It’s DM Scott’s most self-indulgent podcast yet! Join him on a brisk saunter down D&D Memory Lane.
A party of middle-aged gamers portray hapless heroes on a quest to defeat the tenth-most famous vampire ever: Strahd von Zarovich.
For DMs’ ears only! Scott offers suggestions for punching up two of Curse of Strahd’s most challenging NPCs.
No Strahdcast this week. Instead, in recognition of the recent discoveries at former Canadian residential schools, Scott talks about colonialism, cultural genocide, and the pitfalls of indigenous stereotypes – both within the game of D&D and in real life.
DM Scott welcomes a guest expert on all things Gothic: Dr. Sam Hirst, of Manchester Metropolitan University. Scott and Sam chat about the tangled origins of Gothic fiction; some of Sam’s favourite Gothic tropes and subversions; and how Gothic is Ravenloft, anyway?? Dr. Hirst is on Twitter as @RomGothSam, and runs the Gothic resource hub, romancingthegothic.com.
The sinister Vistani have appeared in every iteration of Ravenloft since the beginning… but are they an essential staple of Gothic fiction, or a culturally offensive stereotype? Scott and Gayle discuss the problematic legacy of the Vistani, and Scott describes how he has adapted them to suit his campaign.
In a tête-à-tête with any dungeon masters who might be listening, Scott the DM explains what changes he made to The Curse of Strahd campaign prior to its debut, plus what narrative details he has tweaked over the course of the first 10 episodes or so. SPOILER ALERT: Gamers beware! This episode contains spoilers for the Curse of Strahd!
DM Scott grabs the mic to expound upon one of tabletop RPGS’ perennial challenges: how can your game transcend from a collection of stats and experience points into a spine-chilling terror-fest? Scott shares tips for generating both in-character fear and meta-fear, while Gayle pauses to ask, “Why make anyone scared in the first place?”
Out of character, David and Scott champion genre role-playing; Scott vows to mansplain Gothic horror at a later date; David distinguishes chocolate from fantasy (or something); both guys sound extra-white whilst raving about Lovecraft Country; and other ineffable, uncanny topics of discourse.
This week’s Strahdcast includes a Tarokka reading. What the huh? Gayle and Scott explore the Curse of Strahd’s very own fortune-telling deck. We review the current 5th Edition deck and its function in the game; we expose some of the flaws in Ravenloft’s aleatory design; and Scott reveals his own plans to use the deck for motif-making and wild magic. NOTE: Gamers beware! This episode contains some spoilers for the Curse of Strahd!
Scott and Gayle review the two special editions of Curse of Strahd, drooling over handouts, finger puppets, and sooooo many maps.
In this bonus episode, Scott offers Gayle some context for the Ravenloft experience. The conversation starts with the classic “I6” module from 1st edition, wanders through the 2nd Ed. Demiplane of Dread, and steers clear of the dark times of 4th Edition before arriving at the present campaign.