Whimsical DMing: Francis the Raven

During my second Curse of Strahd campaign, one of the characters was a ranger. Along the way, he befriended a raven, using speak with animals to talk with it and learn interesting things about Barovia.

We named the raven Francis.

It’s dangerous giving me control over “intelligent” animals. I’ve got a whimsical streak, and it came out in full force with Francis. And the ravens of Ravenloft in general.

One of the other PCs once flipped a silver piece to a raven. It liked it, and started following him around. Along with a friend, who wanted nothing more than a shiny coin of his or her own. Once it got one, two more ravens appeared. You can guess where this went… eventually about 100 ravens were following the party around. That lasted for most of the adventure – while they were outside, at least.

Francis was the special raven that the ranger befriended. He provided a way of communicating with the flock, and would occasionally perform little jobs for the ranger. Badly.

Commands like “Fly up to that tree and tell us what you see” would get the answer of “a tree”.

Francis would occasionally be helpful, often by accident, but I used him for comic relief more than anything else.

One time the ranger, probably hoping to stump me, asked Francis what all the other ravens were called.

“That’s raven number 1. Raven number 2. Raven number 3…”

This went on for some time, with Francis continuing to enumerate the ravens. During this time, speak with animals ran out. Francis continued to caw.

A few minutes later the ranger, curious, recast speak with animals.

“Raven number 92. Raven number 93. Raven number 94…”

He probably deserved it.

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One Response to Whimsical DMing: Francis the Raven

  1. Love it; crooked whimsy makes is the best whimsy.

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