Count Strahd Von Zarovich: Darklord of Barovia

The first vampire

Count Strahd Von Zarovich is the Darklord of Barovia, a grim Domain of Dread found within the shadowy mists of Ravenloft. In life, Strahd was an effective conqueror, leading armies to victory. In undeath, he is a charming, but devious plotter. He has a keen mind and will always seek to bend others too his will. Despite his charming facade, he shouldn’t ever be dismissed, should your usefulness end or you become a nuisance, he won’t think twice about casting you aside. He is eternally tortured by the ever reborn love of his life, Tatyana, who throughout each rebirth, continues to reject Strahd’s affections.

Information About Strahd Von Zarovich

NameCount Strahd Von Zarovich
AlignmentLawful Evil
HomeCastle Ravenloft
ParentsBarov Von Zarovich
Ravenovia Von Zarovich
SiblingsSergei Von Zarovich
Sturm Von Zarovich

Strahd Von Zarovich Stat Block

Strahd was once a human, but is now a vampire and has many of the stats and abilities inherent to those touched by vampirism. As a Darklord and a seasoned veteran of many battles, he is more powerful than many other vampires.

  • Armour Class: 16 (natural armour)
  • Hit Points: 144 (17d8 + 68)
  • Speed: 30ft

18 (+4)18 (+4)18 (+4)20 (+5)15 (+2)18 (+4)

  • Saving Throws: Dex +9, Wis +7, Cha +9
  • Skills: Arcana +15, Perception +12, Religion +10, Stealth +14
  • Damage Resistances: necrotic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
  • Senses: Darkvision 120 ft.
  • Languages: Abyssal, Common, Draconic, Elvish, Giant, Infernal
  • Challenge: 15 (13,000 XP)

Shapechanger: If Strahd isn’t in running water or sunlight, he can use his action to polymorph into a Tiny bat, a Medium wolf, or a Medium cloud of mist, or back into his true form.

While in bat or wolf form, Strahd can’t speak. In bat form, his walking speed is 5 feet, and he has a flying speed of 30 feet. In wolf form, his walking speed is 40 feet. His statistics, other than his size and speed, are unchanged. Anything he is wearing transforms with him, but nothing he is carrying does. He reverts to his true form if he dies.

While in mist form, Strahd can’t take any actions, speak, or manipulate objects. He is weightless, has a flying speed of 30 feet, can hover, and can enter a hostile creature’s space and stop there. In addition, if air can pass through a space, the mist can do so without squeezing, and he can’t pass through water. He has advantage on Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution saving throws, and it is immune to all nonmagical damage, except the damage he takes from sunlight.

Legendary Resistance (3/Day): If Strahd fails a saving throw, he can choose to succeed instead.

Misty Escape: When he drops to 0 hit points outside his coffin, Strahd transforms into a cloud of mist (as in the Shapechanger trait) instead of falling unconscious, provided that he isn’t in running water or sunlight. If he can’t transform, he is destroyed.

While he has 0 hit points in mist form, he can’t revert to his vampire form, and he must reach his coffin within 2 hours or be destroyed. Once in his coffin, he reverts to his vampire form. He is then paralyzed until he regains at least 1 hit point. After spending 1 hour in his coffin with 0 hit points, he regains 1 hit point.

Regeneration: Strahd regains 20 hit points at the start of his turn if he has at least 1 hit point and isn’t in running water or sunlight. If he takes radiant damage or damage from holy water, this trait doesn’t function at the start of his next turn.

Spellcasting: Strahd is a 9th-level spellcaster. His spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 18, +10 to hit with spell attacks). Strahd has the following wizard spells prepared:

  • Cantrips (at will): mage hand, prestidigitation, ray of frost
  • 1st level (4 slots): comprehend languages, fog cloud, sleep
  • 2nd level (3 slots): detect thoughts, gust of wind, mirror image
  • 3rd level (3 slots): animate dead, fireball, nondetection
  • 4th level (3 slots): blight, greater invisibility, polymorph
  • 5th level (1 slot): animate objects, scrying

Spider Climb: Strahd can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.

Vampire Weaknesses: Strahd has the following flaws.

  • Forbiddance: He can’t enter a residence without an invitation from one of the occupants.
  • Harmed by Running Water: He takes 20 acid damage if he ends his turn in running water.
  • Stake to the Heart: If a piercing weapon made of wood is driven into his heart while he is incapacitated in his coffin, he is paralyzed until the stake is removed.
  • Sunlight Hypersensitivity: While in sunlight, Strahd takes 20 radiant damage at the start of his turn, and he has disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks.


Multiattack (Vampire Form Only): Strahd makes two attacks, only one of which can be a bite attack.

Unarmed Strike (Vampire Form Only): Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 8 (1d8+4) bludgeoning damage, plus 14 (4d6) necrotic damage. If the target is a creature, Strahd can grapple it (escape DC 18) instead of dealing the bludgeoning damage.

Bite (Bat or Vampire Form Only): Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one willing creature, or a creature that is grappled by Strahd, incapacitated, or restrained. Hit: 7 (1d6+4) piercing damage plus 10 (3d6) necrotic damage. The target’s hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken, and Strahd regains hit points equal to that amount. The reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if its hit point maximum is reduced to 0. A humanoid slain in this way and then buried in the ground rises the following night as a vampire spawn under Strahd’s control.

Charm: Strahd targets one humanoid he can see within 30 ft. of him. If the target can see Strahd, the target must succeed on a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw against this magic or be charmed. The charmed target regards Strahd as a trusted friend to be heeded and protected. The target isn’t under Strahd’s control, but it takes Strahd’s requests and actions in the most favorable way and lets Strahd bite it.

Each time Strahd or his companions do anything harmful to the target, it can repeat the saving throw, ending the effect on itself on a success. Otherwise, the effect lasts 24 hours or until Strahd is destroyed, is on a different plane of existence than the target, or takes a bonus action to end the effect.

Children of the Night (1/day): Strahd magically calls 2d4 swarms of bats or swarms rats, provided that the sun isn’t up. While outdoors, Strahd can call 3d6 wolves instead. The called creatures arrive in 1d4 rounds, acting as allies of Strahd and obeying his spoken commands. The beasts remain for 1 hour, until Strahd dies, or until he dismisses them as a bonus action.


Strahd can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time, and only at the end of another creature’s turn. Strahd regains spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.

Move: Strahd moves up to his speed without provoking opportunity attacks.

Unarmed Strike: Strahd makes one unarmed strike.

Bite (Costs 2 Actions): Strahd makes one bite attack.

History of Strahd Von Zarovich

In mortality, Strahd was born of King Barov and Queen Ravenovia. Once of age, he led armies in the conquest of lands and people until he was able to settle in the nation that he dubbed Barovia, after his parents. The fortress home he settled in was named after his mother, being called Castle Ravenloft.

In his new home, he invited his family to live with him including his younger, kinder brother, Sergei. Strahd resented Sergei for his charming personality, but also because he was able to find love easily where Strahd had always struggled. Strahd’s bitterness grew when he met Sergei’s betrothed, Tatyana, a villager of the kingdom of Barovia. Having experienced her pureness of character, Strahd fell in love with her, though she never reciprocated, and this turned his obsession with her dark.

In this obsession, Strahd strove to gain power beyond that of normal mortal men, feeling that this would impress Tatyana. In his search for power, he came across the Amber Temple, a place in which evil, dark powers had been entrapped. He subsequently freed the Dark Powers (the same ones that now rule Ravenloft) and made a bargain with them that he might regain his youthfulness and win Tatyana’s heart. Part of this bargain however, involved killing his brother on his wedding day and drinking his blood. This act transformed Strahd into a vampire, giving him his youthfulness and great power, but also cursing him with a vampiric undeath.

Tatyana was unsurprisingly horrified by Strahd’s terrifying actions and ran away from him. At this same point, traitor’s among Strahd’s guards attempted to assassinate him. Strahd was gravely wounded in a way that no mortal man should survive, but he was no longer mortal and he proceeded to kill every single one of the wedding guests.

This evil act ensnared Strahd and the entirety of Barovia in the mists of Ravenloft creating the Domain of Dread known as Barovia along with its inhabitants. Strahd remains eternally tortured by the reincarnation of Tatyana as a new individual over the centuries and though he consistently attempts to win her heart, she inevitably always declines his love sending him spiralling into increasing fits of rage.

Strahd’s connection to the land of Barovia is far deeper even than most Darklords. He can sense harm to his agents, the wolves and knows when they’ve been harmed, taking vengeance on those that do so. He can also project his voice through the wind and manipulate the weather to terrifying effect when he chooses.

All Darklords of Ravenloft

ChakunaHouse of LamentQueen Tsien Chiang
Count Strahd Von ZarovichIvana BoritsiRamya Vasavadan
Dr Viktra MordenheimIvan DilisnyaVecna
Duchess Saidra d’HonaireJacqueline RenierVladeska Drakov
God-Brain of BluetspurMother LorindaWilfred Godefroy
Harkon Lucas

Published by DM Ben

Ben is an experienced dungeon master and player who's been immersed in the D&D universe since he was a teenager over 20 years ago. When he's not writing for Dungeon Mister, Ben loves creating fiendish puzzles and devious dungeons for his players. He's an especially big fan of the Ravenloft and Dragonlance settings.