Of Course Your RPG Bookshelf Needs Swords & Wizardry Light
Rules-lite D&D FantasyFast-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
Sample CharactersWhy? 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, ClericSTR 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, ThiefSTR 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-UserSTR 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 FighterSTR 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.