"I AM THE ANCIENT ... I AM THE LAND ..."
Your screams still echo in your room. Cold sweat soaks the bedsheets and trickles down your back.
It seemed so real! The great towers of a darksome place called Ravenloft ... it's misty vales and the terrible tragedy of a man who had sold his soul to unlife. Now the sunlight streams through the window with the promise of a new day. The dread nightmare at last is over.
In the cold sunlight of a dying autumn, you step from your room at the inn and stroll along the friendly streets of Mordentshire. But, from the back of your mind the dream creeps forward to haunt you. Why do the faces of those who have befriended you now seem those of strangers? Why do those who called you here in terror, now seem to dismiss your task as a folly?
More .. why are you advised so strongly, to forget about the House on Gryphon Hill ... the domain of the fair haired Count Von Zarovich, a name that cries out from your dark nightmare?
You halt, as the swirl of events grow more confusing with every passing minute. Which is the dream ... and which the reality?
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B-E-T-A has played this adventure and would not recommend it.
The story as written isn't really good, especially not as a sequel to Strahd's story in I6:Ravenloft or Curse of Strahd!
The premise is interesting; The PCs wake up on a unfamiliar island after having nightmares about Strahd. When they wake up, they find that they are in the village of Mordentshire, and that the lord is expecting them as investigators of the church. When they go to meet the lord they learn that the person they are investigating is a young alchemist named Strahd, whom the lord fears might not be all that he seems.
What follows is a strange adventure that attempts (and in my opinion fails) to recapture the magic of the original Ravenloft module:
- There is another set of 3 artifacts the heroes must seek, their locations scattered about through a fortune telling. Although in this case the fortune telling is not a fortune telling by a hypnotism, and the adventure is not as clear as it should be (to the PCs) about how this hypnotism is what determines the locations of the things the PCs need to seek.
- There is a big castle dungeon to explore in the form of the titular House on the Gryphon Hill. It is not as big or complex as Castle Ravenloft (for better or worse).
- The plot makes up a new backstory for Strahd / Involves alternate realities and timelines. Instead of treating Strahd as D&D Dracula, Strahd is now D&D Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.
- The ending of the adventure is a scripted event where both versions of Strahd fight each other whilst the PCs watch.
Overall, I did not like this adventure, and it wasn't really fun for the PCs either when I ran it, even with my attempts at fixing it. THAT BEING SAID: If you combine this adventure with the lore written about Mordentshire in the newly released Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft, and you remove Strahd completely from the story, it can make for a good groundwork for fighting Godefroy, the Darklord of Mordentshire!
MrHouse has played this adventure and would recommend it.
I do not like everything in this adventure but what I do like I stole and implanted into my "gaslight" Call of Cthuhlu/D&D 5e game.
What I like: Gryphon Hill and the artifact within, the transplant of monsters, and a town that has comparisons to Innsmouth.
What I didn't like: main villain being treated like a Dr.Jekyl/Mr. Hyde.