Shadow of the Demon Lord

Dreamworx
Dreamworx

Alright Veeky Forums, let's settle this, because this fat Nurgle fucker is on sale right now.

I've heard it discussed on here as basically D&D combined with Warhammer, or D&D but better, and because I like D&D and Warhammer, it might be up my alley. But because I've not heard anything (anything) bad about it I'm worried it's just memeing.

Is it good, or is it shit?

WebTool
WebTool

@Dreamworx
I'd say it's very mediocre

Fuzzy_Logic
Fuzzy_Logic

@WebTool
Why?

TalkBomber
TalkBomber

@Dreamworx
Better than 5e.

The book layout is a bit wonky, but the writing is concise and informative.

The mechanics are OSR-reminiscent at first, but classes and magic make it feel like a beautiful bastard child of 3.5 and 4e: in that there's no imbalanced arbitrary fuckery as in 3.5, and no copypaste-into-a-template feel of 4r.

Classes are called paths and are three tiered. There are no restrictions at all, you can take any, or even branch out horizontally and take another level 4 path at level 7 if you wish so. It leads to some of the combinations being retarded, but there are no trap options. Surely, just having common sense is enough to get yourself something at least decently playable.

Magic is pretty 4e-esque, but it doesn't feel a carbon copy fest. This game rather makes you excited about playing a build, because you can legit make almost any reasonable mixed archetype from fantasy work.

There are no skills, you just roll attributes against a fixed TN of 10.

Modifiers are handled 5e-like, with the system of boons and banes that work largely like 5e adv/disadv, but have more linear probability curves. Boons and banes past the first one give minuscule bonuses (because of diminishing returns) to the success%, so the book encourages the DM to assign them out liberally.

The game on whole is combat oriented, and it shows: things related to combat (paths, magic etc.) take up the majority of the book.
There is a corruption (i.e. sanity) subsystem that is fairly well developed with rather gory and macabre mutations that can be out of place or trigger someone's sensibilities.

Encounters are tuned hard. The game assumes certain familiarity with RPGs in general, and will punish you for stupidity, but not quite as harsh as OSR products, in my opinion.

All in all, it's very rules light and OSR-like in everything but combat, and for combat it's pretty options-crunchy, but the whole thing is made with elegance and focus in mind, which is a welcome rarity.

Stark_Naked
Stark_Naked

Pdf of the core book anyone?

GoogleCat
GoogleCat

@Dreamworx

It's quite good.

girlDog
girlDog

@Dreamworx
is that the one with the spell that makes your dick fall off?

Stark_Naked
Stark_Naked

@TalkBomber
Could you possibly BE more of a shill?

SniperGod
SniperGod

@Stark_Naked
Let me guess, you've got triggered by me not shilling 5e?

PurpleCharger
PurpleCharger

@SniperGod
There it is

Flameblow
Flameblow

@SniperGod
It's more of how you're so desperately trying to sell the game.

But, let's be fair here. Give me a few legitimate criticisms (and not simply half-hearted empty ones) about the system, and I won't call you a shill again. Give some half-hearted reply, and I might start listing off the weaknesses of the system myself.

BunnyJinx
BunnyJinx

@girlDog
someone post the image

Bidwell
Bidwell

It's fine. Probably a bit better than 5e but not massively so.

I play it, it's playable. Isn't brilliant and isn't crap.

Inmate
Inmate

@Flameblow
Shitty PDF optimisation.

A very greedy supplement publishing scheme, where they would throw out some 3-page optional piece of bullcrap for like $3. It doesn't add to comfort of usage, it doesn't add to anything. Just a shitty money-grabber scheme. Reminds me of DLCs of all things.

If it were more popular, it would quickly become Splatfinder 2.0.

I honestly don't see any reason to play this over something else if you don't care for your build. The game has no mechanical support for various character concepts if those concepts are not about combat. There are no skills, no professions, no careers, not even fucking 5e backgrounds.

The combat turn structure is not very clearly explained: you can easily get wrong ideas about what fast turns and slow turns are.

A lot of the 64 expert paths (you can unlock them on level 7) feel like arbitrary shit pulled out of an ass. Had Jack-of-all-Trades to be a path? What the fuck is a Conqueror supposed to be or do? Etc.
Because of the sheer number of Expert Paths some of them sound ridiculous.

No attribute customisation at the start. Like at all. Feels like a cheap solution to enforce balance.

Speaking of balance, it's pretty shitty. You can easily fuck it over, if you wanted. The game just doesn't have enough popularity for someone to uncover all the skeletons from the closets.

It feels like the dev wanted a balanced system, because the abstract and symmetrical chassis suggest that much, but at halfway decided he can't be assed (which is kinda understandable, balancing several thousand path combinations is a bitch) and threw in the "we don't put a powergamer safety system because we think everyone will be responsible enough to not do powergaming". Bullshit.

The setting is pretty hogwash. I couldn't care less about settings in RPGs, but objectively, it's given uneven exposure, in a shitty way that backends really important stuff and frontends unnecessary shit.

Dreamworx
Dreamworx

@Flameblow
@Inmate

But all those things, I don't care about them. Just not something that annoys me.

I can live with no powergamer safety, because I've got a nice group of reasonable people to play with. Next up, even if 63 of the 64 expert paths were nonsence, I still got my Aeromancer to play. It's got those cool options that are my thing, and non-existent in 5e's nauseating genericness.

I'm also content with the game not supporting concepts mechanically, because I love rules to be extremely light-weight. If a game's got interesting combat and interesting builds, I will play it for the sake of the builds. Being able to give a concrete, focused answer to the question of "what do you want this game to be able to do" is important, eye ehm oh.

And the fact that this book doesn't assume I'm 5 years old and have trouble understanding any text more complex than a child's story (hello, 5e) is a huge fucking boon.

w8t4u
w8t4u

@Dreamworx
nonsence
*nonsense

Burnblaze
Burnblaze

@Inmate
The game has no mechanical support for various character concepts if those concepts are not about combat. There are no skills, no professions, no careers, not even fucking 5e backgrounds.

There are professions and backgrounds that can, at GM's discretion, influence your abilities.

No skills, sure, that can be a downside, but you don't need skills to roleplay. It's not a system geared towards raw combat - if anything it discourages it. And again, you don't need skills to roleplay. If anything, it makes roleplaying out actions more viable. You can't just roll Sense Motive and immediately know if someone is bullshitting you.

I'm no expert with the system myself, but I think you're selling it short with this "it's only about combat" stuff. Everything hurts a lot more and dies a lot faster and it's consistently recommended in the book that you don't go around swinging at everything because you will die.

Above all else, it's a D20 system. If you want skill points, it's easy to homebrew them in.

CodeBuns
CodeBuns

sotdl is combat centric

yall niggas clearly haven't played wfrp which this game's directly based on lmao

Flameblow
Flameblow

@Dreamworx
I've read it and it seems like a good system, though the fluff tries a little too hard to be grimdark. I've given up hope on ever playing it though, went to Roll20 and there were zero games.

@Stark_Naked
if you like something you're a shill

haveahappyday
haveahappyday

I only got to play this once. Character creation was fast and super easy. Our party was pretty much just locals or visitors unlucky enough to get caught in a village raid, and captured as slaves. Our DM intended to use this to teach us the mechanics, and to launch the campaign by dropping hints of what was really going on. Shame that it fell apart when we couldn't get everyone (or even most people) together again because of scheduling.

CodeBuns
CodeBuns

@Inmate

Some of those things aren't really true. There are definitely professions that can used as skills, and are supposed to be used as skills, you do get (minor) attribute customization at start (admittedly it's just -1 to a stat and +1 to another but the system has pretty small numbers as a whole so)

The rest of the stuff is relatively fair as complaints, but I feel like any system this open ended is going to end up unbalanced. Just the way of things, I guess?

LuckyDusty
LuckyDusty

@Burnblaze
@CodeBuns
Well, I was specifically asked to complain. Had to nitpick real hard.

I think you're selling it short with this "it's only about combat" stuff
I'm selling this as a thing that has a lot of eye-catching combat stuff, but somewhat rudimentary support for everything else.

If I wished to have less combat, I'd choose a system with less pagecount dedicated to combat and more to other stuff (not necessarily imbecilic lunacy like social encounter rules as in CofD; might just be tables of X).

Supergrass
Supergrass

@Burnblaze
you don't need skills to roleplay
This so much. There not being a table to test "if you cry and, if so, how hard" does not mean the system doesn't have all the rules needed for role-playing.

Flameblow
Flameblow

@Supergrass
I agree, but sometimes it's refreshing to open a nice thicc rulebook with nice tight rules system and have at it without having to cover ugly parts first. Rules that are flat in the roleplay department are fine, heck I love those slender 2d6 systems that tell you "we are not going to teach you what to do", but still.

TechHater
TechHater

Anybody got a pdf? Doesn't have to be great quality - keep seeing this game mentioned and just want to flick through in case it's worth a buy.

Garbage Can Lid
Garbage Can Lid

@TechHater
[email protected]<dot>enzed/#!wC4D1LJQ!0MNRGDzZVxZMC7-eUO-cjWw8fOmxWPi3U83Y9rkO5z4

RumChicken
RumChicken

@Garbage Can Lid
You star.

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