Gothic horror and monster hunting tabletop RPGs that are heavily inspired by the Castlevania franchises of platformer action games.
The Castlevania The franchise, both the long-running platformer action game series and the Netflix animated series, distills a thousand tropes of motley gothic horror in a setting of spooky castles, vampire lords commanding legions of hell, and monster-hunting heroes who they challenge them. . These tabletop role-playing games, in turn, exude the essence of Castlevania franchise in a series of compact rules to create pre-modern monster hunting player characters and pit them against the haunting and vengeful lords of darkness; Vampire slaying whips are optional, but always welcome.
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“Castlevania” is the name of the haunted and labyrinthine castle, and Dracula is the dark and undead lord who commands its residents. These are the common elements of the plot of almost all Castlevania video game and animated adaptation, frequently starring different protagonists of the Belmont Monster Hunter Clan and taking place at different times in European history. The motivations of Dracula, a character borrowed from Bram Stoker’s horror novel of the same name, also change from adaptation to adaptation. Sometimes he is a cruel tyrant who seeks immortality and dominance over everything, and other times he is a tragic figure who seeks revenge on the human race who burned his true love at the stake.
None of the following tabletop role-playing games are official adaptations of the Castlevania series (itself a free adaptation of Dracula, Carmillaand other horror novels of vampires against vampire hunters). Still, the creators of these tabletop RPGs are unabashedly open about their love for the Castlevania games, and their desire to create role-playing game systems that are poured into gothic horror action and castle exploration while also questioning the motivations, stories, and turbulence of hunters and monsters, characters who are caught in an endless cycle of conflict. , defeat and resurrection. .
Castlevania-like RPG: What’s so horrible about having a curse?
The title of the gothic horror RPG. What’s so horrible about having a curse? is a salute to the “What a horrible night to have a curse” meme, a recurring quote from Castlevania II: Simon’s Search, one of the previous entries in the Castlevania Serie. Like the main protagonist of that game, What’s so horrible about having a curse? designed by Lucas Valensa, is about a group of vampire hunters in a dark land who must defeat a monster lord to lift the curse that has been imposed on them. The mechanics of this game come directly from the minimalist RPG. What’s so cool about outer space?, where a player rolls 2d6 and counts their various advantages and disadvantages to see how well they do at certain tasks and whether or not the dark power of their Curse will overwhelm them.
Castlevania-like RPG: Rhapsody Of Blood
Posted by UFO Press, Blood rhapsody is a Gothic Horror tabletop role-playing game built around the modified version of the “Powered By The Apocalypse” system, redesigned to tell stories of player characters from the family line in different generations. In this particular case, each PC in Blood rhapsody belongs to a bloodline of monster-hunting heroes, who vowed to destroy the castle that appears once per generation and to dethrone the corrupt Regent who commands the creatures that lurk in its corridors. The character sheets from “Playbook” by Blood rhapsody, Describing different archetypes of Gothic horror heroes, they come in two varieties: playbooks for the founders of a heroic bloodline, and playbooks for future generations of characters who inherit the will of their bloodline.
Castlevania-like RPG: Demon Castle Dracula
I like Blood rhapsody, the role play Demon Castle Dracula borrows a lot from “Powered By The Apocalypse” system, which uses narrative game rules and archetype-centric character sheets to tell a tale of heroes touched by darkness who storm a dark castle to thwart Dracula’s evil plans.
Thematically Demon Castle Dracula, one of “The nerd paper games” Created by Rob Hebert, it has a much more compressed theme, focusing on a single dark night of supernatural danger in which the vampire-hunting PCs explore Dracula’s changing castle and reminisce about the moments that led them to their current destination. The icons for character sheet features, such as health, coins, or bonuses, are also designed to closely resemble the icons on the classic interface. Castlevania Titles.
Castlevania-like RPG: Under a Cursed Moon
Under a cursed moon takes inspiration from various works of gothic horror fiction and supernatural fiction: video games such as Bloodborne or Castlevania, comics like Hellboyand tv shows like Angel, among others. The playbook for each character in this “PBTA” system is a monster hunter of some kind: champions of light, masters of weapons, wielders of dark magic, or even monsters who challenge their cursed nature to fight against relatives they have embraced. its monstrosity. .
Unlike the other RPGs listed above, Beneath a cursed moon available in itch.io, downplays the idea of ”Castle Crawls” in favor of an investigation-based game, where players attempt to unravel the secret schemes of monsters and villains that have embedded themselves in the fabric of societies they wish to overthrow and corrupt.
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