Old School Rules (Shadowdark) RPG System: Gorgana Colony

Game Master DeJoker

Gorgana is an old penal colony located far from civilization. It is only feasibly approachable by airship due to the treacherous rocky desert that lies between the impassible mountain range which Gorgana is located next to and the nearest settlement to the far east.

To say that the inhabitants are truly criminals would be wrong, as the original inhabitants have all died except for an old crippled elf named Kurúki. In fact a majority of the population are actually descendents of criminals, political dissendents, and prisoners of war which are predominately what get sent here. The original group were brought here to the remains of an ancient city built into the mountain walls and next to a large stone wall that seals off the valley beyond. Strangely the wall has never had a opening built into it but does have three mechanisms to lower a platform down the one hundred feet from its top to the ground on the other side. The housing for the mechanism is ancient stone, while the mechanism and the materials its made of are not. Basically the community maintains these mechanisms in order to more safely make excursions into valley beyond.

The players will be those youthful individuals having gain the designation of explorer. Explorers are those tasked with delving deeper into the valley to find treasures. They are well thought of by the community as they are the life's blood of the community. For what they bring back is what eventually gets traded to the erratic arriving airships in exchange for valuable equipment and supplies not obtainable by the community.

For Guidelines on character creation see Recruitment except players start at 1st-Level for this game.

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If invited here, you were definitely chosen. You may be an RPG Elite.

Character creation will be conducted here.

* Waves *

"Hello?" *echoes come back in the empty chamber*
Hello? Hello? Helloooo?

Ok, question. I took the reroll for no 14s, but can I just keep the first roll as my character anyway? And then use the reroll for my backup character?

First Character Rolls
STR: 3d6 ⇒ (4, 5, 1) = 10
DEX: 3d6 ⇒ (3, 4, 4) = 11
CON: 3d6 ⇒ (6, 2, 2) = 10
INT: 3d6 ⇒ (6, 2, 5) = 13
WIS: 3d6 ⇒ (4, 3, 5) = 12
CHR: 3d6 ⇒ (6, 2, 5) = 13

Reroll/Backup Character
STR: 3d6 ⇒ (6, 2, 6) = 14
DEX: 3d6 ⇒ (4, 2, 3) = 9
CON: 3d6 ⇒ (1, 4, 1) = 6
INT: 3d6 ⇒ (6, 4, 4) = 14
WIS: 3d6 ⇒ (6, 3, 5) = 14
CHR: 3d6 ⇒ (5, 6, 2) = 13

Feels more old school. LOL

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No the next roll states if you choose to make it then you throw away your previous roll. Yes, I can see why you might choose to go back but I think having to work with the 9 and the 6 might be more challenging. However, what if someone rolled all 13s and then on their next roll got one 14 and stats worse than yours. It would be unfair to let them roll that back, they gambled and took a chance and it did not pay off. It does not say you have to roll again, just says you may choose to. I had a player roll a mix of stats once and get 6 like you did and further they did not average a 13 (which was that games criterion for re-rolling) but they also rolled an 18. The chose to keep that character, rather than roll again.

If it helps any, I have played old school (and will again when either GM Tribute or scranford start their game) and in one session the Fighter in the group, who rolled a 10 for CON rolled a 1 on a d10 for Hit Points. That player played that character and they and everyone else ended up having fun. Even more interesting on their first outing, he was the only one to return and he was there every step of the way. The only more talked about incident was the character that bought a war pig and when the group went out, the only party member to return was dun dun daaaah the war pig ;-)

I mean there is no guarantee that your first set of rolls will fair any better than your second set. However, since you chose to reroll, you still get to roll the stats up for your backup character ahead of time or you can wait until and IF this character dies.

Further within this Discussion thread is where you and the other players will work to create a group as unlike normal Pathfinder 1e you need everyone and everyone needs you.

Oh and lastly, you should think about how you are going to **role play** that 6 what does it mean about your character. These attributes are general things having a 6 just means on the average you not strong in that attribute but it might just mean your average in most things but in one or two or three or ??? The character is not that good, you get to choose how to portray that, I suggest something that makes the character fun to **role play** but is not overly annoying. Good role playing has its benefits. I think the guidelines might even mention how those might work and if not I know how to make them work. ;-)

Oh, I don't have issues with rping the 9 and 6 stats. Was just thinking I could make something cool with a commoner/peasant. Someone mostly unremarkable.

That said, no worries, I'll use the second set of rolls and roll again if/when he dies. LOL

Editted previous post Plastic Dragon you might want to re-read parts of it

Also if you have not dotted the Gameplay tab yet you might want to do so that way it shows up under the Campaigns under your Profile.

If you do not understand what dotting means it means simply that you:

1) Type "dot" or anything for that matter
2) Post that message
3) Delete that message

Note when doing that it puts your Character Alias into the Character tab for this game so you probably want to make that dotting post with the picture you want to use for your character.

Got it.

Will be making a dwarf cleric soon.

start of appearance and background

This is going to be fun

Grimli is mostly done

A former prisoner on a penal colony, tatted up with his divine code on his body like the deity he worships!!

Male Human Priest 1

And I'm working on my Human Priest... Dueling deities.

Background: 1d20 ⇒ 8 Jeweler

HP: 1d6 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6 6

Talent: 2d6 ⇒ (3, 2) = 5 +1 to melee or ranged attacks

Bonus Talent: 2d6 ⇒ (5, 5) = 10 +2 to STR or WIS (Already pretty wise... so I'll take the STR Bonus and make the previous talent +1 to melee.

Gold: 3d6 ⇒ (1, 2, 2) = 5 50 GP

Male Human Priest 1

Gaspar is pretty done as well. Worked for his father as a jewelers apprentice when he felt the call of Ord. Left in the night with nothing but the clothes on his back, his leather armor and shield, and an old mace his father took in trade for some work.

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Male Human Priest 1

Would you mind spoilering the campaign description, so it doesn't take up so much space on my campaigns page... if possible.

Gaspar Dawnbringer wrote:
Would you mind spoilering the campaign description, so it doesn't take up so much space on my campaigns page... if possible.

Yeah, that'd be a big help.

Beyond that, here's my character:

STR: 3d6 ⇒ (6, 2, 6) = 14
DEX: 3d6 ⇒ (4, 2, 3) = 9
CON: 3d6 ⇒ (1, 4, 1) = 6 *+2 = 8
INT: 3d6 ⇒ (6, 4, 4) = 14
WIS: 3d6 ⇒ (6, 3, 5) = 14
CHR: 3d6 ⇒ (5, 6, 2) = 13

Character Name: 1d20 ⇒ 8 Darvin

Ancestry: Dwarf

Class Talent Roll: 2d6 ⇒ (6, 6) = 12 Choose Talent or +2 to Stats
WOOT! +2 to Constitution, no question!*

HP: 1d8 ⇒ 7
HP: 1d8 ⇒ 3
* Rolled with Advantage (Fighter), then +2 HP
So, 7 -1 Con + 2 = 8

Background: 1d20 ⇒ 17 Minstrel? LOL. Awesome.

Title: Warrior
AC: 12 (Leather 11 - 1 CON + 2 Dwarf)
Language: Dwarfish, Common

Starting Equipment: 1d4 ⇒ 3

Starting Item: 1d12 ⇒ 9 Flint and Steel
Starting Item: 1d12 ⇒ 5 Rope, 60'
Starting Item: 1d12 ⇒ 3 Pole

Starting Gold: 2d6 ⇒ (3, 4) = 7 x 5 = 35gp

Gear Slots: 14

Greataxe 10 gp (2 Slots)
Leather Armor 10 gp (1 slot)
Shield 10 gp (1 slot)
Backpack 2 gp (0 slots)
Rations (3) 5 sp (1 slot)
Flask 3 sp (1 slot)

Encumbrance: 9/14
Gold: 2 gp, 2 sp

Background Concept (Pre-Group Discussion - All this is open to change)

Darvin is a minstrel and writer, as well as charming enough to play his lute and sing at the tavern to pay for at least half of his meals.

He was born with a hump and a weak heart, and so he's used to being underestimated, and generally goes overboard trying to prove himself, usually succeeding. Burdened with a rather noticable limp, Davrin learned to fight as much to defend himself from bullies as to become an actual warrior. The minstrel generally sees fighting as usually less favorable than talking things out, if he can. Still, no one can always be diplomatic, and sometimes you just have to shut up and fight, as Davrin learned recently when he got caught up in a rather vicious tavern brawl. (He'll start the game with a bit of a black eye.)

In any event, the dwarven minstrel practically jumped a the chance to be an explorer, if for no other reason than to earn enough money to purchase a new lute, (or find a new one) since his old one was demolished when he landed on it in the aforementioned bar fight.

(Davrin claims that lute cushioned his fall and this proves that his music may have literally saved his life.)

...or something like that. :)

Okay unless I missed someone in here we have the following mostly complete -- subject to group collaboration.

GM Tribute ......... Grimli the Sage .............. Male Dwarf Cleric of Lawful
scranford ............ Gaspar Dawnbringer .... Male Human Cleric of Lawful
Plastic Dragon .... Darvin Brewsinger ........ Male Dwarf Fighter

Thanks! I think I will make a wizard. I'll try to find some time to work on the character in the next day or two.

Stat Rolls: Str 13, Dex 11, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 9
Ancestry: Human
Class: Wizard
HP: 1d4 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
Talents: 2d6 ⇒ (3, 2) = 52d6 ⇒ (4, 5) = 9 (+2 Intelligence, advantage on one wizard spell you know)
Background: 1d20 ⇒ 11 (Mercenary)
Alignment: Neutral
Title: Shaman
Starting Gold: 2d6 ⇒ (2, 3) = 5 (25 gp)

I still need to pick spells, languages, and gear. I'll do that and come up with the fluff later on.


• Burning Hands* (advantage from wizard talent)
• Magic Missile
• Sleep

Languages: Common, Dwarvish, Orcish, Sylvan, Draconic, Primordial

Gear: Crawling kit, dagger, staff, lantern, mirror, oil flask, 1 gp

Gear Slots: 12/13

Just need the fluff now.

Brainiac your character will know the crippled elf, as he is the local teacher of spell casters of the arcane arts which there are not too many of

Note: I will be going through all the characters this weekend, and hopefully put up the first post this weekend or by Monday assuming nothing overly exciting happens in RL as it sometimes does.

Appearance | Female human shaman 1 | AC 10, HP 6/6 | Spells: Burning Hands, Magic Missile, Sleep

Alright, I've put an alias together for my wizard. Fanki learned shamanic magic from the old elf Kurúki. Since there are few wizards in Gorgona, her services were in high demand, and she made decent coin working for the highest bidder. Now, though, she's ready to see what lies beyond and below the colony as an explorer!

Avatar and appearance still might change before game start.

Posted the wrong link in the interest thread to here. I fixed that.

Thanks for getting this started. Looks like we have two front liners and a back liner. Awesome.

Lets not roll 1s when we cast spells!!

Male Human Priest 1
DeJoker wrote:

Okay unless I missed someone in here we have the following mostly complete -- subject to group collaboration.

GM Tribute ......... Grimli the Sage .............. Male Dwarf Cleric of Lawful
scranford ............ Gaspar Dawnbringer .... Male Human Cleric of Lawful
Plastic Dragon .... Darvin Brewsinger ........ Male Dwarf Fighter

Just a clarification... I had Gaspar Priest of Ord's alignment listed as Lawful when it is in actuality Chaotic. I changed on the profile. Should be an interesting interplay between Grimli and Gaspar...

Okay so Gaspar that would technically be a faux pas. However the three very limited alignments, as presented, had me a bit concerned because technically their basic description are as follows:

Lawful. = Good
Neutral = Neutral
Chaotic = Evil

Which frankly to me seemed way to narrow however, what I am going to do is as follows:

PCs = Good
Lawful. = Lawful Good
Neutral = Neutral Good
Chaotic = Chaotic Goood

NPCs = Good or Neutral or Evil

Villains = Evil
Lawful. = Lawful Evil
Neutral = Neutral Evil
Chaotic = Chaotic Evil

What are you thoughts GM Tribute

Also I am waiting until after the holidays to hear from that final player that applied and if they respond by at least Wednesday I will give them a few more days to get their character completed prior to launch, otherwise I could get things launched as soon as Wednesday evening, provided you are all okay with not having a map of the town you basically grew up in as that will take much longer for me to create. However, I will try to get a posting under the Campaign tab of the places of interest within Gorgana

Consider Darvin NG then.

Some of us old school guys remember when there were only three alignments.

Since chaotic was what bad guys were, you were lawful or neutral. Neutral characters were like Han Solo before he fully converted to be lawful (good). I have no problem with you moving back to the nine alignment system. I will keep the Shadowdark simple system as then I would probably have to make the deities more complicated too. I am embracing the Shadowdark back to simpler times idea.

I am also thinking of having a week of PbP time equal an hour of torch time. I will probably do 5 posts a week, so 5 full crawling rounds will be an hour equivalent.

I like the attack the light theme that enemies may have. The one holding the torch is an obvious focus when the dark is dangerous. We are bringin some dwarves, so we may not be as scared of the dark. But, if dark means constant swarms of monsters, we will be fighting to keep the light too.

And, I still need to get on Discord.

We have a classic party short a thief. Hopefully our ten foot pole will find some traps.

If we are converting to nine alignment system, LG for me.

Well technically I am only converting to 3 alignments for the heroes and villains. Still I cut my teeth on DnD 1e and by then they had all 9 alignments.

I mean if I were going to go with just 3 alignments it would not be Lawful, Neutral, Chaotic -- it would Good, Neutral, Evil as that would much more clear and would leave wiggle room for players who must be Good as being more Lawful or more Choatic or sitting some where in between.

So how about that GM Tribute would you being willing to shift to the 3 alignments of Good, Neutral and Evil rather than Lawful, Neutral, and Chaotic ??

From the wiki: The original version of D&D (1974) allowed players to choose among three alignments when creating a character: lawful, implying honor and respect for society's rules; chaotic, implying rebelliousness and individualism; and neutral, seeking a balance between the extremes.

So, I like to go retro.

If you want to call yours Good, neutral and evil -- I can see making that the more "intuitive" call.

I just like the retro names and being consistent with the Shadowdark RAW.

Okay I will stick with the 3 Alignments but shift to Good, Neutral, and Evil.

Mainly because someone can be whimsical (chaotic) without being evil and I have never felt that individualism is an evil thing. I had just not thought about making that shift until after I had went with defining the 3 alignments to be Good, Neutral, and Evil.

To me simple and intuitive is better and as you stated it is more intuitive and yeah just three alignments is simpler. Still the G-N-E gets away from the confusion that has already stemmed from the rather non-intuitive concepts of L-N-C.

So my apologise to the players for this double shift, but my concern was the apparent confusion that already cropped up when using the original L-N-C and hopefully switching to the G-N-E will be easier for all to comprehend the dividing lines.

That being said, I hope most (if not all) the PCs will choose Good over Neutral as I prefer to run Heroic games.

Hey, guys.

I think that, after seeing the discussions back and forth over in the Gauntlet thread, I'm going to back out of the Colony game. Too much of a Rules Lawyering thing in Shadow Dark for my taste.

No hard feelings, folks. Everyone plays their own way.
Happy Gaming.

Okay not sure what Darvin (aka Plastic Dragon) is referring to about rules Lawyering as none of that was going on in my perspective. Granted GM Tribute and I were hammering out GM styles so that we could effectively run a semi-joint world system but that is collaboration not rules Lawyering

Now however, if any of you players have thoughts or ideas about the Shadowdark Guidelines feel free to bring them up (now or in the future). As the most important aspect of any set of Guidelines is for them to be fun and enjoyable to play and no set of Guidelines is perfect which is way most (if not all) developers usually explicitly state (or at least they used to) that the GM should take the Guidelines and use what works and adjust or disregard any that do not work for their game. Still if I should make any adjustments as such, I will try to make them as minimal as possible and inform everyone up front about any changes. I will also update the Campaign tab with any adjustments made.

I will warn all of you that while I am quite familiar with the game play style that Shadowdark represents I am not fully proficient in these fairly new set of guidelines. I wrongly initially assumed Shadowdark was a setting for Pathfinder. So this game will be a sort of playtesting of these specific Guidelines for myself and perhaps some or maybe all of you. So please be vocal so we can make this game fun for one and all.

So that leaves us with
GM Tribute .... Grimli the Sage .............. Male Dwarf Cleric of Good (Lawful)
scranford ....... Gaspar Dawnbringer .... Male Human Cleric of Good (Chaotic)
Brainiac .......... Fanki ............................... Lady Human Wizard Neutral (Good)

So just kind of waiting on Brainiac to indicate they have completed their character but I will get things started with just two by tomorrow evening regardless (assuming you are both okay with that). Then Brainiac (if not done) can join in as soon as they are done.

I had been away on vacation the past few days, but I am back now. My character is done and I'm ready to start whenever you are.

That is awesome to hear Brainiac and I hope your Vaca was refreshing and enjoyable -- we have one more player to join us so I will still wait until tomorrow evening to launch anyway.

Howdy folks

Good to have you Elbow (or would you prefer EttF?) looking forward to seeing what you are wanting to play.

As stated Lift-Off is tomorrow evening (at the latest - earlier if you get your character done before then) but if you cannot get your character completed by then -- no harm no foul -- but hopefully you will have at lease picked an appropriate Avatar by then to represent your character so that they can interact with the group as they begin their journey from their deepest inner mind into the outer limits.

I should be done tonight (PST)

Neutral Thief
16, 17, 10, 8, 6, 8
HP: 4 AC: 14
Gear: Leather armor (10gp), Crawler kit (7gp), Dagger (1gp), 2 torches (1gp), Shortsword (7gp), Short bow (6gp), 20 arrows (1gp)
Slots: 14/16
Coin: 7gp
Mighty - +1 attack and damage with melee weapons
Backstab - If you hit a creature who is unaware of your attack, you deal an extra damage die. Add extra dice equal to half your level.
Thievery - You are adept at thieving skills and have the necessary tools of the trade secreted on your person (they take up no slot)
You are trained in the following tasks and have advantage on associated checks.
Climbing, sneaking and hiding, applying disguises, finding and disabling traps, delicate tasks such as pick pocketing and picking locks.

Crunchy bits so far, let me know if anything jumps out as wrong or missing

Grimli a Crossbow does not automatically come with Bolts otherwise it would say so. Further your character is at the maximum for their Slots (aka Carrying Capacity). Now this is fairly easy to fix since first I am providing a discount on your first Crawling Kit (see below) which will allow you to buy the Case of 20 Bolts and second I am discounting the Slots Used by the Backpack (see below) allowing you to carry that Case of Bolts.

Everyone Please Cast Your Vote
Now however we go return to the question of tracking ammo that was brought up in another game I was running earlier. Old school pretty much had you tracking everything down to the copper piece but yeah keeping that granulated level of tracking seems to have been partially done away with in Shadowdark. That being said I am taking a vote:

1) We can track ammo per piece, and every time you shoot one and miss you roll a d6 on a 1 or 2 it is lost, otherwise you find it. If you hit you roll the d6 but now on a 1 to 4 it is broken, otherwise it is recovered. However, their may be mitigating circumstances that may prevent this for specific pieces of ammo (GM discretion thus GM tracks this). Regardless, for each recoverable piece of ammo it takes a full round action.

2) We do not track ammo per piece, but per lot which means one has to purchase a lot each time they return to base. However, it might run out in the field if a critical failure is rolled while using it. Of course, the projectile weapon might break as well, or something else basically as bad based on the Critical Failure Chart for Missile Weapons which I will be creating.

If it helps any, I will vote by Lot rather than by Piece but only in case there is a tie.

For Everyone's Knowledge and I will be posting this under the Campaign tab as well.

Backpack and Crawling Kit
To make the Backpack and the initial Crawling Kit be a bit better. I am making the following adjustments.

Initial Crawling Kit ... Cost: 5gp ... Slots Used per Backpack
.... Includes: Backpack, Flint-n-Steel, Torch x2, Rations x3, Grappling Hook, Iron Spikes x10, Rope 60ft

Backpack ... Cost: 2gp
.... Slots: 0 when worn, 1 Slot otherwise
.... Slots Used: The 5th, 10th and 15th Slot Used are Free
.... Maximum Slots: 15 Slots

This allows the backpack to carry a maximum of three extra slots when full assuming the character can even carry that much. However it also limits how much you can stuff into a single backpack which makes magic bags of holding still very useful items.

Critical Failure
They oddly do not have a Critical Failure chart for Attacks so I will be making one for Melee and Missile Attacks and posting that in the Campaign tab.

Fanki (aka Brainiac) you did not make a roll for the extra Talent you got for being Human unless I missed something somewhere.

Also here is what I have for your Gear after applying the adjustments I have made:

... Dagger .... 1gp .... 1s
... Staff .... 5sp .... 1s
... Belt Pouch .... 0sp .... 0s
....... Coins .... 2gp
... Crawling Kit .... 5gp
....... Backpack ........ 0gp 0s
....... Flint-n-Steal ........ 0gp 1s
....... Torch x2 ........ 0gp 2s
....... Rations x3 ........ 0gp 1s
....... Grappling Hook ........ 0gp 0s
....... Iron Spikes x10 ........ 0gp 1s
....... Rope 60ft ........ 0gp 1s
....... Lantern ........ 5gp 1s
....... Oil Flask ........ 5sp 1s
....... Mirror ........ 10gp 1s

Gear Slots: 13/11

Note: A lantern only last an hour its advantage is that it illuminates a 2 Near radius rather than just a Near radius and it can be concealed without extinguishing it. Extinguishing a torch causes it to lose 1d4+1 rounds of use.

Brainiac and GM Tribute both of you are missing your Backgrounds please make a 1d20 roll and consult the chart on page 26
Brainiac I was off a bit on the previous post about Fanki's Gear

Coins .... 3gp

Mirror .... 10gp 0s (as its the 10th Slot in the Backpack)

Gear Slots: 13/10

Okay Elbow you are missing things as well. Also while you did not list your Ancestry, I was able to figure it out.

You did not roll for your Background and you did not list your Languages

Further I think your math is way off for Gear you rolled 20gp but I have you spending 31gp?? If it helps you any, Leather Armor and the initial Crawling Kit costs a total of 15gp.

This leaves you with just 5gp to purchase other things which precludes you from buying either a Short Sword or a Short Bow and Quiver w/20 Arrows as both of those cost 7gp each.

Now lucky for you I did tweak the gear a little and I have added a Sling which costs 1sp uses 0 slots and Box w/Bullets 20 costs 1gp uses 1 slot

I have two talents: +2 to Intelligence and advantage on one spell you know (I chose burning hands).

I did roll for my background as well, which came up as Mercenary.

Okay thanks Brainic I must of missed that my apologies thanks for that update.

However what is you vote on the Ammunition issue?

Tracking by lot seems easier to me.

Whoops thought I rolled 8 for gold (looked at the talent roll)

Thanks Brainiac for the Vote -- hopefully everyone else will Vote here soon enough.

No problems Elbow just making sure we are all on the same page.

Male Human Priest 1

Lot for me

Neutral Half-Orc Thief HP: 4/4 AC: 13 Torches Lit: 0/6 Slots 13/16


random background: 1d20 ⇒ 13
13 Acolyte. You're well trained in religious rites and doctrines


From recruitment, do you want me to reroll?

This was added to character sheet
Grimli has experience with religious sites and rituals

I will accept the roll from Recruitment just to speed things up. Further my apologies I began working on the first post yesterday and was planning on completing it then RL though a curveball at me when I was expecting a fastball.

Will be hopefully finishing up the intial post today and gettting up, and I will finish going over the characters as things progress forward.

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