From Chainmail to D&D Next
This is one of my favorite systems, and settings. The Shadow of Yesterday is pulpy romantic sword-and-sorcery at the end of one world and the beginning of the next. Its setting “The World of Near” is stimulating. It is a fantasy setting with no gods, no monster, only people. There is good and evil in the world, but it always caused by the choices of people. This setting is challenging but it bring great drama with it.
TYoS was one of the first stake setting conflict games, that I played. It also introduced me to Keys, a way to get experience for doing the things you want to see in the fiction. The system has pools which are spent to earn bonus on a roll, and the pools are refilled by having dramatic scenes. TYoS hit all my buttons for a game that I wanted to play, and I encourage others to try it out.
All conflicts are resolved with a single roll, unless the players choose to make it a high drama moment and call from the “Bring Down the Pain” sub-system. It’s an extended contest where the goal is to batter down your opponent.
Play this game when you want a high drama sword and sorcery game. TSoY encourages dramatic play and player empowerment. This is a great game to use as an introduction to indie and small press games, many of the concepts in this game have been used in many other games. When it came out it was truly a cutting edge vision.