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Grumpy, yet verbose.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

ShadowDark RPG: Marrying the Old and New

 I recently stumbled across a Kickstarter for a new OSR product from a fellow longtime Garycon attendee. Kelsey Dionne has been a respected writer of 5e adventures for a while now, and has her gaming roots from growing up in southern WI, even meeting Gary at Gencon when it was in Milwaukee and playing with Gary-adjacent types in her youth like Jim Mishler. Her keen eye for design and brevity makes her work a very easy read.

Now she has released ShadowDark, her take on the 5e rules streamlined and simplified for old-school style play, and it is fairly impressive. The quickstart rules are free to download on her website, the Arcane Library, and her Kickstarter fairly blew up upon release and is closing in on the $1M mark. 

There are a lot of interviews, reviews, and let's plays out there online, so I won't try to rehash all that here. Suffice it to say I backed it and I am looking forward to getting my copy of the full "Core" rules after the campaign ends. I will probably use the rules for my next fantasy campaign as well. At least a one-shot or two.

At time of writing there is still over a week left in the Kickstarter, so take a look around at the quickstart rules and toss a few bucks in the hat if it looks interesting to you.


  1. Wow $1M! That's maybe 25,000 copies? Do you know what attracted that level of buzz?

    1. As I understand it, she has a very positive rep in 5e circles for her DM's Guild adventures.