Old-School Unboxing: Two Ravenloft Boxes

I had a lot of fun working on the last Old-School Unboxing that I did, so I thought I’d break out a few of the boxes that I’ve acquired recently. I managed to pick up two supplemental boxed sets for the D&D 2nd Edition Ravenloft setting: Forbidden Lore and Masque of the Red Death, and Other Tales. Like last time, I opened up the boxes, broke out my camera and took pictures of it for you all. So, without further ado, let’s dive into Forbidden Lore.

Forbidden Lore

Box for Forbidden Lore

Forbidden Lore is a box that includes some extra books for Ravenloft, as well as the dice and cards used to do Vistani fortune-telling in-game.

The box, open

Oooo, a map!

Fortune-Telling dice

Unfortunately, the dice are just white cubes with stickers on the sides. Fortunately, these dice look to be in excellent shape.

Fortune-Telling Cards

The cards are of flimsy stock, but they look like they’ll get the job done.

Back of the Box

Now, we’re going to quickly take a look at the back of the box. Wait, what’s that on the right?

The Waking Dream

Conveniently, it’s a list of what the box contains. Inconveniently, as we go through the box, you’ll see that The Waking Dream is the only book missing from the box, thus making the dice and cards neat additions, but nothing that I actually know how to use in-game. Still, this is a pretty cool box.

The Map!

Here’s that map you saw sitting in the box. Definitely multi-purpose. And if you can make out the text in the upper right, you’ll see that this box has some neat additions to Ravenloft; more on that later.

Cryptic Allegiances

This one contains info about the secret societies in Ravenloft. As you might imagine, there are quite a few options in here.

Ow! My brain-case!

And one of those options is of the Mind-Flayer variety. Nice.

Strahd's Book

Strahd is the original Ravenloft baddie. This is apparently his book of spells, arcane and divine knowledge.

Horrid Wilting

And one of those spells apparently sucks all of the water out of your body and leaves you as a dried husk.

Curses upon you!

Ravenloft is designed to take the pure and corrupt them. This book details many of the ways that can happen.

Nifty watch

All of the art in these books is in black-and-white, but some of the detail work is excellent.

Psionics, Madness and what?

This book is a three-parter containing some 2e errata for Psionics, a section on Madness and…. wait for it… the rules to include Dark Sun in Ravenloft. *squee!*

So cool...

I mean, think about it: evil, twisted, cannibalistic Halfling Domain Lord. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. This section also makes use of the map I posted above.

The Red Masque of Death, and Other Tales

The Masque of Red Death

This box is all about bringing the Gothic horror of Ravenloft back to the time period that spawned it: the 1890s.

The Book Itself

The main book doesn’t look much different than the box does.

All Your Need to Know

The inside of the book has everything you need to know to run a game set in an alternate Earth in the 1890s. Gunpowder weapons and all. Oh yeah, and neat art, too.

Red Death

This is the adventure that give the box its name. Looks like it could be fun; I love stuff set in this time period.


And another example of some kick-ass line art.

Red Tide

Another tale included in the boo… wait, what the hell is that at the bottom?!

As in Shane Lacy Hensley?

Unless there’s another Shane Hensley in the RPG publishing world, it looks like Red Tide was written by the same gentleman who created Deadlands. I, for one, think that’s pretty awesome. In fact, this might have even been a precursor for the Deadlands game. This was published in 1994 and Deadlands in 1996, so it’s a possibility!

More maps!

These are good, if basic maps. If, like me, you love maps, hang on because there’s a really nice one coming up.

1890s Screen

The always-useful DMs screen, specifically for this game. Nice.


This bit of art is on the middle panel of the screen; I just had to include it.

Red Jack

No way that any box set in the 1890s could not include some variation on Jack the Ripper.


The art I’ve included to this point, I’ve done so because I liked it. I included this one because that guy seems way too happy to be holding that knife. I mean, really.


Now we get into the goodies section, starting with a poster of the art on the box cover and the main book. They must really have liked that art.

The Map I Promised

A fantastic-looking map that depicts the world as it was in the fictional 1890s of this game. I might hang this one up. I like it a lot.

Another screen

This screen is the standard Ravenloft screen and I’m pretty sure that it’s a bonus item in this box from whomever sold it to HPB. Not a bad find. The next bonus item is even better, though.

Wait, what?

I have no idea how this ended up in a Ravenloft 1890s boxed set, but I do not mind finding it, if only for nostalgia purposes.

The Mind Boggles

I included this to give you a glimpse into our distant gaming past.

The Whole Page

Baby, we’ve come a long way.

So that’s it for this Old-School Unboxing. I’ve got a few other Dark Sun boxes that I’ve come across as well, so you might see those surface in the next few weeks.

[tags]rpg, rpgs, role playing games, Old-School Unboxing, D&D[/tags]

6 thoughts on “Old-School Unboxing: Two Ravenloft Boxes

Add yours

  1. I love seeing these games see the light of day again, in their original form. It makes me want to break open all of my boxes sitting in my basement and find out what a little rpg archaeology could get me.


  2. Yeah. I love finding good boxed sets at Half-Price Books and showing them off is a lot of fun. I might see if I can pick up the Planescape box at Origins or GenCon this year. I love me some Planescape.


  3. Yes, in his early days, Shane Lacy Hensley was a freelancer (arguably one of the most successful RPG freelancers around for his time). Before moving on to his own prominent brand(s), he was especially prolific in his work for West End Games, including on the Shatterzone and MasterBook lines (and also Torg, I believe).

    –The Raving Gamer


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