Let’s see there’s Swords & Wizardry Light followed up by Swords & Wizardry Continual Light. And now James Spahn of Barrel Rider Games has come out with Untold Adventures.
So all these games are kissing cousins and largely cross compatible. And I’m sure somewhere out there that there is a a game that I missed. But since I’m a Swords & Wizardry fan, these hit my radar screen first. And yes I know Light and Continual Light have been out quite a while. Now that all the disclaimers are done. On to the meat.
These games are important right now more than any (IMHO). Why? Well, they’re cheap or even free. They’re great intro to folks who haven’t messed with any OSR games. Heck, their a great intro for kids and adults who have never picked up an RPG. For the more seasoned, they’re still great. Why? Well, sometimes the regular DM is sick or something and you need a quick pick up game. Or maybe you’re just tired of spending more time checking rules than killing orcs. These make a great change of pace and still have enough crunch to make them viable games.
So I know someone will ask. What are these games like? Well, they’re both based of Swords & Wizardry White Box. That means you only need a d20’s and d6’s. A single saving throw. Easy to read monster entries. And quick play that is very much free form. So what do I mean by free form. There’s checking if your character has the feat or the skill to do something. Just do it.
If you aren’t an OSR type but still like the D&D type games. Check them out. Enjoy.
Here’s a pretty lengthy rant about how I’m going about making my D&D/OSR/whatever world.
And here’s the “working” map of Zoong including mistakes and other sloppiness. But it works for a DM’s notebook. Where are the Elves and Halflings from? Hasn’t came so haven’t worried about it yet.
And here’s the zoom in hex map from the 5E Campaign. You may recognize some thinly veiled hints about what modules I had on tap.
And you know the drill. Subscribe to the podcast. I don’t always post every I say over here and vice versa. And if you’ve already subscribed. Thanks.
I had this thought a long time ago when I was playing around with some ideas about hacking Swords & Wizardry and since I’m messing around with Sharp Swords and Sinister Spells the idea came back to me again. This time a little more thought out. So mixing that up, let’s play around a bit. Initiative: This is lifted from SS&SS. Use HD for initiative. However, I like things a little random. So roll it. (I added this as house rule to the upcoming SS&SS game). Now there may be some disparity with OSR Thieves and Monks since they had d4 HD. For them, I’d probably let them add their Dex Mod or for initiative let them roll a larger die type. Natural Healing: This is also from SS&SS and I played around with the idea when I working on the failed YARC (Yet Another Retroclone) project. Roll your HD for healing at whatever rate you use for your game. Weapon Damage: Er what? This goes back to Damage by Class idea and doing weapons by “type”. So use the character’s HD as a base for medium weapons then use a larger die for “heavy”, and a smaller die for “light”. For the basic classes, it look something like this: Fighter: d6/d8/d10; Cleric: d4/d6/d8; Magic-User: d3/d4/d6; Thief: d3/d4/d6 (but for back stab: d6/d8/d10). Armor Class: Huh? Yeah why not? If you’re doing Weapon Damage by class why not Armor Class too? Like weapons, do armor by type (Light, Medium Heavy). Use the Weapon Damage as above and divide the highest number on the die by two to get bonuses like this: Fighter: 3/4/5; Cleric: 2/3/4; Magic-User: 1/2/3; Thief: 1/2/3. Of course, this also depends on who can where what armor in your game. Thieves and Magic-Users in plate mail just don’t quite work so adjust to your rules of choice.
So yes. This is another of those posts to file under random ideas that I may or may not use and will probably mess around again with in the future sometime. And of course, YMMV.
So yeah. I’ve been thinking about that White Box game. It’s bouncing around my brain in all sorts of weird ways. Then this odd little idea popped into my head. Things like this go away in a couple days but this one has hung around. So here’s the elevator pitch.
Let’s combine a little of Supplement 1: Greyhawk into Swords & Wizardry just a little bit. Remember Grayhawk brought variable HD and weapon damage and that’s what’s I’m thinking about. Just porting in the HD and the variable weapon damage. OK, I know what you’re thinking why not just play S&W Complete. Well, I did think about that too. The remainder of the rules would stay the same. Yes, I know there is very little difference. But where I do see the difference is in the classes. Especially from other sources than the core White Book. These take the classes and distill them down to their very basics. I’m really basic and the core of what makes the class truly different. So the HD and weapon damage is something that might make things a little more familiar to my players and keep the core light White Box feel and rules.
Honestly, I don’t know. I admit that I may not even do this. It’s just one of those random thoughts….
I talked a bit about this in previous podcasts and it happens to be where my mind is right now. Contrary to my OSR folks, I do like some skills but not too many. I think even 5E has too many skills. So for the upcoming White Box game, I want to do some sort of skill system. This is all still preliminary and will probably change down the road.
First, there’s Attribute Checks. You know roll under the score with a d20. I’m going to use that for some things. Mainly, things that rely on solely on a characters abilities with no sort of training. The prime example is the good old “Bend Bars/Kick in the Door” type roll. I know a lot folks use that for pretty all skills but I still have some memories back in the 2nd Edition days of using it and the Magic-User happened to better at sneaking than the Thief.
The rest of the skills would rely on the x in d6 mechanic inspired by the White Box Omnibus, White Box: Fantastic Medieval Adventures, and Lamentations of the Flame Princess.
Everyman Skills: Let’s face it there are things that all the characters are going to try regardless of their class. Right now, I’m looking at just three or four skills.
1. Sneak: Because everybody wants to move quietly at some time. This starts at 1 in 6 and may be modified by Class or Race.
2. Athletics: Climbing, Jumping, and Acrobatic type maneuvers. This also starts at 1 in 6. If Strength or Dexterity is greater than 15 then add one (2 in 6). If both are above 15 the add two (3 in 6).
3. Sixth Sense: This is used for avoiding surprise, searching, and finding secret doors. This also starts at 1 in 6 and may be modified by Race and Class.
4. I don’t have a name that I like for this one. But I want some sort of social skill. I understand the whole Role Play vs Roll Play. I do want the players to role play out any social encounters but I want something simple that simulates subtle social cues like body language, intonation, and reading the mark. Like the others, this would start at 1 in 6 with a +1 for a Charisma greater than 15.
Improving Everyman Skills: When the character gains a level the player chooses one Everyman Skill and rolls a d6. If the result is higher than the current rating then increase that skill by one.
Everyman Skills Vs Class Skills: If a character has a class skill that would also include an Everyman skill then use the better of the two. Thinking mainly of the Thief here.
Unskilled Attempts: This is going to be judgement call on the GM’s part. But these attempts would fall into three categories:
1. No Way: The character just doesn’t have the training to attempt.
2. Snowball’s Chance: Sure try. Roll 2d6 and only succeed on the roll of double 1’s.
3. Sure give it shot: 1 in 6.
I know there’s a bunch of this will probably change when start really digging into classes. So stay tuned for that and Episode 11 of the podcast should be coming soon!
So Episode 10 is up! I’ve decide to cross post it here or you can just go Anchor or subscribe with your favorite ap (if available. Still waiting on Itunes.
Yeah I rant about the Ennies. Congrats to all the OSR stuff that was nominated. And like some others, I’m scratching my head about that whole organized play category. Plus I do more comparisons to gaming and food. Just listen to it. And I announce some plans for future episodes. I’m going to take you on the journey as make my Swords & Wizardry White Box world and campaign.
So on Episode 9 of the podcast I talked about some house rules for Swords & Wizardry but heck they’re pretty much usable for any of your OSR type games and as I’ve mentioned, I planning on starting up a Swords & Wizardry White Box campaign in the future so this is all in prep for that. So here they are in the written form as sort of liner notes. Two Weapon Fighting: +1 to-hit. Fighters (and other martial types) roll both weapon’s damage and take the best. Others average the damage. Shattered Shields and Sundered Helms: Sacrifice your shield and avoid the damage from an attack. Sacrifice your helmet and turn a crit into a normal hit. Reminds me. I need to write up a new crit/fumble table because those are always fun. Attacks of Opportunity: I just wrote this. Weapons and Armor by type: Let the characters describe their weapons. Just do the light, medium and heavy of each: d4, d6, d8 or +2/+4/+6 Changing up the Fighter: Instead of extra attacks against opponents of 1 HD or less. They get an extra attack when they drop an opponent. The total number of extra attacks a fighter can get is equal to their level. Other stuff that’s coming soon: Going to tweak the skills from Lamentations of the Flame Princess. Basically an x in d6 type system with my own take on a few things. Tweaks to the Cleric, Magic-User, and probably some other classes too.
So here’s the link to Episode 9 of Playing It Wrong.