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Advanced Shadowdark -- The Thief

Art by James Shields

I've been doing a lot of cross-system gaming. Mixing Shadowdark with Wolves Upon the Coast, for instance. Thinking through what a Kaiju game would look like in several different systems (I blame Monarch: Legacy of Monsters and Godzilla Minus One). Noodling on a merger of Twilight 2000 4e with a Farcry video game-style campaign.

I started playing a Labyrinth Lord AEC game run by Cody Mazza set in Arden Vul (the most massive of mega-dungeons). If you don't know me, I loved AD&D 1e. I started with Moldvay B/X, but quickly moved on to the Three Holy Texts (TM): The Player's Handbook, The Dungeon Master's Guide, and the Monster Manual. So, in my quest to recreate that player experience, I ran out and grabbed an AD&D sheet (from the Mad Irishman. Go there. He's awesome) and put my LL AEC character on it.

I'm also running a home Shadowdark campaign set in Greyhawk. I've done a few things to give it a Greyhawk flavor -- changed the 0-level character creation process, added some sub-ancestries like grey elves, mountain dwarves, etc. Not to complicate things, but to add that little bit of Flanaess spice to the game.

All of that got me thinking about character sheets. My favorite, hands down, is the AD&D "goldenrod" character sheets. They were always so desirable, and as a poor kid, never attainable by me. Once we managed to sneak access to a copier, it was easier, but still. There were never enough of those to go around.

Those old sheets, apart from being written so small that now my poor old eyes can barely read them, had some really evocative entries that helped you imagine your character outside of stats and rules. If you look at the Thief/Assassin/Monk sheet, there's a story there just in the form entry titles.

The old Goldenrod Character Sheet...

The bottom section of the front page is specific to the class presented -- in this case the Thief / Assassin / Monk. So, you have all the crunchy stuff, your weapons, weaponless combat (which there's no way those few fields encapsulate the insanity of unarmed combat in AD&D 1e, but I won't go into that because I don't have a doctorate in madness). But, check out the flavor: Guild/Order. Contacts. Special Tools. Disguises. All that starts bubbling up questions about my character that I wouldn't have otherwise considered. And, immediately gives her a goal -- go find these things!

So, anyway, I did an AD&D style character sheet for Shadowdark for my home Greyhawk campaign. The Thief sheet is attached. It's still draft (I printed it and the bottom section is waaay too small for me to read or write on!). I'll share updates and others specific to the core Shadowdark Classes over the next week or so, along with some stuff I'm doing with Greyhawk. And, as I was crafting these sheets, some stuff I'm calling AS&D -- ADVANCED SHADOWDARK -- starting simmering. I think a slight spin on the core classes just to give them a dash of the old AD&D spice might be fun. We'll see if it can keep my attention long enough.

Enjoy! And let me know what you think.

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