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The Beast of Graenseskov: An Introductory Ravenloft Adventure
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The Beast of Graenseskov: An Introductory Ravenloft Adventure


A simple hunt for a werewolf, or so we thought. Find its lair and slay the beast. No use for wolfsbane or other superstitions. Silver and magic would win the day. A worthy challenge, but nothing horrific, surely. Yet we never expected what we found in the Graenseskov, and our hubris cost us dearly...

The Beast of Graenseskov is an 80-page bookmarked Ravenloft® adventure for characters of 1st-4th levels focused on mystery and exploration. It can be used in conjunction with Curse of Strahd, either as an introduction to Barovia or adapted as a side quest, as part of the original expanded Ravenloft setting, or it can be used as a stand-alone horror adventure-setting. The adventure holds approximately 16 to 24 hours of gaming within its pages, and potentially much more for groups embracing an investigative style of play.

In the mists at the edge of Count Strahd von Zarovich’s realm lies the Graenseskov, a land of deep woods and bleak hills overrun with wolves. A Beast haunts these misty lands, leaving bloody corpses and terror in its wake, the product of a hag’s curse placed upon the boyar’s manor. But the Beast is no arbitrary killer. The PCs find themselves drawn into the mystery of uncovering the Beast’s identity and breaking the hag’s curse before the Beast’s final victim gurgles their last breath and the Beast is beyond any hope of redemption.

Requires the Dungeon Master's Guide and the Monster Manual.

This is a 63 Mb ZIP file containing a watermarked PDF of the updated adventure, a PDF with handouts, a PDF DM's cheat sheet, and PNG files of the Graenseskov region map for the DM and players.


The DM (or the Tarokka) determines the guilty suspect and their motives, offering a different experience for each group’s play-through.

• A vivid cast of characters with a NPC index.

Escalating random encounters, special events, and techniques for DMing a mystery.

New monsters: black annis hag & loup du noir.

All units given in SI & metric.

Handouts and maps for DMs and players.

• DM's cheat sheet with quick prep notes, clue checklist, handy Tarokka tables, tips on running the Beast, and a decision point flowchart.

The Tome Show May 16, 2016 DM's Guild Pick of the Episode! Thanks James!


July 2, 2016 Update: The big update! Fixed several editing and grammar errors, including an error in Appendix D, and the repeated paragraph on page 12 (page 13 in new document). Added a new special event - Hanging the Vistani - to Chapter 1 which ties together several dangling plot threads. Clarified "Adjusting the Adventure" & added Werewolves in the Mist to the "Adventure Hooks" in the Introduction. Added two pieces of thematic filler art.

April 18, 2016 Update: Added a DM's cheat sheet PDF to the zip file.

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Reviews (6)
Discussions (8)
Customer avatar
Mark W February 20, 2017 4:38 pm UTC
Spoiler free: I like this adventure and my PCs are having fun with it, which is the best measure of success. The Beast of Graenseskov at 82 pages is a massive undertaking. It's more akin to a minicampaign than an adventure that can be dropped into the middle of Curse of Strahd for an evening's diversion. I'm at least 20 hours into this adventure, and have probably 8-10 hours remaining. My pdf of this adventure has highlighting and inserted comments all over it in order to keep everything somewhat straight. Don't plan to run this adventure after a single quick read-through, though. It rewards a careful examination of the adventure and an organized approach to running it.

This is a complicated story with events related to the main quest occurring some 40 years prior. Having written mystery RPG adventures myself, I know how hard it is to pull together a coherent adventure that isn't entirely about "go here, talk to this person. Go there, talk to that person. Lather, rinse, repeat."...See more
Customer avatar
Aaron I February 22, 2017 11:41 pm UTC
Hi Mark! I'm really glad to hear the adventure has been a lot of fun for you and your group. Thanks for your comments; I found them very insightful. I agree mystery adventure writing is a balance between depth & ease-of-use. Earlier, someone suggested a DM cheat sheet for the adventure and I added that to the bundle. So I'm curious about your suggested "player handout." My thinking was that each DM would want to tweak the adventure to make it his or her own, so that what needed to take centerstage in any "player handout" would depend on the DM, but maybe that was an oversight on my part?

I realize your group is already well into the adventure, but if you'd like to take a moment to explain what you'd wish to see in a "player handout" for Beast of Graenseskov, I'd be happy to work on it and add it to the adventure bundle. Cheers, and happy gaming!
Customer avatar
Mark W February 23, 2017 2:29 am UTC
Hi Aaron, and thanks for pulling together a really nice adventure. I think a "player's guide" would be very helpful to make the most of this adventure. You have a ton of background material on the Borderwoods, on the Latrova Vistani, on the past and present of the Volchykrov family, fables, wolves and lycanthropy, and so forth. Most of it, frankly, will go unused in my run-through of this adventure because I simply don't have the energy to impart it all. And, that's a shame because it adds a very cool dimension to Curse of Strahd that is given somewhat short shrift in the campaign. I think a player's guide that lays out all the background material, and tells some of the fables would be a very welcome addition. I think it can be done in such a way that it provides background that the DM can just refer to, without having to explain it all. I did have a question about the loup's magic resistance. The text of the ability includes the words "...spells and other magical effects." What other...See more
Customer avatar
Aaron I February 23, 2017 10:07 am UTC
Yes, there's a lot of background information that can be pulled into play if a group is so inclined. I'd hate to introduce a multi-page "player's guide" and leave players with the expectation that they need to know all this stuff up front. Because that really isn't the case. Like I mention in the adventure, one of the keys to presenting a meaty mystery is pacing – enough information for the players to remain hooked, but not too much at once to overwhelm them.

I'll take some of your pointers and see if I can come up with a succinct "player's guide."

The language on the loup's Magic Resistance is the same as any other monster in the Monster Manual that has Magic Resistance (e.g. golems, night hags, mind flayers).

Ah, so one of your players has tried to wear the wolfskin? Sounds like wicked fun!

I deliberately didn't include a way to remove the magic wolfskin from someone cursed with it. After all, the only way a creature gains the wolfskin's...See more
Customer avatar
Mark W February 24, 2017 2:32 pm UTC
My idea about a player's guide is similar to Pathfinder's player's guides that they put out at the start of a new Adventure Path, or that Wizards uses to introduce a new season's book. They provide lore that deepens the players' connection with the world and provides useful background information. You have written so much of that into the adventure that I simply won't get to, and I thought it was a shame, given how much thought went into it. The player's guide idea was simply my suggestion as a way to use more of the content that you've already written.

No, nobody's found the wolfskin but they've run into the beast and know about the "magic wolfskin" because they've identified the type of beast from Iliev's journal. During their first run-in with the Beast, they seemed to want to find a way to remove it. I didn't think there was a way to remove it, but wanted to be sure that I hadn't missed it. Given the length of time that the cursed person has been wearing it, it seems unlikely that...See more
Customer avatar
JEREMY G July 12, 2016 8:56 pm UTC
Thank you for providing a detailed list of art credits. I wish more DMs Guild authors did this.
Customer avatar
Wessly P May 26, 2016 12:06 pm UTC
I haven't run this adventure yet with my party, but after reading over it, I can say that there is so much detail and information that this story could fit anywhere into your Ravenloft campaign. A lot of care and time was spent on this module and I cant wait to run it with my group.
Customer avatar
Aaron I June 11, 2016 11:47 pm UTC
Thanks for your kind words :) I look forward to hearing how peoples' runs of the adventure go. One DM has started a blog covering his Curse of Strahd campaign, and they'll be incorporating some of The Beast of Graenseskov into it:
Customer avatar
Aaron I May 19, 2016 12:47 am UTC
Prolific reviewer Merric has a review up here:
Customer avatar
Aaron I May 12, 2016 8:47 pm UTC
I've written a guest blog about my design process creating the adventure, with tips/resources for others wanting to write DMs Guild adventures, specifically with an eye toward Ravenloft. Check it out!
Customer avatar
David K April 18, 2016 4:46 pm UTC
Hi, I'm De Montour over the Fraternity of Shadows board. As explained over there, I purchased this on the strength of it's format as a Watermarked PDF. As we discussed, I cannot open Zip Files on my I-Pad. I have downloaded a couple of Apps, including the one you so kindly suggested. No joy thus far. Have reached an impasse which is somewhat frustrating as, from viewing the Preview, the product looks excellent.
Customer avatar
Aaron I April 18, 2016 8:08 pm UTC
Hi Paul, that's a shame. Have you tried the iZip app? It requires iOS 8.0. I've never had a problem accessing zip files with it and I'm an avid Mac user. If that doesn't solve it for you (which it should unless you're using an original iPad), I'm happy to send the unzipped files to you via another means (you can reach me via email at aaronil[at]yahoo[dot]com). And if that's not an option, just let me know and I can reimburse you with a DMs Guild gift certificate.
Customer avatar
David K April 21, 2016 8:45 am UTC
All sorted. Thank you for your assistance. Your product is excellent.
Customer avatar
April 15, 2016 7:37 pm UTC
Copying the text of my post to the ENWorld forums over here. I'll do the same with my review once I've run the adventure for my group.

I'll be doing a complete review of this product after I run it. My full review will cover the mechanics and balance of the challenges in the adventure after I've had a chance to run it. My blog's campaign reports should also cover my group's experience with the story week-by-week which will provide some feedback. Until then, I'll post my initial reactions after purchasing it the day it was released.

I'll be running this for my CoS group immediately after they finish Death House. The adventure itself gives simple advice for altering the challenge for weaker/stronger parties, and I like the idea of sending swarms of wolves at my group, as I plan on playing up the wolves vs. ravens themes found in Curse of Strahd, and that ties in nicely with this adventure.

Assuming even a minimal amount of narrative play during a gaming session, this adventure...See more
Customer avatar
Nod H April 14, 2016 3:25 am UTC
Approximately how many hours of playtime will this adventure give?
Will this adventure give enough xp for characters to go from level 1 to level 4?
Customer avatar
Aaron I April 14, 2016 9:51 am UTC
Hi Nod, my sense of the adventure is that a "typical" 4 PC party will go from 1st to mid-3rd level (~4,600 party XP), and that it will last 4-5 nights of a "typical" 3-5 hour play session (~18 hours). However, I feel that trying to estimate play time, particularly with a mystery adventure heavy on exploration is a bit disingenuous as so much depends on the players at the table.
Customer avatar
Nod H April 15, 2016 2:59 am UTC
Absolutely agree about estimating time for a module, but your answer is perfectly acceptable for the kind of material it is. For a $5 price tag I wanted to make sure it's not in one-shot territory, a concern you have eased.
Customer avatar
Aaron I April 15, 2016 6:23 pm UTC
Great. I really welcome feedback on this adventure; for example I'm planning to make an edit with a "DM cheat sheet" for running the adventure since it's a bit more complex than your standard dungeon crawl. We have a discussion going at ENWorld:
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File Last Updated:
July 02, 2016
This title was added to our catalog on April 13, 2016.