They are at it again. The BROSR, lamenting the squandered opportunity that was Ravenloft spent all of five minutes talking about how much better the setting would have been had it only embraced the rules and ethos of AD&D before deciding to prove how great it could have been. A mad scramble ensued as players raced to claim one faction or another, and as I write this the dust has yet to settle. But we do have a few fun contenders you won’t find at any other table.
Here now, a brief rundown of a few of the factions that have arisen so far. The promise at this point is an October campaign, but the men behind these factions will start making plans and making enemies and drawing up allies immediately. This is not an exhaustive or definitive list, just the ones that I’ve seen so far.
Our host is Moundshroud of the Mists, a crypt-keeper analog run by the DM to help streamline the information dissemination process. Probably a non-entity except as a fun persona for the DM to adopt when making pronouncements and laying some of the expository groundwork necessary for a project of this sort.
Count Strahd von Count is the tragic defender of Christendom who wasted his youth on military matters and thereby lost the love of a good woman. He seeks to find the heir of his lost Tatyana, and has pledged some allegiance to Pope Pius the XIII. He is literally counting the days until he can make her his thrall.
Speaking of, Pope Pius the XIII is running a Spanish Inquisition, seeking to wipe out as many of the monsters as he can. In his own words, “ The Roman Catholic Church is done being a “clandestine resistance faction” hiding in the shadows. What have we forgotten! We have forgotten God! You! You have forgotten God! I am calling for PCs to help me drive out the evil at the heart of #BROvenloft.” He is seeking PCs that he can hire to send out on missions against the other factions
And here we pause to point out that this is how you:
1. use faction play to generate politics and plans and intrigues orders of magnitude more complex tha
n any single DM could.
Create a milieu in which table-top play of parties of PCs can have an outsized influence on national-scale conflict.
Save the DM a tremendous amount of time and effort.
Back to the #OctoBROfest
Together, they are planning to take on the might of the ancient empire led by Kangsta Wrapper, the rhyming Pharoah and inventor of the diss-track. You can imagine what resources he has at his command, and that they well exceed the damage he is likely to do to yo momm’s reputation when he really gets his flow going.
Der Erlbronig is not a goblin king, despite what you might expect. This flamboyant fellow is the Elf King, leader of the Wild Hunt, and he has already tapped long-time fan favorite, Chaz the Elf – one-time leader of Trollouplous and all-time leader of trouble – to work mischief on his behalf.
[Edit to add: Apparently the Tatyana that the Count seeks is Erlbronig’s eldest daughter. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a MacGuffin!]
Mad Scientist? Oh yeah, BROvenloft has that base covered, too. Alexi Jonevich is somewhere in the mix, reporting on such nontroversies as pleasant get-togethers at BROhemian Grove, and something turning Frogtown gay.
And yes, it looks like Frogtown is back in th e mix. They suffered mightily from the events of #OperationMuscleThunder, a massive battle-royale on the shores somewhere near Dubzaron. Are they zombie frogs, given that they suffered a near total party wipe? Nobody knows at this early juncture, but the player behind this faction is an elite level gamer, so you can bet whatever they do, it’ll be hilarious and effective.
There is a lich using Iron Maiden cover art for inspiration and a mummy hunter named van Helvis using a King of Rock and Roll schtick and probably a few others as well, but things are moving fast and I’ve got to get my own faction lined up.
And me? I am playing but a humble information merchant, standing by to dig up the dirt on anyone, anywhere, anytime, if the price is right. The Rat King has agents plugged into each of these factions and is willing to sell his services to the highest bidder. Let’s meet his best agents, shall we?
Oh yeah, we’re going to push those spy and assassination rules in the DMG until they sit up and beg for mercy.