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This Castlevania-inspired book adds vampires and harpies to your D&D games

What is an RPG? A miserable pile of rules!

Nightworld is a manual for tabletop roleplaying games that’s inspired by the retro video game series Castlevania.

A manual that’s designed to work with either the fantasy tabletop RPG Dungeons & Dungeons 5E, the Survive This!! gameplay system - that has players rolling for various attributes or to withstand attacks - or in a system neutral form, Nightworld is themed around the various gothic monsters found in the Castlevania universe. Featuring artwork that’s a clear homage to the original 1986 video game, Nightworld enables game masters to augment their campaigns and one-shots with creatures from the horror series.

Centered around the Conclave of the Apocalypse, Nightworld sees players encounter Barnabus, The Lord of All Vampires, as he attempts to destroy or enslave the entirety of humanity. Gathering up his scores of minions and monsters, Barnabus is hatching a terrible plan to summon an even greater evil to enact his bidding and save him from his equally ambitious rivals. As the monster hunters of this world, the players will need to embark on an epic horror TRPG quest to stop the vampire lord and save humanity from his grasp.

The medusa page for the Nightworld TRPG supplement

The zine features a selection of deadly creatures inspired by the roster of enemies found in the original trilogy of Castlevania video games released for the Nintendo Entertainment System. This bestiary includes the Bat Lord – whose quick wings enables it to have advantage on initiative - the clawed and winged Canopy Harpy and, of course, those dreaded Medusa heads, whose frustrating patterns ability references the enemy’s infamous behaviour in the Castlevania video games.

Aside from all the classic Castlevania minions players encounter, the tabletop RPG party can also expect to have run-ins with several intimidating boss characters that originate from the video game series – such as the dangerous Grim Reaper, who is surrounded by whirling blades and has the ability to teleport across the battlefield.

Nightworld was written by Josh Palmer – who has previously worked on other TRPG projects such as Survive This!! Zombies! and the Stranger Things-inspired Dark Places and Demogorgons – with artwork from Phil Stone, whose portfolio includes Survive This!! Fantasy and We Die Young.

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Wheels runs through the best horror-themed TRPGs out there.

Castlevania is a video game franchise that began with the original entry that has players controlling legendary vampire hunter Simon Belmont in his quest to kill Dracula. The series continued with two more releases on the NES, more entries on the Super Nintendo System and eventually the beloved Playstation 1 entry – Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. An animated TV series based on the franchise was released on Netfilx from 2017 to 2021 and featured notable characters such as Trevor Belmont and Alucard.

The Kickstarter campaign for Nightworld is live until May 31st, with a pledge of $7 (£6) getting backers a PDF version of the book for the gameplay system of their choice.

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Alex Meehan avatar
Alex Meehan: After writing for Kotaku UK, Waypoint and Official Xbox Magazine, Alex became a member of the Dicebreaker editorial family. Having been producing news, features, previews and opinion pieces for Dicebreaker for the past three years, Alex has had plenty of opportunity to indulge in her love of meaty strategy board games and gothic RPGS. Besides writing, Alex appears in Dicebreaker’s D&D actual play series Storybreakers and haunts the occasional stream on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel.
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