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She is the Ancient: A Genderbent Curse of Strahd

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A CRIT Award-Nominated Title!

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She is the Ancient: A Genderbent Curse of Strahd

Re-imagined NPCs, backstories, and concepts for your Curse of Strahd campaign!

When I first picked up Curse of Strahd, I wondered how exciting it might be if this Count were instead a Countess. Here is the visual culmination of what's been swirling around in my mind and at my tables. 

This guide is a reference to the NPCs of Curse of Strahd. You'll find that each character has helpful descriptions, connections, and suggestions for roleplay. I've included story changes and alternate encounters as well. Not every NPC has been gender-bent, but many have. Some characters simply swapped backstories or societal roles. While I market this as "A Genderbent Curse of Strahd," it's a bit more than that. There are changes to how horror gets depicted, and there are alternatives to the characters centered around racial slurs and ableist language. 

Maybe you'd like to see more women represented as more than just desired objects or hags? Perhaps you'd like to play a classic Dracula story with less targeted sexual violence? We can have TTRPG horror without the repeated use of prominent real-life horror. After all, as my good friend Casual Campbell states, "Vampires should understand consent better than any monster. They literally have to ask for permission to enter a home."


What you’ll find in this 157-page, full color guide: 

  • My playtested changes to Strahd’s backstory
  • New story concepts
  • Over 85 NPC descriptions
  • Digital NPC portrait tokens
  • And more!

This guide includes web-page access to plain text for e-reader purposes.

Page previews for She is the Ancient including faction information, NPC map, NPC description pages, handouts, encounter changes, and location changes.

Page previews for She is the Ancient including faction information, NPC map, NPC description pages, handouts, encounter changes, and location changes.

Digital tokens

Want to see some of this content in action?

You can watch Beth the Bard DM for Casual Campbell, Fenway Jones, Jesse Jay, and Ty Stone! Where? On Satine Phoenix's Gilding Light TV, each Tuesday evening from 5-7pm Pacific @ twitch.tv/GildingLight. More information on SheIsTheAncient.com.

Ginny Di Video Transcript:

“Imagine Strahd von Zarovich as a woman — a powerful, female vampire holding Barovia in her grip.

“There’s been plenty of talk of genderbending Strahd online, but in Beth the Bard’s new book, She is the Ancient, you’ll find a lot more than swapped-out pronouns. Beth has completely rethought Curse of Strahd, one of the most popular D&D adventures of all time, to come at its themes of abuse and control from a totally different angle.

“Countess Strahd has her own version of the original backstory, and her own relationships with other characters, different but parallel to the narrative laid out in the original. NPCs have had their genders and stories rethought as well. She is the Ancient gives you everything you need to run this module with a flipped script that puts women of all kinds into the driver’s seat while also cutting out sexist tropes, targeted violence against women and children, racism, and ableism.”


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Reviews (21)
Discussions (45)
Customer avatar
Kyle S April 06, 2024 4:56 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi there,

First off, love this conversion! I went through a campaign with this as a player, now I'm DMing it and I'm super excited.

The full art pdf seems to only be available in compressed format. My question is if there's a non-compressed version? I'd like to use some of the art in the VTT I use and what I have is pretty low resolution.

Thanks so much!
Customer avatar
Andrew W April 02, 2024 7:10 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Nah. Yes.
Customer avatar
Edward W March 05, 2024 10:45 pm UTC
Yeah. No.
Customer avatar
Kelley B February 29, 2024 6:34 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Are there full versions of the portraits used for the tokens available? I have a few, so I clearly came across them somewhere, but I don't seem to be able to find them again.
Customer avatar
Rue D January 15, 2024 5:58 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Love the update! Is there any chance we'll get updated tokens to match the V2 update of the PDF? I think only a few tokens need to be changed at first glance.
Customer avatar
katherine D August 26, 2023 1:05 pm UTC
How long does this campaign take to complete? Is it levels 1-4?
Reply
Customer avatar
Beth (the Bard) S August 27, 2023 3:40 am UTC
CREATOR
The campaign is Curse of Strahd. This is just a reskinning. ☺️
Customer avatar
JOHN S August 26, 2023 3:06 am UTC
Soooooooooooo looking forward to the Roll20 conversion on this!
Customer avatar
Darren F August 06, 2023 10:50 am UTC
PURCHASER
Does anyone know how close we are to a hardcover?
Reply
Customer avatar
Beth (the Bard) S August 06, 2023 10:23 pm UTC
CREATOR
I got our first proof on Monday of this last week. It was entirely perfect, except everything was one page off, which annihilated the spread designs. It's gone back through proofing and has been approved. I ordered a new copy a few days ago and paid for next-day air shipping. That means once they're done printing in a week or so, it should ship to my home quickly. I've estimated that we'll be seeing the new proof on the 14th, but it could be up to a week after that. Once I get it and approve it, all I gotta do is click a little button on the backend and the hardcover will be available! (SO CLOSE!!!)
Reply
Customer avatar
Beth (the Bard) S August 13, 2023 11:12 pm UTC
CREATOR
They still haven't shipped it yet, so my calculations are a little off. (Probably because of Gen Con)
I'm hoping it'll arrive this week. :)
Reply
Customer avatar
Beth (the Bard) S August 26, 2023 4:14 am UTC
CREATOR
It’s available now!
Customer avatar
Allen C June 29, 2023 8:28 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I really think Ryan R is an A##hat Troll and should have their entire library deleted from DMSGUILD. "She is the Ancient" by Beth the Bard is super fun! Check it out!
Customer avatar
Erin C June 12, 2023 10:01 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi, this is cool as hell. Excuse me if answered elsewhere, thought it was but can't find it now. Is there plans to make this VTT compatible? Specifically Roll20.
Reply
Customer avatar
Beth (the Bard) S June 27, 2023 12:12 am UTC
CREATOR
Once the hardcover is ready to go, we're doing VTT next! (Waiting to get the proof, so it won't be long!)
Customer avatar
Ray C June 10, 2023 10:56 pm UTC
PURCHASER
What are the major changes and additions to the 2nd Edition version?
Customer avatar
Rebecca W May 26, 2023 3:10 am UTC
PURCHASER
Any updates on v2.0 timeline? I'm starting a campaign (though we're starting with House of Lament) next month and wondering if I should wait for v2.
Reply
Customer avatar
Rebecca W June 09, 2023 4:26 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Yay v2 is out and it is fantastic. Thank you!
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Product Information
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223
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File Last Updated:
August 26, 2023
This title was added to our catalog on August 29, 2021.