Divinity: Original Sin 2 is undoubtedly one of the best RPGs of the past two years running, but developers Larian still have some plans for it. Today they rolled out The Prison Of Shadows, a new campaign, based on Ulisses Spiele’s popular German pen-and-paper setting The Dark Eye to be played with friends in D:OS2’s tabletop-inspired Game Master mode. This also gave the studio an excuse to get into costume and ham it up in the oddly adorable live-action trailer below. They streamed the campaign debut live on Twitch, and we’ve embedded that below too.
While it was never going to catch on to the same degree as its single-player and more traditional co-op modes, the GM mode seems to have found its niche. There’s been a steady trickle of user-made GM campaigns and resources ever since the game’s original launch in 2017 and a fresh influx with the 2018 Definitive Edition re-release. Until today, there’s not been much from Larian themselves though, and I’m excited to see just how much scripting and craft has been poured into The Prison Of Shadows, this four-to-six player (counting the GM) experience.
Their choice to go with The Dark Eye is an interesting one, but it makes sense. Larian’s first ever project was originally intended to be an official The Dark Eye game, but things fell through , and it was eventually reforged into what we know as Divine Divinity. Larian’s history seems to involve a lot of failing forwards and upwards into greater things – good for us that they refused to give up, eh? Tangentially, the setting was also used in the 90s Realms Of Arkania RPG trilogy (the first of which was remade in 2013), and a few modern games, including Daedalic’s Blackguards series.
Interestingly, for those who’d rather skip straight to the tabletop instead of playing with virtual miniatures, a PDF version of Larian’s Prison Of Shadow’s campaign is also free here. While tabletop folks will need to know The Dark Eye’s rules to play it, it also doubles as a game master’s handbook for running the scenario online with players, if they decide to go off the beaten path. It also details in where to go next once the campaign is over. It’s a lovely little confluence of tabletop and modern computer RPG-ing, and hopefully gets some folk into character sheets and dice-rolling.
The Prison Of Shadows is out now as a free update to Divinity: Original Sin 2. You’ll need friends with the game to play with too, of course, but you won’t have to bring your own dice.