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Dark of the Moon (2e)

In the bitter cold of a land mired in eternal winter, hunters take the shape of wolves to better kill their prey. They stalk the snow-filled forests on paws of deadly silence. Powerful and swift, these evil shapechangers roam the land at will, murdering those who oppose them and plundering the weak. At the head of this pack paces the great Black Wolf of the Wood.

Is this murderous beast the underling of Gregor Zolnik, the boyar who rules this waste? Seeking to extend his conquests by any means he can, Gregor has cowed the land of Vorostokov by relying on ruthless strength and savagery. Are your player characters clever enough to survive against villains who are stronger, faster, and fiercer than any they've ever encountered? The Black Wolf awaits your answer in the biting cold....
Product History

Dark of the Moon (1993), by Richard Baker, is a 2nd edition AD&D Ravenloft adventure for characters of 5th to 9th level. It takes place in the frozen, snowy wood of the Ravenloft domain Vorostokov, a place built upon the deepest, darkest Russian forests during a bitterly cold winter. This is a place of savagery, of gnawing hunger, of creeping fear and endless cold. Tiny villages hold the darkness at bay in any way they can manage, fearful of outsiders and the trouble they might bring. Food is scarce, long-vanished with the winter snows, and lycanthropy is a terrible and savage curse: Will you exchange your soul for terrible power and an abundance of hot and bloody meat?

It's here, lost in the misty and frigid endless forest, that the heroes take on the skin-changing Lord of Vorostokov. Are they willing to use their own weaknesses and risk their souls as a weapon against their foe, or will they submit and join his lycanthropic forces in exchange for a form of survival?

The Russian Tale. Dark of the Moon reminds one of a cross between a particularly dark Grimm's fairy tale - the kind where people die and are punished, not where fairy princesses find their prince - and the best kind of isolationist horror movie. The themes are hunger and starvation; in surviving against the implacable elements, what might a person do when pushed right to the edge of their own humanity?

As such, the adventure includes rules for outdoor survival in the harsh environment. The adventure is a race against time to unseat the dark lord before the players succumb to exposure, lycanthropy, or worse; this external pressure ratchets up the fear and action, propelling the story at a terrifying pace. The heroes meet witches, fearful townsfolk, werewolves, and vicious boyars. With luck, some of the people they meet will survive the confrontation that the heroes' presence triggers.

Guided by Wolves. This adventure encompasses some of the best and worst of mid-90s adventure design. It's incredibly flavorful. The setting captures the bleakness of gothic horror - there just aren't many places or people to whom the heroes can turn to for help. They may find temporary allies, but these are the sorts of allies who care more for killing a mutual foe than for the heroes' own health or survival. It's up to the players how much they'll want to trust them.

Adventures of this era tended to have a strong linear plot, which means the DM shouldn't be above brute-forcing the matter if something in the adventure has to happen: You'll see that occur here. Characters get captured, and there isn't much of a provision for what occurs if one or more hero manages to evade capture. This certainly demonstrates to players that the dark lord is a man to be reckoned with, but it's also a heavy-handed technique that players nowadays might find frustrating. You may wish to tweak the adventure accordingly.

A Fan of Ravenloft? Then you'll want this adventure, either for adaptation or for the story as it stands. This is a surprisingly cinematic adventure, one that is both fun and exciting so long as the players are willing to recognize that in Ravenloft, it isn't the heroes who hold the power. Of course, considering that this is a setting of gothic horror, that's exactly how it should be.

About the Creators. Richard Baker is an author and game designer whose work includes Red Hand of Doom, Complete Arcane, and the novel Condemnation.

About the Product Historian

History and commentary of this product was written by Kevin Kulp, game designer and admin of the independent D&D fansite ENWorld. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

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Lucas D April 02, 2023 9:24 am UTC
would love to see a POD
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Publisher Stock #
TSR 9419
File Size:
25.23 MB
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File Last Updated:
October 08, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on October 08, 2013.