An upcoming tabletop roleplaying game inspired by the likes of Diablo and Castlevania was co-created by writers behind the original Dungeons & Dragons setting.
Hellguard: Curse of Caina is a tabletop RPG that was co-designed by Ed Greenwood – the author behind the original Forgotten Realms setting of D&D and several adventures for the TRPG – and Gwendolyn Kestrel, who co-wrote the core rulebook for D&D 4E. The TRPG takes place in the world of Caina, which has been in the grips of an infernal war for far too long.
Taking inspiration from hellish settings such as the dungeon-crawler video games in Activision-Blizzard's Diablo series, as well as the Castlevania video game series published by Konami, Hellguard sees players exploring a dark land haunted by supernatural evils that they must fight. As the Hellguard group, players are tasked with conducting various investigations whilst keeping the hordes of hell back from Caina, applying their skills of deduction with “anime-inspired” combat abilities. Players will be able to choose from a selection of classes, each with their own pre-generated character to help the group to get started as quickly as possible.
Hellguard can be combined with any existing tabletop RPG gameplay system that the game master and players want to use, with advice featured in the core rulebook as to how the setting can be combined with a system. The horror TRPG is also intended to be played in one-shots, meaning that entire stories are played out over the space of a single session. The rulebook features suggestions for potential story-hooks, with advice from co-creator Noura Ibrahim on exploring dark themes with people’s safety in mind.
Hellguard will feature a series of one-shot adventures for players to experience such as an investigation into the disappearance of a young man from a local village, a sudden reuniting with the dead, the murder of a priestess and the ancient ruins of an ancestral stronghold. Along the way, players will encounter any number of Hell’s agents, which they must fight or flee to continue their case.
Besides being co-created by Greenwood and Kestrel, Hellguard: Curse of Caina was co-designed by Max Carr and Mikael D Seabag, as well as Richard Lee Byers – a writer for Warhammer and Vampire: The Masquerade universe, World of Darkness – Into the Motherlands designer and Dimension 20 player B Dave Walters and Michele Carter, who has previously worked on Dungeons & Dragons. Granite Glyph Publishing is responsible for releasing the tabletop RPG.
The Kickstarter campaign for Hellguard: Curse of Caina is live until August 2nd, with a pledge of $40 (£34) getting backers a copy of the physical rulebook in January 2023. Alternatively, a digital PDF version is available for a pledge of $20 (£17), which will be released in March 2023.