I'm continuing to work my way through the core 5e D&D books in preparation for starting to play Curse of Strahd, but I've also been looking for alternative scenarios to take the players through to Level 3-4, the recommended levels for the start of the campaign. Whilst browsing through the DM's Guild material on https://www.dmsguild.com/ I found a module that looks promising.
The Beast of Graenseskov is a module set on the borderlands of Barovia, under the devil Strahd's control, but not in his immediate area of focus. Coming through the mists, the characters stumble into a situation which will most likely end up with them starting to investigate a terrifying beast that is menacing a small village. Interaction and investigation, followed by short moments of violence are going to be the order of the day. The vampire content is very low, which is good because it still leaves you all the big reveals for the main campaign.
The story that the scenario presents is easy to link to one of the hooks for the campaign; it makes the transition through the mists around Barovia feel far more reasonable. It is designed as an introduction to Ravenloft but feels quite dangerous at points. Having read through it once, I'm pretty certain that I will be using it. Death House feels too much like a traditional dungeon. Graenseskov will need a bit more preparation time than Death House, but I'm confident that the pay-off will be worth it,
6 September 2019