Steamforged Games recently announced an officially licensed Dark Souls role-playing game that, like most of its previous work, will be based on the D&D 5th Edition ruleset. It will be something of a homecoming project for the specialist studio, which exploded thanks to the wild success of Dark Souls: The Board Game, a lavish production that raised over $5 million on kickstarter.
Realizing this was a good thing, Steamforged went on to make many other game adaptations, including Resident Evil board games.
The developer has drip-dropped information on the new approach it’s taking with the RPG Dark Souls, but has now revealed that at the heart of its system will be one of the game’s signature elements: What Happens. does it when you die.
“There is no death save in Dark Souls: The Roleplaying Game. You reach position 0 [health/stamina], and you are dead. Until you respawn near the bonfire, of course.
“You will have lost all of your gathered souls – yes, sorry, the upgrade may take a bit longer – and there is a significant risk that you will lose a part of yourself.”
This of course makes perfect sense, but it is also a rule full of potential.
“You’ll start your campaign with a character concept. Each time you die, you risk shrinking parts of yourself, leaving you with a bullet. A blind hollow. And a quick note: if, during a fight, half your party dies, then the whole party fails. And wakes up, in front of a bonfire, soulless and having to start all over again…”
Steamforged feels that this makes the rules of the game world “a little harder, a little darker”, which also fits the overall mood of Dark Souls. Of all the spinoffs the game has inspired, a tabeltop RPG seems like one of the best fits: the world in these games is already built around ambiguities ripe for exploration, with countless dark passages of story waiting for players’ imaginations to light up.
Dark Souls: The Role-Playing Game will be available for pre-order starting tomorrow.