Download Critical Role’s New RPG Quickstart

The QuickStart rules for Critical Role’s upcoming game, Candela Obscura, powered by their new Illuminated Worlds system, is available as a free download in advance of the livestream of the game which starts this week.

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Candela Obscura (bestowed the hashtag #CandelaObscura) is a new tabletop roleplaying game that places you in the roles of investigators working for an esoteric order. In this game of gothic horror, individuals of varied talents are brought together under the organization Candela Obscura. You’ll pursue strange occurrences and encounter dangerous magicks, fighting back against a mysterious source of corruption and bleed. Candela Obscura is the first to use the Illuminated Worlds System, a newly designed system that uses 6-sided dice and lends itself to narrative, arc-driven play.
 

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Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
My own issue has less to do with dulling down the themes, but, rather, how CO seems to dull down and/or strips out the player-driven agency found in Blades in the Dark in favor of giving the GM authority to provide more on-the-rails GM storytelling. I talked about this in my initial reaction here. This change to BitD even gets mentioned in the Gizmodo review that is linked in the aforementioned review.

Blades in the Dark gets mentioned as inspiration, but I would hate if GMs decided to try BitD and then run BitD as if it were a more traditional or mainstream game.
I'm sure BitD talks extensively about how it doesn't work like a classic/traditional RPG. I've never seen a storygame that didn't. They kind of have to given the market.
 

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Aldarc

Legend
I'm sure BitD talks extensively about how it doesn't work like a classic/traditional RPG. I've never seen a storygame that didn't. They kind of have to given the market.
BitD talks about it, but I wouldn't put it past people to not read the rules and treat BitD as a game like D&D. FWIW, I would probably leave any BitD table where the GM told me what action I had to roll. However, it's changed in CO so that the GM tells the player what to roll. This change shouldn't be underestimated when it comes to changing the tone of the game.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
BitD talks about it, but I wouldn't put it past people to not read the rules and treat BitD as a game like D&D. FWIW, I would probably leave any BitD table where the GM told me what action I had to roll. However, it's changed in CO so that the GM tells the player what to roll. This change shouldn't be underestimated when it comes to changing the tone of the game.
Agreed. Sounds like they made a hybrid between a storygame and a more traditional RPG.
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
BitD talks about it, but I wouldn't put it past people to not read the rules and treat BitD as a game like D&D. FWIW, I would probably leave any BitD table where the GM told me what action I had to roll. However, it's changed in CO so that the GM tells the player what to roll. This change shouldn't be underestimated when it comes to changing the tone of the game.

Yeah, that was my impression of it when reading through it. I’m glad to see CR play something other than D&D, but I feel like they took the Blades system and shifted it more toward a more traditional style of play. And I think that’s likely to try and make it easier for streaming… but I think the FitD system is actually well suited for streaming. So I don’t know if the changes are necessary.

And there’s no doubt that this game and stream will serve as an intro to FitD for many, so seeing some of the more meaningful elements changed just rubs me the wrong way.

We’ll have to wait and see though!
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Yeah, that was my impression of it when reading through it. I’m glad to see CR play something other than D&D, but I feel like they took the Blades system and shifted it more toward a more traditional style of play. And I think that’s likely to try and make it easier for streaming… but I think the FitD system is actually well suited for streaming. So I don’t know if the changes are necessary.

And there’s no doubt that this game and stream will serve as an intro to FitD for many, so seeing some of the more meaningful elements changed just rubs me the wrong way.

We’ll have to wait and see though!
Maybe Matt and the gang just aren't comfortable playing a livestreamed full storygame long term.
 


TwoSix

Uncomfortably diegetic
Then why turn a story game into a traditional game rather than modify one of the many traditional games out there?
I think there's a fairly large contingent of players that like both the rules-lightness and the concepts of narrative play in principle, but aren't comfortable with moving the engine of the narrative from the DM to the players.

The overall focus on characterization and thespianism makes this sort of hybrid feel like it falls into the neo-trad camp to me.
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
Maybe Matt and the gang just aren't comfortable playing a livestreamed full storygame long term.

I mean, he's familiar with such games... I've seen him play them in the past. Most of them seem open to new rulesets... they actively seem to be moving away from D&D... so I don't see why they'd pick a game that's designed in one way, and shift it back toward a D&D type experience. A more narrative game would seem to suit a group focused so much on the entertainment element of the game.

Having said that, I do think that there's likely a bit of fear of moving away from play that's focused on GM plot so much. I haven't seen the first stream, but the gist seems to be a kind of Vaesen/Call of Cthulhu type monster mystery, with short arcs that are kind of "cases" for the circle of investigators. As such, I imagine there's a perceived need to have many of these elements determined ahead of time. Combined with the constraints of streaming and maintaining schedules and such, perhaps there's something to it.

It just seems a shame to see them try something new, and then kind of balk at at a game with more player freedom and retreat back into GM led play.
 



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