Curse of Strahd Revamped – First Thoughts

Yesterday a boxed set was announced by Wizards of the Coast.

It is a revamped (nice one) version of the Curse of Strahd adventure. It comes in a box that’s shaped like a coffin and has a few goodies along with it.

I must admit it looks kinda cool

I saw a lot of people online are complaining about this box, especially for its price. The MSRP is set at $99.99. Let’s break down the contents of the box and calmly assess the situation.

Curse of Strahd, one of the most popular Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game products of all time, split into three parts: a 224-page perfect-bound adventure for characters of levels 1–10, a 20-page Creatures of Horror booklet of new monsters that appear in the adventure, and an 8-page Tarokka Deck booklet.

The first item is the book itself. It’s broken into three pieces, the adventure, the monster booklet, and the Tarokka Deck booklet. Some changes have been made in the adventure, that tackle some wording that wasn’t accepted by the community. From what I understood, most of the changes come in the form of removing certain sentences.

So from this part I see two issues that can be connected to the price. First of all, the book isn’t a hardcover. This is a major issue for me and many others as well. I really enjoy the hardcover books by Wizards of the Coast and I haven’t missed any of the alternate cover ones.

The second issue, which is something I have seen being mentioned online, is that the changes are minimal. The most important changes, I believe, are about the Vistani and Ezmerelda. But these changes consist of removing certain parts of sentences.

SOLUTION: Make the book hardcover and give it an alternate cover. Having the monsters and the Tarokka Deck as separate booklets seems useful, but they could just make them free online supplements. Moreover, don’t just remove words. Give a bit of extra background. Give more context on the perspective of the citizens of Barovia and the Vistani when it comes to each other. At its current form, it’s not worth the $49.95 of the hardcover version of the adventure.

A cover sheet with Strahd von Zarovich’s image on one side and Strahd’s monster stat block on the other.

A cool thing but it adds little to the value of the box.

A sturdy, four-panel Dungeon Master’s screen designed for use with the adventure.

If it’s the same quality as the Dungeon Master Screen Reincarnated, it’s fine. Let’s say it costs the same with that screen so $14.95.

A double-sided poster map showing the domain of Barovia on one side and Castle Ravenloft on the other.

Maps are cool, can’t argue with that. But this map is included in the hardcover version already.

54 foil-stamped Tarokka cards, which help determine the heroes’ path through the adventure.

That’s cool, to be honest. If I understand this correctly, these cards will last longer and will be harder to damage. This is an upgrade I am happy about. The MSRP of the original Tarokka Deck is $10 so let’s just say this one goes up to $15. This is just a guesstimate so correct me if you know more about foil cards.

A tuck box to hold the Tarokka deck.

I really don’t understand why this is in a separate entry from the deck itself.

12 postcards (3 copies each of 4 different cards), which you can use to invite friends to your game.

Postcards are cool. I am considering starting a collection of them (because I have accepted my hoarding nature). However, this is just some bulk paper stuff that don’t really have a ton of value. Especially if it doesn’t feature new art.

I tried to be as objective as possible in the above breakdown. From what I see, I do not think this boxed set is worth that much money. And that comes from someone who buys all the WotC die sets. Maybe if the price was closer to $60 I don’t think it would cause such a debate. And if we had gotten a hardcover alternate cover version, that would be even better.

Maybe if Amazon offered it at a much lower price, like it tends to do with the D&D products, then maybe it could be an item you could get to complete your collection. Sadly, that’s not even possible for me so I guess I will have to pass on that one.

I hope you found this breakdown helpful. Let me know whether you will buy this or not, and the reasons behind your decision.

And until next time, have fun!

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11 thoughts on “Curse of Strahd Revamped – First Thoughts

  1. Considering this is the first of the we’re sorry let’s show you we mean well, ignoring the lack of many real changes as you say, I think it’s a bit rude to charge so much. If you want to prove you’re not the same don’t make me pay 100 dollars to find out. Why not re-release the module online for free, in weekly installments, seen as it’s an old module anyway. Then if you want to release a fancy box set after you can do.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I think I’d kindly argue on this one just because this is the first step their taking to trying to redeem them selves so they should make sure as many people as possible can see them trying to improve.
        Now granted this is a moo point when they haven’t done much more than a five second editing job to delete a few lines of text leaving much behind that is still problematic or troubling.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You do have a point. The thing is that if they wanted to make it into a new product, they should at least have made sure the price to value ratio wasn’t that abysmal.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great rundown, and I agree with your pricing analysis. I’ll be taking a pass on the set, seeing as I’ve already got the CoS hardcover and the original I6 module. And our D&D group played this recently anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I’m glad you like it. I don’t mind reprints. I got the reprint of Tyranny of Dragons. It had an amazing new cover and some really beautiful extra art in it. For me, it was worth getting the same adventure. I don’t know why they didn’t follow a similar idea with ToD, and actually decided to make this a softcover.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Just picked this up myself. I don’t mind the softcover, since they have moved the monsters into a separate booklet. Makes things a little easier to organize. I wish they had gone further with this by also moving Death House into a separate booklet. I love the handouts we also get now.

    Other things I would have liked to see. More Barovia lore (small history book I can give to players?). Maybe a newspaper handout. Coins. More Props (such as the necklace).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for the comment! It’s interesting to know the opinions of people who actually bought it, because I won’t be getting it.
    Cutting the book into multiple pieces can be practical. My issue with the softcover was in combination with the price of the product. That’s why one of my proposed solutions was to make it a alternate cover hardcover book.
    And that connects with your comments on the possible extra stuff that could be included. All sound like good additions and make me think that the product wasn’t very well thought out.


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