Clearly, the adventure module was extremely popular. And I have no doubt there was a time when people used to sit around the kitchen table reading boxed text to each other and eyes didn't "glaze over" (I know there was a time for me and my gaming buddies when this was the case).
But did anyone run the adventure proper, as written, using the wandering monster tables, the dictated motivations (and tactics) of Strahd, the paltry treasure, poisonous fog, and the labyrinthine castle as an insert into their normal campaign world?
And, if so, did the players LOVE it?
I'm just curious. As I mentioned before, I never had a chance to play Ravenloft when it was first published: my DM ran it for our playgroup when I was out-of-town one weekend. The reports I recall hearing were more about the antics of the players (bickering with and killing each other) and I think (if I remember correctly) they simply got fed up with adventure and decided to leave (poison mist or no) after frying Strahd with a lightning bolt. Which is to say: they hand-waved a lot of the thing. None of them gushed about it, or spoke highly of it, or offered to re-run it for my benefit...nor did anyone ask me to run it for them. It made extremely minimal impression (as far as I can tell) on our group of kids aged 12 to 14.
I'm not going to fault anyone their nostalgia...not when I've spent years of wallowing in my own, here on Ye Old Blog. But I am curious, because (as I commented to Dennis in my last post) I'm not sure I've met anyone who's played the adventure and "loved" it. Maybe the love comes from DMs who enjoyed the novelty of the thing? I don't know...and I am curious.
Please feel free to leave your comments. I promise I won't judge you for what you enjoyed thirty years ago.