This subreddit serves as a helpful place for anyone running the Curse of Strahd module for D&D 5e. Ireena's scream cut off. The DM may also decide on things such as the starting level, and what adventures you will encounter first in the world. Turnabout is fair play. The party has to spend the next 2 rounds slapping the rogue as he kept failing Wis saves and continued to attack to Fighter. At least twice. It'll be interesting to see who tries to get the powers, since most of them at this point seem like they'd do whatever it takes to take down Strahd. Around midnight after coming out of the bar talking to the Burgomaster's son they will see that girl being carted off by spirts towards the death house but because of twisting and turning through the town they lose track of her, at the same time the ghost march starts from the church. Slowly. Then I had him start doing small but subtle things to personally throw off each character. He pulled it out and healed up. But I am capable of great mercy as well. I want him to start setting up situations to torment the players more, but I'm having trouble coming up with ideas that are thematic and appropriate. He pointed out how this showed how much he cared for her and how it was the boy's fault for looking at something that wasn't his. He then had a swarm of bats flurry around him, and flew off with them. One of the guy tried to sneak up on Strahd with invisibility cloak and got his head squashed effortlessly in front of the players. I would add on here to say there is another trick you could use if you want to keep the bats. So my players finally got on Strahd's bad side last session. It was creepy and atmospheric and the party hated him INSTANTLY. Hi everyone!I'm currently preparing to run Curse of Strahd, and I think I want the players to encounter Strahd in session 2 or 3. He was a well dressed man on the road and probably the only nice and not horrid person they met. Worst case scenario, everyone drops except the one he wants to feed on, so he charms that one and sucks maximum amount of blood possible. They didn’t have a real introduction to who he really is until they were pondering helping Ireena after she fed them dinner later. They are in Ravenloft (at level 4). Thanks guys! Morgantha reappeared on the edge of the cliff with Ireena. For the funeral, the priest approaches with a hood, as is Barovian custom. Modules. If they decline, he attacks, and every time a PC drops he asks if they're ready now to let him taste. They simply aren't a threat, merely to be observed and toyed with at the moment. If everyone saves on the Hypnotic Pattern, he can just cast the spell again. Let's player win. And threw this mission vasil is going to try to earn their trust and slowly try and convince them strahd is bad but he's the best choice. They were being accompanied by Ireena and a revenant of the Order of the Silver Dragon named Emmirick. He explained that he had been "imploring the powers" to send heroes to help him with the troubles that plague his cursed kingdom and asked that they hunt the werewolves that have been terrorizing the people of Barovia and gave them a magic hunting spear called Wolfsbane. No one attacked or stepped forward as Strahd casually looked the person up and down - no hint of malice or trying to hurt her. Encounter Strahd. The party is terrified of him right now because, so far, they have only fought his servants and have nearly been wiped out by them every single time. Do you think the wolf attack is to much? /r/DnDBehindTheScreen is a subreddit for Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Masters to trade tools, guides and resources. It helped that Ismark had commented earlier that Strahd occasionally shows up in town and takes young girls. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. Strahd will appear at the grave (as per usual) but instead of showing force, he will try to convince the party that he is the only hope for Barovia, and that van Richten and the Mad Mage are in league with the Dark Powers and corrupting the land. When they rush up to the one they chose to save (and hear the other choking horribly), they realize the NPC has been turned into a vampire spawn and he attacks. NPCs (who are otherwise plot-unimportant) that the party saved are killed or ruined in gruesome ways upon their return. He whispered sweet nothings to Ireena as they embraced and then let her go. Gave them a healthy fear of Strahd from the get go! A New Random Encounters Table for Curse of Strahd I like random encounters. managing to charm Strahd with Hypnotic Pattern. I like that you have him just kind of watching on. And only twice attacked. The new player was at the inn and was with two other dudes. He did not take any violent action against them until afterwards. Let's player win. They meet the priest to bury Kolyan, the priest sends them to the grave to wait while he fetches his holy symbols and prayer book etc. She might be a Strahd's spy or have her own business. Players got distracted negotiating with some NPC allies who'd accidentally outed themselves as werewolves (Actually ended up letting the weres leave with the kids, but that's another story) Took them a while to realize Ireena was missing. About 8 sessions in, the party was at Bonegrinder, fighting a solitary hag and trying to save some children. The party was definitely shy about it all, and you could tell that their gears were turning about what was going on. The party immediately surrounded Ireena. Realizing that he was not going to get Ireena out of the church and unwilling to kill his "guests" just yet, he calls and end to the fight and departs, ensuring them all that Ireena will soon be his. If they fail, they will most likely have perished. Near-dead spawn runs on a long hallway, party kills him, then take in the surroundings. After a heated argument, cue ominous organ coming from the castle, thunder clouds and magic fog descends into the valley. This is a point I'm really pressing on, with some of the characters getting visions of the potential powers they could have and getting messages to come visit the amber temple to receive them. The book does recommend certain levels needed for a party to encounter certain events in the book, but again it is completely up to the DMs discretion. My party's first official meeting with Strahd was... dramatic. After my party left the Vista i camp and got the fortune they ran into Vasili on the road who asked to escort him to the gates. I more had him hold back as they had Ezmerelda as a companion at this point but he managed to charm the same person as before (which works out since the guy created an evil character and I plan to entice him with taking over in place of Strahd and he's getting a kind of personal connection with Strahd). He then seals the doors and windows using his first lair action and then the effect takes place before combat begins. Steal Argynvost's skull and animate its body as a Dracolich/Dragon Skeleton before their eyes, leave them to fight it while he makes off with one of their artifacts or allies, knowing they can't do anything about it. Strahd reveals a disguised Rahadin and several Vistani have already been sent into the hallowed church in Vallaki. He claimed that he was constantly having to hide from the monsters. Doors close. Best part: 2 of my players had played CoS before and neither of them asked Vasili's last name so they were completely unaware who they were talking to. Ismark, who gave the party the quest to bury his father at the church, then leaves to retrieve the party's reward at his mansion. I had Strahd assualt the burgomaster's manor while the players stayed in it to protect Ireena. The heroes then gave chase, needing to deal with some Strahd zombies put in their way. I think I will use this idea when he invites them for dinner and they meet the dreaded man they heard so much about in person. If players are successful, they will have freed the land and will now be able to return to their past lives. What do you think of this idea and do you have any other suggestions? and come morning the PCs asked what that was about. Needless to say, he was dead, and Ireena was pale and weak and needed care. Group was split up in Vallaki at night, one player was disguised as Ireena and got captured by Izek. I enjoyed this first encounter. Then he left. My Player's First Encounter with Strahd. They ended up knocking her out and fleeing while Strahd chuckled in amusement in the background. He welcomes them to Barovia, and says that he will be their host for their entire stay, AKA the rest of their lives, which might not be too long. While the party (and especially the thief) is fighting for their lives, he walks up to the struggling party members and grabs one (maybe the spellcaster who cast Hypnotic Pattern on him) and charms them, asking them to fetch his spellbook for him. The opening sequences available in the book give you many ways to introduce the PCs into the world of Barovia, or you can make your own. When the party later figured out that the person they'd met was Strahd in disguise, the first thing said was the Rogue lamenting, "I JUST GOT THREATENED BY THE BIG BAD GUY!!!". Imagine. Fight encounters with Strahd Von Zarovich outside of Ravenloft is possible and highly recommended to keep Strahd an active and moving part of the adventure. But the way you have it planned now leaves a lot to work with. I wanted encounters with him to have significance beyond just overcoming the threat to their lives, so they might see him as something other than an enemy. They increase diversity in a game, which often means they can increase fun. I decided to instead attack her pride in her work. The druid's Entangle kept her from running (not that it would have helped.) They had just completed Death house, making the sacrifice, and claiming ownership of the manse, and talked to Ismark about going to see the burgomeister. Contrary to the book, he did not intervene in the ritual (party would have died if he did...they seriously underestimated the berserkers). When they arrive to the church, they cannot find the vampire, but Ismark is suddenly attacked again by an invisible Strahd, who holds him aloft and threatens to kill him unless they bring Ireena out. Seeing that her bard friend is upset, and being upset herself by Strahd's comments earlier, she jumps up, yells, "OH YEAH? He says his name as lightning cracks across the sky illuminating his red eyes and still-red fangs from biting the priest. Second encounter was at Yester hill, the group was at the tree and was about to start taking it down when Strahd arrived on Beacephalus and instructed the hidden berserkers/druids to attack. This subreddit serves as a helpful place for anyone running the Curse of Strahd module for D&D 5e. Eventually, Ismark is hit by a 4th level blight attack, knocking him unconscious, and a fight breaks out where Strahd more toys with the heroes than anything else. I re-created the cowboy speech from Mulholland Drive movie and intimidated the hell out of one of my players with the obvious and confident passive aggressive threat. Encounter 3: Watched the party at Yester Hill along with a massive swarm of bats.