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She is the Ancient: A Genderbent Curse of Strahd $19.99
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Brett B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/07/2021 07:33:17

Note: I read and understood the author's caution that if I was happy with the original story, I should move on. This story has been told and retold so many times through the editions and I've loved every iteration so much that I couldn't wait to get my hands on this, so I skipped the Warning and dove right in...

and was subsequently disappointed. The author states her intention clearly enough - she wants to do away with the misogyny and child abuse and throw in some genderbends to make the female role in the campaign more powerful. This is vexing in itself - the Curse of Strahd campaign never glorifies the abuse by Strahd or Vallakovich or any of the other characters, but it exists to lend an air of resigned horror to the atmosphere - and that's what Ravenloft is supposed to be. As for powerful female characters, that is and has always been on the DM. Ezmerelda, Ireena, Stella, Zuleika, and more have always played powerful roles in my CoS campaigns, and I've used Ireena so much that I have sheets for her all the way up to level 12 as various classes.

When getting into the reimagined lore of the campaign, everything falls apart. The story feels like it was pieced together from a dozen different smut novels - minus the smut, of course, there's certainly an image to maintain here. The "consent" part truly cracked me up. A vampire will cast Charm Person more often than a bard, and will "court" whomever he/she chooses. This campaign lacks the horror aspect so closely tied to Ravenloft for so many years, and feels like a crude imitation better suited for younger players than the typical audience. Because the idea is so fun, I will be running a genderbent Strahd campaign without using any of the material here.

I will rate this 1/5 stars, deservedly, because the art is truly spectacular. I really hoped for more.

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She is the Ancient: A Genderbent Curse of Strahd
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