Castlevania and Ravenloft: the Dungeons & Dragons connection

Books, Featured, Gaming, Nintendo, RPGs, Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Lately, we’ve been on a bit of a Castlevania journey around here. As fans of the game series, the Netflix TV show and Dungeons & Dragons, it was inevitable we would arrive here as one of the final stops on the adventure. D&D fans may already be familiar with the Ravenloft adventure (1st Edition), the campaign setting (2E), the independent D20 system game (3E), the board game (4E) or the Curse of Strahd sourcebook (5E), depending on their preferred edition and entry into the game.

Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest. Ravenloft art. Casltevania USA art. Altered European art.

One of the things fans of both Castlevania and Ravenloft will notice is the similarity in the artwork for both titles. Did You Know Gaming put it quite succinctly in this graphic to the right. I have to admit there is an eerie resemblance to Ravenloft in the artwork for Simon’s Quest. Clearly, this has sparked the imagination of some intrepid gamers, as an entire D&D mash-up of sorts has popped up around the internet and D&D community.

For instance, over at Board Game Geek, one user has created an entire set of Castlevania-themed adventures for their Ravenloft board game. Then, if you’re a Dungeon Master looking to run the original game in a D&D setting, check out this Reddit thread for a rundown of what one DM did for their own game.

Of course, this could all be coincidence, given that Ravenloft came out in 1983 and Castlevania in 1986, not to mention that RPG’s in Japan — where the video game was developed and first released — were much different in those days than they are now. I still have the original Ravenloft module and, though their are similarities, I find the connection between the two tenuous at best. Either way, it’s a neat concept and Simon Belmont would fit right in the world of D&D. Clearly, I’m not the only one who thinks so, as D&D Blogger Mike Myler spent some time coming up with an excellent version of Simon Belmont for 5th edition here.

Thanks for checking out this article and we enjoyed having you along on our journey through the Castlevania series. We have one more Castlevania features coming soon to wrap up our journey, so check back for those soon. In the meantime, why not have a look at our series retrospective, our review of the Netflix series and our thoughts on the voice actors.

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About David Buck

David BuckBased in Colorado, David Buck is an author, musician, and media specialist for Nerdvana Media. His work has appeared on Tedium, EN World and across the web. In his spare time, he composes music, writes science fiction, and builds scale models, mostly starships and movie cars.