Monday, April 22, 2013

And The Winners Are...

...for copies of the Firearms supplement when finished (chosen at random, using +Jon Marr 's DCC Crawler's Companion.)

  • MWSchmeer
  • Matt Finch
  • Nathan Irving
  • Reese Laundry
  • JasperAK
And copies of Knockspell, courtesy of +Matt Finch and Frog God Games:

  • Rorschachhamster
  • Austin Schaefer
Please contact me via private message on G+ or email me at rev.dak
at the domain of straycouches dot com.

Coincidently Rorchschhamster and Austin Shaefer submitted items, and I want to include them! So you two, please contact me directly ASAP!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

FIGHT THEM ALL!!! More S&W Appreciation Day Goodness

Bonus post for Swords and Wizardry Appreciation Day!

While looking at my PDF copy of Monstrosities, by Frog God Games for Swords & Wizardry, I came up with the [probably obvious] idea of a campaign based on encountering all the monsters in Monstrosities in order of Challenge Level (give or take a level or two.) It wouldn't take much, just a little planning and considering that every monster includes an encounter, lair or scenario, your players probably wouldn't know any better. It's probably best to have some sort of home base, a hex map of some sort (possibly complete with encounters and localities, I might use Blackmarsh or The Majestic Wilderlands by +Rob Conley).

Here's how I'd probably do it: (mind you this is all just in my head, and I haven't tried it yet.)

Print/Copy the Monsters by Challenge Level lists (starting on page 534) and roll a big die, probably a d20 or d30 (maybe even a d100) and count off until you get to a random monster indicated by the die. The big die is to add some randomness to the encounter level. A d30 would get you a monster from Level A, B or 1 if doing this the very first time. Read the encounter. If it works, plan to us it immediately. I'd probably complement this with a hex crawl. When they enter a new hex, 1 in 6 would indicate an encounter. Either the built-in one (if using a pre-made hex crawl map) or the monster you rolled (if it makes sense). You probably want to log it somewhere, and cross off the monster from the list. Especially if you want to get to all the monsters in your lifetime. Incorporating a developed hex crawl would give the campaign a bit more continuity. I'd cross off any monsters encountered in the the hex crawl from the Monster list, again to increase the likelihood of getting through all the monsters. If you get a monster that doesn't fit, the environment or setting. Pencil it in for later. Or the "next one" when the area is right. It's still technically random. Keep doing this, crossing off monsters. Starting the count from the first available monster on through. The CL spread should get wider too. There will be a lot of fiat, making encounters fit, but that's part of the fun. You can roll the next 3 or 4 monsters in advanced, and try to tie the encounters together. Some random dungeon generators would come in handy to expand or detail a lair.

Don't forget all the other S&W Appreciation Day goodness!:

Also don't miss your chance to win/earn a copy of a printed zine based on my original S&W Appreciation Day post OR a copy of Knockspell!

S&W Appreciation Days are posting...

I did my automatically, so mine went up midnight PDT. It's 1:30 AM, now, here in Los Angeles. I just got back from my Bicycle Cabal ride. Fun, drunk and cheap burritos...

Had to check on things before going to bed, and I ended up getting sucked into the early bird posts of S&W Appreciation Day. OMG, really amazing stuff so far. And it's only getting started. Not everyone scheduled their posts to go up on the 17th exactly, heck, I'm three hours later than a ton of you. Still, wow. GOOD STUFF. The next (new) issue of Knockspell is going to rule. I hope mine makes the cut, I want it in there... for sure.

So, had to also share that I took advantage of the 25% off S&W sale. I got me this:


Basically it's the official Monster Manual for Swords & Wizardry. I felt stupid when it got announced. I owned Monster Book (the original version of this) so I thought it'd be the same. Boy was I wrong. It's huge. Comes will little encounters (or adventures) or lairs. Awesome cover... Rad, just rad. Well, I ordered it... so yeah!

Happy Swords & Wizardry day.

Don't forget to comment or submit something for my appreciation post. Win an analog, dead tree, old-school RPG zine!

Swords, Wizardry and Firearms!

Today is S&W Appreciation Day and following these announcements is my submission...

(Other participants can be found here [link]! But please come back!)

Announcement One

As promised, I'm giving away 5 print copies of a zine that will be based on the stuff below, but a bit more expanded! All you have to do is reply with your comments, hate, rage or, what I'd prefer, your idea to add to the supplement. Maybe a specific item that fits the theme, maybe even magic complements? Whatever! Winners will be picked by random. Good ideas might earn you a copy if I use it (totally separate to the 5 prizes)! I also have TWO (2) PDF copies of Knockspell (1 or 2) to give away to one random commentator and one chosen submission, chosen by me (cause it's technically "my" copy.) Does that sound fair? You got until Monday (April 22nd)! The zine will take a bit to make, but remember we're talking about a hand-made physical zine. If you like this post, you'll like the zine. I promise, I'm pretty good at this.

Announcement Two

As part of Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day enjoy a 25% discount on Swords &   Wizardry Products (books, swag, etc.) from Frog God Games and downloadable PDFs from the Shop at d20pfsrd!

Today, April 17th, 2013, Only!
Use the coupon code SWApprDay at: Frog God Games
and SWAD252013 at the Shop at 

Without further ado...


...and Firearms!
Firearm rules for Swords & Wizardry by Reverend Dak
Pistols, rifles and other guns, while not for everyone, they have been essential to some fantasy stories from Solomon Kane to the comic book series Skullkickers. The Weird Western and some Post-apocalyptic stories, such as Dark Tower, also feature elements of Sixguns and Sorcery. Then you have two Korean action movies, The Good The Bad The Weird (thanks +Alex Mayo)  and The Warrior's Way that also mixed elements of pulpy westerns with fantasy elements. So there is obviously an appeal, but there is also a negative stigma when it comes to guns. Are they right for a fantasy campaign? It’s really up to the gaming group to decide. If the group decides to add some form of firearms to the game, they have to decide how realistic or powerful they should be. Guns can easily change the nature of the game into a gun show, instead of the traditional display of swords and spells. One way to keep that from happening is to make these weapons more trouble than they are worth. Bullets can be unstable but plentiful, or they can be dangerous but extremely rare. If guns are a regular feature of the game, maybe a little bit of both. Regardless, elements of Fantasy mixed with the Weird Wild West can make for an interesting world of adventure.

Powerful Or Mundane?

If they’re powerful, they should be extremely rare. They should be treated like artifacts, and there should be dangerous rivals or factions trying to take them away from the adventurers. Imagine if the bad guys had the guns instead. With the tables turned, guns can make or break the game by annihilating a party. But if they are a staple of the campaign, it’s probably best to make them pretty mundane and not much different than any other missile weapon. But if that is the case, why have them at all? Consider limiting the weapons to only black powder, or non-automatic revolvers and bolt-action or lever-action long guns. If the group decides to make firearms powerful, apply any number of optional rules found below.

Basic Firearm Rules

It’s important to remember that combat in Swords & Wizardry is abstract. Each attack roll represents a series of attacks, maneuvers, dodges and parries. So though a character may have been hit by an attack, it doesn’t always represent a bullet breaking skin. Normally, when hit by a high velocity slug, it would almost always cause devastating damage. But instead, they should be described as near-misses and flesh wounds until down to that last hit die of hit points.

Initiative and Order of Battle As Normal

Surprise and Initiative works like normal. Firearms follow the same attack rules as missile fire, they are fired during the Movement and Missiles Phase.

Hits Do 1 Die of Damage

Each firearm has its own damage die; typically d8 for handguns and d10 or more for longarms. For a standard attack, a hit does 1 die of damage. Damage is treated just like any other missile or melee attack, and can be healed as normal.

Aiming Gives a +2 Bonus To Hit and Does 2 Dice of Damage

The shooter may take a round to aim to increase the attack roll by 2 and hits will increase the damage by an additional die. But the shooter is vulnerable to normal attacks (including surprise attacks and critical hits, see below) while aiming.

Taking Cover, When Available, Is a Move and Gives a Bonus to AC

Taking cover is key to surviving a gun fight. Especially if guns are especially dangerous. The group should decide whether to make gun battles realistic and gritty, like a World War 2 movie, or to make them cinematic and showy, like The Matrix. In realistic gun battles, half the time the combatants are ducked and covered. While in more gun-fu style movies, gunplay is out in the open. If guns are mundane and common, the abstract nature of S&W combat is sufficient enough to assume cover. But if the more dangerous optional rules are used, cover is essential. For simplicity, if a target is actively hiding behind hard cover, no attacks can be made. If the target is firing back from behind some hard cover, the cover provides an additional 4 points (-4 [+4]) to AC. Firing from a firing port, murder hole or arrow slit can provide up to 8 (-8[+8]) points of AC, at the referee’s discretion.

Duels Are Deadly

High-noon on the dusty road, in the middle of town; it’s the typical setting of a one on one battle between two rival gunmen. It’s usually resolved with a single shot from the fastest gun. If two gunman agree to a duel, hit points are practically off the table and the winner is determined by who hits whom first.

Initiative is determined between the two duelists, using a d20, the roll is modified by the character’s level (and any other circumstantial modifiers, see below). The highest roll shoots first, and an attack roll is made as normal. If the attack hits, the damage is the number of damage dice equal to the PC’s level or a creature’s Challenge Level. For example, a typical handgun does d8 damage, so a 5th-level fighter that hits during a duel does 5d8 damage to his target. This represents an automatic critical hit and the inability to dodge (maneuver, parry, etc.). Let’s face it, duels are deadly against experienced adventurers. If the target survives, he can attempt to shoot back applying the same damage rules. If both duelists survive, combat rounds continue as normal combat. At that point damage is normal (typically one die), initiative is handled normally, and others may join the combat if they wish.

clicken to embiggen

For simplicity, rounds cost are dependant on how much damage they do. For black powder weapons, the costs include the necessary black powder.

Damage Cost* Weight

d6 or d8 5 sp 0.1 lb
d10 or d12 1 gp 0.1 lb

*Costs are for 10 rounds where firearms are mundane. In campaigns where firearms are rare, costs are for a single round.  

Magazines and quick-loaders cost 1gp for each if firearms are mundane or 1gp per round they carry in campaigns where firearms are rare.

Optional Rules

The following are rules to make guns more dangerous and gritty. The more powerful firearms are in the game, the rarer they should become. Firearms should remain unique and difficult to obtain. The following rules may supplement, replace or be replaced by existing house rules, such as Critical Hits and Fumbles.

Surprise Attacks May Be Critical

Firearm attacks during a surprise round, or the target is otherwise unaware of  the attack, will increase the chance of a critical hit by 2. That is, if the attack roll is a natural 18+ and the attack hits, the attack should be considered a critical hit (see below). All other surprise rules still apply. This rule does not apply to automatic fire.

Critical Hits and Fumbles Can Be Deadly

On a natural 20, an attack with a firearm should be considered a critical hit. A critical hit does damage equal to the attacker’s level or challenge level in damage dice. For example, a succubus with a pistol can do 9d8 damage on a critical hit!
A natural 1 may represent a misfire. The weapon may be permanently damaged (1% chance) and a 1 in 10 chance firer may be also be injured by a misfire or explosion, 2 dice damage (die type depending on ammunition used), save for half.

Firearms Are Complicated

Firearms will have a Rate of Fire (RoF) rating, reload time and weapon speed. These are not so important if guns are mundane, treat them as any other missile weapon. But as a way to make firearms inconvenient, especially if they’re extremely powerful, these factors may help keep them in check.
  • Rate of Fire: A firearm with multiple RoFs may only fire once during the surprise round, but the chance of a critical hit should increase as per the Surprise Attack rule above. Automatic weapons are indicated by an (A).
  • Reload: Reloading a firearm manually can take up to a minute. If quick loaders or magazines are available, reloading takes one round. Black powder weapons can take up to 3 rounds to reload.
  • Weapon Speed: Weapon Speed is only a factor for individual initiative rolls, such as duels (see above). This value is added to the initiative roll or, if using Alternate Combat Sequence Method No. 3 the value is negative.

Automatic Weapons do 3 Dice of Damage

Weapons with a RoF that indicates an (A), instead of separate attacks, automatic weapons can affect multiple targets in a 10-foot square area. An automatic fire attack uses 10 rounds of ammunition. The attacker makes a single attack roll that’s compared to the AC of each target in the area. A hit causes 3 dice worth of damage, save for half. A critical hit (natural 20) does 6 dice of damage, save for half.


...and Firearms! is compatible with the rules of Swords & Wizardry.

blah blah...It's all open content/OGL...

15. Copyright Notice
Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
System Reference Document Copyright 2000-2003, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Rich Baker, Andy Collins, David Noonan, Rich Redman, Bruce R. Cordell, John D. Rateliff, Thomas Reid, James Wyatt, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
Swords & Wizardry Core Rules, Copyright 2008, Matthew J. Finch
Swords & Wizardry Complete Rules, Copyright 2010, Matthew J. Finch
...and Firearms!, Copyright 2013, Reverend Dak.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Teaser for Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day!

Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day

You will want this...

...but you can't have it until tomorrow.

For now visit the S&W SRD...

...and Frog God Games, the home of Swords & Wizardry!

Thursday, April 11, 2013


I finished writing my thing for S&W Appreciation Day, it's now in editing. I need to commission some artwork and it'll be all ready. I also plan to publish it as a little zine, and make it available in the future. It'll also be OGL, so you can borrow it for your own use and I plan to add it to the S&W SRD.

What is it? I don't wanna say. It's going to be a supplement for S&W. I will say that some people are gonna hate it. My editor isn't a fan, he said so. But I like it. It's something I've been contemplating for a while, and I was waiting on a few developers to come up with something interesting. But no one did, and so I decide to do it myself... necessity _is_ the mommy of invention.

Prizes!? Oh, right. Yes. I will be giving away a PDF of Knockspell and I plan to give away copies of my S&W supplement as a PRINTED ZINE! How does 5 copies of it sound? I also plan to make the PDF available on d20SRD's shop and RPGnow in both S&W and a DCC RPG version will likely appear in a future issue of Crawl! The zine/supplement versions will be expanded versions, all OGL friendly.

I'm really excited for this. Really happy for +Erik Tenkar , +Matt Finch and +Bill Webb for the success of Swords & Wizardry.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Swords and Wizardry!

April 17th is going to be Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day

What is Swords & Wizardry (S&W)? It's part of the first wave of the Old-School Renaissance (OSR)--the return to the roots of our favorite hobby/game, Dungeons & Dragons. It's based on the Original Edition of D&D (OD&D), aka the Little Brown Books, or the Little Brown Box (LBB) or later on, "The White Box." This edition predated the Red "Basic" Box (Basic D&D or B/X Edition) and even the  hard-cover advanced edition (AD&D). The "Blue" Basic Edition was based on this edition, which was originally designed to be an introduction AD&D before they decided to create two lines. So in a way, S&W is compilation of the original game, plus its supplements, combined, cleaned up and presented in as a complete role-playing game.

This blog will be part of it. Most folks know me as the publisher of Crawl! fanzine for Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG. But before I got involved with DCC RPG, Swords & Wizardry was my intro to the OSR. I was one of many that beared with 3rd Edition and threw in the towel when 4th Edition was released. (I gave it a fair shot, I did. Once essentials was released, I was already fed up with the game...) By that time the OSR was in full effect. I read various OSR products, but the game that really got my attention was S&W. Its simplicity and its completeness. I was sold, and ran it for my D&D fix while trying out other games (D&D and non-D&D style games). Obviously DCC RPG won me over in the end, but I have never gave up on S&W. In fact I still use it as my go-to reference for spells and monsters, and other things that DCC RPG doesn't cover, or I don't feel like making up myself. I supported the S&W kickstarter, and I really love the new printing.

Why S&W, and not others like OSRIC or LL? tl;dr, Ascending AC. Probably the single innovation of the later editions that I really-really like. Everything else is pretty much identical. In fact I use OSRIC, LL and Basic Fantasy (and other OSR games) compatible products in my DCC RPG on the fly (very little to no brain-work is needed to convert.)

So what am I doing for S&W Appreciation Day? It's a secret. S&W is a perfect game to hack, or use as your core rules. I've been considering something for DCC RPG for a long time, and developing it for S&W first seems like a no-brainer for me. Since it'll be a while before I can afford a proper/new computer for my publishing and graphic design. My little netbook is perfectly suited for writing. And using this lost time for a little development/writing seems like a nifty idea.

Heard I won a copy of Knockspell? You heard right! I already have the first few issues of Knockspell, so I don't need a copy. But for those of you that don't, your chance will be next week to win a copy! So check in next week for the rules!

See you next week!

p.s. Visit the Swords & Wizardry SRD! Rules reference for S&W is free. And, yes, I plan to submit my "hack" to it.