Reintroducing the Weird Wizard
What Lies Ahead?
Ready yourselves for a crowdfunding quest…
A couple years ago, I had planned to bang out Shadow of the Weird Wizard in a matter of months, take it to Kickstarter, and diversify my company’s brand beyond gross-out and raunchy. Little did I know what life had in store for me. Here we are, in 2023, after 50 or so drafts, and I’m finally ready to start talking about this game in the hopes that you will like what you see enough to toss a few bucks my way and help bring this product into physical and digital form.
Shadow of the Weird Wizard presents a fantasy world at a pivotal moment in its history. Over the ages, civilizations have risen and fallen, sometimes with long-lasting consequences. Now, the old order has collapsed into war and chaos, driving refugees out of what is known as the Old Country and into the borderlands, a lightly-populated region that stands between the Great Kingdom of the past and the unknown lands that were, until recently, ruled by the Weird Wizard. The players take on the roles of heroes who help the refugees rebuild their homes in these new lands and protect them from the myriad dangers afoot. Characters might forge alliances with the peoples living here, secure aid from the various city-states that rise from the shores of the Sea of Fear, explore ruins left by trolls, faeries, and the depraved, and, perhaps, uncover the mystery of the Weird Wizard’s fate.
I’m not reinventing the wheel here. Shadow of the Weird Wizard makes use of the same system that runs Demon Lord and PunkApocalyptic, so if you know those games, you’ll know this one. That said, I made some important changes to better capture the mood and feel of heroic questing. If you’re not familiar with any of this, here are some highlights to give you a sense of how the game works.
- Unified core mechanic to resolve all activities in the game, employing the familiar d20 with boons and banes (d6’s) serving to mitigate the “swinginess” of the die.
- Rapid character creation so you can play right away.
- Scaling complexity such that the options available to you grow in potency and variety the longer you play, making the early stages of play simple and approachable, and the later exciting and complex.
- Wide customization of character development, achieved by choosing three different paths over the course of a campaign that speak to what your character does in the game and how your character fits into the world.
- Short quests, achievable campaigns. Groups undertake ten quests to complete a campaign. Each quest can be completed in a few hours of play.
Why Another Fantasy Game?
My intentions behind creating Shadow of the Demon Lord haven’t changed. I think there’s plenty of room in the hobby for all kinds of roleplaying games, and the fantasy genre remains a favorite, for me and roleplaying fans alike. Shadow of the Weird Wizard represents the sum of my experience designing for three editions of Dungeons & Dragons, one edition of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, and all that I have learned from creating other games under my company’s banner.
Now, more than any other time, the appetite for these sorts of games is at its greatest. My goal is still to present a no-nonsense approach to gameplay, with a slick and streamlined rules set that is both familiar and new, that enables novices and veterans to come to the table and tell interesting and exciting stories with the help of a game master. Shadow of the Weird Wizard has been thoroughly play-tested, picked apart, built, rebuilt, and sanded so that the game now sings. Weird Wizard lets you play any kind of character you can imagine, from clockwork mages slinging fireballs, to strange sorcerers who consult with diabolical powers, to sprites able to shrink themselves to minuscule size, or even gunsmiths, swashbucklers, divine avatars, and so much more. You can tell stories of high adventure, gritty steampunkery, dark fantasy, light fantasy, magic-rich mayhem, weird tales of the bizarre, and anything else you can imagine.