Ravenloft debuted in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons module I6 (1983). The Gothic Horror take on D&D proved so popular that a follow-up module (I10) released in 1986. Ravenloft was then expanded into a “demiplane of dread” campaign setting in the Realm of Terror box set (1990)
This post will focus on the Realm of Terror set from a collecting standpoint. We’ll look at the printing history, followed up by some pics of the components for reference.
The RoT set can be annoying to pick up in the used market. I’ve seen so many sets with some of the 24 cardsheets missing, as former owners would squirrel a few of them aside.
Ravenloft: Realm of Terror [BOX SET]
1990 … Bruce Nesmith & Andria Hayday … TSR 1053 … ISBN 0880388536
CONTENTS: Realm of Terror book; 4 poster maps; 24 full-color cardstock sheets; 1 clear map overlay.
Ebay | DriveThruRPG (PDF $8 / paperback reprint $17)
Exercise care on Ebay and elsewhere. Many listings will be just the 144-page book, or the modern reprint.
My RPG reference site has info on the plethora of subsequent Ravenloft sourcebooks and adventure modules.
Realm of Terror only had the slightest of changes from 1st to subsequent printings. Externally, it was the shift in TSR logos. The TSR block logo was used through 1991. The Gold Badge logo came after, and was used through 1992.
Inside the box lids of many TSR releases of the ’90s can be found a month/year mark.
Ravenloft Realms of Terror dates I’ve seen:
Box with TSR “block letter” logo (6-90 or June 1990, 1st printing as this was the official release date).
Boxes with TSR “badge” logo (9-91 and 2-92).
Some sets have no dates.
Based on everything I’ve seen, the Realm of Horror box set had no further print runs after 1992. TSR was selling off existing stock past 1992. In 1994 the Second edition (Red Box) released.
Over on Facebook, Benjamin Riggs posted the sales numbers of Ravenloft Settings. Realm of Terror sold thusly (rounded to nearest 500):
In the TSR Catalogs
The Realm of Terror box set arrived with a splash in the 1990 TSR Catalog
Later years would see the set relegated to the Backlist (though in the 1991 Catalog, RoT was still the first featured Ravenloft item, despite being in the backlist!)
In 1994, the 2nd Edition of the Ravenloft Campaign Setting released. Both sets were available in the 1994 TSR Catalog. The Red box replaced the Black box.
Book (144 pages, TSR 1053XXX1901)
THE MAPS (all single-sided):
1053XXX0701 Realms of Terror
1053XXX0702 Islands of Terror
1053XXX0703 LEKAR in Falkovnia, PORT-A-LUCINE in Dementlieu, SILBERVAS in Falkovnia, IL ALUK in Darkon.
1053XXX0704 LUDENDORF in Lamordia, PONT-A-MUSEAU in Richemulot, KARG in Darkon, MORDENTSHIRE in Mordent, LEVKAREST in Borca, VILLAGE OF BAROVIA in Barovia.
Card Sheets (24)
Transparent Map Overlay (TSR 1053XXX0705)
The first of the AD&D 2nd edition campaign settings: