is Lord of this
Island of Terror.
What Has Gone Before
What Is Yet to Come
Enter the Mists
Consult the Vistani
A few things... Upon
taking a look at the latest modules, I noticed a common theme. PC's
meet and defeat a Dark Lord. Darkness and terror has been replaced.
To me it's just starting to look like a dark version of the Forgotten Realms,
also known as Candyland meets Walt Disney.
I also noticed that many players want to play Villians and Victims, not true epics of Good vs Evil where Good is outnumbered but still manages to triumph after a long struggle. Many adventures seemed to be drawn from Hollywood splatterfests, where plasma drips down the screen and body parts are strewn everywhere because subtlety is a lost art form. Players grow immune to shocks because thier minds cannot really picture all of the blood and gore that would be splattered around if a party of PC's were really poling down a river of blood on a raft of corpses (actually played in a convention!)
So, I sat down, drank half a bottle of Jose Quervo, and plugged a bunch of Tales from the Dark Side into the VCR, turned the sound off, and dropped in my classical movies CD. Voila, that and a few nightmares later, and some of my players had difficulty sleeping.
The adventures, items, and characters listed in here are not kind and gentle, nor are they something to be admired. For the most part, these people got exactly what they deserved or were innocent bystanders, and like Strahd or Tatyana, nobody made them do the deeds, they chose to or they could not stop what was happening to them, powerless in the face of evil.
I will warn you up front, these modules are mature content, and deal with rape, sodomy, infacide, cannablism, ritualistic murder, toture, and acts of deranged minds. I delved deep into books on murderers, rapists, serial killers, and just plain butchers, trying to sort out the seed of evil and trying to picture if there were acts even they would shudder at, and in some places, I think I found them. If these pages disturb you, don't read them. I won't twist your arm, it's your choice. All in all, my pages are fiction, reality is much more disturbing. For those of you who doubt that, remember the female follower of Charles Manson who cut the embryo from a woman's living body and brought it to him, or how Dahmer ate his victims, or how every day women world wide are beaten, raped vaginally, orally, and anally, then beaten to death, or how teenagers kill some innocent person just "to see what it feels like". Sometimes thier bodies are sexually abused after death. Reality is far, far worse than our imaginations, so every thing written about in these pages can be overshadowed by a real world counterpart.
As I worked on moving Heart of Ice from my notes to electronic media, two school kids killed over a dozen schoolmates and themselves in an orgy of violence. It kind of serves to remind me that no matter how horrifying these may have been, some things are even worse. My daughter will be in High School in 8 years, and I'm beginning to wonder if she would be safer wandering the forests of Kartakass carrying a sack full of raw meat and blowing a dog whistle than in the halls of a public school.
Welcome to Ravenloft, and I hope these adventures will bring darkness and villany back to the struggle of Good against Evil. Maybe for a change, Good will triumph over evil.