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Curse of Strahd, frequently shortened to CoS, is a campaign made for levels 1 to 10. It has a gothic horror theme and is known for its involvement of vampires. It is the first fifth edition module to feature Ravenloft.

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast cannot be held liable for any longterm side effects of venturing into the dread realm of Ravenloft, such as lycanthropy, vampirism, a fear of dead things, a fear of living things, an inability to sleep without a nightlight on and a +5 holy avenger under your pillow, and the unsettling suspicion that Strahd is too clever to be so easily defeated and that this is all just part of some grand scheme of his to extend his power beyond Barovia. You didn't think you could escape unless he wanted you to, did you?

Blurb

Unravel the mysteries of Ravenloft in this dread adventure for the world's greatest roleplaying game.

Under raging storm clouds, the vampire Count Strahd von Zarovich stands silhouetted against the ancient walls of Castle Ravenloft. Rumbling thunder pounds the castle spires. The wind's howling increases as he turns his gaze down toward the village of Barovia. A lightning flash rips through the darkness, but Strahd is gone. Only the howling of the wind fills the midnight air. The master of Castle Ravenloft is having guests for dinner—and you are invited.

  • A fantasy-horror adventure for characters levels 1-10, Curse of Strahd provides everything a Dungeon Master needs to create an exciting and memorable play experience.
  • Fans of the Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game can have additional adventures in Ravenloft by participating in the D&D Adventurers League organized play program.
  • Available separately: a 54-card deck by Gale Force Nine representing the Tarokka cards, used by the fortune-teller Madam Eva in the adventure to randomly determine key aspects of the adventure. Also available from GF9 is a Curse of Strahd Dungeon Master's Screen.
  • Written in consultation with Tracy Hickman and Laura Hickman, creators of the original Ravenloft adventure.

Curse of Strahd is produced by Wizards of the Coast. It was written by Chris Perkins, edited by Kim Mohan and Jeremy Crawford, and art directed by Kate Irwin. The adventure incorporates material from the original Ravenloftadventure as well as new story content created by Tracy and Laura Hickman, Chris Perkins, Adam Lee, Richard Whitters, and Jeremy Crawford.

Table of Contents

Online Supplements

Introduction

  • Foreword
  • Running the Adventure
  • Sidebar: A Classic Retold
  • Marks of Horror

Chapter 1: Into the Mists

  • Strahd von Zarovich
  • Fortunes of Ravenloft
  • Sidebar: Using Regular Playing Cards
  • Adventure Hooks

Chapter 2: The Lands of Barovia

  • Lay of the Land
  • Alterations to Magic
  • Barovians
  • Sidebar: Barovian Names
  • Sidebar: Barovian Calendar
  • Vistani
  • Random Encounters
  • Sidebar: Strahd's Spies
  • Areas of Barovia
  • Sidebar: The Lands of Barovia: Common Features

Chapter 3: The Village of Barovia

  • Approaching the Village
  • Areas of the Village
  • Special Events

Chapter 4: Castle Ravenloft

  • Random Encounters
  • Walls of Ravenloft
  • Main Floor
  • Court of the Count
  • Rooms of Weeping
  • Spires of Ravenloft
  • Larders of Ill Omen
  • Dungeon and Catacombs

Chapter 5: The Town of Vallaki

  • Approaching the Town
  • Areas of Vallaki
  • Special Events

Chapter 6: Old Bonegrinder

  • Approaching the Windmill
  • Areas of the Windmill
  • The Megaliths

Chapter 7: Argynvostholt

  • The Order of the Silver Dragon
  • Sidebar: Revenants of Barovia
  • Approaching the Mansion
  • Areas of Argynvostholt
  • Special Events

Chapter 8: The Village of Kresk

  • Areas of Kresk
  • Areas of Abbey
  • Special Events

Chapter 9: Tsolenka Pass

  • Areas of the Pass
  • Special Events

Chapter 10: The Ruins of Berez

  • Approaching the Ruins
  • Areas of Berez
  • Special Events

Chapter 11: Van Richten's Tower

  • Approaching the Tower
  • Areas of the Tower
  • Special Events

Chapter 12: The Wizard of Wines

  • Approaching the Vineyard
  • Approaching the Winery
  • Areas of the Winery
  • Special Events

Chapter 13: The Amber Temple

  • Sidebar: Extreme Cold
  • Areas of the Temple
  • Sidebar: Amber Sarcophagi
  • Special Events

Chapter 14: Yester Hill

  • Areas of the Hill
  • Special Events

Chapter 15: Werewolf Den

  • Sidebar: Travel through the Mists
  • Areas of the Den
  • Special Events

Epilogue

  • Strahd Prevails
  • Strahd Dies

Appendix A: Character Options

  • Character Background
  • Sidebar: Monster Hunter's Pack
  • Gothic Trinkets

Appendix B: Death House

  • History
  • Rose and Thorn
  • Sidebar: Level Advancement
  • Sidebar: Death House's Features
  • Areas of the House
  • Sidebar: Dungeon Features
  • Endings

Appendix C: Treasures

  • Tome of Strahd
  • Magic Items

Appendix D: Monsters and NPCs

  • The Abbot
  • Animated Objects
  • Baba Lysaga
  • Barovian Witch
  • Blight, Tree
  • Ezmerelda d'Avenir
  • Izek Strazni
  • Kasimir Velikov
  • Madam Eva
  • Mongelfolk
  • Phantom Warrior
  • Pidlwick II.
  • Rahadin
  • Rictavio
  • Strahd von Zarovich
  • Strahd Zombie
  • Vladimir Horngaard
  • Wereraven

Appendix E: The Tarokka Deck

This section describes the meaning of the cards.

Appendix F: Handouts

  • Kolyan Indirovich's Letter (V. 1)
  • Strahd's Invitation
  • From the Tome of Strahd
  • Journal of Rudolph van Richten
  • Kolyan Indirovich's Letter (V. 2)
  • Journal of Argynvost

Maps

  • Barovia
  • Tser Pool Encampment
  • Village of Barovia
  • Church
  • Castle Ravenloft
    • Map 1: Ravenloft Heights
    • Map 2: Walls of Ravenloft
    • Map 3: Main Floor
    • Map 4: Court of the Count
    • Map 5: Rooms of Weeping
    • Map 6: Spires of Ravenloft
    • Maps 7, 8, 9, 10: Spires of Ravenloft
    • Maps 11, 12: Larders of Ill Omen, Dungeons and Catacombs
    • Elevator Trap
    • Traps in Area K73
  • Vallaki
  • Blue Water Inn
  • Burgomaster's Mansion
  • Wachterhaus
  • Coffin Maker's Shop
  • Vistani Camp
  • Old Bonegrinder
  • Argynvostholt: Ground Floor and Second Floor
  • Argynvostholt: Third Floor, Rooftop, and Beacon
  • Krezk
  • Abbey of Saint Markovia: Ground Floor
  • Abbey of Saint Markovia: Upper Floor and Cellar
  • Tsolenka Pass
  • Baba Lysaga's Creeping Hut
  • Berez
  • Van Richten's Tower
  • Wizard of Wines Winery
  • Amber Temple: Upper Level
  • Amber Temple: Lower Level
  • Yester Hill
  • Werewolf Den
  • Death House

Errata

Page 22

  • Letter of Recommendation from the Eravien Haund: Despite Haund's presumptions, the werewolves move to and from Barovia by Strahd's will alone, and not via a portal. If the adventurers are successful in determining this (this will require some creativity, or an odd series of circumstances to occur), they are rewarded as stated in the adventure. The letter of recommendation promised grants the bearer use of the Position of Privilege feature from the Noble background. If the bearer also has the Noble background, they have advantage on any Charisma related skill checks they make when using the letter for this purpose. The letter of recommendation is only useful in any regard, when on the Sword Coast.
  • Special Favor from Davra Jassur: In exchange for returning the head of Kiril Stoyanovich (see Pack Attack, Page 171), Davra is exceedingly pleased. Any characters that are members of the Zhentarim earn the following story award: "Special Favor: The Black Network Davra Jassur commands much respect within the Black Network, and dropping her name could yield favorable results—even from those who are unaffiliated with the Zhentarim. This story award may be redeemed for one of the following: a common spell scroll (1st level spell), two vials of poison, five flasks of holy water, or the service of silvering one melee weapon (the weapon to be silvered must be purchased separately). This story award is removed when used.

Page 37

  • Tser Pool Encampment Treasure: There are six tents and four wagons for a total of 10 possible (although statistically-unlikely) results that include a magic item. If the result is a 20, the characters find one of the items below. Roll 1d20 and consult the list below; ignoring results from previous rolls.
d20 Magic Item Found
1-5 A potion of greater healing
6 A potion of fire breath. This clear, red fluid has a smoldering chunk of coal floating within. The heat of this almost-boiling potion can be felt even through the thick glass bottle it is contained in.
7 Ten +1 crossbow bolts. The bolts have bone shafts with thrice-bladed, cold-iron heads.
8 A wooden, screw-top canister containing four doses of Keoghtom's ointment (this item counts as a permanent magic item until its last dose is used).Anyone upon whom the ointment is applied smells like freshly dug earth for 1 hour. No amount of cleaning (including the use of prestidigitation) or perfume will mask or remove this smell.
9 A potion of hill giant strength. The potion can only be consumed by first destroying the stopper-less,ceramic pot it is contained in. The potion tastes foul and has the consistency of curdled milk; with hints of blood, sweat, and grime.
10 A suit of mithral half-plate decorated with an elegant woodland motif. The green, woolen cape affixed to the armor's shoulders never catches on burrs or branches while traveling through the forest.
11 A potion of lightning resistance. The potion in this glass vial is crystal clear, and a number of small iron beads have settled at the bottom.
12 A bag of holding. This tattered and patched bag lets forth a terrible scream whenever it is opened, audible to anyone within 100 feet.
13 A silver snuff box containing what appears to be fine tobacco (actually dust of sneezing and choking; this item counts as a permanent magic item until its only dose is used)
14 An ugly hat made of tattered, brown wool (a helm of comprehend languages)
15 A potion of necrotic resistance. This milky potion has a small, human tooth floating within it that must be swallowed as part of drinking the potion.
16 A silver vial carved to resemble a fish. It contains oil of slipperiness. When used, the oil reeks of rotting fish and kelp, a smell that cannot be cleaned or masked while the oil is in effect.
17 A spell scroll of Hold Person.
18 A fist-sized emerald inscribed with the symbol of the Cult of the Crushing Wave (an elemental gem).
19 A small steel flask containing a potion of growth. The flask has the initials "AB" engraved on it.
20 A spell scroll of Haste.

Page 63

  • King's Accountant: Using the manual of bodily health requires the owner to expend 6 downtime days, after which the owner gains the manual's benefit. Once this happens, the manual crumbles to ash and is lost forever. Only the owner of the manual may benefit from its use.
    • NOTE: The manual of bodily health may not be traded, even if the owner possesses campaign documentation that allows the trade of uncerted items. Ownership must be established normally by the end of the game session in which it is found, and only by an adventurer that was played in that session. The manual counts permanently against the owner's magic item total, even after it has been used.

Page 88

  • Crypt 13: The musket provided here is unique, and may not be replicated or repaired—though it is easy enough to craft ammunition for it. A character proficient with smith's tools can spend 3 gp to craft 10 bullets and 35 gp to craft enough gunpowder for 10 shots. Ammunition and gunpowder can't be purchased otherwise. The resulting gunpowder is not suitable for any purpose other to fire the weapon (i.e. No explosives may be crafted, etc). Characters can't become proficient in this weapon.
    • NOTE: As a mundane item, the musket and bullets may not be traded. Ownership must be established normally by the end of the game session in which it is found, and only by an adventurer that was played in that session.

Page 91

  • Crypt 29: The original blade of the luck blade found in this crypt rusted away eons ago. The hilt, however, retained its power. Upon being claimed by a new owner, a new blade manifests from the hilt—taking the form of whatever type of sword its owner wishes. Once the weapon's form has been chosen, it cannot be changed. It is otherwise as described in the adventure.
    • NOTE: As an uncerted item, the luck blade may not be traded, even if the owner possesses campaign documentation that allows the trade of uncerted items. Ownership must be established normally by the end of the game session in which it is found, and only by an adventurer that was played in that session.

Luck Blade and Wish Guidance

Wish is a potent spell that can result in a wide variety of interpretations. DMs have discretion on the adjudication of Wish spells, but players should be forewarned that other DMs may rule differently; some may disallow some effects of their wish. For example, if a character wishes to be a Masked Lord of Waterdeep, one DM may accommodate that and consider it in the character's adventures, but another DM may not.

Characters in the Adventurers League have two additional options to choose from when casting a Wish spell by using the luck blade found in this adventure:

  • Magic Items: A character may wish for a single item appropriate for their tier (Tier 1: uncommon, Tier 2: rare or uncommon, Tier 3: very rare, rare, or uncommon) of their choice from the Dungeon Master's Guide or Dungeon Master's Basic Rules. The magic item is awarded to the character making the wish and can't be traded even if the character possesses campaign documentation that allows the trade of uncerted items.
  • Ability Score Increase: A character wishing for an increase to their ability scores may add +2 to one ability score, or +1 to two different ability scores. A feat may be chosen as a substitute for the ability score increase, as normal.

Page 187

  • Architect's Room: Using the tome of understanding requires the owner to expend 6 downtime days, after which the owner gains the tome's benefit. Once this happens, the tome is consumed in brilliant, divine flames (dealing no damage). When the flames die, the tome is gone, never to return. Only the owner of the tome may benefit from its use.
    • NOTE: As an uncerted item, the tome of understanding may not be traded, even if the owner possesses campaign documentation that allows the trade of uncerted items. Ownership must be established normally by the end of the game session in which it is found, and only by an adventurer that was played in that session. The tome counts permanently against the owner's magic item total, even after it has been used

Page 191

  • Amber Sarcophagi: The Amber Sarcophagi sidebar is amended as follows:
    • Add the following after the third paragraph:
      • Dungeon and Dragons Adventurers League DM's should ensure that players fully understand the risk inherent in dealing with such powerful—and wholly evil—entities. DMs will provide the following as a warning to your players prior to their decision to accept a dark gift:
        • "Accepting a gift from an entity of pure, ancient evil does not come without tremendous risk. While you stand to gain terrible power, it is possible that your character may forever surrender their soul to a being of ultimate darkness. Should this happen, your character shall become an NPC under the control of the Dark Powers—and therefore unplayable in future Adventurers League adventures—until they no longer possess the dark gift, which could be a very long time. Once your decision is made, there is no turning back. Do you accept the gift?"
    • Add the following after the fifth paragraph:
      • Dark gifts that have a finite duration (i.e., one year, 30 days, etc.) last for the specified amount of time in the real-world. That is to say that if a character receives a dark gift that lasts for one year, that character loses the dark gift and all its effects one calendar year from the date that the gift was annotated on the characters Adventure Logsheet. A character may accept and be affected by only one dark gift. If a character with a dark gift attempts to accept another from a different vestige, their requests go unanswered.
    • Add the following to the last paragraph of the "Amber Sarcophagi" sidebar:
      • A character that fails the saving throw above is possessed by a fragment of the vestige and changes the moral aspect of their alignment (good, neutral, or evil) to evil. If they are now lawful evil, they can choose to continue playing that character. If they are a member of any faction other than the Lords Alliance or Zhentarim, they are immediately expelled from that faction and lose all renown. If they are now either neutral evil or chaotic evil their character is removed from D&D Adventurers League play unless they are the unwitting recipient of a Wish—removing their dark gift, and changing their alignment back to what it was prior to receiving the dark gift. There is no saving throw against the Wish spell, but the adventurer would never actively seek to change themselves back.
    • Adventurers that fail their saving throw gain the following story award:
      • Consumed by Absolute Darkness: You have accepted the gift of evil and paid the price. You have been possessed by the vestige of a dead and wholly-evil god. For so long as this vestige possesses your mortal body, you may not participate in any D&D Adventurers League adventure. Instead, the vestige—free from its imprisonment—uses your body to wreak havoc upon the land. This lasts for one year and one day of time in the real world, at which time, the character is restored to their original alignment and for some reason unknown to them (possibly divine intervention) the dark gift has been removed. After the dark gift has been removed, the character has disadvantage on all Charisma-related checks when interacting with NPCs anywhere in the Realms. After 10 adventures, assuming no wrongdoing, their reputation is restored and this penalty is removed. The dark gift may be removed earlier, but only by a wish spell cast by another character.