Fans of the board game Gloomhaven got a big surprise at PAX Unplugged. During the event, Cephalofair Games and Gloomhaven's lead designer Isaac Childres announced that a Gloomhaven RPG was officially in the works. Given that the board game has received multiple lines of miniatures, an expansion sequel, and even a digital release, the idea of allowing players to make their own stories in this world is a fertile one.
The Gloomhaven RPG announcement
According to an official press release by Cephalofair, the Gloomhaven RPG will continue to build upon what made the board game so beloved. While the rules of the game will allow for unique takes on lore as well as original stories spun by the GM or "Gloom Master," it will not use dice or set character builds. In fact, this RPG adaptation will continue the series tradition of minimizing random chance and rewarding clever tactics by refining the board game's card-based skill tests. In addition, the Creative Director of the RPG will be BJ Hensley. Hensley is an acclaimed RPG designer, influencer, and published author. Her work includes contributions to Kobold Press and Rogue Genius, as well as being the Founder of our own organization Playground Adventures.
But the Gloomhaven RPG will not just be a repackaged version of the board game. According to Childres, there will be several changes to the game, allowing for greater player expression. First, you can be any combo of class and ancestry. This is because both classes and ancestries will have their own unique sets of cards, allowing for different combinations. Second, the Gloomhaven RPG will be designed to be cross-compatible with the Gloomhaven board games. Childres explains:
We want our community to feel like each big-box campaign board game they’ve invested in, is able to function as a sort of Gloom Master tool kit, to be able to craft your own adventures using map tiles, enemy standees/miniatures, tokens, overlay tiles, and more. You can also just pick up the core Gloomhaven: RPG sourcebook and its accompanying card set and play without having owned a single one of our past titles.
The Gloomhaven RPG will go live as a crowdfunding campaign on Backerkit on April 2023.