Shard (role-playing game)

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Shard Basic Compendium Cover.jpg
Designer(s) Aaron de Orive & Scott Jones / Shard Studios
Publisher(s) Studio 2 Publishing
Publication date 2009
Genre(s) anthropomorphic, fantasy
System(s) d6 dice
Website ShardRPG

Shard by Shard Studios is an anthropomorphic heroic fantasy role-playing game set in Dárdünah, the World of the False Dawn, a secondary world fantasy setting that is influenced by oriental culture.[1]



The game takes place on Dárdünah, a unique, crystalline planet orbited by three moons and two suns. Albeit some ancient force cracked the planet at its very core and thus separated entire continents by deep, insurmountable chasms, the world appears to be largely stable. Dárdünah is also called The World of the False Dawn. This is because due to the configuration of the planet's suns, the real dawn of the amber sun Lokáynü is preceded by the gloomy, blue dawn of the holy sun Edü.


Metal deposits are mostly absent from this world, existing only in trace quanitites and thus most objects are being fashioned out of wood, chitin, a special tree sap called Amber and of course, the ever-present crystals. These crystals however sometimes possess wondrous qualities. They can be treated with chemistry, magic or other techniques to suit many needs such as to form blades as hard, if not harder than conventional metals.

Flora and Fauna[edit]

There are no humans on Dárdünah. Instead, the world is inhabited by a plethora of anthropomorphic races (more than ~90 types so far, 90 more being delivered with the next book Magic & Martial Arts) including Vajrah (mammals), Paksin (avians), and Sarpah (reptiles) with many different animal abilities such as Natural Weaponry, Flight, Venom, Thermal Sensing or Nightvision.

The setting substitutes many ordinary animals with exotic insectoid counterparts, called Suthra and many other alien creatures. There is also many examples of strange and dangerous plant life.


The societies and culture of Dárdünah have largely been inspired by oriental culture. There are many kingdoms with different types of regimes, such as the Amín, Khanate and Principalities.


The dormant religion is the polytheistic Mahist Faith. Mahists believe in deities called the Mother and Father, who came to their world and created their gods, the Devah, and subsequently them. This belief also incorporates concepts such as the Edge of Heaven where the deceased go to dance with the gods until they are reborn and the Swirling Hells of Narákah, where wicked souls receive punishment.

Caste System[edit]

Most societies of Dárdünah follow a caste-system similar to the one present in India.

  • Holy Caste - Highest caste, elders, masters, priests, practitioners of ritual magic, etc.
  • High Caste - The sunborn, blessed by the light of both suns. Along with the holy caste the only caste that is allowed to wield Suthra insect weapons and Vaylah firearms. Warriors, rulers, landowners, etc.
  • Trade Caste - Traders, artists and skilled Laborers, etc.
  • Peasant Caste - Farmers, servants, unskilled workers, etc.
  • Outcaste - Ones born into the outcaste are considered punished by the gods for wrongs done in earlier lives. Yet, sparing them from the swirling hells is still a sign of their hope that these souls might stray from their previous erroneous paths. Otherwise individuals might get downgraded into this caste as a judicidal punishment. Escaped slaves, outlaws, beggars, etc.

Game System[edit]

Shard uses a comparably simple but powerful D6 based role-playing system which features about 37 Animal Abilities, 20 talents and 100 different skills with countless of specializations.


Combat in Shard can be performed with many different types of skills from brutal untrained brawling to graceful and refined martial arts techniques.

  • Martial Arts - The ability to fight according to chosen martial styles (which are to be delivered with the supplement Shard: Magic & Martial Arts shipping in late 2010).
  • Melee Combat - The ability to use handheld weapons in a normal fashion.
  • Brawling - Basic, dirty Hand-to-Hand combat.
  • Missile Combat - Use small non-gunpowder projectile weapons such as bows and crossbows.
  • Throw - Allows characters to use thrown weapons such as spears, javelins, shuriken, darts, etc...
  • Firearm Combat - Allows the player to use Vaylah, which are small gunpowder weapons such as pistols, muskets, rifles, blunderbusses, etc. in combat.
  • Suthra Use - Use trained beasts to perform various tasks, including combat.


The magic in Dárdünah is of very shamanic nature. Magic users, the sir'hibasi, traverse and utilize the dream plane, a ghostly world composed of magic and dreams, to peer into the future and past, manipulate their own or foreign energy flows to endow magical items or heal mortal wounds.

External links[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ de Orive, Aaron and Jones, Scott. "Shard RPG Basic Compendium" (Shard Studios, 2009) ISBN 0-9802426-0-6.