AD&D 1st Ed Ravenloft Reference in Stranger Things Season 2

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AD&D 1st Ed Ravenloft Reference in Stranger Things Season 2

Postby Havard » Wed Feb 08, 2017 4:53 pm

Remember the show Stranger Things? We talked about how Season 1 had several references to BECMI in this thread.

The Trailer for Season 2 was recently released and seems to include references to AD&D and the Ravenloft module.

Watch the Superbowl Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7i_F0C39Xs

Read the article from Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidewalt/ ... 1aaf2d5ad0

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Re: AD&D 1st Ed Ravenloft Reference in Stranger Things Seaso

Postby Angelika Tatsu » Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:18 pm

Havard wrote:Read the article from Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidewalt/ ... 1aaf2d5ad0


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A new trailer for the second season of Netflix's hit series Stranger Things includes a subtle Dungeons & Dragons reference that might reveal something about the threats facing the show's heroes.

Stranger Things takes place in the mid-1980s and follows a group of geeky kids as they investigate weird supernatural occurrences in their hometown of Hawkins, Indiana. In the first season of the hit series, the heroes' ongoing Dungeons & Dragons campaign foreshadowed important elements of their real-world struggles, including the existence of the show's otherworldly villain, the Demogorgon. So when Netflix released an ad for the show's second season on Sunday night during the Super Bowl, a near-hidden D&D reference caught my attention.

The possible clue appears 17 seconds into the teaser trailer, when we see a pile of papers that presumably belong to one of the show's adolescent heroes. The shot is dominated by a creepy drawing of a massive, multi-limbed or multi-tentacled monster.

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But that's not all that's interesting about this shot. Take a look in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. The pile of papers appear to rest upon a book of some kind with a distinctive design running across the top of the page.

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As a long-time D&D player (and as author of the D&D history Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons) that design caught my eye right away. It's a page from the classic 1983 Dungeons & Dragons adventure module Ravenloft. I think the page pictured in the Stranger Things trailer is page 8 of the module. Here's a scan of the upper-right corner of the page in question:

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And here is the corner of the Ravenloft page, adjusted with some rotation and a little perspective, and presented alongside the closeup of the module, as seen in the Stranger Things trailer:

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Ravenloft was written by Tracy & Laura Hickman and first published by TSR in 1983. The module is a gothic horror adventure set in the land of Barovia --a cold, unforgiving place, which is perpetually surrounded by a deadly magical fog. Barovia is ruled by the tyrannical Count Strahd von Zarovich, a powerful vampire who preys on his citizens. During the adventure, the players learn that Strahd became a vampire after he fell in love with a younger woman who spurned him; convinced that his advanced age was the problem, he made a blood pact with Death itself in order to live forever. The players must gather two magical weapons --the Holy Symbol and the Sunsword-- and then locate and destroy the vampire.

The book in the Stranger Things trailer is open to several planned encounters in Barovia, short descriptions of places and people the players might meet as they work their way towards Strahd's castle, including a store and the "Blood of the Vine" tavern.

So what does all this mean? Perhaps it's nothing, just an easter egg, a knowing mention of one of the most beloved role-playing adventures ever. But the first season of Stranger Things made several D&D references that reflected plot elements and details of the ongoing story, so it's not hard to imagine that a Ravenloft reference also has meaning. I wouldn't expect characters and locations from the game to literally appear in the series, but maybe there are similar elements, like a toxic fog surrounding the town, or a creature that feeds on the life force of its citizens. Or maybe the young heroes have to gather magical weapons in order to defeat the villain.

In any case, we won't know for sure until Stranger Things season 2 is released this Halloween --or until the show's creators drop more geeky references in future trailers.
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Re: AD&D 1st Ed Ravenloft Reference in Stranger Things Seaso

Postby Havard » Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:37 pm

Thanks Angelika!

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Re: AD&D 1st Ed Ravenloft Reference in Stranger Things Seaso

Postby Angelika Tatsu » Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:56 pm

Havard wrote:Thanks Angelika!

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