Which dark lords do you think need to either a rewrite or be dumped?

26 posts / 0 new
Last post
I would go with the following :

Shinpi
Urik von Khakrov
Inza
Ithilid God Brain although they could use Faternity of Shadow's one if they get permission as it is pretty good.
The Hive Queen
T'sien
The Phantom Lover
I don't understand what you mean by dumped. All of the Darklords are still usuable, even if their mechanics will have to change. Urik von Kharkov is still usable in 4E; he would just be a Paragon Tier Solo Skirmisher, rather than a 10th level human with the Nosferatu Vampire Template.

Some Darklords might even be more powerful. Haki Shinpi could actually be a credible Heroic Tier threat if built well.

In any event, right now WotC has only converted one Darklord from previous editions, namely Count Strahd. The Dragon Magazine articles are mostly focusing on new Domains and Darklords, rather than convert old Darklords.
Professor Pacali, Keeper of the Pickled Punks, Resident of the Carnival. (Please do not call me a "barker". It is insulting.)
I don't understand what you mean by dumped. All of the Darklords are still usuable, even if their mechanics will have to change. Urik von Kharkov is still usable in 4E; he would just be a Paragon Tier Solo Skirmisher, rather than a 10th level human with the Nosferatu Vampire Template.

Some Darklords might even be more powerful. Haki Shinpi could actually be a credible Heroic Tier threat if built well.

In any event, right now WotC has only converted one Darklord from previous editions, namely Count Strahd. The Dragon Magazine articles are mostly focusing on new Domains and Darklords, rather than convert old Darklords.

I'm not talking about the mechanics but story line and personality. As is Shinpi needs a serious rewrite to make a good Dark Lord. It is not just his powers but his background. It says virtually nothing. It has potential but it isn't developed. Von Khakrov is boring, his background gives no clue why he became a Dark Lord. Inza is little more than a cartoon villian with her background. There has to be a reason why she is so evil but the background description doesn't say. The Hive Queen's background isn't bad but she herself is a bit dull for a dark lord. T'sein seems a cliche Oriental villain from the pulp era. The Phantom Lover again has no real background.
im going to second the notion of urik von kharkov being in need of a rewrite. when he was written in second edition, he was a panther polymorphed into a human, vampire as many may know. at the time for second edition race blending like this was amazing.

one of the big things of the darklords is that most of the time they feel some sort of guilt for what they do. he did initially feel guilt at the time of becoming a darklord but i can't help he gave up on that notion long ago. it feels like hes going through the motions of being a bbeg. if he really doesn't care, should he had faded out of the mist long ago?

i think izna being the new darklord of sithicus has very little connection to the true feel of the domain, and at the very least should have chaged a bit to have a little bit of her, such as a larger vistani presence. but i understand that sithicus was a bigger deal to ravenloft, to the point of outliving its former lord after soth left it. agaian this is another lord that should have felt guilt bbut really never had to.

as far as shinpi goes. i think it was an excelent curse of terms of being thought out tho on the squareboard... leaves much to be desired, as per he doesn't even pose a threat to the pc's
I think Van Kharkov has potential if they played up his killing women every so often and his sense of guilt for doing so. I don't think the problem is that Sithicus hasn't changed enough to suit the dark lord, I think the problem is the dark lord herself. Inza had big shoes to fill when replacing Soth and needed to be very gripping and she isn't. Why they think they needed to replace Soth I have no idea but if they had to they needed be better thought out than Inza. There is nothing in her background that explains why she is the way she is. She comes off being little more than a poorly thought out cartoon villian. Shinpi's lack of powers doesn't bother me as much as the fact that there is no details on how he twisted the Bushido code against his enemies. That would be interesting. As far as his domain goes you could give his sons various dark powers. They could be the most visible and important adversaries. Your biggest adversary doesn't need to be the dark lord,the dark lords are largely the background the domain is based on. If your players go to Darkon, they don't have to face Azalin directly (which would be absolute suicide under any but the most unusual situations) the Kargat is more than enough to scare the crap out of the players! They don't have to confront Strahd (again suicide) directly to be nervous in Bavoria, the undead and worgs are enough to do that. What they are needed for is to be used as the blueprint their domain is based around. When I have questions about how they became dark lords in the first place I have a hard time building a domain around them. With a better handle on how Shinpi got to be the dark lord the better I can come up with his four remaining sons. The mechanics are easy, it is the background that is more difficult.
upping the body count of karkof, i don't think is a fix. there was a short story on him in tales of ravenloft. in that story he was shocked, then shocked again over his life to unlifes course. afterwards almost as if it was a shurg of his shoulders he accepted things as the way they were. paicking up wives only because it was more a compulsion then ay particular feelling.

with izna i kinda thinking of her as a similar version to the spooky kids from omen, the good son, but in jail bait form with lots of cgi dark stuff floating around her. somtimes your born bad, and you have lots of cgi work.:P

i understand her lots over shin pi

which leads me to good old shin pi. while i get the notion its not shin pi or the dark lord that players shouldn't be worrying about initially is something i can understand. but eventually if the players are lucky, they will be face to face with the dark lord who can do, nothing to you, and you? you can do nothing to him. akward.

oh, and while were at it lets throw the mad elf mage/king from vechor there. hes in need for a tune up, oil change, perhaps a complete overhaul fro the chassis up.

as far as some of the other darklords being to cliche, its kinda more a homage. strahd has the potential to be ultra clicche, as does adam of lamordia, so for t'sien? the more nostalgic, the more win. in fact you have to reach far in the past for pulp era comics to understand shes almost related to fu manchu
i think its a requirement for these villians to imitate fictional horrors from our own literature. we even haave two nods to ccthulu in this game, the creature gwidyon who imprisoned the shee in the shadow rift, and illithid god brain.
upping the body count of karkof, i don't think is a fix. there was a short story on him in tales of ravenloft. in that story he was shocked, then shocked again over his life to unlifes course. afterwards almost as if it was a shurg of his shoulders he accepted things as the way they were. paicking up wives only because it was more a compulsion then ay particular feelling.

with izna i kinda thinking of her as a similar version to the spooky kids from omen, the good son, but in jail bait form with lots of cgi dark stuff floating around her. somtimes your born bad, and you have lots of cgi work.:P

i understand her lots over shin pi

which leads me to good old shin pi. while i get the notion its not shin pi or the dark lord that players shouldn't be worrying about initially is something i can understand. but eventually if the players are lucky, they will be face to face with the dark lord who can do, nothing to you, and you? you can do nothing to him. akward.

oh, and while were at it lets throw the mad elf mage/king from vechor there. hes in need for a tune up, oil change, perhaps a complete overhaul fro the chassis up.

as far as some of the other darklords being to cliche, its kinda more a homage. strahd has the potential to be ultra clicche, as does adam of lamordia, so for t'sien? the more nostalgic, the more win. in fact you have to reach far in the past for pulp era comics to understand shes almost related to fu manchu
i think its a requirement for these villians to imitate fictional horrors from our own literature. we even haave two nods to ccthulu in this game, the creature gwidyon who imprisoned the shee in the shadow rift, and illithid god brain.

They have a awesome rewrite of Eason at http://www.fraternityofshadows.com/ in a netbook called Nocturnal Sea Gazzeter in their library. They have a done of Ravenloft netbooks and they are quite well written.
thanks for the heads, up.:D

i took a quick glance, and did what all those with pompous opinions did. glanced and decided that i didn't like it. with no real reason. well my reason being a personal one, seeing as how my nationality is greek and they pair up a "similar" based sociaty with my least favorite darklord. and the fauna being a mis-matched pair of pokemon-where the wild things are, mix didn't hit me that well. so in an effort of respect to FoS i'll try to read through the whole thing.

but in thinking about it, the whole pdf is really a well done piece! from start to finish, if gave me the impression that had white wolf given the projecct entirly to FoS, rather then arthaus, they would have made a better product.
Is Vechor supposed to be Pseudo-Greek? In any case I like the dread possibility. I didn't even think of that! He is failing to oust the demon because he isn't really being processed by one! It then makes more sense that he gets his own domain. He isn't screwing with souls because of demonic influence that he can't help but his own paranoia about it. That makes it much more deserving on his part. I agree the FOS would do a better job, they are people who are putting this out for free which means they are enthusiastic about it. It takes a lot of work to put out netbooks like Quoth the Raven and there are 15 of them.
again i didn't read too deep into it but promise to do so, but the names are distinctly greek in the write up for native players.

on a side note, im really glad to have another ravenloft enthusiast on board here to flood the threads lol.
I love Kharkov. I remember those Dragon Mag adventures very fondly. While I never ran the second one (where the party slays him) correctly, or to full fruition, it was a great setting to have my players run around in.
I hope he stays and gets some serious powering up if there is a 4e Ravenloft. I feel he should be the second most powerful Vamp in all of the demiplanes of dread, right behind Strahd.
I love Kharkov. I remember those Dragon Mag adventures very fondly. While I never ran the second one (where the party slays him) correctly, or to full fruition, it was a great setting to have my players run around in.
I hope he stays and gets some serious powering up if there is a 4e Ravenloft. I feel he should be the second most powerful Vamp in all of the demiplanes of dread, right behind Strahd.

I admit I never saw the Dragon Mag adventures.
Oops, I mispoke. The adventures were in Dungeon, not Dragon.
Also, they were from the early 90's. So I don't expect a lot of people to know of them. But yeah, they were good. I have since lost the issue with the frist advetnure, but the second one called "Felkovic's Cat" is in issue #50 from 1994.
thanks for the heads up will look for that =]

if it made that much of a difference for ya i'll check it out.
I love Kharkov. I remember those Dragon Mag adventures very fondly. While I never ran the second one (where the party slays him) correctly, or to full fruition, it was a great setting to have my players run around in.
I hope he stays and gets some serious powering up if there is a 4e Ravenloft. I feel he should be the second most powerful Vamp in all of the demiplanes of dread, right behind Strahd.

Isn't he the second most powerful already? Who, besides Strahd, would you rate above him?
Isn't he the second most powerful already? Who, besides Strahd, would you rate above him?

lyssa von zarovich might give him a run for his money. in the second edition kas the betrayer was stomping around in his own demiplane... so theres that.
lyssa von zarovich might give him a run for his money. in the second edition kas the betrayer was stomping around in his own demiplane... so theres that.

True, but Kas is gone now.
oh yeah forgot my mechanically least favorite tristan from forlorn.

talk about two darklords who need major fluff makeovers. totally forgot these two jokers.

tristan from forlorn. to get his races/stories/curses straight.

the other tristan/malken from nova naasa. between novels/campaign settings/ adventures/ 3.x/2nd edition. these guys need major overhauls.
True, but Kas is gone now.

very true, in third edition i just rewrote him as a fiendish vampire in my setting. :D
oh yeah forgot my mechanically least favorite tristan from forlorn.

talk about two darklords who need major fluff makeovers. totally forgot these two jokers.

tristan from forlorn. to get his races/stories/curses straight.

the other tristan/malken from nova naasa. between novels/campaign settings/ adventures/ 3.x/2nd edition. these guys need major overhauls.

What do you see wrong with them? Particularly the one from Forlorn.
What do you see wrong with them? Particularly the one from Forlorn.

please note i love the legacy styled fluff surrounding tristan, hes one of the few darklords that really suffers bad from his curse. where as strahd might feel some mental anguish at some point or another, poor tristan is the epitome of "never learn" he has it all wrapped in on himself then cycled through 3 different timelines, and three different curses means triple the threat to players and triple the disaster, not to mention triple the anguish.

from a mechancical or player standpoint the realm isn't even fun it is a real night mare, not even in that cool challanging way but complicated frustrating way.the power level of the dungeon can be all over the place, so you almost have to lead partys by the nose lest they come to close to the castle before thier time. (the last three times i ran it with them i used a druid, a ghostly child from the denizens of dread, and finally a werewolf to regulate time during thier stay in forlorn.)

nova naasa as a whole doesn't make much sense to me.:D come to think of it, the fluff alone has made me shy away from any detailed gaming in that region.
Agreed, it doesn't make much sense to me either. Othmar looks more like a dark lord to me rather than Malkin. Why does Tristen back Othmar as Tristen seems to be big into honor and Othmar has acted dishonorably by keeping power longer than he had a right to?
Agreed, it doesn't make much sense to me either. Othmar looks more like a dark lord to me rather than Malkin. Why does Tristen back Othmar as Tristen seems to be big into honor and Othmar has acted dishonorably by keeping power longer than he had a right to?

they do it to show tristen isn't that bad of a guy, that hes lawful neutral or some such gibberish. i portay him in my games and wanting to do good but cowardly and some what of a yes man.

he had one cameo in a game of mine where the characters were passing by nova vaasa. adn they met up with tristan. only after one of the players eventually read up on the ravenloft novels did he find out they were one and the same.

on a side note, i think the whole shadowfell premise might fit forlorn in a better incarnation then ever before without having to jump into different timelines and such as much as jumping from normal world to shadowfew version of the same place, revisioned.
The other problem I have with him is that he became a dark lord via a curse that descended from his father to him. He didn't really have a choice in the murders. I don't think you should become a dark lord for crimes you unwittingly committed.
The other problem I have with him is that he became a dark lord via a curse that descended from his father to him. He didn't really have a choice in the murders. I don't think you should become a dark lord for crimes you unwittingly committed.

first off i agree,

he gets this need to murder and turn into malken through none of his own doing. but hes not the only one who starts that way.

again trying to show that tristan wasn't bad, obvious jeckell and hyde where jeckell is really good and hyde is evil.

had tristan become evil in his effort to do good like jeckyl tried to do with his formula it would have been better, kinda like the road to helll is paved in good intentions sort of thing.

tristan from forlorn is kinda born with a similar bad seed as well as, the darkness chick from sithicus and kharkov, and finally easan.
first off i agree,

he gets this need to murder and turn into malken through none of his own doing. but hes not the only one who starts that way.

again trying to show that tristan wasn't bad, obvious jeckell and hyde where jeckell is really good and hyde is evil.

had tristan become evil in his effort to do good like jeckyl tried to do with his formula it would have been better, kinda like the road to helll is paved in good intentions sort of thing.

tristan from forlorn is kinda born with a similar bad seed as well as, the darkness chick from sithicus and kharkov, and finally easan.

Yeah, with Forlorn Tristan he basically had the bad luck of having a vampire for a father and if I were him I'd be worried about that the fact he was sucumbing to it was found out. The better thing for him to have done is move. Take whatever cash you have and leave. Inza's story is just lame there is no tie in to Sithicus, Magda or Soth. The background for Kharkov doesn't tell me why he is a dark lord. Canon Easan seems to be the result of tragedy but the new version from FOS works for me.