As part of our extensive series of previewing Neverwinter’s Module 14 Ravenloft, we are looking into the Barovia Adventure Zone today. Players are automatically brought to Barovia following the introductory quest line that you start at Lord Neverember in the Protector’s Enclave. It’s a medium sized map that features a village and camp in the middle and is divided into north and south by the Ivlis River. Unlike in Soshenstar River you can’t use your Kyheks in Barovia by the way. Instead, a “trudging” effect slows down your movement while wading through the water. The mist that borders the map also comes with a unique feel. You don’t actually run into invisible walls like on all the other maps, but get ported back when you venture too deep into the fog. It’s a nice way of following the original lore of Ravenloft as Barovia’s inhabitants are tragically trapped and can’t escape.
Four Major Questing Areas
The settlements are surrounded by four major questing areas:
- North-West: Yester Hill with Druid and Blight mobs
- North-East: Cursed Meadow with its Witches, Scarecrows and Spiders
- South-East: Ruins of Berez with Undead and Vampire mobs
- South-West: Howling Hills with Werewolf mobs
Coming out of the densely populated Jungles of Chult it’s amazing how freely you are able to move around Barovia. Mobs are spread out nicely and unless you’re questing, you won’t likely get engaged ever. All areas feature visual and geographic aspects that make them unique. I especially like the Cursed Meadow, but no area really stands out or falls off. Mob difficulty is probably comparable to Mod 12/13. If you had no trouble in the Chult campaigns, don’t fear the Undead and other evils of Barovia! Down below are selected pictures of new mobs. Watch out for some flying witches and teleporting vamps!
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An unique aspect of the map is its day and night cycle. It interchanges every ~10 minutes and has a noticeable effect on the environment. There are some gameplay implications as well, which we’ll cover in other articles, but it first and foremost adds to the feel of the zone. Whenever night falls over Barovia for example, very powerful “Night Terror” mobs randomly appear that haunt inhabitants and are very hard to take down solo. In case you run into one of those, you might actually have to run or call for help, which is quite rare for this game.
I’m also pretty sure the D&D crowd will be excited to see some familiar places and NPCs like the “Bonegrinder” Old Mill or Madam Eva and her Vistani folk. Overall I think the map captures the spirit of Ravenloft really well.
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Barovia features the kind of effort you’d like to see in a new adventure zone. There are a couple new assets and mobs, and the recycled stuff is cleverly reused to create a fitting atmosphere and visual appeal. Because there’s none better to capture a zone than screenshot wizard JayAgeDee, we’ll close this article by attaching some of his pictures of Barovia and the first impressions video he did with Seavia and Kolat! Have fun with it!
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Have you already been to preview? Do you like Barovia’s feel and visuals? Share your thoughts in the comments below, on our social channels, or visit the corresponding thread on our message board!
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