Shadows & Shapes
A downloadable game
A lightweight fantasy tabletop RPG with a few distinctive twists.
Shadows & Shapes explores a distinctive way of representing combat in tabletop RPGs. Can combat be designed in a way that is much more puzzle-like, and that imagines combat as a realm of constraint and necessity, rather than a realm of freedom and imagination?
All conflicts in Shadows & Shapes are resolved with playing cards. The combat mechanics are based around a trick-taking card game, so if you've ever played Bridge, Hearts, or Oh Hell, you'll have no trouble picking up Shadows & Shapes.
The combat system has an unusual feel, since the players' decisions are highly constrained. Although strategy is important, there is often a single optimum strategy. Collaboration is at the heart of Shadows & Shapes. If you set a foot wrong, it might be somebody else who pays the price.
Two Sets of Rules
The rules are only a few pages long, and suited for one-shot games.
The Basic rules feature just four Classes, two spells, no race-based abilities, and no movement rules. Combat moves are restricted to the acronym SHAPE:
- Special Move (Attack, Protect, or Enchant, depending on Class)
The Advanced rules add a few more layers and options. The Advanced rules are still pretty simple though!
The overall tone here is of an old school dungeoncrawl, with a few fresh touches. Shadows & Shapes includes ideas for a setting, 'The Vale.' If you like those ideas, you might want to check out The Shrike, Dungeons & Drapers, or Skycrawl.
Any further development would depend on interest. So if you're intrigued, or you enjoy playing it, or have suggestions, drop me a line!
If you are so done with dungeons, the rules are easily adaptable to different genres, settings, and stories.
|Genre||Card Game, Role Playing|
|Tags||diceless-rpg, Fantasy, One-shot, sad-press, the-vale, Tabletop role-playing game|
In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $1 USD. You will get access to the following files:
Leave a comment
Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.