hein

Content: A presentation of the Red Box.

Comment: Starting with an interesting discussion on Strahd, Tatyana and Sergei, the article follows on a good summary of the Grand Conjunction changes.

Dragon#210 (October 1994) - Geas: the Vistani Card Game

Author: William W Connors (5 pages)

Content: the Geas card game, for 3, 4 or 5players

Comment: The rules of a new card game, 'Geas', using the vistani tarokka, where the goal is to finish 'quests' (and where you can 'attack' other player's deck). Funny game.

Dragon # 212(December 1994) - Psychicproficiencies (MotRD)

Author: William W Connors

Content: Psychic kits and abilities for PCs and NPCs.

Comment: Psionic rule expansion, with a discussion on how to DM psionics in MotRD.

Dragon # 215 (March 1995) - Donning a new Masque (MotRD)

Author: William W Connors

Content: new kits for MotRD - Scientist, Athlete, Thespian (actor) and Lawyer, and cool character sheet

Dragon#234 (October 1996) - the Book of Souls

Author: Robert S Mullin

Content: A dread book, for wizards

Comment: Yep, the title of a Dread netbook:), that inspired our former colleagues to venture into Ravenloft-themed netbooks… Interesting cursed book, its powers, and way to destroy it.

Dragon#234 (October 1996) - Undead again

Author: Steven 'Stan!' Brown (4 pages)

Content: Three new undead PC 'kits' for the Requiem campaign - Boneless, Crawling Claw, and Penanggalan.

Comment: Two cool kits for Requiem (Boneless and Penanggalan (the full guts version from Fiend Folio), bothlater found in RL MC3) and a weird expansion, IMHO (really, unless you are the Adams Family 'the Thing', who wants to play a Crawling Claw?)

Dragon#236 (December 1996) - Mystics, Miracles and Mediations (MotRD)

Author: James Wyatt

Content: Two new kits for MotRD mystics -Exorcist and Enthusiast (great preacher), and four new weapon proficiencies.

Dragonannual # 1 (1996) - Vampires A-Z

Author: William W Connors (4 pages)

Content: A dictionary of vampires around the world.

Comment: Cool nostalgic intro on the Ravenloft setting, followed by an A to Z repertoire of vampire folklore around the world (A for Philippine's Aswang ? Hey, Dion!). (Also, read the dreaded Q - Qarlak!)

Dragon#238 (August 1997) - Rogue's Gallery: Silent Sheehan

Author: Jason Kuhl

Content: a one page NPC for the Ravenloft setting.

Comment: A 7th level dwarf thief from Darkon.

Dragon # 240(October 1997) - Mysterious Cities (MotRD)

Author: James Wyatt

Content: what's happening on Gothic Earth's Chicago, Montréal, Sitka (Alaska, USA), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Stuttgart (Germany), Seville (Spain), Baghdad (Ottoman Empire - Iraq), Madras (India), Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Comment: On a personal note, it's great to see Montréal included in the MotRD setting. The city's history and geographic setting is very cool, indeed …

Dragon#240 (October 1997) - Saga of the mists

Author: Mathew L. Martin

Content: the 5th Age Dragonlance setting's Saga system, adapted to Ravenloft, using the tarokka deck.

Comment: While I'm clueless for the SagaSystem, I found in it an interesting table on assigning alignments and personalities to each of the tarokka cards. Useful for random NPCs description, or tarokka readings variants.

Dragonannual # 2 (1997) - Villains of Gothic Earth (MotRD)

Author: James Wyatt

Content: Eight villains for MotRD - all are monsters (sahuagin, wererat, etc.)

Dragon#245 (March 1998) - Bazaar of the Bizarre - Dwarven relics

Author: Kevin Melka

Content: Dwarven relics from various D&D worlds, of which Ravenloft (Sarcophagus of Ran)

Comment: Interesting item, said to be grating a peaceful rest to the cursed ones.

Dragon#249 (July 1998) - Seeds of Evil (MotRD)

Author: James Wyatt

Content: a lengthy review of our Earth's historic ages, and its use for DMing MotRD. New monster: Knight Terror

Dragon#252 (October 1998) - Arcane Lore: Tome of Forbidden Lore

Author: Mathew L Martin

Content: Dark spells books, one of them by Azalin himself!

Content: Three dark spell books, one of them by Azalin himself (Book of Requiem)! Other two books are Tome of the Shackled Mind and The Revelation of the Prince of Twilight.

New spells: Book of Requiem - Blood's Call (control someone with his blood), Life Bond (channel life energy to a willing target), Death's Tithe (collect life energy from worshippers); Tome of the Shackled Mind - Corrupt Charm, Dark Desires (opens up the dark lusts of the victim's heart), The Revelation of the Prince of Twilight -Conjure rendered soul, Spirit's reunification.

Comment: Weird new spells. The quest for one of these books (or to forbid an evil group of finding / using it) could generate adventure hooks.

Dragon#252 (October 1998) - Jack-O-Lanterns

Author: Brian P Hudson (4pages)

Content: New magical Lanterns, of which two with Ravenloft mentions -Fright Lantern and Wailing Lantern (made in Hazlan).

Comment: Cute items, often with beneficial effects (except in Ravenloft,of course!).

DragonAnnual # 3 (1998) - Denizens of Dread

Author: Owen K.C. Stephens (7 pages)

Content: kits for PCs and NPCs: Danseur, Dilettante, Investigator, Psychologue, Stalker and Warder

Comment: Well made and interesting kits.

Dragon#258 (April 1999) - Land of Spectres

Author: James Lowder

Content: James Lowder's NPC sheet of important Sithicus NPC: Azrael Dak, Inza Magdova Kulchevich, the Bloody Cobbler and the Whispering Beast.

Comment: A must for those who read Mr Lowder's book, and to find pre-Gaz4 Inza.

Dragon#260 (June 1999) - Van Richten's legacy: the herbalist shop

Author: Cindy Rice and Steve Miller

Content: A description of the herbalist shop

Comment: Quite cool article, with plans of Van Richten's shop and house; with all the oddities VR added to it before his disappearance (secret areas, libraries, protections and various mundane but clever magic items). Very good article.

Dragon#262 (August 1999) - Half-Pint Heroes

Author: James Wyatt(2 pages for Ravenkin)

Content: How to design a Ravenkin PC.

Comment: Well made. Ravenkin makes interesting NPCs.

Dragon#264 (October 1999) - Harrowed Heroes

Author: Ed Bonny (12 pages)

Content: Adaptation of the Skills and Powers book for Ravenloft.

Comment: Lengthy and useful.

Dragon#264 (October 1999) - Saga of Gothic Earth (MotRD)

Author: Stephen Kenson(4 pages)

Content: the 5th Age Dragonlance setting's Saga system, adapted to MotRD.

Dragon#264 (October 1999) - Interview of the Lost Boys in the Dark Shadows

Author: Aaron Williams (1 page comic)

Content: Where Nodwick and his team meet Strahd

Dragon#264 (October 1999) - The Cult of Simon Audaire

Author: James Wyatt(6 pages)

Content: Penned by GWF, a part of the VRGto the Ancient Dead that was subtracted from the book by Van Richten …

Comment: A mummy under Ste Ronges? And an enemy of the wererat? Interesting!

New spell: ward against wererats, and description of the catacombs under Ste Ronges.

Dragon#266 (December 1999) - Arcane Lore: weremagic

Author: Brian P. Hudson (6pages)

Content: Numerous new spells for were wizards - Instantaneous shift (quicker shift between forms), Resist Silver, Ripclaw (harden and sharpens the claws), Sabertooth (similar to Ripclaws, for the teeth), Scent(implant a certain smell on a victim, enabling creatures with scent abilities to track him/her), Full Moon (causes a lycanthrope to change as if it was full moon), Howl (cause fear), Increased Infection (double the %of inflicting lycanthropy), Pack Mind (forge a distant link betweenlycanthrope so they act coordinated even when not close), Invest Lycanthrope (enables a creature to shape change into lycanthrope for the duration of the spell), Silverblade (any blade turns silver for the duration of the spell), Resist Lycanthropy (more difficult to infect),Declaw (removes claws temporarily), Holdform (inhibits the transformation), Lycanthropic Immunity, Wolfsbane (caster can 'turn' werecreatures as a cleric turns undead).

Comment: quite cool spells; much better then the evil spells from Tome of Forbidden Lore (Dragon # 252). Good spells for lycanthrope and those fighting them.

Dragon#272 (June 2000) - The Secret Library of Vecna

Author: Steve Miller(6 pages)

Content: an interesting article on new spells (Song of the Dead - fascinate undead; Living Pages - makes a bookmore durable by turning it to flesh), books (Book of Kings - a magical tome with info on all darklords and other leaders; Compendium Imortale Magica Malifica - a tome showing lich transformation methods; Book of the Brethren - with all known spells) and magical items (Crown of Burgess -from an old enemy of Vecna; Decanter of Spirits - attract and capture undead; Peace's Pin - cursed item for lovers).

Comment: the spells are great and can be inserted in any campaign - Song of the Dead is a great bard tune, and Living Page any when involving a lich. The books however seem to me quite high powered. The magical items are well made and not too powerfully cursed.

Dragon#273 (July 2000) - Wicked Garden

Author: Owen K.C.Stephens(6 pages)

Content: VR notes, as herbolist. Again accompanied by a letter by GWF.

Comment: Interesting herbs and plants for your favorite Ravenloft wilderness, or druid. The powers of each are great and this article should be a companion of the plant list of Gaz1(Forlorn).

Dragon#315 (January 2004) - Ravenloft - the Return of Strahd

Author: David Noonan (7 pages)

Content: The article is a conversion of Strahd from I-6 and from DoDread (i.e. a CR 12 Strahd and a CR 18version), and the Castle Ravenloft maps.

Comment: On Strahd, that's it: stats. Period. No hint whatsoever on his curse or tragic past. There is one page on combat tactics for Strahd (the usual recommendations). It was madeusing ordinary D&D rules and completely ignores the WW book conversions (except in one very small mention that RL is now d20 licensed to WW). So …stick with the Gaz I version!

On the maps: the Castle Ravenloft maps init are quite close to the original, AFAICS. Absolutely nothing in the article, as a summary of the adventure, or room descriptions, except a short summary for each floor. So if you do not have I-6, and want the map, the issue might be for you.

Also, the article drawing isn't about Strahd, it's about something else ... (but there is a funny drawing of Soth emerging from a grave marked 'Ravenloft' )

Dragon # 315(January 2004) - MotRD - the Lightin the Darkness

Author: James Wyatt (2 pages)

Comment: The issue has two pages on MotRD, which were more interesting then the RL four pages : about a qabal in France named La lumière (a group trying to enlighten the world with understanding and knowledge, while the RedD does the opposite). One ability, Light of Reason (use intellectual powers to over come foes: in short, add your intelligence bonus to your attack roll, once per day), is well made for these 'intellectuals' IMHO.


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