Wizards of the Coast has announced that its popular role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons will once again return to Castle Ravenloft and the lands of Barovia in Curse of Strahd, a Gothic horror adventure inspired by the 1983 original.
However, Curse of Strahd — which tasks players with going up against the iconic vampire Strahd von Zarovich — isn’t just inspired by the original Ravenloft adventure. Tracy and Laura Hickman, the original authors, collaborated on the new adventure, which brings the setting to the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons for the first time.
"Revisiting the land of Barovia with the creators of the original Ravenloft adventure has been a highlight of my professional career," says Wizards of the Coast principal designer Chris Perkins in a press release from the company. "Tracy and Laura Hickman created a timeless villain whose faults reflect the darkest traits of humanity. I can't begin to describe what it's like to walk through the halls of Castle Ravenloft with its creators as your guides."
Here’s how Wizards describes Barovia, the land upon which Strahd casts a dark shroud, and the adventure itself:
Its people are melancholy, misshapen and grotesque, living in fear of the wolves and other creatures that serve Strahd's evil will. The only hope for the trapped adventurers is to heed the warnings of a mysterious fortune-teller named Madam Eva. Drawing random cards from her tarokka deck, she directs adventurers to search Strahd's domain for artifacts and allies to help the master of Castle Ravenloft. That is, before he orchestrates your demise for his amusement and feasts on your terror.
The Ravenloft setting has been fairly underutilized of late, and Wizards almost entirely skipped releasing anything set in Barovia for the fourth edition set of rules. The last big push of note was for a 3.5 edition book, Expedition to Castle Ravenloft, after the license reverted back to Wizards from White Wolf. As with Curse of Strahd, Expedition was essentially a supplement revisiting the original adventure.
Curse of Strahd is scheduled to release on March 15, 2016. Additionally, Gale Force 9 is set to produce a tarokka deck of cards for Madam Eva to draw from to coincide with the release.