In May 2017 we presented the Shadow of the Demon Lord Bundle, featuring Shadow of the Demon Lord, Robert J. Schwalb‘s dark fantasy RPG of grim heroism against a cosmic destroyer. In this fast-playing, low-prep March 2015 Kickstarter triumph, desperate heroes battle strange magic, unhinged cultists, and roaming mobs of undead while humanity’s last great empire slides toward oblivion.
As Shadow designer Robert Schwalb explained in a one-hour YouTube interview with The RPG Brewery, “You know the best part of your fantasy campaign — the one where Orcus is clawing his way out of the Abyss to wreak havoc on the world? Or Asmodeus has finally hatched his nefarious plan, or Tiamat has just hatched all her baby dragons and the world is about to end, and it’s down to your heroes to stop that from happening? You know that really cool part you never get to see because you set it up for level 20, and it’s so far off on the horizon that your group breaks up after two and a half months, and you never ever get there? Demon Lord is the best part of the campaign, dragged kicking and screaming toward the front of the game. So you’re only playing the coolest parts of your fantasy world.”
Schwalb’s long experience on the Wizards of the Coast Dungeons & Dragons design team (both Third and Fifth Editions), as well as his work on A Song of Ice and Fire, Dark Heresy, Numenera, Star Wars Saga Edition, and many other recent games, shows well in Shadow of the Demon Lord, which brings an old-school sense of simplicity and surprise into the modern age. If you love Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, the Ravenloft and Midnight settings, Joe Abercrombie’s The First Law novels, or heavy metal music, track down Shadow and confront the Void That Hungers.
There were four titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $44), including the complete 278-page Shadow of the Demon Lord corebook (retail price $20), the Demon Lord’s Companion (retail $10), the Uncertain Faith sourcebook of divine magic (retail $12), and the fine introductory adventure Dark Deeds in Last Hope (retail $2).
Those who paid more than the threshold (average) price also got our entire Bonus Collection with seven more delicious gobbets of evil worth an additional $66. What’s in these supplements? The titles speak for themselves: Hunger in the Void (retail $12), Tombs of the Desolation (retail $10), A Glorious Death (retail $10), Terrible Beauty (retail $12), and Exquisite Agony (retail $10). After launch we added Tales of the Demon Lord (retail $10), a collection of 11 low-prep adventures across the Northern Reach, and the Demon Lord Screen (retail $2) with all the charts you need.
That’s a total retail value of US$110, yet cheaper than a ticket to a midnight gig by your favorite heavy metal band. (At least, we assume so.) Ten percent of each payment (after gateway fees) went to the charity designated by Robert Schwalb, the Wildlife Conservation Society.