Shadowdark looks so good!

Jahydin

Hero
Reading over the quick rules and a question:

There are no saves vs spells? If the wiz rolls to cast charm it just works? The monster is charmed? Plus the wiz might retain the spell to cast again? Magic seems very powerful without saves plus you can keep casting the same spell unto you fail.
Not that I saw! But I don't think it's too powerful.
A Lv 1 Wiz needs an 11 to cast a Lv 1 Charm, so around 55% of success or nothing happening.
Considering they have no armor and a dagger, rocking 2hp, seems fair.
But if they survive, they do become incredibly powerful when they level! One of the fun tradeoffs of playing them. :)
Also, auto finding and removing traps IF the player says they are searching makes them almost seem pointless. Though I guess that’s where random encounters come in
The trap rules are some of my favorite because they reward players for actively engaging and clever thinking!

Punishing traps that auto-kill just because of low rolls are just not fun IMO. Also not fun is a party that's constantly poking every brick with a pole because they're afraid of setting one off. Trusting that there will be "A Tell" every time they come across one is a relaxing thought. Also allows them to be deadly without the GM feeling guilty, since they were given a warning after all...

As for the Thief needing a roll, that comes in here:
If there is time pressure or the trap requires a great deal of skill to deactivate, the GM might call for a check.
In which case the Thief would get Advantage over their lesser-skilled companions.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
Reading over the quick rules and a question:

There are no saves vs spells? If the wiz rolls to cast charm it just works? The monster is charmed? Plus the wiz might retain the spell to cast again? Magic seems very powerful without saves plus you can keep casting the same spell unto you fail.

Also, auto finding and removing traps IF the player says they are searching makes them almost seem pointless. Though I guess that’s where random encounters come in

The spells are written to not scale well, sometimes even explicitly limited to targets of a max level.

I had the same initial reaction to the lack of saves, but when I dug deeper I saw how elegant it is.
 

JohnSnow

Hero
Reading over the quick rules and a question:

There are no saves vs spells? If the wiz rolls to cast charm it just works? The monster is charmed? Plus the wiz might retain the spell to cast again? Magic seems very powerful without saves plus you can keep casting the same spell unto you fail.
"Spellcasting checks" takes the place of saves in Shadowdark. If the Wizard succeeds at the check, then yes, the monster is charmed. Requiring a second check would be unduly punitive - nobody gets a save to avoid being harmed by an attack after it succeeds. The spell casting check effectively front loads the save.

On the other hand, if the Wizard fails, not only is the monster not charmed, but no other monster can be until the Wizard finishes a rest (there are no short rests in Shadowdark, so that means food and sleep). Effectively, any spell you fail the casting check on is done for the day.

As someone put it on the Discord, Spellcasting in Shadowdark is "Press your luck." On average, you'll be able to cast a Tier 1 spell about 1/2 the time (11 or better on a d20), or slightly more often if you have an INT or spellcasting bonus, or if you have advantage (which is a talent a Wizard can have, but is also a signature feature of Magic Missile). Higher Tier spells fair slightly worse. And then, of course, there's also the chance of Spell mishaps. :devilish:

Spellcasters (Wizards & Clerics) have the potential to become quite powerful, but unlike in standard D&D, their magic is never 100% reliable.
Also, auto finding and removing traps IF the player says they are searching makes them almost seem pointless. Though I guess that’s where random encounters come in
Finding a trap is automatic if the player is searching in the right area. Disabling it is only automatic if the PC is trained in disabling traps (which is true for Thieves and characters trained in tinkering), has enough time, and describes a reasonable method. If there's time pressure, or if it's an especially complicated trap, a roll would be required.

A good example of this would be Indiana Jones in the temple at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Indy finds and successfully evades 2 traps on the way in by being cautious. Some traps, like the light-triggered spear trap, or the floor tile dart one, are simply too complicated to disable without a lot of time. Indy does not have a lot of time, so he has to settle for, in the case of the former, by being careful. Satipo is not so lucky. In the case of the latter, on the way in, after figuring out how it works, he has to make a DEX check to cross it without triggering any darts, and on the way out, he opts to just run like hell (representing a higher DC DEX save perhaps?).

The one and only trap he tries to actually disable is the idol counterweight. And it doesn't work.

In my mind, this scene in Raiders brilliantly encapsulates how we want traps to work. The problem is that, historically, D&D has actually done a pretty poor job of emulating this vibe. Traps are either randomly lethal (usually to the poor Thief), or completely bypassed. Neither situation is great.

I see the dart trap thing playing out as follows:
Steven (the DM): "You see the golden idol sitting on a pedestal on a raised dais. The area ahead of you is tiled, with stones of varying texture, and surrounded by bas relief statues with open mouths at various heights. It's about 15 feet to a short staircase, then another ten feet to the pedestal on which the idol sits. A few unlit torches sit in sconces lining the walls. Your hireling Satipo starts forward, saying 'We must go, there is nothing to fear!'"
Harry (our PC Thief): "I stop Satipo from moving forward, pushing him up against the wall; 'That's what scares me!' I grab one of the unlit torches from the wall as I crouch down to look more carefully at the floor tiles. What do I see?"
Steven: "It's a variable pattern, mossy depressions between other, more raised areas."
Harry: "I carefully peel back some of the moss. Does it look like there's anything under it?"
Steven: "It appears to be a separate depressed piece of stone that is actually covered by the moss.
Harry: "I use the torch to slowly apply pressure to the mossy depression."
Steven: "With a 'phhht' sound, a blowdart springs forth from the mouth of one of the wall carvings, and lodges into the torch. It drips with a glistening fluid, probably poison. Satipo looks horrified."
Harry: "That's what I thought - pressure plate. Can I disarm it?"
Steven: "It doesn't look like you have any way to access the mechanism. However, the raised stone portions don't seem to react to your probing. If you want to take the time, you could probably bring in some lumber and build a bridge."
Harry: "Nah, that would take way too long. Can I cross the floor by staying on the raised portion of the stone?"
Steven: "Sure, that seems reasonable. It's not too difficult, so give me a Normal DEX check."

Et cetera.
 

DarkCrisis

Reeks of Jedi
Another:

So the lvl 1 group fights some goblins. They should get 10 GP per the gold per encounter rules at level 1.

This is equivalent to a Normal Treasure (Bag of Gold) and worth 1XP for each player.

Yes?

Also, it says XP resets at level. So so they each of 9 XP trying to reach 10XP for level 2 and find a magic sword that gives them 2XP each for a total of 11 XP. They level up and go back to 0XP (now headed to 20XP to level up again) thus losing the 1XP they had left over?
 

JohnSnow

Hero
Another:

So the lvl 1 group fights some goblins. They should get 10 GP per the gold per encounter rules at level 1.

This is equivalent to a Normal Treasure (Bag of Gold) and worth 1XP for each player.

Yes?

Also, it says XP resets at level. So so they each of 9 XP trying to reach 10XP for level 2 and find a magic sword that gives them 2XP each for a total of 11 XP. They level up and go back to 0XP (now headed to 20XP to level up again) thus losing the 1XP they had left over?
Yup, you got it!

Most people on the Discord have agreed that we would let the 1 XP roll over, but officially it resets. On the other hand, you can think of it as they have 11 XP, and then decide to "cash in" 10 of those XP to "level up." Now they're Level 2 with 1 XP.

As always, it's your call, but I wouldn't penalize my players for choosing to chase a "good" treasure. YMMV.
 

edosan

Adventurer
I am very excited for Shadowdark for several reasons, but the first is that Kelsey is one of the few people writing adventures today that can actually seem to write an honest-to-FSM playable at the table adventure. Anyone on the fence for this should go to Arcane Library and look at a couple of adventures to check them out.
 

DarkCrisis

Reeks of Jedi
I see/hear that there is no Multiclassing. Yet my favorite class is a Fighter/Mage. Wouldn't a 5th ed style of multiclassing still work? Or even split the XP AD&D style?

Or would it be better to create an "Arcane Warrior" class that kind of melds them both into one class?
 




Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top