Critical Role’s Candela Obscura Explains Its Horror-Themed Character Classes

Critical Role‘s Candela Obscura creators have broken down the character classes for the gaslamp-style, horror-themed TTRPG.

Per Polygon, lead designers Spenser Starke and Rowan Hall revealed more details about Candela Obscura’s character classes. The TTRPG, which takes place in an Industrial Revolution-esque magical realm called the Fairelands, centers around a “secret society of supernatural investigators.” Filled with mystery and horror themes, the game includes character classes inspired by classic TTRPGs and its historical setting.

Incorporating that era in a way that would appeal to modern audiences came with some complications. “Speaking as a queer woman, it’s not really fun being a woman who can’t go to college, couldn’t marry another woman, and is going to experience hate and oppression on all sides,” Hall said. “And yet, that doesn’t stop people from wanting to play in that place of incredible technological advancement, [a time] when the layman didn’t know if magick if ghosts if spirituality was real, because science also felt like magick.”

Candela Obscura’s Character Classes

Candela Obscura has five roles: Face, Muscle, Scholar, Slink, and Weird. These include Journalist and Magician for Face; Explorer and Soldier for Muscle; Doctor and Professor for Scholar; Criminal and Detective for Slink; and Medium and Occultist for Weird. Face characters act as the charismatic members of the group, while Muscle leans into combat. Scholars, meanwhile, tend to be the most intelligent members of the party, while Slinks fill the traditional rogue role.

Deviating from more traditional roles in TTRPGS, the weird encompasses the spooky atmosphere of Candela Obscura. “You have a game that deals with spookiness and monsters and has death,” Hall said, “but then you also have a real world where people are grappling with death and what that means. […] The medium sits in this unique place of having to decide if you’re telling the truth or not.”

Critical Role’s Candela Obscura releases on November 14. Those interested can purchase it at local retailers or online at Darrington Press. Critical Role also released a Candela Obscura quick start guide, available at the same link.