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.


  1. Why did you go DCC vice S&W? You were not too keen on DCC during the beta/early days. I am getting ready to go OSR, but I am torn between these two.

    1. Sorry I missed this comment, but I _was_ sold on DCC during beta. Was playing S&W (complete) for a bit before that. But DCC RPG hit the sweet spot of crunch and flavor. It's totally compatible with S&W (imo) so I never really left/ditched S&W. I use it as my go-to reference for things that DCC doesn't cover. You can totally have both.

    2. No worries, no worries. The reason I asked, was that on the GG forums, during the Beta, you were pretty down on the system. I was simply curious as to what, compared with early remarks, popped for you about the final system.