Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Swords and Wizardry Appreciation Day

Well, it's been quite a long while since I've blogged, as is evident by my dusty date stamps on the "last" blog post. But I'm here today for a good reason: It's Swords and Wizardry Appreciation Day!

And what you're seeing there to the right is a coupon to get some of the most awesomest RPG rules produced in the last 20 years. Granted, they're a "clone" game, which means that they've been based off of original rules and built upon newer rule structures. But I'll tell you what, if you've ever played the "Brown Box" and liked it, you'll LOVE these!

Fact is, you'll love these anyway.

So what to write as a tribute to this great game? First off, I haven't played a LOT of S&W. Most of my hours behind the screen w/ these rules (both White Box and Complete) has been w/ my girls in our family game. But that's stalled out a bit. So there's not a whole lot to write about there unfortunately. My eldest hates confrontation, and we're in a place in the game where that type of thing is fairly inevitable. Which makes her balk when I ask if she'd like to play...

And therefore I've opted to write about a game I'm trying to spin up on Roll20, the virtual table top software that's run in a browser. Quite nice.

Here's what I'm thinking, a semi-swords and sorcery game that's a mashup of standard S&S tropes (you know, R.E. Howard, Leiber, Vance, Smith, etc.) along w/ a more creepy vibe, something along the lines of H.P. Lovecraft (of course), the Grimm brothers, along with some classic old mythology. (You know, stuff where elves and dwarves aren't a race, but rather a nasty menace that may quite likely slay you as look at you cross-eyed.)

Alan Kerr (
I've started w/ the world of Xoth. Which is very well done and an excellent starting point as far as setting goes. I'll sprinkle a bit of "weird" in there too using a few bits and bobs (mostly setting stuff) from Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea, as well as some cool DCC RPG doodads (mostly Punjar), and Ancient Kingdoms: Mesopotamia madness.

Yeah, a gonzo stew if you will.

And how you might ask, would someone "run" a game like this? Well... That's where Swords and Wizardry comes in. It's THAT flexible. Sure, I'm going to have to tweak a bit here and there, but overall, it's perfect. Swords and Wizardry is one of those games that is just the right amount of "vague" for those of us who are never happy w/ something "as is". As well as structured enough so that it doesn't toss the traditional feel of an RPG straight out the window. It's easier for those of us to play w/in a structure that we're familiar with, and let's be honest, S&W is about as familiar as it gets.

That's the basis of my game. I've actually started building it in roll20, which is quite the process. Granted, it's such a potpourri that it's almost like starting from scratch. But that's kind of fun. You take ideas that you get from other games / settings / literature and mix them all together. Most of you who've created settings have gone through this in one way, shape, or form.

What I think that I'd like to do w/ this blog now is to keep notes on how things are going. And maybe track my progress and thoughts. That's always valuable: Keeping notes during a creative process. You can always come back later and find out what swayed you at any given time to do it this way, or that. Anyway, that's it for now. I hope that I've given you a decent impression of "why" I like S&W.

In general, the rules are about as good as they come. I mean c'mon, look at my idea above. What a mess, but it's Swords and Wizardry which allows me to do this. It would surely be a much more difficult task if I were to try it under another set of rules. (Not knocking other rules btw, just saying that for what I'm doing here, these work for me.)

Go check em out!