Dungeon Magazine #207
Summary of content:
Special issue devoted to Ravenloft. Includes the articles:
brothersaleAnother domain that is tied into the 4e material, in this case the Feywild plane. The history of the domain is not vast as it is wilderness that had no real inhabitants until just before it became a domain. But the premise behind the domain, that of ignorance and rage, does seem sound, as well as giving it the extra nudge that it did not get chosen by the Dark Powers but rather dumped in the Shadowfell by Aurusel rather than be allowed to return to the Feywild.
Now this is slowly dying domain, as the darklord keeps the border up while he hunts for the humans that hurt him and burnt his forest and sensibly as a result, life is dying. However a major flaw appears with the Metsuri Clan, originally the human hunters that burnt the forest, they are now cursed werewolves. Now in Ravenloft this should mean that they have only two forms, not three. It also means that they have no control over their alternate form, however from the information in the article this is not the case.
The domain itself is well thought-out and labelled thanks to the nice map and suitable plot hooks are present. I just find the domain lacking overall, nothing I can put my finger on, it just doesn’t really leap out me or make me want to use it.
3 drops of blood out of 5
On the whole the domain is good, but a couple of quick changes would improve it.
About Timbergorge, my problem is not with the forms of the werewolves but rather the fact that they're supposed to be the RP elements: the neutral guys that could be RPed with. Well, afflicted werewolves that fight the curse may remain neutral, but they're becoming evil under the effect of the transformation. So, either you have them in werewolf form, fangs and fur... and they're evil, or you have a bunch of non-shapechanging humans. That's kinda hard to work around. If I use them, I'll either make them humans or humanoids cursed with something else, or non-evil natural werewolves. And the latter is not a curse. So I'll probably use the first part.
Obviously, I will also enlarge the domain. It's increadibly small.
brothersaleWhile I do like the attempt to cover Barovia, it just does not really do it well. Off the top of my head, I noticed timeline errors (the events of I16 occur in 528BC, and we are told Ireena Kolyanna has not yet been found, so the creation of the domains of Bluetspur [581BC], G’henna [702BC] and Markovia [698BC] have not occurred), as well as alterations that would have the xenophobic and superstitious population lighting up their torches to burn the evil fey creatures and the stunted little baby thieves that dare live near their villages. Also there are changes to the general description of Vallaki even if one ignores the timeline errors, for example the divide between upper and lower town is gone and the old fortress, home of the burgomaster is gone. Instead we have a Thaani neighbourhood for no real reason (I can only assume that this version of Barovia has shrunk and Immol has disappeared.) and a church that has the laughable name of St. Andral. Andral is the name of the god worshipped in Barovia so why would a church dedicated to the Morninglord, a faith that has not been around for very long and in Vallaki only from 499BC name its church that, let alone have at least 4 saints in 30 years or so.
2 drops of Blood out of 5
Overall disappointing, the lack of consistency with previous products just plain spoils it. Even the idea behind the adventure is not a new one, first appearing the Ravenloft Gaz I. Personally I think people will, myself included, nick the bits we like and chuck the rest.
For Fair Barovia, I liked it actually. Don't compare it with the Barovia you knew and all. There's no such thing as Immol, etc. The timeline isn't wrong, it's just different than the one we know.
Please send your Reviews of art, books, movies, music, television shows, and video games to email@example.com