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Countess von Zarovich
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Countess von Zarovich


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Rediscover the land of Barovia under the domain of the terror-inducing Countess Strahd von Zarovich with this supplement filled with advice on running Strahd as a non-male  villain, and featuring unique, original encounters and NPCs to enhance your adventures in Ravenloft.

"This reimagined take on one of the most classic Ravenloft villains comes not only with a coherent take on Strahd herself, useful to novices wanting to run her for the first time, but also features incredibly inspiring and thoughtful worldbuilding suggestions that show the original module in a completely new light.  For DMs both new and old - a masterclass on how to run a female Strahd or any female villain compellingly!" —Ziopliukas. Curse of Strahd DM. Twice Bitten Producer; r/CurseOfStrahd head moderator.

"Sometimes when we change elements of a pre-written adventure we are not fully aware of the butterfly effect this can have on a given story or even on the characters that populate it. This guide helps prepare Dungeon Masters not only for running a female Strahd but also for the complexities of building a living society. Give this guide a chance for a slight change of perspective - it just might be what you need for your own home game." —Wan. Curse of Strahd DM.

"Jija’s guide goes much deeper than 'here is a gender-flipped, legacy character.' The addition of the witch coven of Berez and the changes to the Countess’ relationships tell a clear, alternate story, but the addition of the extensive materials for DMs to reflect on why they are making the change make this a supplement for every DM running Curse of Strahd. The module (and vampires generally) already deals so extensively with sexuality and gender, and this supplement can help guide even the most sure-footed DM through (safely) playing an apex predator." The Aciduous Adventurer. Author of The Interactive Tome of Strahd.

"Thoughtful, tasteful, prim and proper guide offering a deep cut analysis covering the many facets of the dangerous she-vampire done right." —MrDeath. Curse of Strahd DM.

What's included?

A beautifully laid out 62-page PDF containing stunning artwork. Within its pages you will:

  • Find a comprehensive primer on gender-swapping and how to avoid falling into tired stereotypes. You can use this advice for Strahd or any NPC you choose!

  • Meet new NPCs and revisit new dynamics with some familiar names

  • Learn to gaslight like it is an artform

  • Discover alternative to the RAW Tatyana-Strahd backstory

  • Read a 8-page long, fully fledged new biography for Countess Strahd

  • Incorporate new encounters and micro-events, including maps

  • Befriend (or not, players’ choice!) the Witches Coven that has settled in the ruins of Berez

  • Explore our compendium of historical villainous women as well as recommendations of fictional media to further inspire your Countess Strahd

Find some map previews below:
Map Preview

Feedback or comments on the adventure are most welcome!

The Team

This guide was written by Jija and edited by Kathleen HarringtonChristian Zeuch managed the project and created the maps and the layout.

Like my work?

If you would like to be notified of future releases, flag the checkbox on your left to follow me on the DM’s Guild. Would you also like to get a FREE gift? Check the file in the product for my mailing list, as I cannot post the link here.

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The Full-Size Preview contains the entire product, but here's a peek if you don't want to wait for the PDF to load.

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Kickstarter is currently LIVE! Check the free 46-page Preview below.


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Reviews (4)
Discussions (7)
Customer avatar
Jimmy F November 19, 2021 6:06 pm UTC
Hi! Your product is featured in my latest YouTube video. Feel free to use quotes from it or even the timestamp link as the video on your catalog page if you want. Also please signal boost (share) the video if you can (and haven't already).
Customer avatar
Christian Z November 26, 2021 12:59 am UTC
Customer avatar
Luke V November 17, 2021 6:34 pm UTC
For those who are hesitant about Genderbent Strahd... I would highly encourage you to check out this book! I am someone who has been vocally against the idea of playing Strahd as a female. In my mind, CoS (as well as the concept of vampires in general) are so engrained into the narratives of toxic masculinity that simply switching the gender of the main villain sets off a series of red flags.

This book has changed my mind about that.

The reason this book is so fantastic is because it DOSN'T simply change the gender of the villain. It is a full reimagining of Strahd. It changes the narrative to tell an equally important story of women while still sticking true to the gothic genre. To its core, horror should have meaning and a message. I want to clarify that this book changes the meaning and the message of Curse of Strahd. If that's not something you are interested in, this book is not for you. That being said, if you are interested in telling a different story, this one is so well thought...See more
Customer avatar
Christian Z November 17, 2021 6:55 pm UTC
Thank you so much for your feedback and kind words, Luke! We appreciate it a lot!
Customer avatar
James L November 17, 2021 6:08 pm UTC
I can't believe you guys jumped on board this ridiculous she-Strahd train. HELLO!! Elizabeth Bathory?! The BLOOD COUNTESS?!

Whatever! I'm Certain it's a step up from the crappy gender-bent Strahd that I saw being offered last month. I just think it's dumb as hell when someone could do an Elizabeth Bathory Countess.. and create an entirely NEW Ravenloft domain controlled by a powerful woman.

Whatever. /rant-off

(Also, your Quick Preview is broken.)
Customer avatar
Christian Z November 17, 2021 6:52 pm UTC
Hi James. Making a new Domain with a new Dark Lord has never been the goal. We got this comment from a lot of people and it's alright. We knew from start that this wouldn't be everyone cup of tea.

The Full-Preview link should be working, I'll check with support what's up with the Quick Preview, tks for the heads up.
Customer avatar
Christian Z November 17, 2021 6:55 pm UTC
Also, I would encourage you to read Luke V's comment above on the supplement. Like Luke said, it's not a simple gender-swap. Quite some ppl have recommend this supplement even if you don't want to run Fem!Strahd and prefer to stick to canon Strahd. The Full-Size Preview will allow you to see the content in more details if you're interested.
Customer avatar
Brian B November 14, 2021 3:50 pm UTC
Yay. Another completely arbitrary gender-swap.
Customer avatar
Jija A November 15, 2021 8:51 am UTC
Hi Brian,

I share your dislike for arbitrary gender-swaps and I assure you this is anything but. In fact the first few pages on this guide address this very point.

"Countess von Zarovich" is a fully fledge alternative to raw Strahd, which might appeal to DMs wanting to run the vampire as a woman because of personal reasons (I myself find it easier to role-play a female character) or to DMs who want to stay away from some of the subject matter in RAW, but also to veteran CoS DMs looking to explore additional themes in a familiar adventure.

All that said, this alternative needn't be for everyone, and that is fine too. But an arbitrary swap it is not.

Hope this helps to clarify!
Customer avatar
Brian B November 17, 2021 2:37 am UTC
Doesn't really clarify for me, other than I would agree it's all done for "personal reasons."
Customer avatar
Christian Z November 17, 2021 11:13 am UTC
Hi Brian. It's not exactly for personal reasons as there are quite a lot of people out there looking for such content. This product hit Silver during the launch weekend and She Is The Ancient has been Gold for quite some time. So there's demand. Feel free to ignore the product if it doesn't suit your playstyle.
Customer avatar
Brian B November 22, 2021 11:01 am UTC
Don't worry, I have ignored it. Yes, I suppose there is a demand for such material-- for the same reason that Scientologists purchase L. Ron Hubbard's books in bulk. Cults love constant validation.
Customer avatar
Jija A November 26, 2021 2:02 pm UTC
Oh exciting! I hadn't intended to start a cult but thanks for the idea.

Christian Z can we rebrand as this as the biblical canon scripture for the Church of Countess Strahd?

I'll also start designing some digital badges we can exchange for tithes
Customer avatar
Brian B November 28, 2021 7:36 am UTC
You don't need to start one. You're in it already, and you sure as hell aren't its founder.
Customer avatar
Jack H November 13, 2021 12:26 am UTC
Are you able to say how this supplement differs from "She is the ancient. A genderbent curse of Strahd"?
Customer avatar
Rory C November 13, 2021 12:43 am UTC
She is the ancient from what i am seeing is taking the whole campaign and switching the roles of many of the npcs. This one looks mainly at strahd and making it countess strahd. There are a few extra things also but it mainly looks at different ways that you can introduce strahd as countess and also change the shape of the land of barovia.
Customer avatar
Jija A November 13, 2021 2:12 am UTC
Hi Jack!
Rory’s answer is precisely right. “She is the Ancient” presents itself as a genderbent guide to the entire adventure and also looks to provide alternatives to certain parts of the adventure so DM can choose what is comfortable for them and their tables. It is a great piece of work filled with interesting ideas.

“Countess Strahd” is an in depth focused look at Strahd in particular and Barovia as a society. It gives practical, actionable advice for running a non-male Strahd and introduces content, encounters and NPCs that are a direct consequence of Strahd’s change in gender. If you want more info feel free to look at the preview which has the table of contents and a little paragraph on each section of the guide.

Hope this helps!
Customer avatar
Jack H November 13, 2021 8:53 am UTC
Cheers for the reply! Look forward to reading it soon
Customer avatar
Rory C November 12, 2021 4:28 pm UTC
This comes at the right time as a party has just gotten an invite to the castle, they have "met Strahd" in a way but this will throw them for a loop

Customer avatar
Christian Z November 12, 2021 4:34 pm UTC
Customer avatar
Wout T November 12, 2021 3:49 pm UTC
Updated file still doesn't download...
Customer avatar
Christian Z November 12, 2021 3:58 pm UTC
Hi Wout, what updated file isn't downloading? Can you clarify so I can check? Tks
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on November 12, 2021.