The Tome of Journeys, the third sourcebook and supplement for The Dark Souls Roleplaying Game (Dark Souls RPG), brings together the Dark Souls ruleset and terrifying denizens in a format to help you run adventures in Lordran and beyond! Not to be confused with the Lands Between, that is.
And, as always, we’re going to showcase some of the finely crafted Dark Souls miniatures courtesy of Steamforged Games that bring the book’s contents to life before your very eyes.
The Tome of Journeys for Dark Souls contains a veritable toolbox of inspiration, rules, and templates to assist Gamemasters in their pursuit of running successful, harrowing, and fun adventures in the Dark Souls universe. It’s more than just a ruleset
Okay Unkindled, let’s delve straight into the details of the book!
The Tome of Journeys for Dark Souls: Who It’s For
If you’ve already played some of the Dark Souls: The Roleplaying Game, then you’re probably already familiar with the general rules of the game and the content of the core rulebook. What The Tome of Journeys is designed to do is to better facilitate the contents of the core rulebook and The Tome of Strange Beings, mostly from a Gamemaster’s perspective.
There’s a healthy sprinkling of everything. From a worldbuilding and lore perspective, the first section deals specifically with the Points of Interest within Lordran. Each area is highlighted with the lore, random encounter table, notable loot, and important NPCs you might find there. Many also have an image to go along with the location that gives you a better idea of the resident vibes.
Gamemasters will also appreciate the two adventures contained within. I’m a bit more partial to the first, The Eyes of Death, mostly because of the creepiness from all these creatures wearing the old ruler’s face. I can’t divulge much more than that, but it’s great.
Lastly, there’s a section on running a Dark Souls RPG game, which gives some helpful tips and hints on how to improve the overall experience at the table.
For players, you’ll get three new classes: the Wanderer, the Bandit, and the Hunter. This is probably enough reason to pick up the book if you’re not a Gamemaster, and then you can also check out the new equipment while you’re at it too. At the end of the day, however, the majority of the content is geared towards running the game, so players may be disappointed if they don’t want to spoil the adventures and locations for themselves.
The Tome of Journeys for Dark Souls: The Best Parts
Now it’s time to pick out my three favorite things in The Tome of Journeys for Dark Souls! These are specific to my tastes, and just know that there is plenty more where this all comes from.
I’m always drawn to poisonous shenanigans and damage-over-time effects, so when I saw the entry for Blighttown I was immediately intrigued. One of the bosses there, Maneater Mildred, oozes with nastiness; even just her single paragraph blurb offers much in the way of roleplaying opportunities. After all, weapons don’t always need to be used to turn others into corpses. Sometimes they can be used to afflict others until the real pain can begin.
This is my favorite of the new classes, mostly because it fits the nomadic character style that I gravitate towards. They are also a combination of both melee combat and sorcery, having Dexterity and Intelligence as their core stats. Plus, you can choose your own fighting style in case you prefer to fight with two-handed weapons or just a single scimitar instead. Versatility is the name of the game here.
This is really how I play Souls games too, because I always feel the need to change my strategies constantly. Mostly because I’m not a great Souls player to begin with. To evoke that same kind of feeling in the Dark Souls RPG isn’t necessarily easy, but the Wanderer class offers at least a glimpse into that same emotion.
The Nine Covenants
Three cheers for more ways to connect lore to the mechanics of the game! I’ve been playing a lot of Blades in the Dark recently and the entire core narrative of that game revolves around crews and factions. The Nine Covenants is a way for players and Gamemasters to group like-minded individuals together and connect the video game lore to the game in a deeper way.
My favorite is the Gravelord Servant, which ironically also ties to the Eyes of Death adventure contained within the book. Successful hunts propagate the world further with the Gravelord ideals. There are also the Forest Hunters, which may help in dealing with a certain exotic weapon-dealer in Blighttown. See how this all comes full circle?
The Tome of Journeys for Dark Souls: New Miniatures!
What better way to bring the Dark Souls world to life than with the awesome miniatures from Steamforged? We’ve previously covered some of these in our Elden Ring Board Game preview article, but let’s take a look at some more!
Let’s put the cart before the dragon and show-off Kalameet, the Last Dragon! This miniature is anything but – it is a wonderfully scaled dragon miniature in the distinct draconic style that you know and love from Dark Souls. It comes in three pieces, requiring you to attach its massive wings once you take it out of the box.
I do wish the detailing on the head was a bit more prominent, but you know exactly that this is a dragon right away, and your players will cower in fear if they see this thing plopped down on the table in front of them.
Next up are the Hungry Mimics! These iconic tabletop roleplaying game staples rarely catch parties off guard anymore. Even this chest miniature has a very obvious tongue and teeth deal going on. But this might be the first (or at least a rare) time that I’ve seen a mimic with such…humanoid appendages! It’s the thing of nightmares.
The Dark Knights are fairly standard RPG fare as well, featuring heavily-armored knights with long spears. I was pleasantly surprised that the spears weren’t bent; a lot of times miniatures with these long, skinny parts are warped upon receipt. If that happens to you, just keep them in warm water for a bit and then gently bend them back.
You’ll also see the bonfire miniature! This is a welcomed sight for weary adventurers, so you’ll want to paint this up to be inviting and bright. It has the exact look as it does in the game, and has decent detailing for how difficult it is to have a sculpted fire miniature.
Lastly, let’s peek at these barrels! Each package of barrels comes with four plain and four with rope and tattered cloth. I do think that these ones are lacking in the texture and detail departments. Everything is just too smooth to be terribly realistic. On the other hand, they are basically solid and have a wonderful heft to them. Perfect for Unkindled to hurl at opposing enemies.
The Tome of Journeys for Dark Souls: Parting Thoughts
The Tome of Journeys for Dark Souls is the final installment of the core trilogy of Dark Souls: The Roleplaying Game books. Geared towards Gamemasters, it will ensure that you are confident in your ability to bring the world of Dark Souls to your players. Lean into the included lore as much as you like, and take lessons from the Session 0s and other tools included when you prepare to run other games.
As a final note, the miniatures are the bread and butter for Steamforged, and the latest Dark Souls miniatures are no exception. They are perfect for the Dark Souls RPG, and also versatile enough to slot in for other games that you might play. Dragons. Dungeons. Dragons in or around Dungeons. You know the drill.
The Tome of Lost Journeys isn’t available yet, but when it releases you can snag it directly from Steamforged, or better yet, your FLGS.
[Disclosure: Nerds on Earth was provided a copy of several Dark Souls Miniatures and a digital copy of the Tome of Journeys from Steamforged in exchange for an honest review.]