Shadowdark looks so good!


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Quickleaf

Legend
I love the playbooks and subsystems each game includes. Even if I run Shadowdark as-is, I can definitely see using the Beyond the Wall setting creation system and the on-the-fly adventures in each system.
Totally, as a GM I adore books like Beyond the Wall and WWN which have a far greater lifespan than the confines of the system they're presented with because the worldbuilding / player group building tools are so well-developed.

Shadowdark left me really on the fence. I really liked Kelsey's Secrets of Skyhorn Lighthouse and listened to several of her video blogs about her approach to various issues facing GMs, and I was excited about Shadowdark. But when I read through the playtest player/GM booklets, I realized it felt like a reskin of B/X with a light coating of 5e without much in the way of innovation. Based on what I've seen, it's not really compatible with 5e either; so, that reason for getting it instead of B/X or OSE goes out the window.

I'm sure her layout and organization will beat B/X out of the water, but if I want a B/X experience I feel like I already have things for that.

It's a hard sell for me because I can't really see what Shadowdark is offering... if it's just a miscast system and two house rules ("always in initiative" & "torch time = real time") then that's more like a fantasy heartbreaker I could tack on to anything I do. The way she talked about it, versus what was in the playtest, I don't know, I found it hard to remain excited.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
So the Kickstarter has 10 days to do and is already close to $950,000. There's a good chance this will bust $1 million. Will this be the first OSR/NSR/O5R Kickstarter to break $1 million? I don't know of any others that have. But I could easily be wrong. Anyone know?
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
So the Kickstarter has 10 days to do and is already close to $950,000. There's a good chance this will bust $1 million. Will this be the first OSR/NSR/O5R Kickstarter to break $1 million? I don't know of any others that have. But I could easily be wrong. Anyone know?
According to the OP in this thread the closest to an OSR/NSR/O5R game that's busted $1 million is Mothership. Wild.

 

Autumnal

Bruce Baugh, Writer of Fortune
It's a hard sell for me because I can't really see what Shadowdark is offering...
Let me take a swing at it. Note that all of this is what sold it to me, and everyone whose tastes differ from mine, carry on. If your gaming is fun and doesn’t hurt anyone else, frighten the horses, etc, you’re doing it right too.

Shadowdark has the core I’ve liked since 3rd edition: universal resolution, and a single xp progression. I like dis/advantage. But it’s also got older things I like: no skills, stats and background carrying the load for character abilities. The talents are like feats done right, or rather done in a way I find very agreeable.

I don’t know of any other such super-light 5e. I’m willing to learn, so if there others, please let me know.

And there‘s the page design, which I can read on my phone with minimal effort. That’s much too rare, and important to me for disability management reason. (Note to self: check it out on my Kindle, too.)

So that’s the combo that led me to sign up. The resource stuff is kind of interesting but no big deal to me; the rest of the package is what drew me.
 

I realized it felt like a reskin of B/X with a light coating of 5e without much in the way of innovation. Based on what I've seen, it's not really compatible with 5e either; so, that reason for getting it instead of B/X or OSE goes out the window.
Unfortunately it's not really "compatible" with either. I was curious about this claim so I took a look at the monsters in the quickstart compared to b/x monsters. HP in shadowdark are much lower than 5e obviously, but not as low as b/x. AC values for the same monsters differ by as much as 3. More importantly, b/x monsters don't even have ability scores, whereas everything, especially saves, are based around ability scores in SD. It's not a big issue, and designing with full compatibility in mind would actually be limiting.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Shadowdark left me really on the fence. I really liked Kelsey's Secrets of Skyhorn Lighthouse and listened to several of her video blogs about her approach to various issues facing GMs, and I was excited about Shadowdark. But when I read through the playtest player/GM booklets, I realized it felt like a reskin of B/X with a light coating of 5e without much in the way of innovation. Based on what I've seen, it's not really compatible with 5e either; so, that reason for getting it instead of B/X or OSE goes out the window.

I'm sure her layout and organization will beat B/X out of the water, but if I want a B/X experience I feel like I already have things for that.

It's a hard sell for me because I can't really see what Shadowdark is offering... if it's just a miscast system and two house rules ("always in initiative" & "torch time = real time") then that's more like a fantasy heartbreaker I could tack on to anything I do. The way she talked about it, versus what was in the playtest, I don't know, I found it hard to remain excited.
Well, from the DM's side of things, it runs differently than BX/OSE in that there's a single roll-high resolution system, instead of charts or multiple resolution systems. It also doesn't do stacking bonuses, ditching those in favor of advantage/disadvantage.

I don't know if those are "innovation" -- there are a lot of innovative games that don't necessarily turn into a compelling game to play at the table -- but if those things sound better to you than the BX/OSE way of doing things, Shadowdark is the game for you. If, on the other hand, you don't mind multiple resolution systems and adjudicating stuff through charts, there's a whole host of retroclones that have got you.

I greatly prefer the 5E-style rules systems here to the retroclones versions. But obviously, not everyone feels that way.

The nice thing, of course, is that most of the material for OSR can be run under any of these systems, other than having to deal with ascending vs. descending armor class.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
According to the OP in this thread the closest to an OSR/NSR/O5R game that's busted $1 million is Mothership. Wild.

Mothership is pretty dang beloved and, like Shadowdark, it drummed up a lot of pre-campaign support through releasing the game for free long before the campaign began.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
Unfortunately it's not really "compatible" with either. I was curious about this claim so I took a look at the monsters in the quickstart compared to b/x monsters. HP in shadowdark are much lower than 5e obviously, but not as low as b/x. AC values for the same monsters differ by as much as 3. More importantly, b/x monsters don't even have ability scores, whereas everything, especially saves, are based around ability scores in SD. It's not a big issue, and designing with full compatibility in mind would actually be limiting.
Huh, that's interesting, the Shadowdark ogre at a quick glance looks like the "halve most monster HP" 5e house rule I saw going around.

B/X Ogre:
HP 19 (4d8+1), Attacks x1 club, Damage 4 (1d4+2)

5e Ogre:
HP 59 (7d10+21), Attacks x1 greatclub, Damage 13 (2d8+4)

Shadowdark Ogre:
HP 30, Attacks x2 club, Damage 7 (2d6) x 2 = 14
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Unfortunately it's not really "compatible" with either. I was curious about this claim so I took a look at the monsters in the quickstart compared to b/x monsters. HP in shadowdark are much lower than 5e obviously, but not as low as b/x. AC values for the same monsters differ by as much as 3. More importantly, b/x monsters don't even have ability scores, whereas everything, especially saves, are based around ability scores in SD. It's not a big issue, and designing with full compatibility in mind would actually be limiting.
I don't consider armor classes being a few points off to be incompatibility and setting saving throws for monsters is like setting any other difficulty class: set it at DC 9, 12, 15 or 18 depending on how good you want a monster's saves to be.

I consider "compatibility" to be "can I run this at the table without effort?" Shadowdark passes by that standard for me. I have all the Goodman Games OAR books right beside me and have no doubt I could run the Lost City or the Caves of Chaos without breaking a sweat.

If you want your OSR game to exactly match your OSR adventure stats, that dramatically limits what you can use and makes a large portion of the OSR "incompatible" with any standards tougher than I'm applying.
 

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