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29 Jan 2017

Some Practical Thoughts on The Wizard's Scroll - Issue 1

Did you miss out on the newest fanzine for Swords & Wizardry?
Or don’t you need yet another one? There are so many great zines out there, some are even free.
I don’t need more. The Black Pudding (aff) blows my socks off with its art and style. And it is a Pay What You Want download. I’ve also subscribed to The Manor and Vacant Ritual Assembly (aff). But The Wizard’s Scroll - Issue 1 (aff) kept popping up in my G+ streams with glowing recommendations. Let’s see if you should pinch pennies or click on “Buy”. So, what do you get?

  • 2 Races: The Testudo (tortoise men) and Ratfolk
  • A Spell: Binding Familiars
  • An NPC for Carcosa
  • 4 Monsters: The Skin Bag, Lightning Monk, Shield Guardian and the Abominable Beastman
  • 7 Magic Items: Including Zum Kali’s Ancient Sword of Bone and the Claws of Carcajou
  • 2 Adventures: The Demon-Shattered Tower (levels 2-3) and The Bandit Caves of Cyrus Blacknail (low level)
  • A Fantastic Location: The Wizard’s Tower
  • Optional Rules: Critical Hits and Basic Skills
  • A Recipe: How to Cook a Halfling

The Wizard’s Scroll - Issue 1 (TWS) is a steal. You will enjoy reading it. Look, there are Tortoise Men who can imbue their shells with magic sigils. How awesome is that? The Shield Guardian is a monster I can’t wait to use in my own game.

The guardian does not speak a word. The same cannot be said of the shield. Before and during battle, the shield constantly speaks. Saying things like “your doom is at hand” and “your death awaits you”.

The adventures, magic items, fantastic locations, and the recipe are a nice touch.
But I’m most excited about the optional rules for WhiteBox. The rules for critical hits and the basic skill system are dead simple. But they enrich the game without bogging it down.


  • TWS is a must-buy for fans of Swords & Wizardry. Great value for money. 50+ pages for USD $2.99 (PDF) or USD $4.99 (print + PDF). I’m exhilarated that I bought it.
  • The guys behind this made good use of artwork and layout. The zine is easy to read and the drawings lighten it up.
  • TWS has a gimmick: you can decode a secret message hidden in the booklet.
  • Different authors give the zine a well-rounded tone. “A ‘zine written by fans, for fans of Swords & Wizardry!” lives up to its word.

I’m impressed by TWS. And I hope you’ll be, too! You can buy the first issue here at DTRPG or RPGnow (affiliate links). Read more about the fanzine at the official website.