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10 Jan 2017

Of Course Your RPG Bookshelf Needs Swords & Wizardry Light

Rules-lite D&D Fantasy

Fast-Play Fantasy? A robust ruleset that you can use with thousands of adventures and supplements? Yes, please. Erik Tenkar from Tenkar's Tavern just released Swords & Wizardry Light, a 4-page-version of the 0e-D&D-retroclone. It is a free PDF, like its big brother. One of my favorite OSR writers, James Spahn, has also put pen to paper. Short facts:
  • free download
  • 0e D&D, thus compatible with lots of game material
  • 4 classes: Fighter, Cleric, Magic-User, Thief
  • 4 races: Humans, Dwarves, Elves, Halflings
  • 3 levels (for more, use S&W Complete)
  • simplified rules (starting gear packages, reduced spell list, no XP)
  • quick character generation
  • a small bestiary
  • pretty layout for the PDF
  • "hackable" .docx document
  • text is open content via the OGL
  • some rules ambiguity, minor typos 1
  • Game Master must be familiar with RPGs, otherwise you won't understand how to play the game
So you'll get a lightweight and robust fantasy game on 4 pages. Easy to play and comes naturally to the old-school fan. Free. Now, go HERE to download it.

Sample Characters

Why? To play them in an upcoming solo game, of course. (I will run these characters solo through a published adventure.) Roll 3d6 in order: STRength, INTelligence, WISdom, CONstitution, DEXterity, CHArisma. You can use your Ability Score modifiers as bonuses for different actions. But you only get a bonus of +1 for every score of 15 or above. Your hit points depend on your HD (Hit Die), a d6.

Harry Cete, Cleric

STR 8 INT 13 WIS 16 (+1) CON 14 DEX 5 CHA 7 HP 6, ST 14 (+2 vs. death & poisons), BHB +0 Mace 1d6 Chain Armor + Shield AC 4 Adventurer's Pack 1 (Backpack, bedroll, flint and steel, 6 torches (burn 1 hr and shed light 30’), 50’ Rope, crowbar, 7 days rations, and a water skin) Clerics don't get spells at level 1.

Tylas, Thief

STR 13 INT 10 WIS 4 CON 10 DEX 17 CHA 4 HP 5, ST 15, BHB +0 Long Sword (1d6) and Dagger (1d6) Leather Armor AC 7 Backstab – When attacking with surprise and from behind the thief attacks at +4 to hit and x2 damage Hear Sounds – Thieves have a 3 in 6 chance to hear and identify noise through closed doors Read Normal Languages – Thieves have a 4 in 6 chance to read normal languages Climb Walls – Thieves have a 5 in 6 chance to climb walls and cliffs Thief Skills – Thieves have a 1 in 6 chance to succeed at Finding/Removing Traps, Opening Locks, Hiding in Shadows/Move Silently Adventurer's Pack 2 (Backpack, bedroll, flint and steel, hooded lantern with 2 pints lantern oil (each pint burns for 4 hrs and sheds light 30’), hammer, 12 iron spikes, 10’ pole, 7 days rations and a water skin)

Annel Morley, Magic-User

STR 6 INT 10 WIS 11 CON 7 DEX 15 CHA 8 HP 3, ST 15 (+2 vs. magic), BHB +0 Magic Missile: Range: 150 ft Duration: Instantaneous — A magic dart flies where the caster directs, hitting the target, automatically causing 1d6 damage. There is no saving throw. Sleep: Range: 240 ft Duration: Referee’s discretion — This spell puts 2d6+3 HD enemies into an enchanted slumber. It affects creatures based on their hit dice. Dagger 1d6-1, Adventurer's Pack 2

Famah, Dwarf Fighter

STR 8 INT 11 WIS 6 CON 12 DEX 9 CHA 10 HP 6, ST 15 (+1 vs. death magic & poisons), BHB +0 +1 to hit & damage when fighting orcs and goblins, defensive bonus in combat because they are hard to hit (-4) +4 on save vs. magic Battle Axe 1d6 Bow 1d6 Chain Armor and Shield AC 4 Adventurer's Pack 1
Interested in how it plays? Me, too. P.S. Look, it's a free download and just 4 pages. Just give Swords & Wizardry Light a try.

  1. I wrote an email to Erik and he addressed my concerns with this blogpost. The .docx file has the corrections.