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Official Lara Croft tabletop RPG Shadows of Truth pits your team against would-be tomb raiders

Will directly adapt and expand Crystal Dynamics’ take on the classic video game character.

Promotional art for Tomb Raider: Shadows of Truth RPG announcement
Image credit: Adrienne Valdes/Evil Hat

An official Tomb Raider tabletop RPG is coming in 2025, bringing the modern incarnation of a readily recognisable video game protagonist to the realm of pen’ n’ paper. Tomb Raider: Shadows of Truth will send teams of players into forgotten places in search of lost knowledge and those who would exploit the past for selfish means.

Shadows of Truth is the latest project from Evil Hat, the tabletop publisher behind Thirsty Sword Lesbians and Apocalypse Keys. Rae Nedjadi, the designer behind the latter RPG, will head the creation of Lara Croft’s official tabletop adaptation alongside a team of contributors that include longtime producers and rising voices in the RPG industry: Josh Hittie, Sean Nittner, Sebastian Yūe, Agatha Cheng, April Kit Walsh, Fred Hicks, Brandon O’Brien, Liam Stevens, Tali Inlow and consultants Pam Punzalan and Sahoni.

Players will first create a team from a selection of playbooks before creating their individual characters. Mention of ‘playbooks’ should tip readers off to Shadows of Truth’s using a Powered by the Apocalypse-based engine, much like a lot of Evil Hat’s biggest releases aside from Blades in the Dark. Players can choose amongst the Crafter, Scholar, Hunter, Companion, Legacy, Changed, and Reclaimer, but we don’t know much more at this point about what moves each playbook will contain. Like other PbtA RPGs, groups will need some six-sided dice. Other gamified resources mentioned include Truths, Maps, Aid and Lore - how these work is speculation at this point.

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The facilitator, or Keeper of Truth, will tie the team and their life of adventure together while also throwing traps, challenges and hubristic villains in their way. Based on scant information in a press release, campaign will of course contain plenty of obscure tombs full of artefacts and lost history, but Shadows of Truth takes a page from Crystal Dynamics’ version of Lara Croft and shoulder players with protecting these ancient cultures from powers that would either sell off the treasure or seize mysterious knowledge for their own gain.

Running parallel to these stories of adventure will be more personal explorations into what drove the players into a life of danger and discovery. Truths collected across the campaign will reveal a narrative that is both much larger than any individual but indelibly tied to the heroes they players’ might become. They are also explicitly “contemporaries of Lara Croft”, but the publisher hasn’t said whether the original Tomb Raider herself might show up.

Tomb Raider: Shadows of Truth tabletop RPG playbook spread sample
Image credit: Evil Hat

Tomb Raider: Shadows of Truth will come as a single full-colour, hardcover rulebook with all the rules that both Seekers and Keepers need to run sessions. Evil Hat is developing the RPG in house and is planning a public playtest ahead of a crowdfunding campaign sometime in 2025. More information, including a sign-up link for the public playtest, can be found on Evil Hat’s Website. Project Manager is Sean Nittner, editing is provided by Jenn Martin and layout comes from Fred Hicks. The cover art show in the announcement was illustrated by Adrienne Valdes.

This seems like a completely different tabletop RPG from the one announced back in 2021, which was advertised as an internally developed project by Crystal Dynamic's senior technical designer Matthew Gaston. Dicebreaker has reached out for clarification.

Update: Producer Sean Nittner informed Dicebreaker via email that this is "an entirely different project than the game announced in 2021."

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Tomb Raider: Shadows of Truth

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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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