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Shadowdark RPG

 Format: Hardcover  Author: The Arcane Library LLC.  Category: RPG Systems, Shadowdark RPG  Publisher: The Arcane Library LLC.  Published: November 29, 2023  Tags: Core Rulebook |  Buy Now

In Shadowdark RPG, you and your group of crawlers use magic, steel, and wits to delve into mysterious ruins, lost cities, and monster-infested depths. Wondrous treasures and long-forgotten secrets await you! But don’t let your last torch burn out, or you could be swallowed by the Shadowdark…
5E players will find what they’ve been waiting for: an intuitive and complete TTRPG that serves as a seamless bridge into the heart of the Old School Renaissance.

Old-school gamers will find a system that is familiar and nostalgic, but with major quality-of-life upgrades that modernize the old-school experience.

Your legend awaits, crawler. Lift your blade, light your torch, and plunge into the unknown depths of the Shadowdark!


Shadowdark RPG has familiar elements of classic fantasy gaming, but it isn’t a retro-clone. A lot of new game design ideas have emerged in the last 50 years, and we wanted to bring our favorite concepts together into a nostalgic-but-new adventuring system.

In this game, torches only last one hour of real time. The characters (and players) must make decisions quickly, or they’ll run out of precious light!

A few other features include: 

  • The four core classes: fighter, priest, thief, wizard
  • 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)


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