Shadowdark was the real darling for Kickstarters. And now there’s been fast digital fulfillment with the PDF of the rules. So now it’s time to really give it a solid look and some random thoughts.
There’s no need to go over the basic rules. I already did that when I had the Beta in hand. Like I said, it’s to look more closely and do some deep thoughts on it. Well, deep thoughts for me any way.
First, let me say that I really like the game. Deep in the back of my mind, I’m putting together a new campaign for it. That being said, I do have a couple of nit picks based on my own tastes. One thing I wanted to look more closely at in the final version was the monster stat blocks. I know it’s a carryover from 5E but I just don’t think that monsters really need the whole array of Attribute modifiers. Sure it’s precise and adds more granularity. And it doesn’t take up that much room in the book itself. It’s just one line per monster. But it does take up a bit of GM headspace. What I’ve done in my last few campaigns is to just give monsters a “Bonus”. That’s their bonus to everything. If a monster is really good or bad at something then just roll with Advantage/Disadvantage. I know some may not like it. And this is not a deal breaker for me. Just a thought.
And speaking of monsters. Some of those high level ones are just down right nasty. And I think that’s a good thing. But some coming only from the 5E verse might freak out when they experience some of the more dangerous effects.
There’s lots and lots of very useful charts in the book. Sure, I can pull all those from the PDF but it really would be nice if they were all consolidated.
All the usual suspects are there when it comes to the monsters, spells, and magic items. So everything should be familiar to most. And bringing that huge amount of material that already exists would be a easy. I admit that it will be much easier to add material that was designed for the old-school games rather than 5E. The mechanics in general are a lot closer.
Where will Shadowdark be in a year? Who knows? But that’s the real test. Will a bunch of folks migrate back to 5E or 5.5? Will the old grognards just go back to whatever they were playing before? We’ll see. But for me personally, I might run it as is if I can get the right group together. And I’ll most definitely mine it for ideas to add other games. It’s a good addition of the RPG shelf.
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