Dungeons & Dragons is about to embark on a terrifying new trip to Ravenloft when The Black Dice Society launches this week. The first episode of the star-studded The Black Dice Society airs this evening at 7 PM ET on D&D's Twitch channel, providing D&D fans with a brand new horror-themed show and providing players with a deep glimpse at Ravenloft ahead of the release of the Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft campaign setting guide. The new show stars veteran D&D streamer B. Dave Walters as he drags six players into the Mists of Ravenloft and pit them against the realm's terrifying Darklords. Walters will serve as the DM for the new series, with Mark Meer (Mass Effect), Tanya DePass, NouraIbrahim, Deejay Knight, Saige Ryan, and Becca Scott joining him as the players.
In an email interview with ComicBook.com, Walters said that Wizards of the Coast reached out to him about organizing The Black Dice Society. "Once it became clear that the Domains of Dread would be the setting of the next book they tapped me because of my background both with D&D and Vampire: The Masquerade," Walters said, referring to his robust history appearing on (and running) numerous D&D and Vampire: The Masquerade streaming shows. "They seemed to think I had a good handle on both fantasy and horror...and I guess we’re about to find out if they were right!" Walters quickly put together his cast for the show, noting that he reached out to Meer first because of passionate love for Ravenloft and then bringing in the rest of his "streaming dream team" as players.
Walters noted that the Mists of Ravenloft don't claim "good" people, so he encouraged the players to make their characters the worst possible people they could. Walters provided brief descriptions of the characters, each of whom seem to have their own secrets and problems. The show's characters includes:
- Tanya DePass is Fen, a Drow Blood Hunter whose line carries an ancient curse.
- Noura Ibrahim is Nahara, a Fallen Aasimar trapped in an endless cycle of life and death.
- Deejay Knight is Desmond, a wandering warrior with a monster lurking inside of him.
- Mark Meer is Brother Uriah McCawber, hopelessly dedicated cleric of a false god.
- Saige Ryan is Valentine, the best...and quite possibly worst of them all….
- Becca Scott is Tatyana, an Air Genasi Barbarian obsessed with reclaiming her own lost glory.
While Walters played coy as to what Darklords would appear in The Black Dice Society ("Tune in to see, but the Darklords have been pulling the strings starting from the very beginning!" he wrote), he did confirm that the show would have a number of hints and previews of content from Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft. "Pay very special attention for quite a few hints and previews for what’s coming in the book," Walters said. "At the bare minimum Dhampir and Reborn will be on full display, along with several other darker things. "
When asked about the challenges of running a campaign in the horror-themed Ravenloft, Walters noted that it would be hard for the players to score wins in the Dread Domains. "The biggest challenge is that you don’t ‘win’ in Ravenloft, you survive," Walters said. "So we’ll have to find ways for the characters to feel victorious even in the midst of the crushing, oppressive nature of the Mists. Even I don’t know how they are going to manage some of the things waiting for them out there."
The Black Dice Society looks like it could become Dungeons & Dragons next flagship show for their streaming channel, which airs various games and shows about D&D seven days a week. Hopefully this will be a very different experience from any D&D, World of Darkness, or horror stream you’ve ever tuned into," Walters said as a final pitch for his new show. "Wizards of the Coast has given us a grand opportunity to take you all on a long and twisting journey into oblivion, and I hope you join us from the very beginning!"
The Black Dice Society starts today, April 1st, at 7 PM ET. New episodes will air every Thursday on D&D's Twitch channel. Episodes will also be posted for VOD on YouTube.