I later ran the I10 Ravenloft II - The House of Gryphon Hill sequel. My recollections were that it was messy, confusing and disappointing, especially after the effort I had gone to in finding it. I think that this was 1e AD&D again, but there's a chance I may have hacked it into 2e.
Despite the disappointment, I couldn't keep away, and I bought the Ravenloft: Domains of Dread setting soon after it was released for 2e AD&D. This was a massive retcon-ing of Ravenloft as originally conceived, but I kind of liked it.
I did roll out I6 again, hacked into 2e AD&D for another 24-hour charity event when I was up in Cumbria on my year out working as an engineer at Sellafield. It went down well and it's a scenario I'd happily bring out again.
I picked up I6 as a PDF once it became available and have fondly looked it several times, but D&D moved on to 3rd edition and beyond and I moved away from it until Dungeon World triggered nostalgia in me for the style of play. I started to look at porting it to the Powered by the Apocalypse engine, but then I discovered The Black Hack. Graham Spearing's focussed take on this, Heroic Fantasy, looked like the way to go.
I'd mentioned my love of this setting to Dr Mitch in the bar one Furnace, and he told me he'd love to try it. The arrival of Curse of Strahd for 5e D&D made me determined to get a group together and explore this sandbox full of horror, especially as it draws much more on the original scenario than the subsequent iterations. As I start to prepare, the lure of the electronic version of the module using Roll 20 is calling and I may end up using 5e rather than Heroic Fantasy as originally planned. But first, I need to read the whole book completely.
What keeps on drawing me back? I think that the darkness and tragedy at the heart of the setting, combined with an intelligent and powerful villain in a setting that draws on recognisable tropes lies at the heart of it. The setting looks very clear in its differentiation between good and evil, but the reality is so much more shades of grey. How do you accommodate the darkness of a realm controlled by a supremely powerful and present creature? As a GM, you have the chance to allow the players to have their characters hold a candle up against the darkness, or chose to embrace it.
20 August 2019