This week is my annual Ravenloft week, which is getting harder and harder as I have less and less Ravenloft material unposted. This time around I am checking out the Children of the Night series of supplements that came out in the later days of the line. I had always ignored these, as I thought they were re-hashes of the older Van Richten’s Guides, but nope, totally wrong about that. This one is Children of the Night: Vampires (1996).

First off, I love this cover. The credits tell me this is Daniel Horne, but I don’t quite believe that — it looks like a Robh Ruppel to me. Whoever painted it doesn’t really matter though, those vampire hunters are fuuuuuucked.

Inside, not a treatise on vampires at all. This is an NPC book! A baker’s dozen of highly detailed vampires to use in your campaign. There are some surprisingly familiar faces, too — Jander Sunstar from the first Ravenloft novel is here, as is Lyssa von Zarovich, from Thoughts of Darkness. The rest are new, to my knowledge. Most of the rest are solidly interesting (if unremarkable), with strong groundings in the campaign setting. Each has a short adventure in which the vampire can cross paths with the players — they mostly function as prompts for the GM to run with in a larger campaign.

What I find particularly interesting, and this is true of all the books, is the couple vampires that are extremely unusual — a dwarf, a penanggalan, an ixitxachitl (!), even the couple good aligned vamps. To me, these sorts of unexpected combinations are really a feature of 3E, so it is neat to see them start to surface in the late ‘90s.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *