Developed by Dreamforge Intertainment and published by SSI for PC MS-DOS in 1995, Ravenloft: Stone Prophet is a first-person Role-Playing Game and follow-up to Ravenloft: Strahd’s Possession and it uses the same game engine as its predecessor but is generally considered to be a better game overall.
Stone Prophet is set in an Egyptian desert scenario and is a party-based RPG where you start out with two player characters that you either create or import from Strahd’s Possession. You can add two more characters to your party, making four in total. The desert land you are thrust into is called Har’Akir and after some initial exploration you discover that it has been cursed by an ancient pharaoh called Anhktepot. Your quest is to find and defeat this mysterious opponent – and his allies – and break the curse of the land.
Movement through the environment is free-roaming, although you can toggle tile-based movement (like Dungeon Master or Eye of the Beholder) if you like. You can use the mouse, the number pad, or click on icons to move around – or a combination of all three. Combat is real-time and is fairly simple: you left-click on readied weapons when in range of an enemy and can use melee weapons, ranged weapons, or magic to cause damage. Memorising spells is identical to Strahd’s Possession (and other SSI/TSR RPGs) and is done by selecting which spells you want, then resting.
One important addition to Stone Prophet is the need to drink water to stay hydrated. You can either do this manually (by clicking a water skin on a character’s face in the inventory screen), or water will be consumed automatically when resting – if you have some in your inventory. If you run out of water, and any of your party need to drink, then it will damage their health, and possibly even lead to their death if water isn’t found quickly. If a character dies, it is possible to resurrect them with a Raise Dead spell/scroll, although this will not work on Elven characters.
The monsters in the game can sometimes be a challenge to deal with (especially the Manscorpions, which usually poison you when they attack and can kill low-level characters quickly – tip: use the spell Insect Swarm on them), and the scary atmosphere is enhanced with creepy sound effects. Thankfully, though, enemies don’t re-spawn, so at least when you clear an area it stays cleared.
While Stone Prophet is more interesting than Strahd’s Possession, it’s not without its niggles. The movement system is still pretty clunky and getting stuck when trying to walk past NPCs is annoying. Also: trying to look inside carrying bags is not obvious and will probably need a glance at the manual to figure out how to do it (tip: bags need to be equipped in the LEFT hand, not the right).
While I did enjoy playing Stone Prophet quite a lot, it won’t appeal to everyone. If you don’t mind the clunky movement and old school graphics there is a decent game to be had here, and it’s still available to buy from GOG.com (although as a package with Strahd’s Possession). If you’re not put off by how Ravenloft: Stone Prophet looks, or how old it is, then I do recommend it.