[GP 1] Extracts from Stone & Shadow

Text: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported licence.

Artwork: Wahab, Kaitlynn Peavler, OpenGameArt.org, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported licence.

Extracts from Stone & Shadow

An article by Chris Sakkas


I was delighted to see John Harper recently re-release World of Dungeons, his 1979 magnum opus, for the Dungeon World Kickstarter. It brought back a lot of fond memories of gaming and writing during the 1980s. Everyone who played during that time bought Stone & Shadow, the unofficial World of Dungeons magazine. During that decade, it was the only content available while John Harper worked feverishly on Advanced World of Dungeons. Despite repeated promises, the expanded game (five pages, not including character sheets!) never materialised.

Though the magazine was unofficial, it became as important to players as the official rules themselves. The clarifications of and expansions upon World of Dungeons in the rules advice column ‘Harper’s Bizarre’ were controversial but very popular.

Of course, Stone & Shadow was a product of its time. Many of its classes, monsters and other content were clearly lifted from the popular culture of the day. In that, though, it loyally followed the World of Dungeons tradition.

On this, the release of a Dungeon World zine, it seemed fitting to harken back to the mythical foundations of our hobby. I hope you enjoy this blast from the past—extracts from Stone & Shadow issue 1!

Chris Sakkas.

Rounding out the Classes

[With errata reported by Christopher Weeks. — CS]

The original World of Dungeons presented nine skills and just five classes. Even with the Cleric doubling up with Heal and Decipher, that leaves three skills without a class to accompany them. If you follow the recommendation in this issue’s Harper’s Bizarre [to remove the Decipher skill from the Cleric. —CS], that’s another skill that should be the chosen skill of a class.

This article corrects this fault by presenting the Mountebank (trained in Deception), the Psychic Knight (trained in Awareness), the Archer (trained in Leadership) and the Archaeologist (trained in Decipher). These four classes rounds out the skill list; there is no need for any more classes to be written and Stone & Shadow will not publish any more. [This proved a little ambitious. By my count, S&S had published 134 classes by the end of its run. —CS]

Psychic Knight

The Psychic Knight is in tune with the universe. [Guess which popular sci-fi movie had recently been released. —CS]

Skill: Awareness.

Abilities (choose two):

Soulblade: You can summon a martial weapon using the power of your mind. It ignores Armour.

Deflect Attacks: You have an energy shield that takes damage equal to 2d6 before dissipating until you next rest.

Suggestion: You can change people’s memories with a wave of your hand.

Telekinesis: You can move and throw objects with your mind.


The Mountebank is a trickster and a charlatan who profits immensely from his or her frauds.

Skill: Deception.

Abilities (choose two):

Feign Ability: Roll +CHA. On a full hit, you gain the ability of another class for a whole day. On a partial hit, it fails you at an inopportune time.

Snake Oil: When you apply snake oil to an unwitting target, it has the effect the target believes that it has—but only for a short time. (In the case of a death effect, the target sleeps and cannot be awoken during the time).

Escape Notice: If there is anything else of equal or greater interest around you, you cannot be detected.

Gambit: Roll +CHA. On a full hit, you have perfectly prepared for this situation.

The Greater Fool: You always recognise the deceptions and schemes of others.


The Archaeologist investigates the past with a weapon in one hand and a culturally significant artifact in the other.

Skill: Decipher.

Abilities (choose two):

In the Library: When you use Decipher to use a magic item or ritual you have discovered, you learn one fact about its history or creation.

Outta the Library: When you roll 6 or lower on a Lore or Decipher roll, you learn one entirely unrelated fact.

Orbis: You ignore the presence of the divine and the profane in any circumstances where they would cause you difficulties.

Iconic Style: Any time you roll a 1 on your damage die, your enemy suffers another effect, like being knocked prone, entangled or knocked back a few feet.


The Archer has a mysterious power over the world. [I believe Diana Wynne Jones’ 1984 novel Archer’s Goon was the inspiration here. —CS]

Skill: Leadership.

Abilities (choose two):

Goon: You are twice the size of a normal person. When you roll HD, roll an extra 1d6. If you roll a 1 on damage, reroll.

Domain: Choose an area of the world, like the sky, or plants, or the future. You have natural power over that area.

Command: You can order creatures and people related to your domain to do your bidding. Requires: Domain.

Iron Will: You never suffer from mind-affecting effects.

The Truenamer

Skill: Decipher.

Abilities (choose two):

Words of Power: You begin knowing two words of power (see Truenaming).

Call Back: You can bring back from the dead anyone whose truename you know. On a miss, your shadow parts from your body and could fall under the influence of a Wizard with the Shadow cantrip.

Animal Form: You can transform into an animal by speaking its truename. The longer you remain transformed, the greater the risk of losing your mind. You know the truenames of at least a couple of animals.

Improvise Word of Power: You can speak a word of power that you do not know. On a miss, you can never speak it again.

Slave: If you know someone’s truename, you can control their body and mind.

Truenaming: Truenaming requires speaking words of power. A Truenamer begins knowing two words of power (nouns or verbs). Speaking a verb forces a target to take that action or causes an object to take that action (‘float’, ‘sleep’, ‘speak’, ‘dance’, ‘burn’, etc.) Speaking a noun gives control over those things or gives an area or object a quality related to that noun (‘truth’, ‘raptors’, ‘weapons’, ‘sky’, etc.)

Just as a Wizard can bind more spirits, Truenamers can learn more words of power. The more specific the word, the more power the Truenamer has over its subject.


Each character chooses one alignment.


Respect the gods and obey the laws of the universe.


Defy the gods and the natural order of things.


Actively balance Law and Chaos.


Do good and act selflessly.


Do evil and act selfishly.


Look out for yourself and those you care about.


Maximum speed: Normal. An extra skill. Cannot get an extra HD for being attended by a healer.


When reduced to 0 HP or below, you take a wound. The GM rolls the die of fate. On an even result, the injury is superficial (heals during your next rest). On an odd result the injury is major. While wounded, take −1 forward on all relevant rolls and:

  • Leg wound: SPD drops by one class.

  • Arm wound: Cannot use that arm.

  • Torso wound: Don’t add CON to HD.

  • Head wound: Cannot use any skills.

The Die is Cast: Random Encounters

Another use for the die of fate.

[Note that these place names names are taken from World of Dungeons, and are not covered by the Creative Commons licences that otherwise apply to this compilation. — CS]

Uru and the Great Desert

  1. Sandstorm.

  2. Sandworm.

  3. Dead horse and rider.

  4. Band of lion hunters.

  5. Oasis.

  6. Lost city.



  1. Fiery-hearted tundra wyrm.

  2. Injured werebear.

  3. Warm springs.

  4. Herd of yaks (one talking yak).

  5. Northish traders.

  6. Repentant berserker.

Xanathar and Islands

  1. Linnorm.

  2. Sacred baboons.

  3. Circus troupe.

  4. Philosopher-knight.

  5. Giraffe-centaurs.

  6. Amber pyramid.


  1. Nomadic raiders.

  2. Mirage.

  3. Officious mamluk.

  4. Zealot on a mission.

  5. Prince on a flying carpet.

  6. Genie’s lamp.

Ankhyra and Cythonis

  1. Priest of the Sun and Moon.

  2. Giant frog.

  3. Cythoni agitator.

  4. Ankhyran enforcer.

  5. Barrow.

  6. Floating vineyard.


  1. Ghost of Old Ironsides.

  2. Green giant.

  3. Cavaliers.

  4. Roundheads.

  5. Woodwose.

  6. Fay.


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