Advanced Search >

Castles Forlorn (2e)
Quick Preview
/gs_flipbook/flip.php?xml=/demo_xml/17476.xml&w=500&h=338
Full‑size Preview
http://watermark.dmsguild.com/pdf_previews/17476-sample.pdf

Castles Forlorn (2e)

ADD TO WISHLIST >
Selected Option:
Watermarked PDF
$7.99
$5.51
Softcover Color Book (Standard Heavyweight)
$14.99
Watermarked PDF + Softcover Color Book (Standard Heavyweight)
$22.98
$16.37

Happy Halloween! As a holiday treat, the digital version of this title has been marked down by 31%! For more spooky savings, visit our Halloween sale page!

Time Is Meaningless in Castle Tristenoira Forlorn has long remained hidden in the shadows of notorious Barovia and Kartakass, yet the tiniest domain in the lands of the core is nearly as old as Ravenloft itself. This land is sick with evil, a twisted mockery of the place it once was. It is filled with creatures of despair who were drawn into the demiplane of dread....

Within Castle Tristenoira lies oblivion. The crumbling keep slips in and out of time, carrying its unwary explorers across the centuries, where they may be abandoned to the cold winds of eternity - and to the ghosts in the castle! Spirits both innocent and guilty haunt the timeless passages, whispering tales of murder and vengeance. Escape is for the lucky...or the hopelessly mad.

The Castles Forlorn adventure set provides the DUNGEON MASTER with a rich and complex domain in which to set a campaign of any size and duration. It includes a 96-page sourcebook, The Weeping Land, which reveals the complete history of the domain and the strange and terrible lord who rules over it. Descriptions of the living and dead who call this lonely land home abound, as do details of the forbidding Tristenoira castle, where adventures may spend an evening or an age.

After learning Forlorn's history of sorrow, the DM can lead player characters into Melancholy Meetings, a 32-page collection of encounters that provide adventure in every corner of the domain.

Finally, only Eve of Sorrows remains, which is a 32-page assortment of mysteries and nightmares within the castle itself. This deluxe boxed adventure set completes the portrait of Forlorn with a highly detailed, double-sided poster map of the castle, a poster map of the domain, and a special wall poster created by award-winning artist Robh Ruppel - all in full color.

Product History

Castles Forlorn (1993), by Lisa Smedman, is a boxed supplement for Ravenloft. It was published in September 1993.

About the Cover. Doesn't that look a lot like the Loch Ness Monster on the cover? In fact it's Aggie, a denizen of Forlorn who points toward the Scottish origin of the realm.

Origins: Continuing Ravenloft. Castles Forlorn is the third boxed set for the Ravenloft line, following Ravenloft: Realm of Terror (1990) and Forbidden Lore. However, where the two previous boxed sets were core references for the setting, Castles Forlorn is instead a detailed description of a single domain (along with adventures set in that domain). This is the only such book-length depiction of a whole domain, though the seventh box, The Nightmare Lands (1995), comes close.

Adventure Styles: Sandbox. The first adventure, "Eve of Sorrows", is very freeform. The players explore Castle Tristenoira. There are piles of haunting events and suggested encounters for the various NPCs, but the GMs (and players) get to decide how to fit it all together.

Adventure Tropes: Explore the Castle. Exploring a castle, as opposed to a more traditional dungeon, is a Ravenloft trope going back to I6: "Ravenloft" (1983).

Adventure Tropes: Timey Wimey. The most amazing element of "Eve of Sorrows" is that it's heavily focused on time travel — and time travel at its most timey-wimey. The players will iterate between three different time period as they explore the castle(s) and may even change the past and influence future events, all based on what they do in the different eras. If anything, this trope makes the adventure more of a sandbox, because of the high-level of agency involved with changing time.

Adventure Styles: Formatted Encounters. The last book in Castles Forlorn, "Melancholy Meetings" contains a number of standalone encounters, each carefully organized with "background", "setup", "complications", and "resolutions" — an idea perhaps linked to the Dark Sun flipbooks (1991+) which had similar organizations.

About the Miniatures Tie-In. Ral Partha produced D&D miniatures from 1987-1997 and in that time produced three boxed sets for the Ravenloft line as well as about 25 blister packs. One of those was linked directly to a Ravenloft product, the Raveloft: Castle Forlorn set. Though it's missing an "s", it's clearly tied to Castles Forlorn, as it includes figures for Tristen ApBlanc, Mark ApBlanc, Shelaugh the Druid, and others.

Eras of Ravenloft: 735 BC. Parts of the adventure are set in earlier time periods, including the era after the second castle entered Ravenloft, from 547 BC to 622 BC.

Exploring Ravenloft: Forlorn. Forlorn first appeared as a core domain in Ravenloft: Realm of Terror (1990), where it got a rather terse description, noting that it was ruled by a ghost and was otherwise largely empty. Here, Forlorn gets a rather comprehensive description. In fact, with a full 96-page sorucebook, it's the most extensive description of a Ravenloft domain around. The lands of the domain are extensively detailed, as is its history, its lord, and it denizens. Castle Tristenoira, within Forlorn, gets a room-by-room description.

Blowing Up the Canon. The Scottish Castle of Forfarmax, which would appear in "Castles of the Night: Ghost" (1997) sure feels like it has a lot in common with Forlorn. It even shares the original name of the domain: Forfar. However, it's not explicitly set in this domain. White Wplf's Ravenloft Gazetteer Volume I (2002) would incorporate the second castle into the setting, on the borders of Forlorn.

Monsters of Note: Ghosts & Goblyns. Castle Forlorn obviously offers a spotlight for the ghosts of Ravenloft, from ghostly lord Tristen ApBlanc on down. Van Richten's Guide to Ghosts (1992) is even suggested as an important resource. However, the domain is also home to goblyns, the hideously transformed original inhabitants of the land.

NPCs of Note. Tristen ApBlanc, the ghostly lord of Forlorn is at the heart of the domain (and its adventures) — offering Ravenloft players yet another opportunity to test the mettle of a dark lord. Numerous other NPCs are detailed in the extensive sourcebook, including druid Shelaugh and a variety of Forlorn ghosts.

About the Creators. Smedman was Ravenloft's most prolific adventure writer for Ravenloft in the mid '90s, following her debut on Castles Forlorn (1993). Her work would continue into 1996 with the Grim Harvest trilogy.

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to shannon.appelcline@gmail.com.

 
 Customers who bought this title also purchased
Reviews (0)
Discussions (0)
Narrow Results
 Follow Your Favorites!
NotificationsSign in to get custom notifications of new products!
 Recent History









Product Information
Author(s)
Rules Edition(s)
Pages
160
Edition
1.0
Publisher Stock #
TSR 1088
File Size:
155.52 MB
Format
Scanned image
Scanned image
These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

For PDF download editions, each page has been run through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to attempt to decipher the printed text. The result of this OCR process is placed invisibly behind the picture of each scanned page, to allow for text searching. However, any text in a given book set on a graphical background or in handwritten fonts would most likely not be picked up by the OCR software, and is therefore not searchable. Also, a few larger books may be resampled to fit into the system, and may not have this searchable text background.

For printed books, we have performed high-resolution scans of an original hardcopy of the book. We essentially digitally re-master the book. Unfortunately, the resulting quality of these books is not as high. It's the problem of making a copy of a copy. The text is fine for reading, but illustration work starts to run dark, pixellating and/or losing shades of grey. Moiré patterns may develop in photos. We mark clearly which print titles come from scanned image books so that you can make an informed purchase decision about the quality of what you will receive.
Original electronic format
These ebooks were created from the original electronic layout files, and therefore are fully text searchable. Also, their file size tends to be smaller than scanned image books. Most newer books are in the original electronic format. Both download and print editions of such books should be high quality.
File Information
Watermarked PDF
Adobe DRM-protected PDF
These eBooks are protected by Adobe's Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology. To use them, you must activate your Adobe Reader software. Click here for more details.

Watermarked PDF

These eBooks are digitally watermarked to signify that you are the owner. A small message is added to the bottom of each page of the document containing your name and the order number of your eBook purchase.

Warning: If any books bearing your information are found being distributed illegally, then your account will be suspended and legal action may be taken against you.

Here is a sample of a page from a watermarked book:

File Last Updated:
July 15, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on July 18, 2017.