We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Mini DnD book offers Dark Souls style gameplay

Be prepared to tell your PCs "you died" as you run 5e like a Dark Souls game with this DnD book from third-party publisher Kobold Press.

DnD book a flaming warrior fighting an enormous black dragon

If you prefer a grimdark style of DnD where your players must strive to survive against dangerous foes and often fall in battle, then you might enjoy Kobold Press’ latest release, Soulslike Roleplaying. This latest DnD book from the third-party 5e publisher promises a TTRPG experience akin to the popular Dark Souls series of video games.

A 15-page PDF by Sebastian Rombach, Soulslike Roleplaying promises “a unique, exciting gaming experience based on a popular genre of video games”. While it states the entire soulslike genre as inspiration, much of the new DnD content bears a striking resemblance to FromSoftware’s original masterpiece, with features resembling gathering souls for a DnD level up, restoring humanity, and NPC invasions.

According to the product description, Soulslike Roleplaying will offer a Dungeons and Dragons playstyle in which players fight to “survive in a bleak and crumbling world” and ‘cleave’ their way to the safety of the next bonfire, preparing for difficult boss fights by leveling up and purchasing new equipment.

DnD book dark souls module preview page explaining souls

This module comes for a cost, albeit a cheap one: $3.99. It promises five essential rules for soulslike roleplaying, as well as lots of gameplay features like changes to 5e combat, new legendary DnD magic items, and new NPCs. The two-page preview explains the souls currency system as well as mechanics surrounding the spark of life (humanity) and the sparkhunters who’ll chase you when you have it.

A cursory glance shows that you’ll need other Kobold Press DnD books to get the most out of this booklet, as to find stats for the sparkhunters you need to refer to pages in KP’s Tome of Beasts.

Soulslike Roleplaying appears to be an adaptation of homebrew DnD rules the author, Rombach, created for his own personal game, which he blogged about on the Kobold Press website throughout 2023. From this we can glean a few things about module, like the fact that death is very much unlikely to be permanent.

These blogposts also discuss Ebonwrath, a black DnD dragon, encountered in the introductory adventure included in the PDF. Assuming this character works the way they do in these posts, they’re intended to kill the (first-level) players at the start of the Dark Souls DnD campaign – a popular soulslike trick.

DnD character just died? Try our guides to the best DnD backgrounds and all DnD classes for help creating a new one.