Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Dr.Bedlam

Swords & Wizardry: The RPG

Recommended Posts

Seems like a separate thread about Swords and Wizardry might be a good thing, being as some of us are going to be getting that bad boy at some point.

 

I've played it. I rather like it. It's essentially open source Original Dungeons and Dragons. Here's hoping I can get the link to my Tumblr to work....

tumblr_m9ad0fHXBE1rao9jio1_1280.png

I don't COMPLETELY agree with the diagram; S&W is a considerable cleanup and tightening of the original, horribly written Three Book Boxed Set. It really has more in common with the Red Book and Blue Book Basic D&D editions. But it's a fine piece of work that very much captures the old style. I'd recommend it for anyone interested in the Old School Renaissance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm surprised that Pathfinder doesn't show up on this.

 

EDIT: Actually not surprised now that I see that it looks like 2008 was the latest game on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been playing-by-post for a while with it. Works great for casual role play, no complicated rules lawyering.

 

OTOH some people can't handle not having a rule for every single aspect of play. This is not the rules set for those people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What Inarah says, plus this.

 

What makes this a good game (or a bad game, YMMV) is the DM and to a lesser extent the players themselves. Making rulings on the fly is encouraged. During a typical game session, the rulebook is hardly ever seen and the essential character stats can fit on an index card. A DM might ask a player to roll a die and not even tell him why he's rolling, or tell him if he needs a high number or a low number. A player might be asked to make a map of the dungeon as the party explores..and the fights they encounter aren't always going to be fair fights. It's okay to run away and live to fight another day. And if a character dies, it takes five minutes to create a new one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Swords and Wizardry is the three little brown books of the original 0D&D, plus most of the following supplements (Greyhawk, Blackmoor, Eldritch Wizardry, etc.). You could say it represents a "proto-AD&D 1E", as most of the races, classes, etc., that people associate with AD&D are present, but without a lot of the miscellaneous general gameplay rules that Gygax didn't write until 1977-1979 for 1E.

 

Of course, a lot of people didn't use most of those rules (sometimes without ever knowing they weren't using them), so in practice it can closely replicate 1E the way people remember playing it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What makes this a good game (or a bad game, YMMV) is the DM and to a lesser extent the players themselves. Making rulings on the fly is encouraged. During a typical game session, the rulebook is hardly ever seen and the essential character stats can fit on an index card. A DM might ask a player to roll a die and not even tell him why he's rolling, or tell him if he needs a high number or a low number. A player might be asked to make a map of the dungeon as the party explores..and the fights they encounter aren't always going to be fair fights. It's okay to run away and live to fight another day. And if a character dies, it takes five minutes to create a new one.

 

This is very interesting tidbit, I've never actually done an RPG with this rule set (Swords & Wizardry). Although the gameplay sounds completely AWESOME (ie very simple and thus flexible rules system) I've noticed that a ton of players in my group love to customize their characters. 4th Edition DnD in particular was excellent for this, but it seems this system would be poorly suited for a player group that loves to build characters and do customization.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What makes this a good game (or a bad game, YMMV) is the DM and to a lesser extent the players themselves. Making rulings on the fly is encouraged. During a typical game session, the rulebook is hardly ever seen and the essential character stats can fit on an index card. A DM might ask a player to roll a die and not even tell him why he's rolling, or tell him if he needs a high number or a low number. A player might be asked to make a map of the dungeon as the party explores..and the fights they encounter aren't always going to be fair fights. It's okay to run away and live to fight another day. And if a character dies, it takes five minutes to create a new one.

 

This is very interesting tidbit, I've never actually done an RPG with this rule set (Swords & Wizardry). Although the gameplay sounds completely AWESOME (ie very simple and thus flexible rules system) I've noticed that a ton of players in my group love to customize their characters. 4th Edition DnD in particular was excellent for this, but it seems this system would be poorly suited for a player group that loves to build characters and do customization.

 

More precisely, it isn't the best rule set for people who want pre-designed customization options. But for people who want to customize their characters, the rule set is incredibly open to it...it is the difference between ordering off a menu, and writing down your own family recipe on a 3x5 card and then cooking it in your kitchen.

 

I prefer the home cooking, myself.

 

Edit - or maybe for this board, it's the difference between choosing between a few pre-painted options for an Orc mini, or having a mini with the primer on it and a bunch of bottles of paint in front of you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is very interesting tidbit, I've never actually done an RPG with this rule set (Swords & Wizardry). Although the gameplay sounds completely AWESOME (ie very simple and thus flexible rules system) I've noticed that a ton of players in my group love to customize their characters. 4th Edition DnD in particular was excellent for this, but it seems this system would be poorly suited for a player group that loves to build characters and do customization.

 

A good DM will provide opportunities for customization. That was a BIG chunk of the way the old game was played. You want to make a suit of leather armor out of the hide of that dragon you just iced? Gee, there don't seem to be any rules for that. Wanna go looking for a masochistic leathersmith?

 

And don't even get me started on "magic pools."

 

Old School Gamers didn't have rules for customization. They had to do it THEMSELVES, and work it out with the DM. One of the more fun things about it, actually.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm surprised that Pathfinder doesn't show up on this.

 

EDIT: Actually not surprised now that I see that it looks like 2008 was the latest game on it.

 

I didn't make this chart; I stole it from the distinguished Old School Gaming Blog, Grognardia (http://grognardia.blogspot.com/) But if it was on there, it'd have a thick black line running off of 3.5.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, for players who like to micro-customize their characters, it's like stepping off a curb accidentally. I won't claim for a second that it's a one-size-fits-all game. However, the very open-ended game style is actually so old that it feels revolutionary for many gamers who started playing D&D with 3e. I will say one thing in definite, absolute terms, though -- it is a really great way to introduce kids to an RPG. It doesn't talk down to them, but it's easier to get started playing fast than with a more complex character build and/or more granular rules.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, for players who like to micro-customize their characters, it's like stepping off a curb accidentally. I won't claim for a second that it's a one-size-fits-all game. However, the very open-ended game style is actually so old that it feels revolutionary for many gamers who started playing D&D with 3e. I will say one thing in definite, absolute terms, though -- it is a really great way to introduce kids to an RPG. It doesn't talk down to them, but it's easier to get started playing fast than with a more complex character build and/or more granular rules.

 

What he said.

Actually, ALL early RPGs were like that. Wasn't until Traveller came out that you started encountering games where character creation was an odyssey in and of itself...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I have always liked is that you can customize characters mid-game with things like (and this happened at NorthTexas RPGCon), "You made 8 saving throws against poison in a row. You are so inoculated that as the DM I declare you have a +1 save against poison forever after." It's not like you can't do that in a modern game, but there is less (zero) complex balancing in the older games like Swords & Wizardry.

 

I think it's a good fit with the deadly feel of the Reaper minis, too. :)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Swords and Wizardry's considerable newer than Swords and Sorcery. It's sort of an open source Old School Renaissance thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By golldan
      I was inspired by limey72  work doing NMM Gold on the enlarged Dwarf over in Works in Progress. I wanted to do a brass like robot or construct, so I pulled out this Golem. I also wanted to try some AK weather effect acrylic pencils I have had for a time. I think it ended with too much brown and ended up wood looking. But it has grown on me, so I will finish up his base and call it done. Hope you like it.
       

    • By Auberon
      My exchange partner this time around was @Corporea.  She was one of those troublesome ones that are fine with anything.  This of course means that I am free to do anything, so what I did was use her as an excuse to test out airbrushing my Vallejo Air Metallics.  Because of that this mini is a little more metallic than I might have otherwise done.  The aluminum didn't want to airbrush, or hand brush for that matter, so I may have a bad bottle.  Other than that they all worked as expected. I.e. you can create a TMM effect by combining these paints with a regular paint for the shadows.
       
      I also tried my hand at a mosaic tile base.  The area I started with isn't as good as the rest of the base, but seeing as I am already late I didn't go back and take even more time to repaint that area.  Overall I thought it turned out pretty well, though I don't believe I'll be doing it on cork again. While I thought the imperfections in the surface could work as missing tiles, in practice they just ended up being in inconvenient places.

       
      But unfortunately I had to stick a mini on it.
       

       

       
      Full frontal metal shiny.
       

       
      And rotating around for those that want to look.
       
       
      I also attempted to create the look of texture by applying leather colors in a series of parallel lines.  I kind of liked it but at the same time I'm not sure that it comes across as any particular type of texture.
       

       
      And that's it for my 2019 exchange.  Next year I might even try to be on time. 
    • By Mcfoltzy
      PAINTED THIS DRAGON FOR MY DM WANTED TO BREAK IT THOSE DANG WINGS JUST KICK MY BUTT . BUT THINK IT CAME OUT PRETTY GOOD 



    • By zoroaster100
      I’m working on trying to get this big guy painted to tabletop standard by the time I have to use him at our next Pathfinder D&D session to represent the Roc King on Tilagos Island in the Demiplane of Last Resort, in the Age of Worms adventure path.


    • By Maglok
      Painted up these 8 unrelated barbarians as a clan for my Wrath of the Righteous campaign. Tried my hand at non-metallic metal again. This is the result. :)
       

       
         
       
         
       
         
       
         
  • Who's Online   21 Members, 0 Anonymous, 49 Guests (See full list)

×
×
  • Create New...