Swords, Wizardry, Confessions, and Theft (Swords and Wizardry Appreciation Day)

I have a confession to make right up front.  I don’t play in or run a Swords and Wizardry game.  In fact, I’ve been running a Dungeon Crawl Classics game for months now that I’m really happy with.

No, wait, don’t go.  I come to praise Swords and Wizardry, not to bury it.

I own several Swords and Wizardry products, and continue to pick them up.  One of the things that I love about OSR games in general is that no matter what the quirks of the specific game might be, it usually isn’t too hard to convert material from one system to another.  This is even more evident in Swords and Wizardry, which not only has a very simple framework for OSR games  (actually, the oldest framework, so to speak), but the products have a great modular structure to the rules as well.

Swords and Wizardry Complete

There are a couple of reasons I started to specifically take a look at Swords and Wizardry, which go back to my pre-OSR level based kitchen sink fantasy RPG days.  Way back when I was running Pathfinder, Frog God Games put out two products that caught my attention.

The first product was the Tome of Horrors Complete, a massive book with all of the monsters from the 3.0/3.5 Tome of Horrors in one book and updated for Pathfinder.  I snagged the digital version of that book quick, as I love the vibe of a lot of those monsters.

While poking around looking at that, I happened across the Northlands Saga from Frog God Games.  I’ve always been a sucker for vikings and frozen land adventures, so it was a given that I was going to start picking these up.

The problem became that I was rapidly burning out on Pathfinder.  I just didn’t get any joy from drawing battlemaps that the PCs might avoid, spending a half hour of game time figuring out which five foot step was most advantageous, and worrying if my party mix demanded that I slightly tweak an encounter so that it would be “balanced.”

I was away from level based fantasy for a while.  I played in a friend’s Pathfinder game, but that was for the company, not the game system.  Dungeon Crawl Classics came out, I started looking through it, and I fell in love.  I was so in love that I couldn’t get enough.  If I have everything I can pick up for this game, how can I have MORE?

Tome of Horrors Complete–Swords and Wizardry Edition

Then I remembered back when I got my Tome of Horrors Complete.  There was a “Swords and Wizardry” version too.  Wonder if I can use that somehow?  So I picked up the Tome of Horrors Complete for a second time, started looking at the stats, and realized it was all mine, I hadn’t lost a thing!

The Northlands Saga

That reminded me that if I still wanted to run my precious Northlands Saga someday, I could do it in a system where I wasn’t distracted from my need to overact any viking I portray by juggling numbers and grids.

Not only was all of that true, but anything mundane that might not be immediately needed to run DCC, but that I might remember from my youth and want in the game, I could tack on by looking through the Swords and Wizardry rules.

“I don’t see X on the equipment list, how much is it?”

“Um, looks like you can get it for Y.”

And that’s when the overall power and scope of the OSR really hit me.  You can find so much material in usable form in so many places, and some of the best of that material  (in my case, with monsters and adventures) can be found in Swords and Wizardry.

And There’s More . . .

Frog God Games

Frog God Games is running a sale today (and just today) to commemorate Swords and Wizardry Appreciation Day, so if you happen to swing by the site, and use this code:


. . . you can pick up Swords and Wizardry products for 25% off.  Just remember you have to use the code to get the discount.

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