ShadowDark meets ICRPG



Howdy Shields!

ShadowDark is the new hotness because it should be. For me, it’s a fantastic base set of rules that fit most of my desires in a traditional old-school feel game. But, we are lumpy heads, we love to diy, and this is no different.

With that said, here is a link to a shared folder where you can find my House Rules for ShadowDark! I’ve also included a couple of extra documents in the folder relevant to this set of House Rules.

In full, these rules haven’t been playtested yet as a whole piece, meaning I haven’t run them in a ShadowDark game yet. However, I have run these rules in various other games in the past, including ICRPG, Blood and Gold, OSE, and Forbidden Lands.

Unfortunately, my in-person table, as well as my online table, were both postponed a bit, but they are both starting up very soon! I’ll report back on how these work altogether, and if you use them, or just a piece of them, let me know how it goes! Skal!

Edit: The previous link that was here has been removed.


I like that “first cast of the day” is always successful rule.


Yeah, that is inspired by The Black Hack 2e. The first time they cast a spell, it works automatically, but then they make the casting check. On a success, they keep the spell and can cast again, but all further casting rolls for that spell are at disadvantage.

This minor change I don’t feel ruins the game, plus, I’ve ‘beefed up’ the power curve a bit with some of the additional add-ons, so casters getting a small buff like this shouldn’t cause any issues IMO.


I too backed Shadowdark and kind of regret it due it’s very bland classes and boring progression. These are some great ideas to make it a lot more fun. I’ll be stealing some if I decide to play it.


Hmmm, I don’t see it the way you do. I see SD as a great skeleton with everything needed for a game, but just like B/X and ICRPG, it is prime for adding stuff on top as you see fit.

When you say ‘boring progression’, I assume you’re referring to the lack of special powers/features/abilities that characters can gain as they level up? That is a staple of OSR games, where the power gained is from play, not from some pages in a book.

I’m happy you might make use of these house rules, I’ve updated them after a session of play, and will continue to do so as I run my games.

For me, ShadowDark is the base chassis I will use from here on. Best wishes friend! Skal!


Hey Shields!

After some at-the-table time, I’ve cleaned up my current House Rules to SD, made it look like SD styling in Affinity, and have decided to share it with you all!

The Starter Loot and Milestones are based on Master Edition entries. I’ve changed the names here and there, and rewritten the mechanics to fit SD more closely.

So far, this game is a good as I had hoped! Skal!


I can certainly understand being underwhelmed by the classes in Shadowdark, especially if you started playing fantasy RPGs on or after 3e. These classes do not accumulate a menu of fantastic abilities; they just get a little bit better at their role consistently over time. The good news is that leaves you space to award abilities related to events in the story, and tailored to the particular group or PC. I know as a player, I used to salivate over the class-based abilities which were coming once I reached X level. Getting them was a consistently underwhelming experience for me, but something obtained related to the story, or by pure chance, felt more like a prize. As you know, ICRPG is great for this sort of thing, as well as a few of the previous editions of the D&D, as well as other indie games.


The last link you posted no longer works. Is there anywhere I can look at your rules?


Apologies, I ended up cleaning out my google drive files and I no longer have this document anywhere.