Critical Role Announces Game Master for Candela Obscura: Tide & Bone


Candela Obscura, Critical Role’s short-form horror anthology utilizing their new Illuminated Worlds TTRPG system, welcomes Aabria Iyengar as Game Master for its forthcoming otherworldly investigations.

Tide & Bone will serve as the third chapter of Candela Obscura, a series of mini-campaigns set in the fictional Fairelands. Unlike Critical Role’s long-running Dungeons & Dragons campaigns, Candela Obscura’s three-episode chapters represent a more accessible jumping-on point for new fans. Each fresh journey into the Fairelands offers a cast of TTRPG stars that combines members of Critical Role’s core cast with new faces and frequent collaborators like Iyengar.

In 2021, Iyengar became the first GM outside of Matthew Mercer to play in the sandbox of Critical Role’s core world when she ran Exandria Unlimited. Iyengar later returned to helm the follow-up two-shot Exandria Unlimited: Kymal and appeared as a role-player in Exandria Unlimited: Calamity and Critical Role’s ongoing Bells Hells campaign. Aside from her Critical Role credits, Iyengar’s a veritable juggernaut in the TTRPG community, starring as Suvi in Worlds Beyond Number, frequently collaborating with The Adventure Zone, and serving as Dimension 20’s reigning GM for Burrow’s End. In Exandria Unlimited’s climatic battle against Ted and her borderline unBEARable battle map in Burrow’s End, Iyengar has proven more than capable of executing the horror intrinsic to Candela Obscura’s storytelling.

In addition to its short-form nature, pivoting from high fantasy to turn-of-the-century cosmic horror allows Critical Role to find new audiences through Candela Obscura. Thus far, the miniseries’ first two chapters have served as an appetizer, introducing potential players to the Illuminated Worlds system. By the time Iyengar steps behind the GM screen on November 30, the rulebook for Candela Obscura will finally be available for role-players eager to explore the Fairelands in home games.

Previously, the game master role for Candela Obscura has been held by Mercer and Spenser Starke, one of the game’s designers, who brought a noteworthy cinematic spin to the RPG’s storytelling. Forgoing the vests of her predecessors, the first trailer for Candela Obscura: Tide & Bone promises that Iyengar will bring another distinct contribution to the Fairelands.

The GM will be accompanied in her story by a cast that includes Critical Role core castmates Sam Riegel and Liam O’Brien as well as Gina Darling, Ashly Burch, and Noshir Dalal, who have each worked with the channel on past one-shots.  

About the author

Tara McCauley
Nerd at large, Tara McCauley's happiest playing or writing about tabletop role playing games. In addition to The Escapist, Tara has gushed about her favorite pop culture topics at CBR, MXDWN, and Monstrous Femme. When she's not writing or rolling dice, Tara can be found catching up on her favorite sitcoms, curled up with a horror comic, or waxing poetic about the WNBA.