Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft reviews and more D&D tabletop news

When I step away from reality for a few days, playing D&D is difficult. Visiting family or friends isn’t the best time to schedule a Dungeons & Dragons game (except for when it is). But that space away from the table is also fuel for new ideas (the Vintner Background is on its way). Dungeon Mayhem was also a great way to get light-D&D themes while playing with single-digit kids.

A photo of a bookshelf with 21 different D&D titles, as well as three other RPG books.
Whenever I visit a town I stop by a local café, a local brewery/winery, and their local gaming store. Book & Game was stocked full of D&D.

On Tuesdays Lore Collage focuses on the D&D game of dice and paper.

Reviewing Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft

If you want horror that is only solved through combat, Polygon’s Hall thinks you’ll be surprised that VGtR leans heavily into other tropes and other pillars of play. This book keeps moving up my purchase list. I’m not the only gamer that used to play Ravenloft and didn’t need a new version of the setting that now wants it for setting fuel. Van Richten’s Guide offers ways to add horror to your own world.

It also cleans out some of the problematic histories of Ravenloft.

Summer of Drizzt means more lore changes, good

The huge Drizzt event (covered yesterday because it also includes video games, tv, more?) also includes changes to Lolth, the evil spider goddess, and to Drow themselves. There are two new Drow cultures on the way.

Business of D&D is strong

D&D’s best year ever (Forbes, PC Gamer) isn’t expected to lead to a slow down. It’s part of a planned slow-growth design that was amplified by the covid-19 pandemic.

“From the outside, D&D looks like math,” he added. “But you watch people livestreaming D&D, and you think, ‘it’s a group of friends drinking beer and making each other laugh. I didn’t know there was a game for that.’ It really helps make it more approachable. The game’s a sort of social lubricant.”

Wizards’ own streaming show, D&D Live, is scheduled for July 16-17, billed as a special two-day event. Its schedule includes interviews, special product announcement, and a Dungeon Masters’ roundtable discussion, but is centered around four “star-studded” live-play games. The exact lineup for this year’s games has yet to be announced at time of writing.

 Nathan Stewart, head of franchise for D&D at Wizards of the Coast, to GeekWire.

Baldman Games is expanding to offer ‘Concierge DMs’

Not everyone can make the specific time slots for the official Virtual Weekends (next is June 11-13), so Baldman Games is exploring a way to expand their offerings to specific adventures, days, and times.

This program is aimed at complete groups (6 players) looking for specific games, at specific times, and perhaps even with a specific DM. This is not for single players trying to make the perfect schedule (that makes my head hurt). For our initial beta of the program we are going to limit it to a handful of groups to work out the kinks and make sure we are offering what you want, that it is scalable and repeatable, and that the program has value.

As always, maps

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