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Gloomhaven announces a tabletop RPG that will adapt the board game’s card-based mechanics

Cephalofair’s tabletop takeover launches on Backerket in 2023.

Promotional artwork from the Gloomhaven RPG.
Image: Cephalofair Games

Gloomhaven has more than just a line of miniatures planned for its Backerkit campaign in 2023. The massive board game - both in terms of physical scale and popularity - announced a tabletop RPG set in the world of Gloomhaven that will crowdfund in April.

Publisher Cephalofair dropped the announcement on Friday during Pax Unplugged 2022, saying Gloomhaven RPG will give players the tools and worldbuilding elements needed to tell their own stories within the board game’s original fantasy setting.

The currently planned single sourcebook will put a Gloom Master in the facilitator hot seat as they lead a party of adventurers through adventures that have the same sense of danger, mystery and combat puzzles exemplified in previous dungeon-crawling titles.

Frosthaven is a long-anticipated game, as Lolies explains in this video.

Combat will continue using Gloomhaven’s signature card-based system, but creator Isaac Childres mentioned the addition of a third option that “lets you perform great feats out of combat, but also opens up a new dimension in combat, letting you swing from chandeliers, kick through walls, or even convince the bad guys to stop fighting.”

Players will also be able to create a character using any of the classes and ancestries introduced throughout Gloomhaven and the upcoming sequel, Frosthaven. Cephalofair didn’t mention any restrictions - roll an Inox mindthief or Vermling brute if the mood strikes you.

The RPG will reportedly be cross-compatible with all of the previous board games, and Cephalofair COO Price Johnson said the team wants those boxes “to function as a sort of Gloom Master tool kit, to be able to craft your own adventures”. The team also hopes to craft it as a solid entry point for those curious about a series that has dominated tabletop conversations since its initial release in 2019.

A screenshot for the Solo Scenarios DLC for Gloomhaven Digital

Author and game designer BJ Hensley will serve as creative director for the project. Before joining Cephalofair earlier this year as director of art and graphic design, Hensley was the founder of Playground Adventures and vice president of Lone Wolf Development, which creates and maintains digital tools for tabletop RPG campaign management.

The Gloomhaven RPG hit the PAX Unplugged 2022 stage immediately following the announcement for a live play demo that included Tanya DePass, Jerry Holkins, Danny Quach, Monica Paprocki, Alexander TJ Theoharis and Childres.

Dicebreaker will have more details on how the Gloomhaven RPG plays later in the show. More info on the Backerkit campaign, which will also fund the previously announced line of miniatures and a secondary printing of Frosthaven, can be found on its dedicated page.

Update: Hensley's position and studio names have been corrected.

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Chase Carter

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Chase is a freelance journalist and media critic. He enjoys the company of his two cats and always wants to hear more about that thing you love. Follow him on Twitter for photos of said cats and retweeted opinions from smarter folks.

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