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Swords & Wizardry Complete Rulebook 3rd Printing


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Be a part of the old school renaissance! Back the award-winning roleplaying game. Original edition rules. Original edition feel.

Edited by Darsc Zacal
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About this project

Swords & Wizardry is the ENNIE award-winning retro-clone of the original 1974-1978 edition of the world’s most famous fantasy roleplaying game. We can’t name it specifically, under the rules of the license we used to reproduce the rules, but you know the game we’re talking about.

We’re starting to run low on our stock of the 2nd printing, and it’s time to print some more. We didn’t just want to do an exact reprint, and the history of the changes here date back a while ago to when we were talking with designer Stacy Dellorfano about the fact that many OSR games have a physical appearance and presentation that really targets the 40 year old guys who’ve been gaming since forever, and doesn’t have nearly as much appeal to younger or female gamers of the generations following that first wave of players from the 1980s. In point of fact, old-school games, with their light-rules aspect and emphasis on a game master’s “common sense†interpretation of situations, are actually a really good tool for anyone who feels like rules-lawyers may be spoiling the game by trying to be over-authoritative or even overbearing with a GM. But if the appearance and presentation make the game look like it’s purely a throwback and not a modern tool for good gaming, then there’s a real obstacle to the game’s push into the mainstream gaming community.

As a result of this analysis, we engaged Stacy as a designer to produce an edition that’s no less appealing to older male gamers, while being MORE appealing to younger and to female gamers. Stacy put together a team, all women, to address this dual objective. We think her team has done an awesome job, and when you see the design results, we think you’ll agree.

Unfortunately, we think there may be some controversy about the fact that the design team here is made up entirely of women. We’ve already heard a couple of comments that generally turn on the idea of “Why restrict the project to women designers? Shouldn’t the objective be to pull the best talent whether male or female? What a gimmick.†We’d like to address that out front, rather than have it turn into a back-channel controversy in the halls of the internet. The missing piece of information is this: there are so many different directions that a project can take that there’s no such thing as “the best talent.†Given our goal of making the game more accessible, we hired – through Stacy – talent that coordinates with the goal. We asked Stacy to put together an all-woman team not as a societal goal, but because she had the chops to assemble the kind of team we wanted. This isn’t a “pink†edition of the rules. It’s the more-accessible next printing that we are targeting toward the mainstream market. It has always been our goal to get the open-ended rules of 1974-78 gaming into the mainstream, and this is our objective here. We think that Stacy’s team has hit this goal out of the ballpark, and we think you’ll agree.

Stacy writes: "I am Stacy Dellorfano, the Project Manager for Frog God Games on this project. I’m going to lay out this Kickstarter by walking you through what we’ve done, why I’m passionate about it, and why this work is important. I’ve gotten a great deal of support and advice from Bill Webb, the main force behind Frog God Games, and the author of Swords & Wizardry, Matt Finch."


Our cover artist, Kaos Nest, painted the cover by hand - in ink, watercolor, and ballpoint pen. I asked for something abstract, dark, and gothic, giving her hints like thorns and blood and bones and leaves.




For the interior, Frog God wanted to keep the artwork black and white like it is for the current printing of the book. Kaos also provided us with plenty of the in-book artwork, adding in more of her killer pen work. Kaos hails from a small town in Italy, and travels the world picking up new skills and working on her illustrations (many of ours were done while she was visiting Ireland). Though her work has graced the covers of fantasy novels, Swords & Wizardry was her first tabletop RPG project, but surely not her last!




 A total of seven illustrators put together all the artwork you’ll see in the book. Wherever possible, we had the same artist handle all the illustration for a particular area. For example, Abigail Larson, whose most recent work is a fully illustrated version of H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Cats of Ultharâ€, added her gothic ethereal look to our class illustrations.


Gennifer Bone, who’s worked on OSR titles before, did all our monster illustrations. She specializes in monsters, and runs a Patreon where she creates gaming illustrations each week. Her beautifully hideous monsters grace the pages of the monster section, which opens with a full-page all-out monster brawl also illustrated by Gennifer.

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