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"Greetings, I'm Shad."

Shadiversity is a YouTube-based video channel created in 2013. The host's name is Shad M. Brooks, and he hails from Australia. He has a brother, Josiah Brooks, who runs an art-based YouTube channel, Draw With Jazza.

Self-described as "an enthusiast, not an authority", Shad discusses and makes educated guesses on various nerdy topics, the majority of them having a medieval or ancient warfare theme of some kind. In his own words, "Here you'll find such videos related but not limited to: SWORDS, Science Fiction, fantasy, philosophy and SWORDS! So really anything related to being a nerd."

On the 1st of July 2019, Shad published his first book, Shadow of the Conqueror.


Provides examples of:

  • Anachronism Stew: He points these out when reviewing any media about Middle Ages.
  • Armor Is Useless: He does not like this trope, and in his 'Crimes Against Medieval Realism' series calls it a 'Lightsaber' moment.
  • Artistic License – History: He discusses this about movies, series and video games in his "Crimes Against Medieval Realism" videos, pointing out the damaging misconceptions that tropes like Big Fancy Castle, Cool Sword, Hell-Bent for Leather, Medieval Morons, and The Dung Ages created regarding The Middle Ages in modern pop culture. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Braveheart are two of the biggest offenders he has covered to date.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Shad admits that he sometimes goes off on rambling tangents in his videos at the drop of a hat when he thinks abut something vaguely related to the subject.
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  • Awesome Aussie: He's from Australia, if his accent and boisterous attitude are of no indication.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Gorgeous-looking but impractical fantasy weapons and fancy fortifications are discussed aplenty here.
  • Berserk Button:
    • He doesn't really ever get mad per se, but one of the fantasy clichés that get him most riled up is the idea of "studded leather" as armor, which he thinks is most likely a visual misinterpretation of brigandine.
    • He's no fan of the Klingon Bat'Leth, which he finds too impractical to ever be awesome.
    • Perpetuating misinformation is one for Shad and does get him genuinely angry.
  • Big Brother Instinct: If his story about the tiger snake is any indication, he certainly cares for his siblings, facing the creature with two weapons, one of his awesome swords to behead the serpent, and a shovel to pin it down, and kept the snake from being able to bite him. As he has stated, the snake could have killed him, or his siblings, if a bite had connected.
  • Big Fancy Castle:
    • He often points out how fantasy castles tend to be unrealistically big, such as the Red Keep in Game of Thrones.
    • His clan's castle in Conan Exiles definitely counts, being a huge castle at the second or third highest peak in the entire game, decorated inside and out, guarded by giants and thralls wearing Infinity +1 Sword armor and weapons, and designed to be nigh impossible to siege.
  • Blade on a Stick:
    • "What medieval weapons would CENTAURS really use?" points out that humans can't normally use cutting polearms on horseback because their horse's head and body are in the way. Centaurs wouldn't have this problem, so it would actually be really effective for centaurs armed with glaives and such to charge at their foes while using the long shaft of the polearm to work up a great swinging cut.
    • In "What medieval weapons would HOBBITS, GNOMES and GOBLINS really use?", he mentions the idea that pole weapons might compensate for their short reach. His reservation is that unlike stout, stocky dwarves—whom he supposes to be at least as strong as humans despite being shorter—creatures as puny as hobbits or gnomes wouldn't be strong enough to handle full-sized polearms. In fact, whatever weapons they used would have to be smaller than the human version—and therefore less effective—so Shad thinks that any kind of toe-to-toe fight would be suicidal for them.
    • In "What medieval weapons would Snake People use?", he comes to the conclusion that Snake People would be very deadly with spears and polearms as they'd have a large attack range due to their ability to swiftly strike and retreat thanks to the long serpentine form they possess. They'd also be able to rear up their bodies like a cobra to get the height advantage.
  • Breast Plate: Shad released two videos about "boob plate" armor in January 2019:
    • The first one is about whether or not female-shaped armor is realistic. In brief: actual medieval armor was often shaped to reflect contemporary ideas about the ideal male body, so Shad thinks it plausible that boob plate would happen if there were a significant number of female fighters. It would likely be designed for full protection, so no exposed skin, but it would retain a feminine shape, for the reasons that historical armor often reflected the male form.
    • The second one is about whether or not such armor is dangerous. In brief, Shad thinks that having two bumps on the breast plate is less efficient than a smooth curve, but the whole thing is still made of hardened steel, and is not likely to collapse onto the wearer's sternum the moment she takes a hit. Also, historical breast plates were usually domed to deflect blows. Move the bulge to the top, and you get a feminine shape while keeping deflection.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "What about dragons?"
  • Combat Pragmatist: Shad figures that hobbits, gnomes, and goblins are at such a disadvantage against human-sized foes in a straight-up fight that their only chance is to avoid "fair" fights and fight dirty instead: sneak up on them, use superior numbers, stab them in the back.
  • Cool Chair: His wooden medieval-looking chair, which he built himself.
  • Cool Sword: He often discusses swords, especially fantasy swords that look cool but are in fact impractical. He also has a really nice collection of them, be they realistic or fantasy-inspired. Notably, he openly admits he had swords at his wedding and even cut the wedding cake with it.
  • Crossover:
    • Shad commented on a castle drawn by his brother Josiah Brooks aka Jazza, who appeared in the video. They then crossed over to compare the efficacy of steel swords and chainmail against 3D-printed ones. Hilarity Ensues as they destroy the printed blades without even trying, but the printed chainmail is actually decently functional (considering it's plastic).
    • He made a video comparing castles from Medieval Europe and Feudal Japan with Metatron.
    • He did a Mind Screw-y crossover with Thomas Riley from Medieval Review. The two realize that they have interrupted each other's evolution videos when they're not done with their own (Shad's evolution of swords and Riley's evolution of armor). The best explanation Shad could think of is "wibbly wobbly, timey wimey".
    • He's collaborated a few times with Blue of Overly Sarcastic Productions.
  • Double Take: Shad as he recalls a time when he slew a tiger snake with a sword. While he was sitting in his room reading, he noticed a tiger snake slithering past the bottom of the sliding glass door in his room. He then realized how deadly that snake is and that his younger relatives were now in danger.
  • Double Weapon: The "double-bladed sword on one sword handle" type Thanos wields in Avengers: Endgame is explored in one of his videos, and he concludes that although it is quite functional if wielded like a polearm, practicality (like sheathing, transporting, etc.) is another story.
  • Dual Wielding: Normally something he considers Awesome, but Impractical, as the weapons would end up hitting each other, unless using something like a sword and a much shorter dagger, so that the weapons don't get caught up in each other's strikes.
    • Also used a sword and a shovel to fight a Tiger Snake when he was a teenager.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: He stated he married his wife after barely two to four months of knowing her.
  • The Ghost: Shad's wife. In this video, after he introduces his kids, Shad points out that his wife does not, and will not, appear in any of his videos because she has social anxiety when it comes to YouTube.
    • Slightly downplayed now, since she has now acted as the cameraperson in several of his videos involving him firing a longbow, so now we at least know what her hands look like and what her voice sounds like.
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!: Shad never uses foul language, at least by Australian standards. In this video, he points out that words such as "damn" and "hell", which are normally used by Australian Mormons, are considered curse words for Utahn Mormons. On the flipside, words like "piss" are used normally by Utahn Mormons, whereas Australian Mormons see the word as too vulgar.
  • The Greatest History Never Told: He often brings up types of weapons or castles that are really underappreciated/seldom seen in most fictions.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Subverted. He notes that a lot of historical films like to give women bows on the pretext that it's a good weapon for a person of less physical strength, but bows in fact require a lot of strength to draw and hold, so the idea is self-defeating. He suggests not gendering weapons in general, but if you do need to show that a character has less physical strength, give them a crossbow.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Media about Middle Ages that aim at being "realistic" often commit the sin of having their characters wear leather armor that isn't backed up by historical evidence, and depicting leather armor as much more common than Shad thinks it was. He regularly points out that gambesons (defensive padded jackets made from thick layers of linen or wool) were far more practical in every way, while leather was mostly used for footwear.
  • Hollywood Tactics: These are discussed in his "Crimes Against Medieval Realism" videos. Perhaps the biggest example of this is the Battle of the Dawn, in Season 8 episode 3 of Game of Thrones, "The Long Night".
  • Hooks and Crooks: Shad proposes that the grappling hook would be an ideal weapon for merfolk when fighting humans on a boat, as an efficient strategy would just be to catch and pull their human opponents underwater and let drowning do the rest. He also notes it adds a layer of Irony as they would be fighting humans by essentially fishing for them.
  • Horse Archer: Shad looks at how centaurs are sometimes depicted as masters of the bow and arrow, but he notes how human riders have to stand up in the stirrups and try to cancel out the horse's bobbing as they take aim, and wonders whether centaurs might actually be unable to do the same. If that were the case, Shad has an even better idea: take a humanoid creature and put it on the centaur's back, so that the centaur can use a melee weapon while simultaneously letting the rider shoot arrows at the foe. They could even reverse the usual dominance of the rider over the mount, capturing and breeding human-like creatures to serve as Battle Thralls on their backs.
  • Iconic Outfit: Shad is almost always seen wearing his coat or, when outside, his gambeson.
  • Jousting Lance: In Centaurs RE-ARMED, he notes that giving lances to centaur warriors may sound like a good idea, but there is a possibility that bothers him: human lancers aren't actually grafted to the horse's body, and have space to get pushed back in the saddle when the couched lance connects with their opponent. Since centaurs are directly connected to the horse section through their spines, they might actually be injured by the opposing forces of impact. If that were the case, they might still be able to use lances like spears, not couched under the armpit but held at arm's length so that the elbow and shoulder could act as shock absorbers.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Not really. Sometimes he jokes about the pop culture perception of the katana as a nigh-mythical weapon that can cut through "space and time", and the romanticizing of its forging method. Ultimately his opinion is that the forging process and design of the katana are an ingenious way of getting the most out of Japan's generally imperfect traditional steel... but that just helps it be competitive with swords made from good steel in the first place.
  • Large Ham: Compared to his medieval warfare YouTube peers who have other styles of delivery such as serious (Metatron) or Deadpan Snarker (Skallagrim), Shad's tendency is to go FULL HAM with his bombastic shouting and gleefully silly antics.
  • Love at First Sight: Discussed this in his Cinderella (2015) analysis on the topic. He stated he was a case himself as he married his wife after knowing her for a total of two to four months. He sees the movie as a case of the trope done right and could happen in reality even when it's rare and the chance of rose-colored glasses messing up red flags as simply flags.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Sometimes, you can't do better than a good shield. In the "CHANGED MY MIND about best weapons for a MINOTAUR" episode, Shad suggests that it use a giant tower shield made out of a great big door. That way it would be protected from head to foot, and if it charged enemies with its shield forward in the narrow confines of a tunnel, they would not be able to avoid or flank it.
  • Magic Realism: In the "FANTASY RE-ARMED" videos, Shad discusses realistic and practical weapons fantasy creatures such as mermaids, centaurs, giants and the like would wield if they existed in reality.
  • Motor Mouth: Shad tends to speak quite rapidly whenever he rants, as in this video for example, in which he discusses what types of buildings are (and should be) considered neo-Gothic.
  • No-Sell: Shad's steel chainmail and gambeson versus Jazza's 3D-printed swords. Not only does the armor block stabs from the plastic blades without issue, but the plastic doesn't even stay in one piece long enough to transfer energy and make him stumble.
    Shad: Armor! It works!
  • Popular History: He discusses why people today have a lot of misconceptions about medieval times, which can be at least partly attributed to this. Certain ideas about medieval history have become embedded in the popular consciousness, and many assume that these things were commonplace throughout the era even though the best historical records show that they were rare, unique, or even completely fabricated. Further adding to that is the assumption many people have that medieval customs were practiced by everyone living in that time, regardless of which specific era or country the person lived in.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Occasionally comes up in his discussions on medieval realism, namely things that seem bizarre or too cool to actually work but somehow happened anyway. Invoked in his review of Outlaw King, where he said that the "Feast of Swans" scene was so strange that he immediately guessed it was based on a real event.
  • Real Men Love Jesus: Shad is a Mormon, and discloses this while explaining the symbolism behind the coat of arms he created for himself. He is also skilled in East Asian martial arts and HEMA.
  • Reconstruction: If Shad finds some fantasy trope to be impractical, he will often propose modifications that will make it both awesome and practical.
    • FANTASY RE-ARMED is a series of videos that examines why the anatomy or habitat of fantasy creatures might make the weapons and tactics that popular culture attributes to them impractical, and instead suggests ones that would take advantage of their species traits.
    • A whole series of videos deal with drawing weapons from a scabbard or clip on one's back. Although some fictional characters are depicted with rigs that wouldn't work if you tried them in real life, Shad doesn't buy the notion that it can't be made to work. He makes an unconventional DIY scabbard that holds his longsword securely on his back, yet can be drawn quickly with one hand. After demonstrating how well it works, he shows that it actually has several advantages over a scabbard hanging at the hip: it's easier to draw with one hand when the scabbard doesn't jiggle around, and having it on the back makes it easier to run, crawl, or climb without the sword getting in the way. Even an axe can hang on the back with a bit of creativity: He finds that the back clip into which Kratos slips his Leviathan Axe in God Of War 2018 is a surprisingly good starting point, and he merely adds a piece to help guide the axe back into its holster. He also points out that these advantages would actually make them ideal for fantasy adventurers.
    • He acknowledges that fantasy barbarians going into battle dressed only in a Loincloth or Chainmail Bikini are a bit silly, but they look AWESOME. This video examines the ways that such characters could be realistic, and how they could be made to work. Wearing a lot of armour doesn't restrict freedom of movement, but it can risk overheating, especially in hot climates. A good shield can replace a lot of body armour. Leg and arm armour will fill in the gaps left by the shield, and barbarians are often drawn with this. In conclusion: go for it!
    • In one video he reviews the iconic diamond sword from Minecraft, where he explains that just because diamonds are renowned for their hardness, that doesn't translate into the toughness necessary for swords, which means a pure diamond sword would likely snap in half rather quickly. Instead he proposes alternate designs that utilize steel cores with diamond embedded edges (under the assumption that Minecraft diamonds are of a better composition than real diamonds), as seen here.
  • Required Secondary Powers: He frequently goes over these in regards to the creatures and abilities in Fantasy Re-Armed. An example he gives is how a person with a Healing Factor would be able to build muscle much more quickly and easily than a normal person as well as not having to worry about fatigue in the middle of battle (although those might more accurately be called bonus secondary powers).
  • Rule of Cool: Mentions in his "Crimes Against Medieval Realism" video on the prologue sequence of the first episode of the 2019 Vinland Saga anime that he'll let slide some unrealistic things because of this. For instance, in the opening fight scene, Thorkell swings his axe once, yet he manages to cut in half everyone hit by the shockwaves his swing caused. Shad ends up laughing at how silly and unrealistic it is, but also accepts it because of how cool it is.
  • Serious Business: Shad has produced several videos amounting to several hours in time total vehemently arguing back and forth with other archery YouTubers about the validity of nocking the arrow on the left side of the bow as opposed to the right! (Primarily for right-handed people.) note 
  • Shields Are Useless: Not usually the case. However, there are certain fantasy creatures for whom Shad thinks shields wouldn't be worth bothering with. Centaurs and Naga, for example, are only human from the waist up and have much larger animal bodies that trail behind them. Since a lot of their vital organs are presumably in their hind parts, which are much too large to cover with a shield, they might as well use both hands on their weapons and try to get specially made armor instead.
  • Simple, yet Awesome:
    • Some castle and weaponry designs are this when he compares them to elaborate fantasy counterparts.
    • While playing Conan Exiles he and his clan make a castle using actual, real world castle building techniques and designs. The largest clan on the server attempts to take the castle while only Shad and a friend are online. Despite being vastly outnumbered (though they do have NPC Mooks), they force the enemy clan into retreat. Apparently, this happened multiple times off screen and the castle only falls when attacked when no one is online to defend it.
    • Gambesons were made of wool or linen with padding made of mundane materials, and they were surprisingly good as body armor, being able to stop arrows shot by longbows in some cases. Shad considers it a disservice that they're mostly ignored in fiction, in favor of Rule of Cool leather armor.
    • While there is no historical evidence of the use of scabbards for longswords in the back in medieval times due to the standard ones being very impractical in that position, he managed to design and build a practical one, and found many advantages in using it.
  • Sinister Scythe: Declared as one of the ideal weapons for giants in his FANTASY RE-ARMED series, as when the blades are properly aligned and carried properly, human targets are to a scythe-wielding giant what regular wheat is to a human farmer.
  • Square-Cube Law: Discussed in the FANTASY RE-ARMED episode about fairies, in which he points out there is no reason that tiny humanoids should have to use weapons as small in proportion to themselves as human weapons are to humans; with their higher power-to-mass ratio, a fairy should use a weapon that looks like a BFS in their hands to inflict more harm on larger beings.
  • Stout Strength: While Shad is somewhat overweight, he shows a fair share of physical strength - he's able to shoot 16 arrows in a minute from an English longbow, which is no minor feat.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: You can expect this whenever he starts talking about MACHICOLATIONS!
  • Tail Slap: For Snake People one of their deadliest weapons would be their own lower bodies, as a snake with the thickness of a human waistline would be capable of immense amounts of crushing power (compare that of real alligators, for instance). So it'd be less of a tail slap and more of a tail grapple.
  • Thriving Ghost Town: Discussed When evaluating the defensibility of fictional towns, especially in videogames. He points out the fortified cities in Skyrim are basically the size of large castles.
  • Verbal Tic: He will often comment that something is "Very interesting", before explaining why he finds it interesting in-depth. Shad even made shirts to lampshade this verbal tic.
  • Very Special Episode: During the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic, he did an extremely emotional and serious-toned video about the Black Death and the hardships people had to go through in ancient times.
    Shad: These are some of the horrors people had to endure, but they endured it to try and better their own life and better the lives of their children... We are their children.
  • Viewers Are Morons: In a video about the history of Australia, he actually feels the need to explain what barrels are for some reason.
  • Walking Armory: In "How many weapons could an adventurer really carry?", complete with Lock-and-Load Montage, and Extended Disarming scene, Shad manages to equip himself with over a dozen weapons - knives, sword, short axe, mace, spear, another sword, war hammer, Dane axe, another knife, yet another sword, a shield, longbow, and a quiver with 50 arrows, and yet another axe. Discussed and Lampshaded, in when he admits that all of it is rather heavy — that at most, an Adventurer could carry about 30% of their body weight — and was uncomfortable walking around with all of it. However, an Adventure could reasonably use a longbow, sword, a backup weapon, or a shield, spear, sword, and armor-beating weapon, and, could effectively walk around carrying half a dozen small-to-medium sized weapons.
  • War Is Glorious: In "Why medieval people loved WAR", Shad talks about how life for most people was so full of struggle and pain that going off to war might not have seemed so much worse in comparison. In fact, people were pretty desensitized to violence and had the capacity to see it as fun. If you might die of starvation or disease regardless, you'd be more enthusiastic to risk your life in a way that at least offered excitement, riches, and glory if you succeeded. This was also long before the 20th century popularized the idea that war is meaningless and avoidable, and most people agreed that warfare could be a legitimate and honorable way to enforce justice or settle disputes.


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