Chapter 2 describes the Land of Barovia.
For first thing it gives you some rules about:
- Mists of Ravenloft. What happen when they catch someone
- Changes of some spell effects. How they change in Ravenloft both in mechanics and in visual effects. You are encouraged to develop new other changes to further increase the fear and gloom of the setting
- Resurrection Spells. They have particular consequences. Anyone rise from death with an indefinite madness.
You discover traditions, beliefs and superstitions of Barovians and Vistani too. Vistani curses, included the Evil Eye, are introduced too.
You'll find also two random encounter tables, one for day travels and one for night.
All this section (counting 11 pages) can be easily used for any campaign or adventure settled in Barovia.
The second and last section (7 pages) gives a brief overview of Barovia.
Many places (such as the villages or Castle Ravenloft) will have their dedicated chapters.
Best encounters around Barovia are:
- Into Svalich Woods, where PCs can find a letter from the Burgmaster of Barovia, which will give revelations about Strahd's activities
- At Vistani Camp, where Madam Eva by playing cards she can read the future to PCs, as detailed in Chapter 1
- At the base of Mount Baratok, where PCs can find the Mad Mage of Mount Baratok, who tried to oppose Strahd and failed and has become mad since then
According to cards reading party coyld find in two places some items essential to defeat Strahd while the Mad Mage could be the ally that PCs must look for.
With the right actions PCs can cure the Mage from his madness and discover he's Mordenkainen, the famous Archmage of Oerth.
I'm a bit confused about Mordenkainen. He's one of the most powerful creature of the Multiverse and he has been defeated by Strahd. But even if I can still understand that (after all also Strahd is very powerful and in Barovia he has a lot of advantages) I can't realize how can be successful a group of mid-level characters where a great Archmage has failed.
In my opinion this is one of the (few) weak points of a very good adventure.
One last thought: Mordenkainen has come to the demiplane and he's blocked there. Will this plot be used for future storylines?
This chapter will be used many times in the adventure, anytime the party is going to travel from one point to another.
Sooner or later, the party will come to the village of Barovia, which will be introduced in the following chapter.