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Domains of Dread: Histaven

This was my Free RPG 2011 choice and in some ways I felt a little bit conventional to be chosing a D&D adventure. In fact the scenario is both nicely presented and a nice little situation.

It ties into the Shadowfell products (the new Ravenloft!) with a pocket plane called Histaven trapped by the eternal conflict between Count Artius and the Rag Man. The clever twist is that unlike most Ravenloft domains it is not the ruler that powers the realm, instead he is as much a victim as the rest of the realm's inhabitants.

The main weakness in the scenario is in the failure to make the characters care about the conflict between the two protagonists (beyond the practical inconvenience of not being able to escape). While the reasons for the conflict and the required resolution are suitably vague there is not enough human interest created in the consequences of the violence, which after all permenantly affects everyone not being animated by the shadow realm itself. If you are going to do a Gothic romance scenario then the emotional suffering has to be a big part of the engine of the scenario.

Overall though it is a good little pick, slight enough to be free with enough depth to avoid looking cheap.