Saturday, March 2, 2024

ShadowDark Magic Items

The next campaign I run will use the ShadowDark RPG. I'm not sure when that'll be (I'm hoping a little later this year), but ShadowDark is my choice. I've only experienced it with one-shots. I want to kick the tires on a campaign. 

ShadowDark is a grim, gritty, and other words that begin with g system. It is geared for low-level play, only going to 10th level in the rulebook. There are several low-level magic items included. Some familiar, some not so much. I needed to play around with creating a few of my own. Here is a quartet of magic items I offered on my Patreon. The PDF is free to grab. Some folks prefer the actual item can join and get some cool stuff in the mail. 

These magic items are very specific to my setting, but adjusting them to your setting would only take a little elbow grease. I just thought to myself younger people have no idea what elbow grease means. 

A trio of artists with their fanatic black and white artwork made these cards possible. Carlos Castillho did two of the pieces, Daniel Whitehall, and William McAusland. I used the format of ShadowDark and I like the section dedicated to the history of the item. It helps ground the item within a setting.

I hope this finds everyone well and gaming. Enjoy.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Fun Facts About Medieval Stairways

I'm always writing adventures of some sort and I like to explore the intricate details of  'things' in an attempt to ground the adventure with these details. My Pintrest has a section dedicated to the anatomy and or terminology of things. Tonight, I was checking for names of stair parts. I went down a shallow rabbit hole and thought I'd share some of the things I thought were interesting. I have no idea if these are fact or fiction. 

  • Stairs were build in tight, steep spirals when castles were fortifications, before they became noble homes. 
  • Stairs were built clockwise. To give the defenders an advantage. They assumed the majority of soldiers would be right-handed. Some militaries required their men to fight ambidextrous. I've never read this before, but I think it could make an interesting nuisance.  
  • The above fact is disputed (but still cool) and some say stairways were built clockwise so folks could run their hand on the righthand wall for balance. To compensate for the too-much-grog-walk?
  • Some argue that the newel staircases are so small with no handrails that there was no room for swinging weapons (although it would be a hell of place for a dagger fight) and both combatants would fall to their deaths. A step does1d6 damage. 
  • One other point, I think the best one, if the attackers are already inside running up the stairs, the fight is lost. The attackers are now mopping up and looking for loot. 
  • Steps were built uneven. This gave defenders 'homefield' advantage as they were accustom to the idiosyncrasies of the steps and could take advantage of the situation when an attacker tripped on the uneven step. Also known as a trip step.
If you have any other fun facts about castle stairs please let me know. I was looking around and these seemed to be the ones that came up frequently.