The Arcane Library has found almost immediate Kickstarter success for a tabletop RPG that appeals to 5e and OSR players.
$10,000 was set as the campaign goal, which was met very quickly, and a few hours in, we’re racing towards 2,000 backers and through $200,000 pledged. Geek Native has exclusive pages from the RPG to share below, but you can jump straight to the project page if you fancy.
The campaign, which still has three weeks to run, was funded in a flash and smashed its $10,000 goal. That interest has not waned, and there’s now over $650,000.
Few OSR titles do so well on Kickstarter, but Shadowdark is designed to have a broad appeal. 5e players are offered the intuitive tabletop experience that taps into the heart of the Old School Renaissance. OSR fans get that nostalgic system with some quality-of-life upgrades.
I know, regular readers will know I’ll start to get twitchy over what exactly is the definition of OSR, which everyone actually agrees on, but the numbers here don’t like. People like the Shadowdark proposition.
- The four core classes: fighter, priest, thief, wizard
- A d20-based, roll-high system
- No darkvision — total darkness is dangerous
- Treasure grants XP, and tracking it is dead simple
- Roll-to-cast spells — magic is exciting and risky
- Simple distances (close, near, far)
- Monster morale and reaction rolls
- Always-on initiative — time is easy to track
- The six classic stats (3d6 in order)
- No skills — just ability checks and advantage/disadvantage
- Separate ancestry and class
- Randomized character class abilities — emergent character growth!
- Low hit points — fast and deadly combat
- Simple encumbrance (gear slots)
Geek Native has some exclusive page samples to share, and these also help bring Shadowdark to life, I think.
Those who can support The Arcane Library with a pledge of $29, or more, will get the PDF edition of Shadowdark core rules and all digital stretch goals.
It’s $55 to get the complete PDF kit, which will retail for $75. As well as the core rules, the full digital edition includes a PDF GM screen, the zines Diablerie, Red Sands and Midnight Sun, the mini-adventures THe Wavestone Monolith, Eroding Isle of the Execution, Sanctum of the Elephant God and eight character cards.
The physical rewards for backers start just a few bucks later. $59 gets the core rulebook in hardcover, which also comes with the PDF. The premium edition with the same PDF bonus unlocks at $70.
That means the complete Shadowdark physical collection is there for backers with $109 to offer the campaign. The premium upgrade is made at the $129 mark.
There’s a higher tier at $159 in which both editions of the core rules are included, and a 4x deal at $249.
There’s hardly a wait for delivery at all! The Arcane Library believe they can get backers the PDFs by April and the print by July.
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