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The Red City: Demiplane of DreadClick to magnify
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A Majestic City, Elevated by the Arts, Unprepared for Horror

Krasnygorod, the Red City, is the crown jewel of the Belayareka River. It stands ancient and proud. A bastion of the arts, sciences, and culture, the Red City is home to multitudes of diverse and talented creatives from all over Ravenloft. The wealthy pay extravagantly those whom they patron, and the talented among the Universitet and the Opera can make a good living for themselves and their families from what they create. Krasnygorod is surrounded by pristine wilderness including forest, sea, and mountain. These wilds offer a wealth of natural resources that promote a quality of life unknown in other domains of dread.

Yet the beauty and plenty of the Red City hides terrifying truths. For years, talented people have sometimes fallen prey to a terrible sickness. Called the Husking, the disease causes a person to create at a dizzying pace before eventually burning out. Then, these creatives never invent or produce masterpieces again - as if the life is removed from them, leaving a shell of a person. Fear of the Husking causes many to give up art, science, or music entirely for fear they will fall ill.

Yet without exceptional people, the citizens of Krasnygorod are defenseless against the hunger in the darkness. Heroes must step in to preserve this sanctuary in the darkness of Ravenloft. Can you save the defenseless people of the Red City while not falling sick with the Husking yourself?

Why The Red City?

The creative team LOVES Ravenloft and Curse of Strahd. However, time and again, we have been left wondering, "What would we do if we could make our own horror tale for D&D?"

When in early 2021 we began discussing this work, we decided there were a few things that MUST be added to The Red City to satisfy us.

  • The setting should take the focus away from the Darklord, and give it to the player characters - where it belongs!
  • Art not only as window dressing but as important as it is in our own lives.
  • The setting facilitates more than one type of horror but also incorporates hope and a little bit of humor, to make the horror hit right. You can tell so many kinds of horror in The Red City - Body Horror, Dark Fantasy, Folk Horror, Ghost Stories, Gothic Horror, even Occult Detective Stories and Psychological Horror!
  • The setting should portray a world in stark contrast to other Ravenloft domains - reflecting the heights of arts and culture, technological advancement, and political intrigue, and it should stretch farther than the mythology of Western Europe and the cinematography of Hollywood.
  • The domain of dread should fit in among the others provided in the setting, while offering a location many characters would want to visit.
  • The setting should lean away from simple notions of good and evil.
  • The setting should avoid the problematic themes of earlier editions of Ravenloft, embrace the richness of diversity, and incorporate safety tools to protect everybody's fun.
  • The setting should satisfy play at multiple levels of thought. It should entertain at the "action-adventure" level, while still asking deep philosophical questions to be explored if the DM and players wish.
The Red City does all of these things and more. It provides a richness allowing players and DM's to get the most out of the Ravenloft setting.

What Lies Within?

The Red City is a full 102-page campaign setting in its own Domain of Dread, set firmly in the Ravenloft campaign setting. This campaign guide has the following awesome features, including 20 pages of bonus content unlocked by reaching Copper Medal status:

  • An introduction on running Renaissance horror in the City of Krasnygorod
  • Information on Prince Valdimir, founder of the Red City (Copper Medal unlock)
  • A complete write-up on the enigmatic Darklord Manya Ivanovich, a villain most heroes will never meet... Until it is too late.
  • Guidance and resources for using safety tools
  • Information on how both magic and technology work - and the risks inherent in each
  • How to incorporate firearms, explosives, and cannons into the setting, and how they might work if relocated to other campaign worlds (Copper Medal unlock)
  • 6 new character backgrounds that fit into the setting - Artiste, Broadsheet Reporter, Municipal Worker, Merchant, Red Noble, and Survivor.
  • 1 new character lineage - The Husked!
  • 3 new archetypes that fit into this setting - the roguish Machination-Mind, the a new warlock pact called the Blessed of the Grandmothers, or study the wizard arts with the Universitet Scholar
  • 1 bonus archetype - the dancing bard from the College of the Tantsor (Copper Medal unlock)
  • New bard college: Overpower enemies with the power of your singing, with the College of the Chanteuse (Silver Medal unlock)
  • 3 new feats to flesh out your character - Blood of the Red Water, Crafting Companion, and Survivor of the Dark Wood.
  • 1 new Dark Gift where your body becomes like the earth itself - Heart of Red Stone.
  • Trinkets for the setting.
  • 16 adventure seeds to help DMs tell stories in the Red City.
  • Important location descriptions to spur campaign ideas.
  • Details on 15 organizations established in Ravenloft but many more new and angling for power in Krasnygorod.
  • 25 monsters detailed!
  • Amazing art, including custom work by the talented Brazilian artist Daniel Cunha. Additional art by Joel Kleine. (Copper Medal unlock)
  • A full-page map of Krasnygorod by maestro Matthew Sargent (Copper Medal unlock)
  • A two-page color map of the region around The Red City by artiste Matthew Sargent (Silver Medal unlock)
  • An entire level 1-4 adventure, "The Artifact." Help a shop owner retrieve a cursed magic item - before it can kill again. The adventure provides a jumping off point and ideas to stretch the story into an entire campaign! (Copper Medal unlock)
  • A new level 5-10 adventure, "A Twisted Aesthetic," an art mystery adventure by TED Talks presenter Jamie Flecknoe (Silver Medal unlock)

Stretch Goals

There are a number of stretch goals planned for this product as we earn medals, which will be added to the work as they are unlocked. If you buy this adventure now, you will have access to all future additions (at no extra cost). Rate this product, tell your friends, and help reach the next medal to receive even more content. The stretch goals we have planned now include:

  • New artificer specialist: The Maestro (Electrum)
  • "Blood and Night," Level 5-10 slasher horror tale by Jim Burkey and Jonathan Connor Self (Electrum)
  • More we can't announce yet
  • Even more at Electrum and beyond, including a Print on Demand option
The Red City is very much a living work. If there is something you wish to see in this work, comment on the Discussion page. Do you want to see more monsters, or magic items, or something else entirely? Let us know, and you may see what you want in a future re-release of The Red City.

A Diverse Team Telling a Grand Story

The team involved on this project reflects the beautiful diversity in our gaming community - age, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. We believe stories told by diverse teams are better. Please buy this product, support some marginalized voices, and see what we mean.

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Reviews (1)
Discussions (7)
Customer avatar
Stephanie A January 16, 2022 5:22 am UTC
This is such an excellent concept, I'll be starting a campaign in the Red City next week. I am wondering though when the maps will be made available as I can see on the product sidebar that you've reached silver status?
Customer avatar
Jonathan S January 16, 2022 8:45 pm UTC
Thank you! Our additions (including the City Map) are currently with our Layout Team, and when completed, the product will be uploaded. The City Map will also be available as a separate file at that time, as promised.

We are negotiating a commission with a talented cartographer for the regional map. Once completed, it will be added to the document in the placeholder spot for it, as well as uploaded as a separate file.
Customer avatar
Jonathan S February 16, 2022 1:47 am UTC
Stephanie, layout is almost finished for the Silver Medal version, but I did have the finished version of these beautiful hand drawn maps. They are available for download now. Enjoy!
Customer avatar
Nina G December 03, 2021 3:46 pm UTC
As someone who went to a liberal arts college and LOVES horror AND Strahd, I'm just popping in to say I'm very excited for this! What an awesome concept!
Customer avatar
Jonathan S December 03, 2021 3:53 pm UTC
The team really knocked this one out of the park. Let us know what you think. We might work your feedback into the next Medal release. Silver is pretty close, and we are putting it together feverishly.
Customer avatar
Nina G December 03, 2021 3:57 pm UTC
That's great news! Congrats to you all!
Customer avatar
Aaron A November 17, 2021 2:50 pm UTC
Any plans for a VTT version?
Customer avatar
Jonathan S November 17, 2021 3:26 pm UTC
We are actively listening to our supporters to add features they like into the setting. I'll take this back to the team and see what they think! Thank you.
Customer avatar
Gabe L November 09, 2021 5:41 pm UTC
Will tier rewards be made available to anyone who purchases now?
Customer avatar
Jonathan S November 09, 2021 5:44 pm UTC
Yes indeed! When we get to the next level, the product will be updated with the newest version. All prior purchasers will get an email from DMs Guild saying the new version of the product is available for download.
Customer avatar
Jonathan S February 16, 2022 1:48 am UTC
Gabe, I just uploaded the large map files for both the city of Krasnygorod and the region around the Red City. I hope those help your game!
Customer avatar
Anton P November 07, 2021 2:30 pm UTC
Gorodok? This town's name is Gorodok [small town].

Customer avatar
Anton P November 07, 2021 2:26 pm UTC
Krasnygorod - is just Red City on russian.
Manya Ivanovich as darklord? it is joke?College of Tantso [dancer]r ? This dancer has archetype trait Lebedinoye Ozero [Swan Lake]?

guya - it so hard to get normal russian speaking helper?
Customer avatar
James B March 30, 2022 1:09 am UTC
This is a remarkably silly complaint.

First of all, most nations have cities whose names literally translate to mean something. We have something like 40 towns named "Springfield" in the USA. Russia has lots of direct translation names of towns, many with "Krasny" or "Krasno" as a prefix, followed by something relatively obvious and mundane. I provide some examples below.

Secondly, we are a team of unpaid volunteers whose only real profit was in DMs Guild Dollars - so this was all created with literally no budget beyond what we wanted to pay for out of our own pockets. This was done out of love. We wanted to explore Russian folklore and mythology which is very rich and unique, and use it as a starting point to this world we concocted. This world is NOT Russia, but is inspired by Russia. Did we know anyone who spoke Russian? No. Did we have the budget to hire a translator? No. Were we trying to create a meticulously exact Russian world that...See more
Customer avatar
James B March 30, 2022 1:51 am UTC
My first response was probably a little too snarky. Sorry. I was going for funny-snarky, but it may have failed to be funny.

I am genuinely interested in your feedback if you have any. I did a lot of the writing, and tried really hard to walk the very tricky line of showing a deep love and interest in Russian (and Slavic - we used Croatian, Serbian, and other Slavic cultures, too) folklore and mythology and blending it with our own ideas and this strange little demiplane. I am half-Croatian - my grandmother and grandfather came over in the early 20th century - and I grew up with stories of Baba Yaga. I also had a passion for mythologies and folk stories when I was a kid, and read dozens of books of Slavic tales and had a real fondness for Russian ones in particular.

When it came to coming up with Russian names - I went to the Google Russian to English translator and tried various combos. Admittedly, some of the names I came up with were pretty basic ideas. For me, it...See more
Customer avatar
Anton P March 31, 2022 4:53 am UTC
It's ok. I also know names of town as Oxford etc.

But in East Slavic countries it is not so simple:

1. it was frontier were slavic tribes merges with some nomadic tribes
2, also most part of european Russia was populated by non slavic tribs.

for example on theory of Moscow naming - is frog on moksha language (that land was very swampy).

For example, in Russian / East Slavic towns you can found Chervonograd - Chervoniy is "red" on Ukrainian and Old Slavic ("Krasno" also means "beatuful").

"Красна девица" = Beatufil girl

Краса - beauty

Also Manya is ... I even can't find correct term on English, but it has low meaning.

Also Ivan, Pyotr, Pavel is greek names (coming to russian and ukrainian culture). Slavic names are Borislav (boris - fight, slav - glory), Vladimir (vladi - rule/own , mir - world) etc.

Also Croatian and Serbian...See more
Customer avatar
James B April 02, 2022 1:27 am UTC
That was all very interesting. Language and culture and history can be very complex, especially from an outsiders view. I appreciate everything you said, and your offer to help. I guess what I would still say is that this is just a game that was meant to have slavic influences and show a love of the folklore and mythology of the various slavic peoples - but not be historically/culturally/linguistically accurate. I hope the love showed. Again, thank you for your insights.
Customer avatar
Bradly D November 06, 2021 8:07 pm UTC
This is quite an interesting concept! Are there lairs or maps included?
Customer avatar
Jonathan S November 06, 2021 9:14 pm UTC
We have a city map that will be included in both the product and in a high res version suitable for poster printing when we get to Copper. A full color two-page regional map suitable for poster printing will be included when we get to Silver Medal.

While we have adventures that will be included at the first three medals, we don’t have lairs in there. But that is a damn good idea - maybe I can work a few in as a stretch goal?

Thanks for the question. Keep the ideas coming!
Customer avatar
Bradly D November 07, 2021 9:44 pm UTC
Thanks! Yeah I just always prefer maps/lairs that can be dropped in for different sections of the area/city, that way I can use the lore from the book in conjuction with ready-to-explore sections. It makes prep so much easier, and keeps me true to the lore because my players love to test my knowledge constantly haha thanks again, will be purchasing soon.
Customer avatar
Jonathan S February 16, 2022 1:49 am UTC
Bradly, I wanted to make you aware, I have uploaded the city and region maps as separate files, suitable for printing really big for your home game. I hope they help!
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File Last Updated:
April 25, 2022
This title was added to our catalog on November 06, 2021.