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 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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TheSword

Legend
I guess I’ll say the same as I have in other threads… what’s the Unique Selling Point? Why is this world better than all the others? Or rather why wouldn’t I just tell stories like this in one of the many alternative systems/worlds.

Maybe the USP Robert Schwalb. Maybe he has the design chops to carry it. But I’m not sure it’s clear from the marketing.

As a side note, calling it ‘Weird’ wizard rather than mad wizard seems a little disingenuous when the word Mad is used later on in the marketing blurb.
 

I backed this one on Kickstarter, and can confirm it is the "Player's Handbook" for the system. It does not have the bestiary, detailed information on the game world, or advice on running games, which will be in the GM's book. But it has the same page count and contains far more player options than the Demon Lord core book did (90 pages of spells, 100 pages of expert/master paths).

Layout looks identical to to Demon Lord to me except for stuff like fonts, colors, and table design. So YMMV I guess, but 1 star seems pretty extreme.
 


Thomas Shey

Legend
Not gonna lie, I have bought almost every single Demon Lord book and supplement that's out there, but when I saw the early drafts of this I just asked myself "why would I want this?". Rob Schwalb is an amazing game designer but I think I have everything I'd want in SotDL, so I'm happy that I passed on this Kickstarter.

Its primarily directed at the people who found the tone and thrust of SotDL offputting (present) and also allows him to do a little clean-up in the process. And yes, there's a second book that should be along pretty soon now (I'm a Kickstarter backer).
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
I guess I’ll say the same as I have in other threads… what’s the Unique Selling Point? Why is this world better than all the others? Or rather why wouldn’t I just tell stories like this in one of the many alternative systems/worlds.

The mechanical virtues are largely the same ones as for SotDL.
 

The Soloist

Adventurer
Its primarily directed at the people who found the tone and thrust of SotDL offputting (present) and also allows him to do a little clean-up in the process. And yes, there's a second book that should be along pretty soon now (I'm a Kickstarter backer).
Interesting. We played SoTDL but the setting didn't grab the players. What is the name of the second book?
 

mamba

Legend
rom the provided table of contents, there seems to be no bestiary included (unlike SotDL) - so I guess it's not really a "complete game."
this is the PHB, the DMG is still coming and includes the MM (Secrets of the Weird Wizard)

Inside this ~325-page full-color hardback and digital book, you’ll find:

  • Tips, tricks, and guidance for running the game.
  • A slew of traps and hazards.
  • Guidelines for creating your own quests.
  • A gazetteer of the borderlands that reveals interesting places to explore.
  • A full bestiary that includes well over 100 foes of all levels and natures, from the dreaded demons of the Void to mischievous faeries, hordes of undead, and the terrible dragon.
  • Over a dozen ancestries you can reveal to the players to expand their options when creating characters.
 

mamba

Legend
I guess I’ll say the same as I have in other threads… what’s the Unique Selling Point? Why is this world better than all the others? Or rather why wouldn’t I just tell stories like this in one of the many alternative systems/worlds.
as far as systems are concerned, because you like this one I guess. It certainly has some interesting ideas (going by SotDL, haven't looked at SotWW yet). for example I like how it handles classes / multi-classing better than what 5e does.

I don't think there is much difference between the stories you can tell in SotWW, 5e, PF2 or other generic fantasy TTRPGs
 

timbannock

Adventurer
Supporter
I guess I’ll say the same as I have in other threads… what’s the Unique Selling Point? Why is this world better than all the others? Or rather why wouldn’t I just tell stories like this in one of the many alternative systems/worlds.

Maybe the USP Robert Schwalb. Maybe he has the design chops to carry it. But I’m not sure it’s clear from the marketing.

As a side note, calling it ‘Weird’ wizard rather than mad wizard seems a little disingenuous when the word Mad is used later on in the marketing blurb.
Keep in mind, I'm interested in Shadow of the Demon Lord but have not yet purchased, and was waiting on Weird Wizard to figure out which one to check out more thoroughly. (Based on this thread, sounds like Demon Lord will win out!)

But I might be able to at least partially answer your question. What attracted me to this system/these games were:
  • A much streamlined character build and character advancement system, as opposed to the more laborious (IMO) ones from 5E and Pathfinder 2e.
  • A slightly more "video gamey" approach to some game mechanic design, meaning automating or offloading processes that are often tedious in other RPGs (grapple, conditions, etc.). I don't know how this bears out in these games, but it was one of the initial design principles behind it.
  • Robert Schwalb is indeed someone with design chops a mile long. He always seemed to be one of those people who can take really complex stuff and design it tightly and well, often simplifying and streamlining in ways that optimize "fun at the table" without losing sight of other mechanics.
So that's what's drawing me to it, at least. It's not meant to be an overall D&D killer, but really just a "here's a tighter experience for these specific types of D&D-esque game play." Or, to be honest, Demon Lord seems more like "slightly higher-fantasy Warhammer RPG killer" to me.
 

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