Dungeons & Dragons‘ signature horror setting returns to Fifth Edition with Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft, a new sourcebook coming this spring.
This new material will help players and Dungeon Masters alike build new characters and campaigns in the gothic-horror realm of Ravenloft and beyond, with a veritable crypt’s worth of customization options and story hooks, and a new premade adventure. Out May 18, it follows on last fall’s reprinting of Curse of Strahd, one of the current iteration’s most successful campaigns.
Strahd’s homeland of Barovia is just the tip of Ravenloft’s iceberg, one of many Domains of Dread that make up the realm. Van Richten’s Guide details over thirty of these domains and their respective masters—including the Fifth Edition debuts of Lamordia, Dementlieu, Kalakeri and Falkovnia—while giving Dungeon Masters tools to make their own. Also included are a menagerie of horrific monsters, including carrionettes and vampiric mind flayers, and story hooks for inspiration.
On the other side of the screen, players will find new subclasses for bards and warlocks, and customization options to help their characters fit into more macabre settings: new lineages, Dark Gifts, backgrounds, and trinkets for use in character generation. With these new options, players can roll a dhampir created by a vampire, a hexblood descended from a hag, or a reborn brought back from death, and cater them to fit Curse of Strahd or any other campaign. Flavour text throughout the book will introduce some famous NPCs players may encounter, such as the vampire hunter Ezmerelda d’Avenir and the Weathermay-Foxgrove Twins, through the correspondence of Van Richten himself.
“I’m a huge fan of all things horror, so it was an absolute thrill to frame this book around bringing frightening elements like mummy lords, cosmic terrors, and urban legends to more D&D tables,” said senior game designer and lead designer, Wes Schneider. “Working with exciting new voices in horror and visual artists like D&D concept artist Shawn Wood was essential to make sure we’re updating the aesthetic for today’s fans while staying true to the roots of Ravenloft.”
Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft will be available on D&D Beyond, in stores, and other digital marketplaces May 18, with a standard edition cover by Anna Podedworna. An alternate cover by Scott M. Fischer will available as well, only through independent game stores. In the meantime, Wizards of the Coast is also publishing a book of individual mystery-themed adventures, Candlekeep Mysteries, on March 16.