Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Swords and Wizardry - Tim Kask

The original D&D stuff, reworked! ""In 1974, Gary Gygax (1938-2008) and Dave Arneson (1947-2009) wrote the world’s first fantasy role-playing game, a simple and very flexible set of rules that launched an entirely new genre of gaming. Unfortunately, the original rules are no longer in print, even in electronic format. The books themselves are becoming more expensive by the day, since they are now collector items. Indeed, there is a very good chance that the original game could, effectively, disappear. That’s why this game is published. When you play Swords & Wizardry, you are using those original rules. They are entirely redescribed, and some parts have had to be left out – we can publish rules and licensed material, but not all of the original game falls into those legal categories. For the same reason, a couple of rules have been altered from the original (and we try to point out when this has been done in a significant way). We would, by the way, like to thank Wizards of the Coast, Inc., the publishers of Dungeons & Dragons, for open-licensing a great deal of material from that game, which has made it much easier to legally complete this project. Even though there are a couple of legal-protection digressions from the original version in these rules, most people think we’ve hit the target. The game has won an ENnie Award at GenCon, and has caught on like wildfire over the Internet. The credit, of course, goes to the original designers, Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson; and also to Rob Kuntz, co-author of the game’s first supplement. You may have seen that there are three versions of Swords & Wizardry, which is admittedly confusing, since each one is a separate and complete game. We’re hobbyists and gamers over here, not marketing specialists; it would have been smarter to have only one set of rules, but we couldn’t stop ourselves. The WhiteBox is a version including only the first three booklets of the Original game, and nothing from the supplements. The Core Rules are a middle ground between none and all of the supplements. A close description is that it uses the rules from Supplement One, but ignores the new character classes to stay with the archetypal categories of clerics, fighters, magic-users and (possibly) thieves. You can view the Core Rules either as a game in which those four character classes are simply broad categories, or you can see the rules as a framework for building your own more complex system without tripping over the original specialist classes like paladins and druids. The Complete Rules (which is what this site uses) is a version based on the first three booklets of the Original game plus all of the supplements that were published in the seventies before the game moved on to “Advanced.”" 3.5 out of 5 http://www.swordsnwizardry.com/