Critical Role has announced both a new game and show of the same name: Candela Obscura. The show will premiere later this month along with a free download of the quickstart rules.
Candela Obscura seems to be heavily inspired by gothic horror like Call of Cthulu, The Sinking City and Sunless Sea. The game and show take place in the fictional town of Newfaire on the Fairelands coast. The city is booming after the last great war, with people of all stripes embracing vice, hedonism and spiritualism to deal with the global tragedy. The city itself was built on top of an ancient alchemical civilization that self-destructed after misusing magic. Now dark and sinister creatures lurk in the dense forests and deep seas just offshore.
To protect the citizens, a secret order was issued to hunt down and eliminate these threats. Candela Obscura takes on all types, from enlightened professors who study the arcane to street mages who use magic to amuse the townsfolk. Each team is led by an experienced investigator who acts as both guide and narrator, played by Critical Role’s Taliesin Jaffe.
Ashley Johnson and Laura Bailey will also appear in Candela Obscura alongside two newcomers. Robbie Daymond (the voice of Chai from Hi-Fi Rush) will play Howard Margrove, while Anjali Bhimani (Aunt Ruby from Ms. Marvel, Rampart from Apex Legends and Symmetra from Overwatch) will play Charlotte Eaves. Johnson will play street kid Auggie James while Bailey will play Arlo Black. And as usual, Matthew Mercer takes on the role of game master.
“Candela Obscura is an ongoing monthly horror drama that follows an esoteric quest by investigators who use centuries-old knowledge to defend themselves against a mysterious source of corruption and bleeding,” reads today’s announcement. “This TTRPG show is set in a fictional turn-of-the-century inspired region called The Fairelands, a place of terrifying magic. At the beginning of each episode, a tantalizing incident occurs that prompts a team or circle of investigators to uncover and solve the mystery at hand.”
Candela Obscura will use Darrington Press’s Illuminated Worlds system, which uses D6s for its roles. The show will premiere on May 25th on the Critical Role Twitch and YouTube channels. At the same time, a quick guide to the Candela Obscura game system will also be released and available for free download.
Critical Role’s move away from D&D almost certainly stems from the recent OGL controversy, in which parent company Hasbro threatened to alter D&D’s licensing agreement, which would require creators to relinquish control of their creations and a juicy one too fee to pay. The community backlash was so severe that Hasbro rolled back these changes, but for many in the community the damage was already done.
With Candela Obscura, Critical Role controls everything from the show to the game system used, giving you full control. We’ll find out if it’s good enough to take away D&D’s market share when Candela Obscura arrives on May 25th.
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