As the Ravenloft: Mist Hunters series of adventures are published, we're chatting with the designers to learn more about their writing process, their experiences working in the Domains of Dread, and more! Today we hear from Gabrielle Harbowy. She is the designer of the eleventh stand-alone adventure in the Mist Hunters series, RMH-11 Calling Upon the Dead.
Can you share a brief synopsis of the adventure in your own words?
The player characters get to attend a seance and embody the spirits of a long-deceased adventuring party, to help them achieve their final business, and also to retrieve an artifact hidden in the spirit realm.
What does your writing process look like?
I start with the adventure template and fill it in with the information I know, embellishing as I go, and then look at what's still missing and make decisions from there that will fill in the rest of the blanks. It's very organic, working from the outline and applying it to the existing adventure structural bones, adding layers and nuance as I go. Hopefully the end result is that the whole thing fits together well, and no important bits are left out.
Did any media influence your Mist Hunters adventure?
Not specifically. This was my dream adventure, writing- and content-wise. Everything in it came from years as a goth, a love of haunted houses, friends and experiences, a love of toying with tropes, and a genuine desire to give all ghosts their peaceful rest.
Is there anything you'd include in a 'director's cut' of this adventure, or anything that didn't make it past editing?
Everything that was important to me made it past editing. That said, the adventure has an entire haunted manor and (going against the natural inclination of players everywhere) no chance to fully explore it. In a director's cut, if time weren't of the essence for the characters, I'd let them experience the whole manor.
What Domain of Dread (from Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft or imagined) would you like most to visit?
I'd love to visit the Dementlieu masquerade. ...And then go safely home again!