Friday, September 24, 2021

Strahd Loves, Man Kills Issue 1

Strahd Loves, Man Kills is a brilliantly named 5e Ravenloft fanzine by Dolorous Exhumation Press. The first issues focuses on witchcraft, hags, and other bits of folk horror. There are several features, all of which are pretty cool.

The zine starts with Lurid Locations. The location presented in this issue is Strega Hollow. This holler is designed to be placed in a remote section of Tepest. It's a mining town ruled by a hag family that openly worship the devil, Asmodeus. The area has a magical bog that heals... at a cost. Additionally a few npcs (with motivations) and adventure hooks are presented.

Baleful Backgrounds presents new character backgrounds. Like all 5e backgrounds, they have skill/tool proficiencies, starting equipment, a feature, and personality traits/ideals/bonds/flaws. The first is the Country Squire. These are landed gentry that have lived a life associated with privilege. The second is the Cut-Wife. These are midwives and herbalist that provide unconventional medicine in rural communities.

Seeds of Evil presents a horror based adventure seed. This issue includes The Thing In Elbert's Parlor. The hook is that a character's uncle has a new acquisition, a mummy from Hark'Akir.

Cryptic Alliances are new cults and organizations that dwell in the dark realms. The Cult of the Rotmaiden is a group of nihilistic druids that worship Zuggtmoy, the Demon Queen of Fungi. It's members have been abused by those in power and seek revenge on the powerful. While they are definitely evil, there are sympathetic aspects to the organization and its members.

Tragic Heroes gives brief outlines for character ideas. They present the concept and then give suggested builds. The focus of this issue is troubled troubadours. While I think all five of the presented concepts are good, the Crossroads Nightingale is my favorite. Like Robert Johnson, this soul sold their soul to the infernal at the crossroads to become a maestro. 

Random Ruin presents a random tables to help you name your campaign. Finally Forbidden Tomes presents a collection of inspirational folk horror.

This is a great zine. It's not flashy and feels like a throwback. I really like that aspect of it. If you're a fan of Ravenloft, it's definitely worth picking up a copy. Issue 2 dropped this week. I ordered my copy and will do a review of it as soon as it comes in. 

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