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Shades of Earth

Alternative History Role-Playing Game

created by HinterWelt Enterprises

Shades of Earth

Copyright by HinterWelt Enterprises, LLC 1996 All rights reserved. Any reproduction of the enclosed materials without the express written permission of HinterWelt Enterprises, LLC is prohibited.


This is to acknowledge all the people who were indispensable to the creation of Shades of Earth and all it entails. The list is long because many were players and continue to be players, thus play testers. Here's to all of you.
Paul Anderson
Monty Bevers
Al Kacynski
Kurt Johnson
Liesel Doser (the ultimate tramp/thief)
Toby Pallette (the ultimate jealous boyfriend)
Larry Strong
Scott Strong (no relation)
Mike Bloomfield
Rob LeMieux
Steve "Sparky" Thumma
Dale "D.O.C." Thrush
Jim "Nez" Nesbit (The crazed Scot)
Matt Bohaczek
Hartwig Harms
Steve Currie
Sue Corrie (aka Knutson)
Josh Ericson (ranger playing elf wannabe)
Benito "Beans" Gonzalez Jr. (The Mexican)
Kim Majernik
Becky Richardson (The almost dead dwarf)
Frank Knap (Mr. W. Poopypants)
Chris McDonald (Momma's Boy)
Bill Stechman
Jacob Burris
Corey "Nightmare" Somers
Scott Koeppel
Dave "Mr. Science" Liming
Jonathan Lupa
Tony Lupa
TJ Kohler
Louis Cribbins
John McCarten
Darin Rebertus
Tom Breed
Jessica Breed
Morgan Wilson
Mike Thelen
Julie Thelen
Joseph F. Peshel (Stein-wielding Dwarf)
With Special Thanks To:
Linda (My loving Wife)
Anthony (The Ultimate Brother)

Table of Contents
Alternative History 7
Character Creation 11
Statistics for Characters 16
Character Classes 25
Weapons and Equipment 33
Combat, Critical Failure and Success 51
Character Skills 67
Organizations 85
History 95
Experience and Spells 109
Artifacts and Devices 163
Foes 173
Telling Tales 215
Adventure in Anduhar 225
Art Credits

Cover Art: Chris Martinez

Interior Art

Calvin Camp

Bob Cram Jr.

S.A. Skinner

Chris Martinez

Leo Winstead

Grey Thornberry

Mark Brooks

Jeremy McHugh

Ken McCracken

Emily Bentgen

Brian Kleinefelter

Jacob Burris

Primary System Designer: William Corrie III Chief Editor: Linda Corrie
Editor: Jessica Breed Historical Consultant: John McCarten
Layout and Graphic Design: William and Linda Corrie HinterWelt Logo: Emily Bentgen


Back in 1982 a couple of high school kids wanted to make their own monster hunting RPG. They were fans of Bogie and loved WWII movies but really enjoyed those movies like The Big Sleep and Casablanca. So they began. Tweaking some things but outright coming up with concepts that they had not seen in a game was initially tough but they really got into it. One of the them found Jesus and lost role-playing while the other went off to college. He met the love of his life there, and it turned out she was a role-player. They took the scraps of notes and over the next 15 years turned the basic system into three RPGs. Tales of GaeaTM, NebuleonTM and Shades of EarthTM were all born of the same RPG frame and it worked. They played the game while they ran their game store. They played their game while they worked in other industries. They printed up spiral bound copies and gave them to anyone who wanted to try something different. In the end, there could be no other outcome. They had to print the books.
Shades of EarthTM comes with the 1938 setting, but it has always been our intention to make the Iridium SystemTM and Shades of EarthTM easily customizable to any time frame. So do not think of this game as a linear timeline but one of many branches. We give a few examples of alternate timelines throughout the book, but in the end you should not feel intimidated by history. Historical accuracy should be up to the group, with the GM allowing everyone to be as comfortable as possible and to enjoy the game. At times this will call for more research while in others it will mean watching your favorite period movie. In the end, the choice is yours.
We hope you will take the time to check out our free character building tools and downloads available at our web site, We have not found any other company which offers the same high level of online support for their role-playing games as we do. HinterWelt has gone the extra distance to make our games as easy as possible to learn and run. We offer our IS character generator for FREE. It allows you to generate an Iridium SystemTM character on-line, then store it there for later retrieval. If you have a computer and an internet connection, you will never be without your character again. We hope to continue to bring you these fine on-line tools for your use and convenience.

Welcome to the Next Level in RPGs.

+ to hit - Abbrev. +th - Refers to the modifier to a to hit roll.
+ to damage - Abbrev. +td - Refers to a plus to damage on a damage roll.
Defence Stat - Abbrev. D.S. - The average of the beings STR, AGL, and CON. This is their ability to get out of the way.
Base Fortitude Points - The amount of damage that a person's overall body can withstand. FP are based off of this.
Class Level - also. character level. This is a measure of the relative experience of the character as he or she moves through life. A low level character does not always mean a weaker character.
d2, d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20, d30, d100 - Referring to the dice used in this game. D represents dice and the number represents the number of side, i.e. D4 a four sided die. A d100 is simulated with 2 d10. The player must pick one dice to represent the tens then roll the dice (i.e. black colored d10 is the tens). If they then roll a 4 on the black d10 and 9 on the other it would be read as 49.
Game Master - Abbrev. GM - Referee; this person will resolve any questions in the rules, supply the setting and tell the story. The GM also runs any setting characters.
Fortitude Points - Abbrev. FP - The measure of damage a person can withstand to a particular area.
Magic Resistance - Some creatures and races are naturally resistant to the magic. Vampires, for example, get a magic resistance of 8. This means if a vampire rolls under an 8 on a 20 sided die, then the results of a spell are cut in half or possibly negated. A creature may choose to suppress his magic resistance in the case of healing spells.
Non-Player Character/Setting Character - A character which is supplementary to an adventure. A squire for some player character knight would be an NPC. These are most often played by the GM, but sometimes a player will run an NPC.
Player Character - The persona which each player creates at the beginning of the game.
Player - The actual person sitting at the table playing the player character.
Run - As in "to run a player character". This denotes the player of the player character. For example, Bill is running an elf.
Skill Chance - This is the chance for success based on the character skill level in a specific skill, character modifiers, and modifiers imposed by the GM. Character modifiers could be class levels, modifiers from stats and magical items.
Skill Check - This is rolled on a d100 and the player must roll under the skill chance of the characters skill. The GM may enforce modifiers to the roll depending on many circumstances.
Skill Levels - Skill levels are the expertise of a character within a skill. One skill level in a skill renders a 40% chance for success. For more information see Character Skills on page 67.
Spell Points/Spirit Points - The points used to measure the amount of energy which a person may channel. If ever reduced to -10 then the creature is dead.
Statistics - Abbrev. Stats - These are the numbers that represent and quantify the player character's characteristics.
Stat Check - A player rolls against a character's stats (i.e. STR) on a d20. If the d20 rolls a number less than or equal to the statistic then the check was successful. If a character with an above 20 stat rolls a 20 on the stat check then they must roll again on a d30 and roll under the stat. For example, a character with an Agility of 22 and the player rolls a 20. The player must then roll a d30 and roll under 22.
To hit roll - rolling the d20 with pluses to hit and hoping to get above the opponents defense stat.
Suggested Movies
The Big Sleep
The Mummy
Indiana Jones Series
Maltese Falcon
The Shadow
The Phantom
Big Trouble in Little China
An American Werewolf in London
Bulletproof Monk
Dark Shadows
Innocent Blood
Bram Stokers' Dracula
Cast a Deadly Spell

HinterWelt Enterprises LLC
Got Questions? Email Bill.