New D&D Book Finally Lets You Fight A Brain In A Jar

The new Dungeons and Dragons sourcebook Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft features some very interesting monsters.

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On May 18, Dungeons & Dragons latest source book, Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft, expands on horror elements, stepping away from the typical gothic horror players are used to. And because of this, D&D players are getting new monsters that are a little outside the box, like a Brain in a Jar.

Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft campaign sourcebook includes a few monsters at the end of the book, including creatures similar to ones from classic sci-fi. Brain in a Jar is one part Steve Martin's classic The Man with Two Brains and one part the sci-fi classic Fiend Without a Face. It's a brain in a jar, and it wants to kill you.

This fiendish brain can hover, talk to you psionically, and be generally gross--it's a brain in a jar, come on. But don't take the "monster" too lightly, as while it may be immobile, it can cast a few spells to take down players. It's also resistant to magic as well, so the best way to take it down is to run at it and bash it.

Cover by Anna Podedworna
Cover by Anna Podedworna

Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft expands on horror quite a bit, adding in Domains of Dread, which is essentially an evil prison for a Darklord--the villain of your story. These domains step away from D&D's typical gothic horror architype. You can create one revolving around Body Horror, Cosmic Horror, Dark Fantasy, Folk Horror, Ghost Stories, Disaster Horror, Occult Detective Stories, Psychological Horror, Slasher Horror, or create something entirely unique. The level of detail you can put into each horror game is incredible and the only roadblock is your own imagination. If you're an H.P. Lovecraft fan, there is a lot of supplemental material here to help you craft unknown horrors or space tentacles to torture your players.

Dungeons & Dragons: Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft goes on sale on Tuesday, May 18 at various retailers. While the book retails for $50, it is currently on sale at Amazon for $30. If you are a horror fan and play D&D this book will add a lot to your characters and games, so you'll want to check it out.


And if you do pick up the book, check out some of WizKids' D&D Icons of the Realm: Boneyard miniatures, a whole set of horror-themed monsters to battle. For more on D&D, check out our extensive coverage of WizKids miniatures, including all these fancy dragons, and the Warlock tile system, which helps you build fantastic-looking dungeons.

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