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 Kat Kruger. She is the designer of the ninth adventure in the Mist Hunters series, RMH-08 The Palace of Bones.
Can you share a brief synopsis of the adventure in your own words?
The characters have been tasked with finding and retrieving an artifact called the urn of dreams but quickly discover there's another interested individual who's attempting to get to it first. They must explore the palatial residence of the Darklord of I'Cath while she's sleeping, taking care not to wake her.
What does your writing process look like?
My writing process involves a lot of stream-of-consciousness, almost bullet points notes in the first draft. Then I go through and sort of fill in the blanks. It's a messy process but one that has worked for me because I've developed it over time. Having said that, a vague outline helps to give form to my writing without constraining my thoughts. With adventure writing there are specific goals and outcomes which also keeps me on track.
Did any media influence your Mist Hunters adventure?
I definitely drew inspiration from the Chinese epic films that I used to watch with my grandmother. The sprawling palace itself reminded me of some of those movies but I also knew I needed to inject a lot of creepiness into the environment. I'm not one for horror movies with a lot of gore. My preference is the psychological terror, so I leaned into that and movies like The Haunting.
Is there anything you'd include in a 'director's cut' of this adventure, or anything that didn't make it past editing?
Because of the way I write, I don't tend to cut a lot or if I do it usually makes a lot of sense to do so.
What Domain of Dread (from Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft or imagined) would you like most to visit?
The Carnival is so intriguing for me. There's something magical and eerie about a carnival in the real world. I love that it's a domain that travels to other domains especially after playing a bit of The Wild Beyond the Witchlight which has the other carnival.