Dying Earth & Ravenloft

I'm planning a Dying Earth/Ravenloft game. Based on the original AD&D (I6) adventure. However, some unscrupulous vagabonds from Almery find their way into the pocket world of Ravenloft. Certainly Count Strahd is offended by their colorful pantaloons if nothing else.

Has anyone else try Dying Earth cross overs? Any suggestion on what Dying earth spin would work best in Ravenloft. I've looked at the free Axomber's Crypt scenario by Ian Thompson to see what would make the dungeon crawl aspect of Ravenloft more fun.


  • You are a brave and very silly person. ;)
  • I think this could be a fun event!  I don't have any real advice, though. I have two conflicting ideas vying for supremacy in my head!  The first would be to have Strahd play the straight man to the PCs inanities.  The second would be to have Dracula engage on more or less equal measure with the PCs.  In the first, Strahd is perhaps modeled on George Hamilton's Dracula in "Love at First Bite"; cool and relatively competent.  In the second, Strand is more akin to Leslie Nielsen's Dracula in "Dead and Loving It", which, if I have seen it, I have forgotten!  Of the two, I prefer the first option.  I'd like to think of a third.  In any case, I think the selling point for the scenario is the opportunity for interaction with Strand and his attractive lieutenants and the townspeople.  Less a dungeon crawl than a pub crawl!
  • Are you planning a prolonged stay in Ravenloft or only a short dalliance?  If the later, I'd play Strahd's morose, doomed, character to the hilt; taking some clues from "Brahm Stoker's Dracula", particularly the early portions where his dark and brooding character is caked on.  

    He is often observed standing on balconies and before portraits of his lost love, from afar.  He is prone to making serious, though overly dramatic speeches about his misery and the naivety of the PCs who thought they could put his suffering to rest.  

    Shadows follow him through the keep, the castle doors open, close and lock at his command; always giving the players a sense of being steered toward some unavoidable fate. He responds to their buffoonery with armies of ghouls and servitor shadows stalking them through the halls.  

    Give them lots of props to interact with; dressers to block doors, flammable oils to ignite monsters, bits of magical paraphernalia that he hasn't had time to remove from some of the rooms - scrolls they have to read by the quickly dying light of candles; a holy symbol that turns as their level once, then bursts into flames.  Don't concern yourself over much with rules about who can use scrolls, holy items, mirrors as a means to shame and chase away evil spirits ... make no fight more than a couple rounds except in the most dramatic circumstances - otherwise let them kill, maim and disable a few lackies before you narrate the routing or nimble blade work to dispatch the rest.

    When they finally meet him he is larger than life; larger than death - he is the very embodiment of what it means to be a vampire and keep the fight intense - quickly flowing.  Allow the players to fight in tandem so they can - at the beginning of each round - dictate a number between 1-5 one is willing to take as a negative to his roll in order to improve the other's chance of hitting.  Let them feel clever when they come up with ideas, but push them hard near the end.  

    Then, when they've succeeded - assuming they have - let them imagine that they've found the way home, only to drop them somewhere unexpected.  If you want to keep up the horror theme, have the Mists stalk them when they aren't looking; enshrouding a doorway in their own home or town which can sweep them off to quick, brutal and shocking encounters before they stumble back into the Dying Earth.  Or let them out with a grand prize only to find it has aged and dried and decayed in their transition back to Almery and how they'll be lucky to get the price of a meal for it ... but they'll always have their memories and the stories to tell. 
  • As to the question of whether we've used the Dying Earth in other setting crossovers; I just finished running a crossover between Star Wars and the Dying Earth, wherein the later was a lost world rediscovered by the PCs.  I explained magic away as super science, tapping into power sources and nanoscopic machines buried in the earth to power their spells.  

    It was a session all but bereft of combat, but which relied heavily on the party's scoundrel to help them navigate the chicanery inherent in the lands.  It was just a single session aside on the planet itself - though they ran through a few other worlds bearing hints to the location of the DE before they discerned the correct path. 

    It was a light hearted bit of fun in between the often depressing events between movies 3-4 where my campaign is currently taking place.  (It started at the beginning of Episode 2 and has progressed beyond the movies and into territory touched on by the comics - I've ignored the recent cartoons.  Now, the original "Clone Wars" cartoon was awesome and I balanced my Jedi against the heroic figures they were made out to be in that series - so they started out the campaign (five real years and 12 campaign years, ago) already competent, but with their weaknesses. (I used a point buy system for the game, so characters are - by design - balanced against one another by giving the non-force users access to more skills and special abilities with the points they didn't spend on The Force itself.) 

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