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Critical Role’s take on D&D, Candela Obscura, goes on sale in November

Join the secret society

A photograph of the standard and special edition rulebooks for Candela Obscura, set down on a table where they’re surrounded by various Victorian-inspired curios Image: Darrington Press
Maddy Myers has run Polygon’s games section since 2020 as deputy editor. She has worked in games journalism since 2007, at Kotaku, The Mary Sue, and the Boston Phoenix.

The press arm for Critical Role, Darrington Press, has a release date for the rulebook of Candela Obscura, the completely original tabletop game designed by the Critical Role team and debuted originally in the Candela Obscura actual play series. Starting on November 14, the book will be available for purchase at Darrington Press Guild Stores and online via Critical Role.

Candela Obscura uses the Illuminated Worlds system, which is Darrington Press’ own D6-based RPG system, devised by Stras Acimovic and Layla Adelman. The game is set in the (fictional) world of Fairelands during a post-war industrial boom; the setting is inspired by Victorian-era aesthetics, with some ancient magicks thrown in. Here’s how the press release puts it: “Within the secret society Candela Obscura, individuals of varied talents work as a team — known as a circle — to investigate strange occurrences and dangerous magick, fighting back against a mysterious source of corruption and bleed.”

If you haven’t already watched the entire actual play series, Critical Role’s video on how to play Candela Obscura will likely help.

The Candela Obscura book comes in two versions: standard hardcover ($39.99) and limited edition hardcover ($59.99), the latter of which boasts “faux leather with an exclusive cover design, debossed and filled with metallic ink.”

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