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Hellboy: The Roleplaying Game

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Get ready to become a member of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (B.P.R.D.) and begin investigating occult perils that threaten the world’s very existence. Your team will explore gothic locations, hunt clues, discover artifacts, and face off against terrifying foes.

The Hellboy-verse Header Image

The Hellboy universe is vast. Absolutely vast. It spans, well, a whole universe. From the icy depths of dimensionless space where the ancient elder beings, the Ogdru Jahad, wait eager to return, to the wintry tracts of a Russia preserved in Baba Yaga’s dream. It contains an entirely new and secret history of the world, preserved in a lost language. It’s a universe filled with magic, with arcane science, with Nazis who need punching, and with characters who are always that little bit more than you expect them to be. It’s a universe of stories. And with this RPG, you get to tell your own.

This core rulebook is broken down into three main parts, providing all of the necessary background and rules needed to play. provides everything you need for play, including:

Introduction

The world isn’t what it seems, you know this, right? You look smart, you look like you’ve seen some stuff. On the surface, sure, there are still supermarkets and pubs, wrestling bouts and cinemas, but beneath that there is another world. Another world that pokes its way through the glass and steel of our world, pokes its way through and demands to be seen. It’s usually the colour of blood. You know the score — vanished children, nightmare beasts erupting in the centre of a suburban town full of nice, prosperous parents with gum-chewing, grinning kids. The old stories that fill books even now are all true. Every fairy tale, every half-murmured urban myth, every fanciful drawing in the corner of a medieval map…every one of them is true. And the world needs protecting. 

That’s what you’re here for. That’s why you’ve been invited to join us, here at the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. You’re one of those who’ve seen the darkness lying beneath, but you’ve not blocked it out, or pretended it wasn’t real. You’ve put yourself in its path. You’re the kind of person we need. We want you on the team. But let’s bring you up to speed first…

Part I: Joining the BPRD

The Legendary Agents of the BPRD

Comprehensive Origins and Roles that allow you to create your very own paranormal investigator.
  • Chapter 1: OriginsCharacter creation in Hellboy: The RPG allows for endless customisation, limited only by your imagination. From unique agent origins to the various roles on offer within the B.P.R.D., you have enormous scope for creating a truly unique character.
  • Chapter 2: RolesAgents of the B.P.R.D. are not ordinary people. They have been moulded by training and their experiences to defend against creatures that most only meet in their nightmares. Roles are the primary method through which this training and experience is quantified in game terms. The six most common roles are presented in this chapter, divided across the three main departments of the Bureau. Agents often split their careers between departments and roles, accruing knowledge and experience to better combat the unknown and allow teams to have a unique way of operating as the diversity of experience shapes their approach to a B.P.R.D. Case File.
  • Chapter 3: Customization - Feats represent talents or areas of expertise that gives a character special capabilities. It embodies training, experience, and abilities beyond what a class provides.
  • Chapter 4: Equipment - As a government agency that specialises in the paranormal, the B.P.R.D. has a wide range of equipment and technology available to support its agents. They are an agency, however, which means accessing that equipment can sometimes involve more than a little bureaucracy.

Part II: Mastering the Basics

The complete 5E ruleset, with some tweaks and changes to bring the system fully into Hellboy's world. It includes new mechanics for options such as Ingenuity and Doom, designed to capture the flavor and strange dynamics of the Mignolaverse.

  • Chapter 5: The BasicsThe 5E system provides the mechanical framework, enabling players to craft outlandish tales within the world of Hellboy: The RPG. If you are not familiar with 5E, most of the core mechanics are introduced here. Even if you are experienced with 5E, however, it would still be worth familiarising yourself with this section as there are some differences to how injuries are handled, for instance.
  • Chapter 6: Backup Agents - Some investigations and sites are just too vast or dangerous for a small team of agents. Although careful planning and preparation will mitigate a few of the additional considerations in these cases, one of the most obvious extra steps is simply putting extra personnel on the ground. The main team still have a task to accomplish and remain in place as the lead agents on the investigation. Backup agents simply provide additional eyes, ears, and expertise towards concluding the case. 
  • Chapter 7: Combat -  
  • Chapter 8: Ingenuity and Doom - The agents of the B.P.R.D. are no strangers to flashes of Ingenuity, good fortune, or brilliance, just as they are old friends with the impending Doom that follows their work across the globe. To represent this, Hellboy: The RPG uses the Ingenuity and Doom system to give players and GMs a mechanical backing that propels certain dice rolls into a narrative opportunity beyond simple success or failure.

Part III: Conquering the Darkness

Definitive advice for GMs on running games set within the Mignolaverse, including tips for creating paranormal locations and strange pocket dimensions, rites and rituals, weird science, and occult groups.

  • Chapter 9: Running a Game - The adventures set in Hellboy’s universe are far from the generic fantasy trope—show up at a dungeon, fight through traps and enemies, kill the dragon or mad wizard (although there are one or two of those running around), steal the treasure, and make for the tavern to have a pint. Most Case Files will and should include mystery, horror, and/or the paranormal. This chapter is designed to act as guidance in creating adventures suitable for Hellboy: The RPG and out of those adventures, a campaign.
  • Chapter 10: Rituals and Magic - Magic in the Hellboy universe is referred to as folklore magic. It is a pervasive force of nature that can be called upon by any creature with sufficient willpower or training. That being said, being born into the world of witches and curses certainly makes it easier on all concerned. The archive is inconclusive, but there are recorded instances of agents being able to utilise the rituals and magic that the creatures and cultists usually use to further their goals to reverse the damage.
  • Chapter 11: Other Weirdness - Weird science is usually the anachronistic product of a single, self-trained “scientist” with links to the occult. It can loosely be defined as a category of science where exceptional advances in technology are made possible through the interpretation of discounted theories, superstition, and eldritch lore. Occasionally, several such scientists gather together to utilise each other’s advances as parts of a greater whole. These cabals, such as Project Ragna Rok, are very fragile things, as the egos of the scientists involved are massive and a very charismatic leader is needed to hold them together.

Part IV: Agents and Enemies

A comprehensive bestiary of foes, plus statistics for several legendary characters such as Abe, Hellboy, Liz, and others.
  • Chapter 12: Foes and Allies - 

The Jungles of the Mind

A complete stand-alone adventure for up to six players that can also serve as a continuation of the scenario included in the PWYW Hellboy: The RPG Quickstart.

Three months ago, B.P.R.D. agents discovered a cult of monstrous frog creatures in the hidden basement of Uxley Hall. The dilapidated structure has been scheduled for demolition. Calling in favours in the House of Lords, the Osiris Club were given sole custody of the site until its destruction. Under their instruction, a team of cave divers—who just so happen to be members of the Special Boat Service (SBS)—were sent into the depths of the pool to discover what treasures might be found.

Two of the three divers returned with tales that only those with truly open minds could believe—lands of vast and dangerous jungles dotted with ruins of impossibly old machines, all inhabited by strange ethereal beings. The Osiris Club, whether unwilling to risk their own or enacting some secret machination, has reached out to its old partner, the B.P.R.D.

The B.P.R.D. has once again agreed to investigate.

Appendices

  • Appendix A: Integrations - Hellboy: The RPG is a complete and comprehensive system in its own right. So long as you have dice, paper, and pencils, you can play the game straight out of this book without issue through a method referred to as “theatre of the mind”. Using this approach, the GM simply describes the scene and any pertinent components verbally, with the players responding to the mental picture by verbalising their own positions and actions in relation to the GM’s depiction.
    Many players, however, like to use maps and figures as a means to portray scenarios and identify where characters and creatures are positioned in relation to the scene. There are several ways to depict the actions of your B.P.R.D. agents in three dimensions. This appendix introduces rules and suggestions for integrating the extensive range of miniatures and components from Hellboy: The Boardgame into your roleplaying sessions.
  • Appendix B: Hellboy Timelines - Timelines, plural. And yes, this appendix contains spoilers for multiple graphic novel series. 

Index

Like most indexes, this one is an alphabetical listing of names, subjects, etc., followed by the page numbers on which they're mentioned.

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Hellboy: The Roleplaying Game

Inspired by Mike Mignola’s legendary tales of horror, myth, and folklore, Hellboy: The Roleplaying Game is an immersive tabletop experience that brings his world to life.

Hellboy RPG BPRD Field Manual Hellboy Quickstart The Witches

The Korhonen Series

Cannister 7 The Wet Werewolf


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Reviews (0)
Discussions (6)
Customer avatar
December 06, 2023 1:50 am UTC
I like this game but a lot of rules are very unclear, and I think the worst ones are related to Psychics. They’ll be unplayable without errata.

_Why are Lesser Manifestations superior to main Psychic Manifestations? It makes no sense. Plus you can use them whenever you want, right? I mean, the psychokinesis feat seems interesting but why would you take it while you can simply use the Pyrokinesis Lesser Manifestation (which is even more powerful and levels up faster)?
_The « mutating power » option is probably the most unclear thing in this book. How does it work? Does it simply make the character more powerful?
Customer avatar
Rafał P November 12, 2023 11:18 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi I saw a Koshchei adventure PDF now I can not find it anywhere, can you help?
Customer avatar
Scott K July 12, 2023 1:03 am UTC
I have a hard copy. Is there anywhere we can find explanations or errata? Really want to get started but there are some things that aren't very clear in the book.
Reply
Customer avatar
Mark R July 12, 2023 6:47 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Can you give me an example of such an issue?
Customer avatar
Nicholas C January 13, 2023 9:09 pm UTC
I have a hard copy and have a few queries about the rules - are there any FAQs, errata or clarifications anywhere?
Customer avatar
Bruce M December 07, 2022 10:09 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I'd like to know if there are any changes to this as well. I backed the Kickstarter and have the original Red Scar/Mantic files in my Library. I don't want to buy these again if they are unchanged and they are not recognised as previous purchases.
The Quickstart still has the same file name as the original revised version.
Glad the game is getting support and new product.
Reply
Customer avatar
Mark R December 07, 2022 10:15 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
These will be the same files as you got previously via the KS.
The Canister VII mission is all new though
Yes we have some big plans for HB RPG if the demand is there
Reply
Customer avatar
Bruce M December 08, 2022 12:28 am UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks for the reply. I'm very pleased to hear there are plans afoot. Bought the new adventure in the starter kit and it recognised I had bought the core game already.
Customer avatar
Dustin S December 07, 2022 2:48 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I was completely disappointed with the book I got from the kickstarter campaign. I just want to know if you have done any rewrites or updated anything? I love the setting so I hope I can support you guys going forward. Best of luck.
Reply
Customer avatar
Mark R December 07, 2022 10:16 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
These will be the same files as you got previously via the KS.
The Canister VII mission is all new though
Yes we have some big plans for HB RPG if the demand is there
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This title was added to our catalog on December 02, 2022.