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Candela Obscura Core Rulebook

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All purchases of the Candela Obscura Core Rulebook from Critical Role shops include a PDF version.

Investigators, ready yourselves. Candela Obscura needs you! 

The Candela Obscura Core Rulebook is a fully detailed guide on playing and gamemastering the collaborative investigative horror tabletop roleplaying game. As an investigator of the paranormal secret society Candela Obscura, you and your circle are charged with exploring, fighting, and protecting the people of Newfaire from supernatural dangers lurking in the folds of a bustling world unaware of the occult magick simmering beneath. Candela Obscura is the very first game to use the Illuminated Worlds System as well as the first full RPG from Darrington Press, as featured in the ongoing anthology series on Critical Role.

Inside of the Candela Obscura Core Rulebook you’ll discover:

  • 204 detailed pages, with a satin ribbon to keep your place.
  • The core rules to play and create your Candela Obscura investigators and their circles.
  • Over 90 pages detailing the turn of the century-inspired setting of the Fairelands, and in detail the city of Newfaire and the ancient ruins beneath known as Oldfaire.
  • 4 full example assignments for gamemasters to dive in with their players.
  • Over 30 example assignments to explore far-flung corners of the Fairelands and the organizations and people operating within it.
  • An extensive guide to preparing for and gamemastering Candela Obscura.
  • Immersive, in-world ephemera and notes strewn throughout the chapters—illustrations, sketches, research notes, correspondences, advertisements, maps, and more to bring the Fairelands to life.
Now is your time to accept the call of Candela Obscura! Ready your dice and accessories and get ready to play!

For more information on the game and links to videos of gameplay and resources, visit

Full Credits: 

  • Lead Game Design: Spenser Starke and Rowan Hall
  • Written By: Rowan Hall and Spenser Starke
  • Editor: Karen Twelves
  • Managing Editor: Matthew Key
  • Production: Ivan Van Norman and Alex Uboldi
  • Proofreading: Jacky Leung
  • Additional Game Design: Christopher Grey, Tracey Harrison, and Taliesin Jaffe
  • Layout: De La Rosa Design
  • Cultural Consultants: Basheer Ghouse, Pam Punzalan, Erin Roberts, Christine Sandquist, Liam Stevens
  • Military & Political Consultant: Anthony Joyce-Rivera
  • Game Development Consultant: Mike Underwood
  • Additional Editing: Jared Deiro, Darcy Ross
  • Additional Writing: Carlos Cisco, Tracey Harrison, Anthony Joyce-Rivera, Sam Maggs, Mike Underwood
  • Graphic Design: Aaron Monroy, Bryan Weiss
  • Artists: Shaun Ellis, Jamie Harrison, Allie Irwin, Amelia Leonards, Lily McDonnell, Justin O’Neal, Sunga Park, Gustavo Rodrigues Pelissari, Doug Telford
  • Map Design: Marc Moureau
  • Cover Artist: De La Rosa Design 
  • Artist / Ancient Languages / Spell Design: Stevie Morley
  • Original Concept Created By: Taliesin Jaffe and Chris Lockey

Customer Reviews

Based on 136 reviews
Lorenzo Barile

The book Is awesome!
Marvelous designs and drawings.
The system is good and fluent for horror games, can't wait to run long and terrific campaings with It!

Mason Joiner
Super cool

Love having this handbook of the very cool Candela Obscura. The only TTRPG I used to want to play was D&D. Now I can’t wait to get a group at my Candela table.

Ramona Kes

Plenty of useful information and the quality is magnificent.

Lily Kiewra
simply delightful

This game feels like something you and your friends should play sitting in a circle in a dark room with flashlights held under your chins, and I mean that in the best way. It's atmospheric, and the mechanics don't bog down play, even when you've only just learned the system. It's also very quick to pick up. If you're looking for a game with crunch and heavy optimization (and that is a thing I do sometimes enjoy), this is not it, but if you're looking for a structure to use to tell a story with your friends, this accomplishes that goal beautifully.
I find the claims in the book that the world of Newfaire does not have our institutionalized prejudices somewhat laughable, as they very much crop up in certain notes about how the church or the army or other structures are described to function, and the book explicitly deals with classism. However, those notes exist more as a way to open up options for players (nothing in the book tells you that you have to play a certain type of person to be a certain character) than to limit what issues you can tackle in your horror. I appreciate how the game encourages the GM to be explicit with players about the consequences of a roll before it happens and how it specifically does not fill in the full map so you can make the world your own. It also enables flexibility in how punishing your table wants encounters to be by giving multiple ideas for consequences for failure, whether that means forcing your Circle to try another approach to a problem or instantly dealing with a scar for a particularly deadly mistake.
Oh, also the book's design is gorgeous. I love the little ribbon bookmark, and the art is so helpful for giving the world texture and detail. I want to use every single one of the example monsters.
I've deeply enjoyed playing this with my friends— enough to move me to the effort of writing a review— and I strongly recommend this system to people looking to expand their repertoire, especially those in search of story-focused horror.


Beautiful, now I just need to find some people to play with.

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