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Candela Obscura Quickstart Guide

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You’re needed, investigators: join the secret society Candela Obscura to confront occult horrors from beyond, keeping hidden the true nature of magickal incursions besetting our world. 

This quickstart guide takes you on a journey through the new tabletop roleplaying game Candela Obscura as featured in the new monthly anthology series on Critical Role’s Twitch and YouTube channels! 

Get immersed in Candela Obscura’s turn-of-the-century inspired setting, learn about the secret society Candela Obscura and its rival factions, and take a spin through a sample assignment using pregenerated characters and the Illuminated Worlds System. Grab nine 6-sided dice (or pick up our gorgeous Candela Obscura Dice Set) and you’re ready to go.

The full Candela Obscura Core Rulebook will come out in late 2023, but start playing today with this free quickstart guide!

This download includes:

  • A primer to the world, people, and principles of Candela Obscura
  • Quickstart rules to the Illuminated Worlds System
  • An example assignment with advice for gamemasters 
  • NPCs and additional organizations to encounter and enhance play
  • A set of 5 pregenerated characters
  • A blank circle sheet
  • Field Guide reference sheets

Consider this your invitation, your initiation, to the secret order Candela Obscura.


  • Lead Game Design: Spenser Starke and Rowan Hall 
  • Written By: Rowan Hall and Spenser Starke
  • Additional Game Design: Christopher Grey, Tracey Harrison, and Taliesin Jaffe
  • Editor: Karen Twelves
  • Managing Editor: Matthew Key 
  • Production: Ivan Van Norman and Alex Uboldi
  • Artists: Shaun Ellis, Jamie Harrison, Amelia Leonards, Marc Moureau, Stevie Morley, Justin O’Neal, and Doug Telford
  • Layout: De La Rosa Design
  • Cultural Consultants: Basheer Ghouse, Christine Sandquist, Erin Roberts, Pam Punzalan, and Anthony Joyce-Rivera
  • Ancient Fairen Alphabet Design: Stevie Morley
  • Illuminated Worlds Game Design: Stras Acimovic and Layla Adelman
  • Original Concept Created By: Taliesen Jaffe and Chris Lockey 

Customer Reviews

Based on 156 reviews
Luiza M.
Really great, specially for beginners!

I always wanted to play these type of games, but never had the chance to even see a manual. I can see how some people who have played these type of games before can be frustrated because it doesn't contain everything that a full set would have. But as someone who just needed some way to start to understand how these types of games work, this one is amazing. It's easy to understand, it has enough information not to turn it into an overwhelming experience for beginners. This is very beginners-friendly, and because it's free, I believe even if I was an experienced player, I wouldn't mind the amount of info given. I really loved it and can't wait to start playing with some friends.


Everything was easy for me to understand and I really admire the world building :)

Michał P.
Endless potential

Very rich in content that fits in the cosmic horror genre. The only thing that I am against is the 6, 5-4, 3-1 success determination. That might be just me, but such low propability of full success given me a feeling that every action will hurt my character.

A Good Preview

While I have yet to watch any of the Candela Obscura content (I'm still getting caught up on campaign 3!) this is a good introduction to the game. There is enough to play a basic version, but it's designed to spark interest in paying for the full version once it becomes available. It's purposely missing features like customization. But for a free resource to help learn the game and promote the upcoming full release it's great! Definitely worth the free download. And huge props to the work that went into sensitivity reading. It's very clear the team worked diligently to create a socially and culturally responsible and respectful setting. It's extremely refreshing to see this work done for a TTRPG.

Clean all-round

Ready exciting look at the new game. Easy to get into, super clean look with lots of texture. A real storytelling tool. Some awkwardness getting to the download but very little. Really excited for the full release!

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