Tag Archives: Shadowdark

The Shadowdark Kickstarter is live!

I don’t often post about Kickstarters. Sure I do post reviews as I get those in my grubby little fingers. But every once in a while one comes along that I just have to rant about.

Back in December, I predicted that Shadowdark would be the one to look out for this year. And the most complete but slightly dated review I did was way back in 2021 of the Beta rules. And yes I do have the Quick Start. If you are link weary then here’s the lowdown. The RPG has solid old school DNA. It’s not a clone of any of the previous editions and it does bill itself as modernized but leans more heavily to the old school side. How much? Well, 3d6 in order. Four basic classes. And the Thief (not Rogue) has a d4 Hit Die. It does use a roll to cast system for Wizards and Priests which is mechanic that I’ve actually grown to like more and more. Most of the modernization comes with streamlining play. Like I said, it’s solidly old school. I could grab any one of the adventures sitting on my shelf and run it on the fly and just any conversion in my head.

Here’s the best way that I can describe Shadowdark. Imagine that Basic D&D, Dungeon Crawl Classics, Index Card RPG, and a couple of random retro-clones got really drunk in a mad scientist’s laboratory. They all wake up hung over the next morning and say, “What have we created?!” That about it.

Some may ask me a couple of things. First, no I have no financial stake in this and wasn’t asked to write it. But there is a very nice Third Party License and I need to get off my butt and get writing. Am I playing it right now? No. But I am using the spells from it in my Deathbringer Campaign. It’s roll to cast too. Oh and Shadowdark uses zoned combat so all you Dungeoncraft fans, it’s time to break out that Ultimate Dungeon Terrain.

I’ve ranted long enough. So just go check out the Kickstarter already. And I have backed it.

Blighted Krevborna: Session 2.5: Wandering in Castorhage & New House Rules.

Oh the best laid plains. We were supposed to have a session two weeks ago. Well, we sort of did. Having my players spread geographically that means VTT time. About an hour into the session, I lost power. I know you’ve heard lots of bad things. This time it turned out somebody ran into a transformer and blacked out a decent hunk of town. That meant the session was interrupted and didn’t get that far. And it was a bit difficult to get the momentum going again.

On the bright side, the final player got to join. So here’s the new character. Elisa the Plague Doctor. She’s a farmer from a decaying backwater town and her parents were wrongly executed. Her true love ran off to live a life of crime. So that rounds our party.

The party did release an evil sorceress but they are tying to kiss to her. They realized that they a fake inheritance. And made friends with one of the local thieves. All fun in Castorhage. Like I said, it wasn’t that exciting of a session. Sure there was lot of role play and getting to know the city a bit more.

But the extra time between sessions did let me digest some stuff. I’m using Deathbringer as primary rules source. There are now skills just attributes so those go up quicker than a lot of other games. Compared to other d20 systems, you just used the “modifier” and don’t even write down your good old 3 to 18. The core rules is that you get +1 every odd level. The players weren’t happy about that so I made them offer. Fine you gain a +1 each level but it’s random. They ate it up.

The other rule that I added was something that was bugging me for a long time. And I think I finally came up with a solution. We’ve all watched the movies where there’s an epic sword fight but the characters are also kicking and punching. But we don’t really do that in gaming. I wanted some of that element added. So if they miss their attack roll by 1 then they still hit but with an unarmed attack.

So there you go. The biggest thing was some adjustment to house rules and laying the foundations for more plots and troubles.

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Shadowdark: The One To Look Out For In 2023

I wanted to throw this one out before things got too busy at the end of the year. So yes, this is game for you to look out for in 2023. The last I heard that it’s coming in March.

Why do I think this game is going to be cool? Well, I’ve picked up the Quickstart and grabbed up the beta rules when those were available. This game is old-school through and through. 3d6 in order. Thieves are Thieves. And they only have that d4 Hit Die. Now, it does use a few of the modern mechanics but nothing that I feel takes away from the old school elements. I won’t re-write my long rant on the beta rules but you can check that out over here. It also has a pretty generous compatibility license and folks are already writing stuff. Yes, I do have a couple of ideas bouncing around my head. Nothing has just came together yet.

You can grab the free Quick Start on DrivethruRPG or on the Arcane Library’s site.