Shadow of the Weird Wizard Is Finally Here!

Long anticipated, it’s here! You can grab the PDF from DriveThruRPG. In fact, it has hit the #1...

Long anticipated, it’s here! You can grab the PDF from DriveThruRPG. In fact, it has hit the #1 spot on the site.

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By Rob Schawlb, SotWW is the sequel to Shadow of the Demon Lord and presents a more family friendly version of the game system.


Shadow of the Weird Wizard® is a fantasy roleplaying game in which you and your friends assume the roles of characters who explore the borderlands and make them safe for the refugees escaping the doom that has befallen the old country. Unsafe are these lands: the Weird Wizard released monsters to roam the countryside, cruel faeries haunt the shadows, undead drag themselves free from their tombs, and ancient evils stir once more. If the displaced people would rebuild their lives, they need heroes to protect them. A brand new game built using the system powering Shadow of the Demon Lord, this game gives you everything you need for you and your friends to champion the innocent, to brave grave dangers, and right terrible wrongs, all while exploring the wild frontier of the borderlands!

Some saw him as a mad sorcerer who commanded eldritch powers of staggering might. As proof, one only has to look at all the abominations he set loose in the lands—the hybrid beasts, the multilegged hulking collectors, floating eyes that hang in the air trailing their nerve endings. And then, far, far beyond the edges of the new lands rose the walls of the Forbidden City and the clockwork peoples who dwelled there in seeming servitude to the dread mage who ruled over all he surveyed.



But the Weird Wizard is gone. His shadow remains, but the figure casting it disappeared and none, not even his closest servants, know where he went. It might be coincidence that his absence preceded the bloody civil war that tore the Great Kingdom apart and that precipitated the violent struggle between the other nations in the west, or the Weird Wizard might have had some stabilizing influence that enabled civilization to flourish once more following a far older, nastier decline. Too, he could have been the source of the conflict and abandoned the world to its fate.

Either way, the instability sends people by the thousands spilling into the borderlands. As this territory grows more and more crowded, refugees are looking to the east to make their homes. The first forays into the strange place have ended with disappearances and death, and the few people who have returned carry tales of hostile inhabitants, cruel faeries, and hideous, ravenous monsters. If the new lands would be tamed, there must be peace with the inhabitants.

Such efforts demand heroes. Luckily, there might just be a few around. This book shows you how to make a hero who can meet and triumph over the greatest challenges of exploring a world that stands in the shadow of a Weird Wizard.

 

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el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
The layout looks fine to me. 🤷‍♂️

I am trying to decide if I want to get this as its "paths" idea is similar to the 5e clone I am working on, or if want to skip it to no be unduly influenced by it. What, if any, gaming license does it use?
 


Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
This looks super cool. I picked up SotDL years ago but haven't gotten to play it yet, and I've been looking forward to this.

I do think that labeling it clearly on Drivethru as being the Players' book and not a complete game is obligatory. That should be perfectly clear at point of sale without having to search other sites.
 

So I read the PDF today, and the layout is not bad. It isn't eye-popping amazing, but it isn't bad by any means. It 100% gives an older feel to the product, but that isn't bad. On top of that, while some illustrations were mid, many of them were very good or very interesting. I really enjoyed the Cleric illustration, as well as many of the illustrations later on.

The game pretty much reads as I expected it to. It isn't my taste, because I like more fluff in ability descriptions, but the barebones mechanics here can be used to make up just about any Fantasy world. With so many options for character paths and spells, you can easily restrain what's offered without feeling like something's lost. That's a huge boon. Once monsters are released -- and that's all that's needed, IMO, is monsters -- I feel like I could take those two books and run literally any Fantasy setting with it. It's what 5E wants to do but requires a lot of modding to accomplish, and what OSR games can do due to how rules-lite they often end up being.

I am very impressed with the work overall. He should be proud of this project because he set out to create a Fantasy game that is fun and customizable but doesn't have the mechanical overhead of Pathfinder, and he 100% managed to do it.
 

The Soloist

Adventurer
So I read the PDF today, and the layout is not bad. It isn't eye-popping amazing, but it isn't bad by any means. It 100% gives an older feel to the product, but that isn't bad. On top of that, while some illustrations were mid, many of them were very good or very interesting. I really enjoyed the Cleric illustration, as well as many of the illustrations later on.

The game pretty much reads as I expected it to. It isn't my taste, because I like more fluff in ability descriptions, but the barebones mechanics here can be used to make up just about any Fantasy world. With so many options for character paths and spells, you can easily restrain what's offered without feeling like something's lost. That's a huge boon. Once monsters are released -- and that's all that's needed, IMO, is monsters -- I feel like I could take those two books and run literally any Fantasy setting with it. It's what 5E wants to do but requires a lot of modding to accomplish, and what OSR games can do due to how rules-lite they often end up being.

I am very impressed with the work overall. He should be proud of this project because he set out to create a Fantasy game that is fun and customizable but doesn't have the mechanical overhead of Pathfinder, and he 100% managed to do it.
You said it better than me. I would add that the book is very generous in terms of traditions (32) and spells. I've been looking for an alternative system to D&D 5e. This is the one. I'm relieved the search is over.
 

mamba

Legend
So I read the PDF today, and the layout is not bad. It isn't eye-popping amazing, but it isn't bad by any means.
sounds like they will work on that some more given today's KS update

"Version 1.4 should be out sometime tomorrow. It squashes a great many bugs and will include a form-fillable character sheet for your convenience. This said, we've received a great deal of feedback about the layout and we've taken your comments to heart. We're going to be opening the book up a bit and reassess some of the decisions we made. This will take some time, so please be patient."
 

The Soloist

Adventurer
Let's talk about the rules.

Initiative: No roll. Adversaries always go first if combat is triggered by either party. It speeds up play but it seems a bit harsh. Usually with that type of rule PCs always go first. What is the reasoning behind having the adversaries always go first?

Edit 1: Take the Initiative, page 48
If you’re aware of your enemies when a new round starts, you can use a reaction to take the initiative, which lets you take your turn immediately before your enemies take theirs. If you and other allies take the initiative, decide among yourselves who goes first as normal, or the Sage does if no one can decide. Wearing heavy armor, and some effects, limit when you can take the initiative.

I like that better. It gives the PCs more control at the expense of using their reaction for the turn.

Edit 2: Dodge, page 48
When a creature attacks you, something rolls against your Agility, or you make an Agility roll to resist a harmful effect, you can use a reaction to either impose 1 bane on the roll or roll with 1 boon.

Edit 3 : It all makes sense to me now.
 
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mamba

Legend
Usually with that type of rule PCs always go first. What is the reasoning behind having the adversaries always go first?
what is the rationale for the characters always going first? I am not aware of one, it’s just a design decision to speed combat up.

To allow for it, you buff the monster’s defenses, here you presumably weaken them a little instead.
 

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