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Quoth the Raven #22 - discussion 
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Post Re: Quoth the Raven #22 - discussion
I like the changes, I also stretch the physical distances of Ravenloft in most domains, especially the Core. I like the idea of a larger population as well. Drakov is, in my opinion, more of a monster than most of the monsters in Ravenloft. Vampires, Liches, Golems, in many ways pale to the absolute soul crushing evil that you see in Drakov.

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Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:27 pm
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Post Re: Quoth the Raven #22 - discussion
Oh, if we're still collecting Typos, Lamordia's Foreign Relations aren't header-ed properly.

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Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:59 pm
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Post Re: Quoth the Raven #22 - discussion
Typos: Alison Kinder should be Ailson Kindler (p.218) http://pathfinderwiki.com/wiki/Ailson_Kindler

Probably a victim of autocorrect.


Thu Nov 05, 2015 12:23 am
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Post Re: Quoth the Raven #22 - discussion
I've been meaning to sit down and do a big article-by-article review on this issue, but I just haven't found the time to do so, yet. Still, I thought I'd off some brief, in passing, stream-of-conciousness comments on the articles from what I can immediately remember.

Wolves to Guard the Sheep: An interesting and very handy little piece. Characters run the gamut of evil, from sane to insane, and makes excellent use of some of Ravenloft's natural nastiness, such as freakish monsters and Powers Checks. Great example of a serious and effective Kargat cell, if a little too full of monstrous diversity for some tastes.

Relentless: Great, creepy little piece of fiction. Not much else to say on the matter.

A Tour of Western Waters: Up to the usual high standards for the Fraternity's Surveys; I dearly hope that this is just a teaser of a full-fledged Survey to come, because it sure makes me want more.

The Lady in White: A fairly bog-standard little "ghoulie is causing trouble for people, they hire you to get rid of it". This is traditional for Ravenloft games and even D&D games as a whole. The villain's a pretty standard Lady Bathory rip-off too. Fun, but hardly unique.

The Brightwell Legacy: Initial wariness at perceived "The character's from Earth!" comments relaxed upon realising she was a Gothic Earth immigrant, and not the all-too-Mary-Sue "real worlder" that was my first reaction. A fun piece of fiction, and even if I think that the backstory is frustratingly vague on why she's earned her Powers Checks, the Dark Descent is all too fittingly ironic (a woman with an understandable aversion to physical touch being transformed into a succubus) and the article takes great pains at pointing out how the character is flawed and in many ways self-sabotaging.

Die Kaiserreich: Hands down one of the best articles in the book. I always hated Falkovnia, which was a really hamfisted Nazis + USSR fantasy counterpart culture being run by Vlad the Impaler. This makes the region a lot less of a Ravenloftian Mordor. Unlike some, I really prefer this version of Drakov, where he's still a bloodthirsty monster, but not so cartoonishly evil it makes one wonder why the hell his own men haven't risen up to dethrone him, since Falkovnia should be just one wrong moment away from total revolt.

Domains That Came Before: This, unfortunately, I can't say all too much about that's positive. In all honesty, I thought that this was the worst article in the book, hands down. Maybe it's because I've never read the Black Box that these domains apparently came from, but even so, I think they're awful. Bileplate is probably the most acceptable, even if it leaves a lot of its background headscratchingly vague, but Theka and Moridana were just... ugh. The fact they both are ruled by vampires certainly didn't help the impression they left on me. I get vampires are the go to Gothic monster, but still, we have too many damn vampire Darklords in canon, we don't need two more.

Nation of Progress: Not quite as intriguing as Die Kaiserreich, but I thought a lot of good went into this article. If I have a personal complain, it's that I don't think it really embraced its inherent Gaslamp Fantasy aspects enough. The Automata are a good investment (and an excellent excuse for a reflavored Warforged character), but still, Mad Science involves more than just clockwork & machines - Mordenheim is a bald-faced rip-off of Dr. Frankenstein, a tale about the creation of life, so a truly "Mad Science" themed Lamordia should make more use of twisted life as well as unnatural artificering. Calibans should abound, the legacy of attempts at creating or "improving" life. Hell, one could even use those experiments to justify weirder races in this corner of the Mists; man-beasts like gnolls or minotaurs could be the result of experiments, or stranger and more subtle races too. Pathfinder's Vishkanya are basically taken from a Gothic Horror novel about a mad scientist who brings his daughter up on poisonous subjects, rendering her very existence venomous; a perfect fit for a place where people tamper with Things Man Should Leave Alone.

The Midnight Market: If there's one article in this book that surpasses Die Kaiserriech, it's this. I adore Changeling: The Lost and favor the Dark Fantasy aspects of Ravenloft, so this fits my needs wonderfully. Ten out of ten.

Mochocarania: Blah. That was my first thought when I read this. In contrast to the others of its ilk, this article just bored me. Completely uninspiring, failed to captivate me at all. And I'm hardly a big fan of Invidia as it is.

Ustalav Gazetteer: While written pretty well, I honestly found this article kind of boring. Maybe it's because I haven't read all of the Carrion Crown and other Ustalav supplements for Pathfinder, but this just never really captivated me like it could have. Also, as was mentioned a page or two back, I found the Darklord's backstory very uninspiring, even if he does fill an underutilised Darklord niche. I get that "out-evilling" the Whispering Tyrant is foolish, but one spontaneous act of evil leading to the damnation of his soul just felt... overdoing it. This one has decent writing quality, but I didn't take much out of it.

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Sat Nov 07, 2015 12:34 am
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Post Re: Quoth the Raven #22 - discussion
Hell_Born wrote:
Wolves to Guard the Sheep: An interesting and very handy little piece. Characters run the gamut of evil, from sane to insane, and makes excellent use of some of Ravenloft's natural nastiness, such as freakish monsters and Powers Checks. Great example of a serious and effective Kargat cell, if a little too full of monstrous diversity for some tastes.

Thank you for your kind words.

Well, Kargat according to Gaz II is supposed to be Half members humanoids, top tier undead (10%) and the rest (40%) shapechangers. :)
So there you have it: 4 mostly human members (1 dwarf, 3 humans: constable, bandit, alchemist), 3 shapechangers (wereboar, red widow, doppelganger) and 1 undead (vampire; of course :) ).

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Sat Nov 07, 2015 2:06 am
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Post Re: Quoth the Raven #22 - discussion
alhoon wrote:
Hell_Born wrote:
Wolves to Guard the Sheep: An interesting and very handy little piece. Characters run the gamut of evil, from sane to insane, and makes excellent use of some of Ravenloft's natural nastiness, such as freakish monsters and Powers Checks. Great example of a serious and effective Kargat cell, if a little too full of monstrous diversity for some tastes.

Thank you for your kind words.

Well, Kargat according to Gaz II is supposed to be Half members humanoids, top tier undead (10%) and the rest (40%) shapechangers. :)
So there you have it: 4 mostly human members (1 dwarf, 3 humans: constable, bandit, alchemist), 3 shapechangers (wereboar, red widow, doppelganger) and 1 undead (vampire; of course :) ).


I liked it myself and didn't have a problem with its makeup.


Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:24 am
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Post Re: Quoth the Raven #22 - discussion
Hell_Born wrote:
I've been meaning to sit down and do a big article-by-article review on this issue, but I just haven't found the time to do so, yet. Still, I thought I'd off some brief, in passing, stream-of-conciousness comments on the articles from what I can immediately remember.


Well. I certainly would love to see a big article-by-article review, but then again you're saying very nice things about me, so I'm possibly biased. :wink:

Hell_Born wrote:
Die Kaiserreich: Hands down one of the best articles in the book. I always hated Falkovnia, which was a really hamfisted Nazis + USSR fantasy counterpart culture being run by Vlad the Impaler. This makes the region a lot less of a Ravenloftian Mordor. Unlike some, I really prefer this version of Drakov, where he's still a bloodthirsty monster, but not so cartoonishly evil it makes one wonder why the hell his own men haven't risen up to dethrone him, since Falkovnia should be just one wrong moment away from total revolt.


You've pretty much grasped my reasoning in writing this article in a nutshell.

Hell_Born wrote:
Nation of Progress: Not quite as intriguing as Die Kaiserreich, but I thought a lot of good went into this article. If I have a personal complain, it's that I don't think it really embraced its inherent Gaslamp Fantasy aspects enough. The Automata are a good investment (and an excellent excuse for a reflavored Warforged character), but still, Mad Science involves more than just clockwork & machines - Mordenheim is a bald-faced rip-off of Dr. Frankenstein, a tale about the creation of life, so a truly "Mad Science" themed Lamordia should make more use of twisted life as well as unnatural artificering. Calibans should abound, the legacy of attempts at creating or "improving" life. Hell, one could even use those experiments to justify weirder races in this corner of the Mists; man-beasts like gnolls or minotaurs could be the result of experiments, or stranger and more subtle races too. Pathfinder's Vishkanya are basically taken from a Gothic Horror novel about a mad scientist who brings his daughter up on poisonous subjects, rendering her very existence venomous; a perfect fit for a place where people tamper with Things Man Should Leave Alone.


Rappaccini's Daughter! Now those are some very good points, and I'm actually kicking myself for not thinking of it at the time (though given how much guff I got for putting gnolls into Pharazia last time...)

That said... my Domain articles tend to lean more towards describing the basic workings of the country. I stick in plot hooks and interesting things, but I'm mostly interested in giving them a greater sense of verisimilitude by looking at the societal underpinnings (and teasing out what I see as the interesting cultural elements). Most Lamordian 'Mad Science' would be a one-off thing, unique to the GM and the campaign. Or to put it another way, I don't assume that every single village in Barovia has its own vampire, werewolf, or Vistani curse. I assume that the majority of them are totally normal pseudo-Balkan villages (or at least as normal as they get, speaking as someone who's visited a few). The Gothic Horror aspects exist in potentia, but don't actually affect the Domain at large until and unless the GM wishes it. Same for Lamordia, it's the place where Mad Science happens, but it is not in and of itself all Mad Science. It's the canvas, the background against which the GM runs their own particular Mad Science stories.

Hell_Born wrote:
The Midnight Market: If there's one article in this book that surpasses Die Kaiserriech, it's this. I adore Changeling: The Lost and favor the Dark Fantasy aspects of Ravenloft, so this fits my needs wonderfully. Ten out of ten.


I'm pretty sure that the Midnight Market will be my greatest contribution to Ravenloft fan-canon. It's already shown up in two peoples' campaigns since I made it as a forum thread ages ago, at least that I know of. Funnily enough, I originally developed it before I played C:tL, though Marie Tempest and the Puca are escapees from my WoD game's Goblin Market.

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Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:47 am
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Post Re: Quoth the Raven #22 - discussion
I also love midnight market. Very... dark fairy tale-y.
As for Lamordia, I would say that I prefer your take for it. Callibans and broken ones = Markovia in my mind.

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Sat Nov 07, 2015 8:29 pm
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Post Re: Quoth the Raven #22 - discussion
Hell_Born wrote:
Domains That Came Before: This, unfortunately, I can't say all too much about that's positive. In all honesty, I thought that this was the worst article in the book, hands down. Maybe it's because I've never read the Black Box that these domains apparently came from, but even so, I think they're awful. Bileplate is probably the most acceptable, even if it leaves a lot of its background headscratchingly vague, but Theka and Moridana were just... ugh. The fact they both are ruled by vampires certainly didn't help the impression they left on me. I get vampires are the go to Gothic monster, but still, we have too many damn vampire Darklords in canon, we don't need two more.


Ouch, a lot of stakes my way~

Well considered that Moridana came from a Ravenloft Choose your own adventure and Theka from originally spelljammer, it might be hard for people to know much about them. But I wanted to cover these domains so others may know more about these Darklords and try to expand more on canon information. Ravenloft is filled with vampire darklords, but to my defense these two Darklords should be known more for their evil then the fact that they are vampires. One needed a complex ritual to stop domination in Oerth the other was destroyer of star systems (spheres).

Theka disappeared way before grand conjunction becoming an island then eventually joining with wildlands or becoming a pocket domain, either leaving room for Daglan before GC, since neither Man nor Beast state the domains vanished quite earlier in Ravenloft timeline! Wished I could get it stated correctly now, I am surprised it wasn't picked up by FoS either. I did research on perhaps adding Daglan and even UnderRavenloft (source Spellfire) to the article but ran out of timeEither way I seem to not catch it in my revisions even though I have been reading through Feast a bunch before writing.

There was a lot more information for Bileplate available if anyone wants some they can PM me for it, it did not get included this time around.

The article was to bring to forefront lost ravenloft lore and surprising you with some Talon artwork. I have a lot of lost ravenloft lore that I could continue to share but I was hoping that this sort of article wouldn't be so ill received >_<


Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:47 pm
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Post Re: Quoth the Raven #22 - discussion
Well, Daisu, as I've told you earlier I thought it was a good article that adds to the setting (especially the mind-travel part) but it is apparently a matter of different tastes.
Don't be dissuaded by a critical review.

However, I would agree that since the information of these places is sparse or rare, next time add more of it, even if it's available in some other place.

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Sun Nov 08, 2015 8:00 pm
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Post Re: Quoth the Raven #22 - discussion
Well. I made some unmanly squeeing noises when I saw that Talon's art was in this book, so you accomplished that. Overall, I think the stuff is very interesting from a "history of our hobby" sort of perspective, and I'd love to see more of it. But... let's be frank, a lot of the early stuff for Ravenloft was just not very good (looking at you, I'Cath). There's a reason it didn't get updated to 3E. So while I find it interesting, I doubt I'd ever use it, at least without some very heavy reworking.

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Sun Nov 08, 2015 8:11 pm
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Post Re: Quoth the Raven #22 - discussion
Daisu wrote:
Hell_Born wrote:
Domains That Came Before: This, unfortunately, I can't say all too much about that's positive. In all honesty, I thought that this was the worst article in the book, hands down. Maybe it's because I've never read the Black Box that these domains apparently came from, but even so, I think they're awful. Bileplate is probably the most acceptable, even if it leaves a lot of its background headscratchingly vague, but Theka and Moridana were just... ugh. The fact they both are ruled by vampires certainly didn't help the impression they left on me. I get vampires are the go to Gothic monster, but still, we have too many damn vampire Darklords in canon, we don't need two more.


Ouch, a lot of stakes my way~

Well considered that Moridana came from a Ravenloft Choose your own adventure and Theka from originally spelljammer, it might be hard for people to know much about them. But I wanted to cover these domains so others may know more about these Darklords and try to expand more on canon information. Ravenloft is filled with vampire darklords, but to my defense these two Darklords should be known more for their evil then the fact that they are vampires. One needed a complex ritual to stop domination in Oerth the other was destroyer of star systems (spheres).

Theka disappeared way before grand conjunction becoming an island then eventually joining with wildlands or becoming a pocket domain, either leaving room for Daglan before GC, since neither Man nor Beast state the domains vanished quite earlier in Ravenloft timeline! Wished I could get it stated correctly now, I am surprised it wasn't picked up by FoS either. I did research on perhaps adding Daglan and even UnderRavenloft (source Spellfire) to the article but ran out of timeEither way I seem to not catch it in my revisions even though I have been reading through Feast a bunch before writing.

There was a lot more information for Bileplate available if anyone wants some they can PM me for it, it did not get included this time around.

The article was to bring to forefront lost ravenloft lore and surprising you with some Talon artwork. I have a lot of lost ravenloft lore that I could continue to share but I was hoping that this sort of article wouldn't be so ill received >_<


I hadn't heard of either of the domains that you asked me to map, and I consider myself well versed in RL lore. The more research I did, the more I was impressed by your tracking down of these former domains from a few brief references in Neither Man nor Beast, and the quite obscure products from which they originate. For myself, I felt like we were unearthing forgotten histories (admittedly as a contributor rather than a reader). So score one on bringing lost ravenloft lore to the forefront.

Also upon the release of the issue, I found that my two maps were in the same article as artwork by Talon, colour me surprised! So score two to you :)


Tue Nov 10, 2015 12:56 am
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Post Re: Quoth the Raven #22 - discussion
Daisu wrote:
Well considered that Moridana came from a Ravenloft Choose your own adventure and Theka from originally spelljammer, it might be hard for people to know much about them. But I wanted to cover these domains so others may know more about these Darklords and try to expand more on canon information. Ravenloft is filled with vampire darklords, but to my defense these two Darklords should be known more for their evil then the fact that they are vampires. One needed a complex ritual to stop domination in Oerth the other was destroyer of star systems (spheres).

Theka disappeared way before grand conjunction becoming an island then eventually joining with wildlands or becoming a pocket domain, either leaving room for Daglan before GC, since neither Man nor Beast state the domains vanished quite earlier in Ravenloft timeline! Wished I could get it stated correctly now, I am surprised it wasn't picked up by FoS either. I did research on perhaps adding Daglan and even UnderRavenloft (source Spellfire) to the article but ran out of timeEither way I seem to not catch it in my revisions even though I have been reading through Feast a bunch before writing.

There was a lot more information for Bileplate available if anyone wants some they can PM me for it, it did not get included this time around.

The article was to bring to forefront lost ravenloft lore and surprising you with some Talon artwork. I have a lot of lost ravenloft lore that I could continue to share but I was hoping that this sort of article wouldn't be so ill received >_<

Man, I loved Castle of the Undead from the Endless Quest series, so I was very pleased to see this article and with art from Talon, no less. Velkaarn looks amazing! Congrats.

You should do Randar and his wolf Krug next. That would be interesting.


Wed Nov 18, 2015 8:46 pm
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Post Re: Quoth the Raven #22 - discussion
Huh, I didn't realize the tie-in, or even that there ever was an Endless Quest book for Ravenloft. (Which still strikes me as an odd choice with the somewhat campy, child-friendly style the few EQ books I've read aimed for. Which hadn't been many, as I had preferred Fighting Fantasy and only picked up EQ when all the other FF books at the library were in circulation.)

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Thu Nov 19, 2015 2:40 pm
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Post Re: Quoth the Raven #22 - discussion
I liked most of the articles in this year's issue of Quoth the Raven, and was particularly pleased to see Moridana, being a fan of Endless Quest and similar interactive books.

"The Brightwell Legacy" was also a good article; the focal character could be used well as either an ally or enemy, or just background as a correspondent for someone the PCs know. I was a little mislead by the title though - it sounded like we were going to get a new legacy of blood.

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Sat Nov 28, 2015 3:09 pm
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