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The Dark Souls tabletop role-playing game will be based on 5th edition D&D rules

From Steamforged, makers of the Dark Souls, Resident Evil, and Horizon Zero Dawn board games

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

A tabletop role-playing game based on the Dark Souls video game is on the way from Steamforged Games. Dark Souls: The Roleplaying Game is an officially licensed product produced in partnership with FromSoftware and Bandai Namco, the game’s original developer and publisher respectively. It will be based on the open source version of 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons. Pre-orders will begin in February.

The sequel to the cult classic action role-playing game Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls came out in 2011 and was released for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Its brutal mixture of dungeon crawling and twitch-based melee combat was critically acclaimed, earning FromSoftware dozens of game-of-the-year awards. It has since spawned two excellent sequels of its own, and paved the way for a whole new genre known as “soulslikes.”

Previous tabletop RPG products from Steamforged have all been compatible with the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Chief among them is its Epic Encounters line, a series of unique, off-the-shelf adventures sold with exclusive miniatures and double-sided battle mats. It’s also responsible for the beginner-focused Animal Adventures RPG Starter Set, which is also compatible with 5e D&D.

Steamforged Games burst into the mainstream in 2016 with a staggering $5.4 million Kickstarter campaign for Dark Souls: The Board Game. Despite an excellent demo at Gen Con that year, the final game received mixed reviews. That hasn’t stopped the British developer and publisher from pushing forward, leveraging co-founder Matt Hart’s experience in the video game industry to form new partnerships with popular franchises. It has moved from strength to strength over the past five years with a number of crowdfunded projects, including a trilogy of Resident Evil board games, a Horizon Zero Dawn board game, and a Monster Hunter: World board game.

Update (Jan. 27): Steamforged confirmed on Thursday that Dark Souls: The Roleplaying Game will be based on the 5th edition rules of Dungeons & Dragons. It also revealed the cover, which we’ve included below.

A render of the cover art for Dark Souls: The Roleplaying Game shows a knight moving into a darkened shrine. A bonfire glows to one side. Image: Steamforged Games

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