Putting Heroic Relics in Ravenloft

I recently finished the series of Heroic Relics, which I made to give a D&D’ish feeling with Into the Odd. I’m currently running a new Curse of Strahd campaign for my coworkers using Into the Odd. For that reason I’ve also come up with a sort of table set that will scatter the Heroic Relics across the sandbox in Curse of Strahd.

At character creation, I ask the players what class they want to play as, and provide the list of classes that was used in D&D 5e. Once they decide, I ask them to roll a d6 to see which of the six Heroic Relics they start with. The rest are then “generated” into the sandbox as needed.

Image generated with Midjourney.

First off, note to the player that there is a strange sigil on the item they start with. You can draw this out if you want. The idea is that each relic has this sigil on it, identifying it as a piece of the set.

Second, cause an event for each player which clues them in on the existence of the rest of the items.
  1. A ghostly figure appears in the player character's dreams, imploring them to retrieve their lost item. This could be the original legend, or the previous owner.
  2. An aged map is found with the location of the item marked with a cryptic symbol or perhaps the sigil.
  3. A local legend or folktale hints at the item's existence and location. The players can learn of these in the various taverns, for example.
  4. The player character discovers a detailed journal entry or letter describing the item. This also hints that others are trying to find the same items.
  5. A dying stranger entrusts the player character with the task of retrieving the item. Classic!
  6. A raven or other mysterious animal seems to guide the player towards the item. Ravens might be mistaken for being servants of Strahd, but I interpret them as being aligned with a primordial goddess.
  7. The player character has sudden, unexplainable visions showing the item's location.
  8. A cryptic prophecy or fortune-telling points the way to the item.
  9. The player hears rumors of the item's effects on a local area or group of people. This could inform how you develop your rumor tables.
  10. A mysterious, recurring symbol or sign in the environment leads to the item. Maybe someone carved the sigil in stone?
  11. The player finds an old painting or tapestry depicting the item. This could be a big reveal, or possibly just hint at one of the other items. If the painting is of the original legend, then it would imply that there are more items of importance.
  12. A prisoner or captive has information about the item's location, in exchange for their freedom. Prisoner could also be “metaphorical” here, as in someone’s spirit is chained to a house.
  13. An NPC they've helped in the past returns with information about the item. Curse of Strahd already has lots of interesting NPCs. Having some of them reappear could be fun.
  14. The player character receives a mysterious package containing a clue to the item's location.
  15. A rival adventurer or group is also seeking the item, creating a race to reach it first.
  16. A local festival or tradition provides a clue or opportunity to locate the item.
  17. The spirit of the forest or land communicates with the player, guiding them to the item.
  18. A sudden and unexplainable celestial event seems to point the way to the item. For example a meteor could appear through the clouds and strike what was otherwise a tomb.
  19. The player character stumbles upon a dying creature that, with its last breath, whispers cryptic instructions to the location of the item. A three line poem could be used for this, making the encounter even more unsettling. After all, why would someone recite a poem as they’re about to die?
  20. The player finds an inscription or hieroglyphs that, when deciphered, reveal the item's location. The inscriptions could be anything, from a stele to graffiti scrawled under the lid of a coffin.

Alright, so let’s figure out where the item is!



  1. Inside a crypt in the cemetery by the Village of Barovia.
  2. Buried in the vineyards of the Wizard of Wines.
  3. Hidden in a secret room in Castle Ravenloft.
  4. Left as an offering at the Shrine of the White Sun in Krezk.
  5. Nestled in a Wereraven nest.
  6. Inside a hermit’s hut near Berez.
  7. Inside the belly of a monstrous beast. Have it spill out of the beast’s guts the next time the players fight a decent-sized monster.
  8. In the possession of a Vistani fortune teller. This could be the Tser pools or near Vallaki.
  9. Hidden within the ruins of Argynvostholt.
  10. Lying at the bottom of Lake Zarovich.
  11. Stored in the attic of the Death House.
  12. Buried under a gnarled tree in the Svalich Woods.
  13. Secured inside of the Abbey of Saint Markovia.
  14. In the possession of a Barovian noble.
  15. Lost in the ruins of Berez.
  16. Hidden inside the clock tower of Vallaki.
  17. Kept in the private collection of the Burgomaster.
  18. Concealed within the Amber Temple.
  19. Hidden in Van Richten’s Tower, possibly before Van Richten settled there.
  20. Forgotten in the catacombs beneath Castle Ravenloft.

Why is it there?

  1. It was used in a ritual gone wrong.
  2. The previous owner was killed before they could retrieve it.
  3. A powerful being left it there as a gift or test. Whichever is worst.
  4. It was hidden away for safekeeping, but the previous owner never returned.
  5. It was lost during a great battle.
  6. It was left behind as a warning to others.
  7. The previous owner was transformed into a monster and forgot about it.
  8. It was discarded as useless by someone who didn’t understand its value.
  9. It was part of a treasure hoard of a powerful creature.
  10. It was cursed, and the previous owner discarded it.
  11. It was used as a bargaining chip in a deal with a devil.
  12. It was stolen and subsequently lost by the thief.
  13. It was a prize in a contest or tournament.
  14. The original owner left it behind when they foolishly fled Barovia.
  15. It was hidden away by a protective spirit or guardian.
  16. It was lost during a game of chance.
  17. It was an heirloom of a family now extinct.
  18. It was in the possession of an adventurer who died of a strange disease.
  19. It was buried with a hero who died in an act of defiance against Strahd.
  20. It was purposefully left behind as a trap for the unwary.

What is it like now?

  1. It is in pristine condition, as if new.
  2. It is worn and needs some work to restore it to functionality.
  3. It is broken and needs significant repairs.
  4. It is tarnished but still functional.
  5. It is in good condition but has clearly been used.
  6. It is operational but has a minor flaw.
  7. It is almost depleted and needs to be recharged in a ritual of some kind.
  8. It is in perfect condition, but its operation is not obvious.
  9. It is in good condition but is missing a component.
  10. It is in terrible condition and looks worthless.
  11. It is in good condition but is cursed.
  12. It is in perfect condition but radiates evil.
  13. It is functional but has a mind of its own.
  14. It is in good condition but requires a sacrifice to use.
  15. It is operational but drains life force when used.
  16. It is in perfect condition but requires attunement.
  17. It is in good condition but has a cryptic inscription.
  18. It is in poor condition and using it may have unpredictable effects.
  19. It is in good condition but using it attracts monsters.
  20. It is in excellent condition but its use is addictive.

What a twist!

  1. The item is a fake, but a very convincing one.
  2. The item is sentient and has its own desires and goals.
  3. The item is being sought by a powerful individual or group.
  4. The item is a key to a hidden location in Barovia.
  5. The item is linked to a ghost who can’t move on.
  6. The item is prophesied to bring about a significant event.
  7. The item can only be used by individuals of a specific lineage.
  8. The item is the only thing keeping a monster at bay.
  9. The item is slowly transforming into something else.
  10. The item attracts a certain type of creature.
  11. The item is causing the environmental anomalies in its location.
  12. The item is tied to the life force of a character.
  13. The item is a symbol of authority for a particular group.
  14. The item attracts the attention of a delusional cult that wants to appease Strahd.
  15. The item is linked to a forgotten deity.
  16. The item causes disturbing visions or dreams when held.
  17. The item can control or influence a certain type of creature.
  18. The item is gradually corrupting the area around it.
  19. The item is a ticking time bomb of arcane energy.
  20. The item is a physical embodiment of one of Strahd’s past victories.

These tables may give a rough outline or prompt for where to put the relics, but it will probably require a fair amount of rolling for every item. My advice is to keep it going as long as it's fun. Hope this was fun or usefully for you.

If you need some examples of sigils, check out the wikipedia page. If you’re on discord, consider joining my community.

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