If, like us, you’ve been flipping through Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft and wondering how your party’s going to cobble together enough vacation time to visit all those Domains of Dread, allow us to show you a brochure for the Adventurers League storyline that debuts at July’s Virtual Play Weekend. As revealed in the previous issue of Dragon+, Ravenloft: Mist Hunters—a new 14-episode series for the Adventurers League—focuses on numerous subgenres of horror as players explore multiple Domains of Dread. We can now reveal that the stops on that travel itinerary will all be domains that appear in Van Richten’s Guide, as players get a chance to visit the rich worlds contained within the book.
“Mist Hunters will exclusively visit domains that are featured in Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft,” writer Travis Woodall confirms, promising horror of every flavor. “A really neat part of the Domains of Dread is seeing all the different types of storytelling available to a DM. Being able to travel to different domains adds flavor to the campaign, and with our players skipping all over the place we can throw in multiple genres of horror. Every other session or so they’re going to visit a place that torments them in a whole new way.”
The campaign is based on a narrative by Chris Lindsey, Chris Tulach, and F. Wesley Schneider, which has been developed by Travis. It starts in a Domain of Dread where everyone lives in fear of being exposed. Travis describes its horror vibe as imposter syndrome for the social ranks, with the lower class pretending to be middle class, and the middle class pretending that they belong in the higher echelons of society.
“Everyone lives in constant fear of being discovered. If they are, the Dark Lord of the domain disintegrates them. Our campaign starts there with the characters being asked to search for a missing scholar, who works for an organization called the Order of the Guardian. Alanik Rey has been hired by the order to find her and has reached out to the characters to assist him with the investigation. From there, the clues lead them all over the place, hopping from domain to domain—including some familiar destinations, with excursions to Barovia, Falkovnia, and Har’Akir.”
Ravenloft: Mist Hunters focuses on social interaction and investigation, with less of an emphasis on tactical combat, making it perfectly suited to theater-of-the-mind play. The campaign’s fourteen adventures begin and end with major, multi-table adventures known as Epics. It’s a style the D&D team has already successfully employed for a major event.
“Historically, the D&D Open has always been a combat-fest but we flipped that on its head for the Waterdeep: Dragon Heist campaign and turned it into a huge social interaction. It was wildly successful and we’ve used that as our inspiration for the Epic that kicks off this storyline,” Travis explains.
“The characters will have to infiltrate a masquerade ball to investigate the disappearance and avoid being found out for the charlatans that they are. The Epics are particularly suited to dialing up the social aspect of the game, as we’ll have wandering NPCs going from table to table and other fun encounters.
“The setting also lends itself really well to a game focused more on the social and exploration pillars. Each domain is different and allows us to tell a new kind of story, while following the clues that the characters uncover during their investigations. It’s possible as they discover nefarious plots that the search for the missing scholar will turn out to be the least of their concerns!”
Ravenloft: Mist Hunters, the new storyline for the Adventurers League, makes its debut on July 9, 2021 at the D&D Virtual Play Weekend.