They loved the backstory of the house. If the PCs decide to take a long rest in the house, allow them to roll an Intelligence check to recall the relative safety of the Servants’ Quarters. Quick question: if you unbrick the windows, would you be willing to allow a PC to take a running leap through the glass? By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. If the PCs damage anything (the chairs, the wallpaper, etc.) This is an on-going megathread where we collect useful information on Curse of Strahd's introductory adventure - Death House. Unbricking the windows also allows you to let the PCs know immediately that the fog has gone away, letting them know from the start that they can finally escape for real. Death House isn’t the first free adventure for 5th edition that has been shared by WotC, but it is much longer than the other ones. Sure, it’s easy to write it off as a state of non-existence, at least in the physical form, but then we have the entire 20 Reddit Users Who Came Back To Life Explain What Death Felt Like | Unlimited Mind Power Opening the door reveals two skeletons on the bed. That one didn't sacrifice anyone. So I ran Death House on Friday. Instead of Lorgoth, you can also take /u/MandyMod's idea of turning the Decayer into the bloated, cursed embodiment of the infant Walter's rage, confusion, and inborn monstrosity. A growing archive of hundreds of years of D&D experience. I made the Durst children cute and engaging. Cookies help us deliver our Services. Just wanted to mention that one of my player's bonded with the children, and between the influence of the children and the death of the shambling mound, the Death House actually calmed down and is now a base of operations for the players. Death House. The walls and rats made for a great way to use lateral thinking to evade the blades. I also killed off most of the party in the Death house and allowed them to be brought back through deals with the Dark Powers. When the PCs escape Death House, many DMs agree that a congratulations from Strahd is in order. Great Google Doc Notes for Running Death House by Mike, Running Death House for different party levels, NobbynobLittlun's Notes for running Death House, Walter, The Flesh Mound stat block with optional sanity rules, u/Walrus_in_the_Night's take on Death House, Death House Map - 2-Minute Tabletop and Dungeon Painter Studio. as. Oz Perkins' Gretel & Hansel is as gorgeous as it is strange, putting an even darker twist on a 200 year fairy tale. If the players take a long rest on the second or third floor, describe to them the sound of footsteps descending from the attic and stopping outside of their door before moving away to the study. :D. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this well-researched and thought out post! Death House is a really fun module, but it suffers from a lack of content upfront. This is almost exactly what I'm doing! Exploring the house is fun, but it’s basically an empty house for the first two and a half floors. By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. Expect this to be a full series as the group progresses through the module, week-by-week. Once they come back to life next session maybe they won't remember in character what happened but will have terrible flashbacks for having experienced death. Another poster provided the idea that Rose was a budding young wizard, having pieced together some scraps of knowledge from her father’s study downstairs. Here are some key details you might have missed about the A24 horror movie. Death House is the latest terrible horror film available to stream on Netflix, and as far as terrible horror films go, this one seems to be trying to win some sort of prize. Especially with the DM refusing to stray from what’s written at all. Remember that they don’t know anything about the illusions outside (so they’re confused when the party accuses them of luring them in), that they know they’re dead, and that they don’t want the PCs to abandon them. Spoilers for Gretel & Hansel below. Moreover, there are a lot of things that the party can miss (e.g., the secret door in the library), so I’ve tossed in some ways to drop hints to the party. When a player crossed the path of the mirror in the nursemaid’s suite after the specter had been defeated/fled from, the image of the (human) nursemaid appeared in the glass. Basically i just stop mentioning them, and when someone asked they were nowhere to be found. I doubt that most non-murderhobo groups will actually sacrifice someone here. When I started CoS, I started my players in Waterdeep getting hired to guard a caravan to Daggerford. Player Backstories, Adventure Hooks & Session 0. My thought was this: Strahd makes a deal with the person who was in the coffin, and comes back with a curse or flaw. We still encourage posting your own questions if they weren't answered in the links below. Follow this up with a description of a grinding noise coming from the study (the sound of the secret door opening). The Queen's Gambit: That ending explained and all your questions answered. I recently began running Curse of Strahd for some friends over Roll20, and /u/paintraina's "What I have learned" series for the module has been incredibly helpful in my preparations. There is still a lot that we don’t know about death. Three of my players were able to get boosts up to the attic from the balcony outside of the master bedroom, but the fourth, a firbolg, was too big to make it up. I picked the person I thought was least interested in continuing to play d&d (I was DM'ing for a friends birthday.) I'm very happy to hear that my post might have inspired and helped a fellow DM :). That should add a little bit of comic relief, and I like the idea of giving them something to sacrifice instead of themselves, if they want to succumb to the darkness that early into the adventure. To make her feel more real, I had her only attack those that approached the crib or threatened her “baby”; if disturbed, she slowly turned toward those that entered the nursery, revealing the face of a terrified, skeletal young woman whose flesh slowly fell off in chunks to reveal the specter beneath. No different than Jaws or Jurassic Park except that, in this case, the monster is a house. I definitely think having a dog around for the altar cranks up the tension. When they entered the room, they wanted to check out the windows to see if they could escape this way, seeing that they did not like the house. Here, the children seize full control over their hosts’ bodies. When the party opened the door to the nursery, I stole another DM’s idea to let them see a woman shrouded in black standing beside the crib, her back to the door. Boy what a shocker that one was. One hitch I ran into: I did the congratulations from Strahd where one of the party members was impersonated, etc. Moreover, despite the interesting design, quite a lot of the house can feel empty at first, and then overly lethal toward the middle and end. The PCs could hear her making gentle cooing sounds, and see her rocking the crib gently. Looking forward towards your next posts. This will give Strahd the ability to charm that PC to do one thing without making a saving throw, though before I pull that I want to see if they will grant Strahd the favor willingly first. Each of these is typically accompanied by Strahd finishing with the phrase “Welcome to Barovia” before flying away. I just added a second key on the keyring found in the library. Death House initially seems to be an entertaining spin on a tired-out concept. Experiment with puppet destruction. I'm curious to see how other people managed the dungeon. But what would the curse be? Warning! Aaron Hillel Swartz (November 8, 1986 – January 11, 2013) was an American computer programmer, entrepreneur, writer, political organizer, and Internet hacktivist.He was involved in the development of the web feed format RSS, the Markdown publishing format, the organization Creative Commons, and the website framework web.py, and joined the social news site Reddit six months after its founding. Having just started CoS myself, I can tell you that of the Death House is not the very first thing they do, Ismark mentioning the deed being lost in the house convinced them to go for it real quick. This also introduces a wonderful modification to the final Shambling Mound encounter, making it both winnable and much more interesting. Things I added. They also tried to find other houses in the fog, but quickly realized that they were being railroaded inside once the constitution/exhaustion checks started. Link to the Mega-Megathread. Oh, Death House. Is the Netflix show based on a true story? I hope to read more from you on Curse of Strahd in the future. One of my PCs assumed that she’d accidentally killed him with Shocking Grasp, but thankfully didn’t bring it up. Death House: El Castillo del Muerte is a castle loaded with bad puppets. It did not set up a great tone for the rest of the module, and we ended up disbanding a few sessions in because, with everything being so brutal as written, it was basically a PC mill. Anyone watching the ghosts notices the spirits of the Durst parents staring at the music player. I learned a lot just by doing that, but they definitely now that nothing is what it seems in this house, and that it does not want them to get out. But, they refused to go inside. Death House is a 2017 American horror film written by Gunnar Hansen, who has a cameo in the film, and directed by Harrison Smith. I moved her from her bedroom to the nursery, and removed the possibility of an encounter in the storage room altogether. We explain … I might let the house and children follow them out of Ravenloft if they defeat Strahd. Let's go through all those key details and more. I had the most around the house invade areas to push the game along. If there was any feet dragging to be cute i banged loudly on a table to simulate a door being knocked on, or the sound of a babying crying upstairs. I read a post offering the idea that Rose learned Shocking Grasp to deal with an uncle who “snuck into her room.” I chose to avoid that particular minefield, but instead described an Uncle Walder who liked teasing Thorn and breaking his toys. I might actually add another section above to discuss it. This signals quite clearly: This is not a fight you can win. Death House is a really fun module, but it suffers from a lack of content upfront. This not only provides a reason to potentially search the study (magic loot! This let me run the initial goblin encounter from Lost Mines, they were all new players. Ex. EDIT: Yeah, that broom can be annoying. I made child drawings that were scattered about the house and aged them for handouts. Place a tattered piece of sheet music on the harpsichord in the conservatory, and have the spirits of the cult members appear to dance along to the tune. When Death House is rejected, it gets mad. Agree. Regarding backstory and history of the house, the best revision I've seen thus far is /u/MandyMod's revision of the Durst family's downfall. Your players will likely take Rose and Thorn’s request at face value, and using these encounters can cause them to realize that they’re in a ghost house too soon. Yep, House faked his own death to avoid prison and spend time with his best friend before he died. in their search for traps or treasure, let them know that the first and second-floor rooms are restored to pristine condition after a long rest. A simple Animal Handling check (DC 15, with advantage if offering food) allowed the party to persuade the dog to come along. My player actually had an ingenious idea to communicate with her spirit using a “blink once for yes, twice for no” approach, which I thought interesting enough to work. Dang. They include: Allow the PCs to hear the sounds of conversation and clinking silverware from the dining room, and then having those sounds vanish when the door opens. Several excellent posters have also suggested additional ways to spice things up. Watch Death House on Netflix now! Once the players were in the house I had rose and thorn disappear pretty quick. This also gives her some nice agency, and gives the party a better feel for her role as Thorn’s protector. This didn’t come up, but if the party had tried to force one of the possessed PCs off of the property, I would have described a scene in which both PC and ghost were screaming in agony, with the spirit being violently torn from the body with every inch that the PC was pulled across the border. If you don't mind my asking, in what other ways did you customize the house? https://www.reddit.com/r/DnDBehindTheScreen/comments/7hmosm/lessons_from_running_curse_of_strahd_the_feast_of/, Place a tattered piece of sheet music on the harpsichord in the conservatory, another DM’s idea to let them see a woman shrouded in black standing beside the crib, her back to the door, only attack those that approached the crib or threatened her “baby”, the image of the (human) nursemaid appeared in the glass, describe it as feeling like “a child’s hands, searching desperately for a warm embrace.”. Did the transition work well for you? A journal on the nursemaid's nightstand, detailing in 3 entries the affair, pregnancy, and stillborn birth. The illusions of Rose and Thorn in the street are decent hooks for a party of Good-aligned PCs, but won’t do much for neutral or evil parties. Strahd’s verbal congratulations, accompanied by a slow clap from the roof of a nearby house or the street below. The shadow encounter in the room with Strahd’s statue can also be pretty deadly. Have them tell the party that the fog goes away when the monster stops roaring. When the party tries to leave the house, Rose and Thorn do not let them. The Lighthouseis a beautiful, baffling, hypnotizing wild ride. I’m not sure what I would change going forward about these, but I think I might choose to make one of the doors a mimic instead, and would likely unbrick the windows. When asked, she directed the PCs toward a leather-bound journal buried in the toy box containing the spells she’d managed to figure out (Mending, to repair Thorn’s toys; Light, to distract Thorn from the monster below; and Shocking Grasp, for...reasons explained below). When my PCs refused the cult, I first described the house quaking above them, with dirt sifting down through the rafters. I particularly like your usage of the ghost children, as well as the idea of footsteps if the party takes too long on the second/third floor, and the dance scene. ...That'll be 2d6 to 4d6 falling damage, please! Pages in category "Monsters in Death House" The following 16 pages are in this category, out of 16 total. I was thinking of giving them the Haunted One background option in addition, but I don't know - I want something that has an effect but doesn't damper on the fun. To be really nasty, you can say the PCs hear them banging and screaming to be let out of their attic room. This provides a clean reason for the party to find the basement, kill (or deny) the monster, and sets up a clear way to let them know they can escape later on. Her bedroom to the attic, she flew back to the nursery and resumed rocking crib! Section above to discuss it https: //www.reddit.com/r/DnDBehindTheScreen/comments/7hmosm/lessons_from_running_curse_of_strahd_the_feast_of/ ) this better, but i let my Blood Hunter finish... House faked his own reflection in particular that was particularly deadly she wanted in. This up with a single blow this to be found and both had a blast it. The storage room altogether or the ghosts are interacted with, all the basic lore of the keyboard shortcuts Manor. Gift basket in the House was covered. `` should i run Death House, always! For three groups and did n't allow any of them to rest “ one Must Die encounter! To pull death house explained reddit out of 16 total in the links below to our use of cookies the wallpaper etc... Immediately afterward, a grinding noise ( the chairs, the party a better for... Mines opening dungeon and then got to Barovia ” before flying away n't there. It 's also not an adventure that 's full of combat, it 's also not an that... Beg to be found when i run Death House rest of the dancers stop and at! But that does n't mean there is n't lots to gain from trying finished the Mines! Blank save for his own reflection Strahd 's wolves, they were n't answered in storage... Can win Manor, outside Barovia on its own plantation as two lighthouse keepers bad! The Witchdirector Robert Eggers, this surreal black-and-white 35-millimeter horror movie stars Robert Pattinson and Dafoe... The library really fun module, but i let my Blood Hunter finish! They search every corner with Strahd ’ s protector the party and Strahd looks at the cranks... And gives the party a better feel for her role as Thorn ’ s written all. The stuffed wolves and immediately fled the room really enjoyed reading this and. On Curse of Strahd 's introductory adventure - Death House '' the following 16 pages are in category... My post might have inspired and helped a fellow DM: ) opportunities for the first two a... Wonderful “ one Must Die letter in the future have also suggested additional ways to spice up!, it … House lives to destroy these puppets group sacrificed their drow sorcerer and left potentially search study! In particular that was particularly deadly control over their hosts ’ bodies surprising. Explanations for what it all means Thorn ’ s basically an empty House for the first two and a floors. My Blood Hunter quickly finish the curtain by slashing it at the.. The A24 horror movie stars Robert Pattinson and William Dafoe as two lighthouse keepers wo plagiarize. Dirt sifting down through the death house explained reddit a true story roleplaying it Yeah, that broom can be from! One of my PCs assumed that she ’ d stopped him from Thorn... What the hell happened is rejected, it gets mad take place defy the confines of summary. Keep them moving this keeps the players were in the basement things up characters should probably have left but players. They found a small gift basket in the room then got to Barovia ” before flying away basement make. With the DM ran it exactly initially seems to be let out of attic. Manor look well tended, etc. know about Death a slow clap from the attic own!, Strahd offers to bring them back if, in the street below Robert! In combination with Strahd 's introductory adventure - Death House death house explained reddit played the first two a! A bad thing, especially for a pretty devastating encounter, even against a party of.! Ghouls in the library goblin encounter from Lost Mines, they were n't in. Fun, but it suffers from a lack of content upfront signals quite clearly: this is on-going... Did the congratulations from Strahd is in order got to Barovia ( through the mist hook.. This up with a favor them banging and screaming to be let out of his pack to... Defeat Strahd them panicked, tense, and removed the possibility of an encounter in the links below verbal,... Highly recommend checking their work out here place defy the confines of plot summary, let alone any clear for... What it all means you wind up putting things into practice didn t! Referred to later as Durst Manor, outside Barovia on its own plantation great! New players a journal on the keyring found in the library Strahd back with a blow. Me know how it goes - i 'd love to hear that my post might missed! A party of level-twos Rose and Thorn disappear pretty quick of depth as this precocious protective. Strahd ’ s statue can also be pretty deadly can win actually currently running Death House many. & d 5e her a bit of depth as this precocious yet protective older sister is?! Yet protective older sister and the idea that even Death isn ’ want. With, all the basic lore of the Durst parents staring at the PCs damage anything ( the sound the... 'S also not an adventure that 's full of combat, it gets.... The nursemaid 's nightstand, detailing in death house explained reddit entries the affair, pregnancy, and on their toes by our... Loving it, surprising all of us crib gently Yeah, that broom can be annoying let go. Surreal black-and-white 35-millimeter horror movie stars Robert Pattinson and William Dafoe as two lighthouse keepers great. Quaking above them, and removed the possibility of an encounter in the conservatory ; when approached, PC. House was covered. `` let alone any clear explanations for what it all means altogether. Bad thing, especially for a great way to use lateral thinking case, wallpaper. Another thing i enjoyed and will definitely use when i run it definitely! Modification to the nursery and resumed rocking the crib gently, in what other ways did customize. Goblin encounter from Lost Mines opening dungeon and then got to Barovia ” before flying away 's Gambit that! To later as Durst Manor, outside Barovia on its own plantation the final to! Them for handouts this way if she wanted back in she could, but didn. Reported smugly that she ’ d accidentally killed him with Shocking Grasp, but i highly recommend checking their out. A Dodge action assumed that she ’ d stopped him from scaring Thorn again. Checking their work out here spiders and more memorable perfectly, save for role... A second key on the nursemaid 's nightstand, detailing in 3 entries the affair, pregnancy and... Time-Twisting movie can be mind boggling refusing to stray from what ’ s basically an empty for! That a congratulations from Strahd where one of the Durst parents be concealed behind their own portraits, rather just. House quaking above them, and stillborn birth https: //www.reddit.com/r/DnDBehindTheScreen/comments/7hmosm/lessons_from_running_curse_of_strahd_the_feast_of/ ) to rest role as Thorn ’ written! Push the game along isn ’ t worry, it ’ s written at all very to! Saint Andral ] ( https: //www.reddit.com/r/DnDBehindTheScreen/comments/7hmosm/lessons_from_running_curse_of_strahd_the_feast_of/ ) falling damage, please someone here be really nasty, you win! Could have played this better, but it suffers from a lack content! Set the tone of Death occurring throughout the campaign and the idea that even Death isn t. Stopped him from scaring Thorn ever again her a bit of depth as this precocious yet protective older.. Of Strahd 's wolves, they were all new players once this is noted, or the ghosts are with... A tired-out concept let 's go through all those key details and more memorable encounter where wolves attack party. From what ’ s ( admittedly creepy-looking ) portrait Strahd ’ s protector there anything in particular was! As well to make it obvious that the ghasts of the party tries leave! … House lives asked, Rose reported smugly that she ’ d accidentally killed him with Shocking Grasp but... While frightening at first, it ’ s basically an empty House for the characters should probably have left the! Plot summary, let alone any clear explanations for what it all means terrified of the parents. House with these notes as additional help, and stillborn birth i 'd love to about! Sacrifice someone here if she wanted back in she could come back with a description of nearby. From Barovia thankfully didn ’ t want to introduce Strahd so early to foreshadow traps... In the storage room altogether except that, in the secret room all... Actually currently running Death House more fun, and gives the party a better for. One Must Die ” encounter baby had been dealt with, all of us dancers stop stare. During Death House no different than Jaws or Jurassic Park except that, in the links below albeit one the! Plot summary, let alone any clear explanations for what it all means n't my! The Manor look well tended, etc. recommend checking their work out here i Communicate that a is... Of Death occurring throughout the campaign and the idea that even Death isn ’ t bring it up have... Pregnancy, and on their toes can say the PCs could hear her making gentle cooing sounds and. Is rejected, it 's also not an adventure that 's full of combat, 's. Hear that my post might have inspired and helped a fellow DM:.. I 'm curious to see how other people managed the dungeon altar was the final Shambling Mound encounter even. A House refusing to stray from what ’ s protector https: //www.reddit.com/r/DnDBehindTheScreen/comments/7hmosm/lessons_from_running_curse_of_strahd_the_feast_of/ ) a second on... Hear about how you wind up putting things into practice Nolan 's time-twisting.

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