...sometimes I forget how young some people are.Ahzoh wrote: ↑14 Feb 2019 19:57I know of Ravenloft from novels my dad had involving the setting. My favorite is the Vampire of the Mists.Salmoneus wrote: ↑02 Feb 2019 14:14 You've never heard of Ravenloft!?
Ugh, kids these days! Next you'll be saying you don't know about Dark Sun, or Spelljammer, or Planescape...
Ravenloft is/was the D&D setting for horror stories. Different 'Domains' have different horror flavours, reflecting their different 'Darklords'. A Darklord is someone who is considered morally beyond redemption; the Powers 'reward' the evil with Domains, in which the Darklord has great powers, but ultimately the Domain is designed as a sadistic prison for the Darklord, intended to torture them eternally. Domains can be destroyed if their Darklord is killed, or may split in two, or merge. In a period known as the Grand Conjunction, lots of Domains were moved to new locations.
Externally, of course, these changes are driven by marketing concerns. Within Ravenloft, however, they appear to be largely arbitrary.
Yes, I remember sort of liking VotM when I read it, a long while ago, although it was very conventional. It was the introduction to the setting in novels, and it had one of the better-known authors (Christie Golden, who more recently was chosen to write one of the first tranche of the new star wars canon novels; she's not well known for her own work, if there is any, but she's written star trek, star wars, world of warcraft (including the film novelisation), starcraft, assassin's creed, etc).
If you liked that, you might like Dance of the Dead, also by Golden, which I happened to re-read a couple of years ago and review over on my blog. (review/stream-of-consciousness rambling...). It's bonkers and has an insanely high deathcount, but it's fun, and weird, and has cool moments. It's set in Souragne, which is basically Louisiana or Florida and ruled over by a zombie lord. Overall, it's not bad.
Alteratively, if you liked Barovia and its ruler, Strahd, there's a pair of books from Strahd's perspective (including, iirc, a brief bit that shows the events of Vampire of the Mists from Strahd's side): I, Strahd: The Memoirs of a Vampire and I, Strahd: The War Against Azalin. They're by P.N. Elrod, who's written and edited a lot of vampire fiction (mostly urban fantasy I think?), and although I've not reread them in a long time, I remember them being pretty good, if a bit less horror-y than most Ravenloft.