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Curse Of Strahd Review

curse of strahd

Welcome To Barovia

Curse Of Strahd is a published module created by Wizards of the Coast way back in 2016, created for play by the legendary Dungeon Master Chris Perkins the book takes the pre established setting of Ravenloft, a gruelling morbid Victorian gothic inspired setting centred around all manner of classic horror tropes: haunted houses infested with the spirits of long dead barovian natives waiting to be released from purgatory, packs of lycanthropes that bound through the dense woodland hungry for new blood and suave vampires looking to charm their way to whatever dark power they desire just to name a few. The story intends to take a group of players (ranging from 3-6) through the games levels of 1-10, watching them grow in power and gathering rare artefacts that could help them dethrone the counties tyrannical ruler

See It To Believe It

One stand out feature that marks this module as one of its kinds greats is the Replayablity it provides: while Dnd 5e has an infinite potential in its storytelling and set design most modules follow a consistent story path the group follow, going to distinct locations like a movie panning from location to location. Curse Of Strahd however has the party draw from a custom Tarokka deck, with each card representing a different location or person of interest the group can interact with/ acquire, this not only keeps the players on their tours, looking for how these vague prophecies can be applied as hints but allows the people playing to have a distinct journey that differs from others, breeding a sense of camaraderie as stories are shared online about what happened in their own version of Barovia.

Compelling Evil

The biggest compliment I can provide Curse Of Strahd however is in its masterfully written villain Strahd Von Zarovich, a envious count equally cursed and blessed with his powers of undeath, holding dominion over his land to the point where even the mention of his name alerts him to who spoke it on the cold wind, preventing passage in and out of his Domain of Dread to all but a few of his trusted council. Without spoiling anything the writing behind him is phenomenal; he is monstrous yet regal, a cunning tactician without fear of displaying animalistic rage to keep his servants and citizenry in line and the book honours this, keeping a beefy stat sheet in its later pages filled with all manner of his tricks.

The book also has a list of goals that Strahd has alongside the party, he isn’t a villain that waits in his castle for his enemies to come to him, instead seeking to travel around his lands freely to gain power or sabotage the groups aims, making him a constant opposing force as the group move around the mist soaked lands. While this is certainly what makes Strahd unique it can be imposing for those who are first stepping into the role of a DM, Curse Of Strahd asks alot of threads for you to manage, both for your groups backstories and the worlds narrative itself