Excerpts 10/06/2006

Expedition to Castle Ravenloft
By Bruce R. Cordell and James Wyatt

One of D&D's most infamous villains awaits destruction -- and your character can be the one to bring it. Count Strahd von Zarovich is a foul being with vile goals, and now you can face him down in Expedition to Castle Ravenloft. Take a look at a few excerpts, worthy DMs, and see what horror you can bring to the table. Below you'll find the introduction, Strahd's statistics, some information about the adventure, plus part of the adventure itself.If you're curious about the sections in this adventure, please take a look at the Table of Contents we provided earlier!


The following general properties apply to the rooms of Castle Ravenloft unless otherwise noted in a room or encounter description.

Walls: The construction is of the finest quality, superior masonry covered with plaster. Climb DC 25.

Floors: The flagstone floors are smooth and level.

Ceiling Height: Ceilings on the floors above ground level are 30 feet high, while underground floors have 15-foot ceilings.

Doors: Most doors in the castle are good wooden doors (1-1/2 inches thick, hardness 5, 15 hp).

Object or Spell Bright Shadowy
Candle n/a n/a
Everburning torch 10 ft. 20 ft.
Lamp, common 5 ft. 15 ft.
Lantern, bullseye 30-ft. cone 60-ft. cone
Lantern, hooded 15 ft. 30 ft.
Sunrod 15 ft. 30 ft.
Torch 10 ft. 20 ft.
Continual flame 10 ft. 20 ft.
Dancing lights 10 ft. (each) 20 ft. (each)
Daylight 30 ft. 60 ft.
Light 10 ft. 20 ft.

Illumination: Castle Ravenloft is dark, even when characters bring bright light within its gloomy walls. All light sources created or brought within the castle have their ranges halved. A candle's light is barely visible, while a daylight spell shines bright light only out to 30 feet. The table summarizes changes to Player's Handbook Table 9-7 (page 165). Low-light vision and darkvision function normally within the castle.

J. Gates of Ravenloft

After passing through the craggy peaks, the road takes a sudden turn to the east and the startling presence of Castle Ravenloft towers before you. Twin guardhouses of turreted stone keep a silent watch over the approach, broken from years of use and exposure. Beyond these, a wide chasm gapes between the Balinok cliffs and the walls of Ravenloft, disappearing into the fogshrouded distance far below. The lowered drawbridge of old wooden beams hangs precariously between you and the arched entrance to the castle courtyard. The chains of the drawbridge creak in the wind, their rust-eaten iron straining with the weight. From atop the high strong walls, stone gargoyles stare at you from hollow sockets and grin hideously. A rotting wooden portcullis, green with growth, hangs in the entry tunnel. Beyond this, the main doors of Castle Ravenloft stand open, a rich warm light spilling into the courtyard.

The drawbridge creaks and groans under any weight, but it is relatively sturdy. Each time anyone except Strahd walks across the drawbridge, there is a 5% chance of a cross board breaking. A character who breaks a cross board must make a DC 15 Reflex save or fall partway through the drawbridge, forcing the character to spend a full-round action to extricate his legs and stand safely on the drawbridge again. When simply crossing the drawbridge, this is a minor inconvenience at worst, but in the middle of a battle on the bridge it can be a fatal interference.

Two 5-foot patches of green slime cling to the portcullis over the entry tunnel. It drops onto the first living creatures to pass beneath it, dealing 1d6 points of Constitution damage per round while it devours flesh. On the first round of contact, the slime can be scraped off (most likely destroying the tool used to scrape it), but after that it must be frozen, burned, or cut away (dealing damage to the victim as well).

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