Monday, October 1, 2012

Monstrous Monday: Shadow People

"Shadow People" image by Robert & Mihaela Vicol

Sometimes you can feel them behind you. Just don't look. If you look, they may grab hold of you and eat your shadow. The Shadow People congregate near Gates. When you pass through a Gate, close your eyes. Just before crossing the threshold, ignore anything you might see in your peripheral vision. And whatever you do, don't look back! If you see one of the Shadow People, they will be able to touch and hitch a ride on you.

No one is entirely sure where the Shadow People come from or what they are. The Keeper family, as Gate guardians see them the most, and believe they are the ghosts of Spherewalkers who have died far from their homes - or worse yet, have died while walking between the worlds.

Shadow People release their victims once they have passed through into another Realm. But the Spherewalkers they ride are forever changed by the experience: they no longer cast a shadow. Sometimes they also have new memories... of terrible past deeds.

Everway Mechanics:

Shadow People (Creature)

The Elements:
  • Fire 1 
  • Earth 1  
  • Air 3 
  • Water 6  
  • Consume Spherewalker's Shadow - 2 point power.  This power can only be used if the Shadow Person a touches a Spherewalker; effect is permanent, and reduces Spherewalker's Water Score by 3 to a minimum of 1.
  • Ride Spherewalker - 2 point power. If a Spherewalker directly looks at a Shadow Person, the Shadow Person will be able to touch and thereby ride the Spherewalker through one Gate and out another Gate into a different Realm.
  • Gatestalk - 2 point power. A Shadow Person can move silently and invisibly beside or behind a Spherewalker, but may never cross directly in front of one. Once approached, the Spherewalker is likely to feel the Shadow Person's presence and begin looking for a nearby spirit. If the Spherewalker's Water score is higher than the Shadow Person's Water score, the Spherewalker may close or avert their eyes to avoid seeing the Shadow Person.


  1. Very cool. I am not familar with the Everway system. Where should I look to find out more?

  2. Hi Tim:

    Jonathan Tweet designed the game, which Wizards published in the mid-90s. Everway was the last game in which Jonathan had a major hand until the release of Third Edition D&D. In fact, the original list of the kinds of people/adventures you can have at the beginning of the PHB for 3.0 owes a debt to Everway. If you think of Everway as a Big White Box, that all starts to make sense.

    The game uses a Tarot-like Fortune Deck to resolve conflicts. The trumps of the Fortune Deck also help players specify a Virtue, Fault, and Fate for their characters during chargen. The creation of worlds (i.e., Realms on different Spheres) involves the same mechanic.

    Chargen also used art cards, called Inspiration Cards, to help players create a background story about their character.

    Characters have four stats: Fire, Earth, Water, and Air, which each have a numerical value. Highest relevant value usually wins in a conflict, but the Fortune Deck is always there to add complexity, inspiration, or randomness to a situation.

    Chargen also includes a point-based power design mechanic that owed quite a bit to his earlier game "Over the Edge", and informed the work of other Everway contributors such as Greg Stolze (power design in the One Roll Engine used in Godlike was in turn influenced by Everway).

    Unfortunately, this great game is out of print.

  3. And The Crossroads page on the upper right has links to many different Everway sites and resources!


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