SHARD is an exciting new game of heroic fantasy and adventure set in the realm of Dárdünah, World of the False Dawn, a rather unique fantasy campaign setting. You won't find the standard fantasy fare in these pages; there are no elves, trolls, dwarves, knights, or even dragons. Indeed, the campaign world is quite a deviation from most European fantasy settings.
Dárdünah’s time period is not strictly medieval, the setting drawing its flavor from eastern rather than western cultures. Nor is it set on an alternate version of Earth. In fact, there are no humans on Dárdünah. Players may choose from a wide variety of animal people who are the main cast of the many adventures the world offers.
Skyships glide through shimmering clouds past majestic crystal peaks. Giant insects prowl alien jungles or lurk in the sparkling emerald seas. Warriors with blades of diamond and amber duel across crimson sands. And mystics chant in shadowy chambers as their spirits wander abroad. Currently being play-tested across the country, you may soon find this product available nation-wide by the beginning of 2008.
The game of SHARD is a paper RPG, a role-playing game that uses various books of rules and fiction, maps, character sheets, pencils, dice, and most importantly, the boundless imagination of the players and their Gamemaster to create the cinematic atmosphere of improvisational “theater of the mind” with rules! And it’s all set to be played by you and your group of friends around a table, or even in the comfort of your own living room.
Creating characters for the game is a step-by-step process that guides the player through choices meant to place each character firmly within the fiction of the world. SHARD offers several different “power-levels” of play from low to legendary, presents a huge variety of occupations from humble peasant to powerful lord, lets you choose between 90 different animals types of all shapes and sizes you can initially play, from mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, each with their own set of animal-based abilities, and that’s just the beginning! From there you select the many special talents, advantages, skills, and even drawbacks that help form each character as a unique individual with their own history to explore.
Of course, once the characters have been made, the game can begin! One among you will take on the role of the Gamemaster, a referee of sorts who helps guide the flow of the storyline through which the players’ characters will come to life. The Gamemaster, having familiarized themselves with the world of Dárdünah’s unique fictional backdrop, can use one of the many different campaign archetypes to help them build an exciting adventure for their players, and they can choose to use the rich fiction of the world and its cast of extra characters and creatures to come up with memorable storylines of their own.
The tone of the setting can best be described as Eastern heroic fantasy with a strong cloak-and-dagger influence, all set on an alien world. You will brave glowing clouds aboard magnificent skyships threatened by the deadly Crystal Corsairs. You will defend your lineage and honor against spies and slavers. You will face shadowy assassins and duel with Honor Guards in the Spiral Arena. You will Dreamwalk with eerie sorcerers and battle alien demons. And over all of this...the divine Devah look down from the Edge of Heaven.