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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Some Swords & Wizardry Houserules For Your Perusal

The link below will take you to the INVULNERABLOG. At it, you will see an article on some Swords & Wizardry Houserules by +Joshua Kubli .

It was supposed to have appeared in the Unofficial OSR Zine that never fully got off the ground, so Josh posted it on his site. It's a really nice piece, and I'm tempted to steal bits and pieces of it for my current games of S&W Complete.

I'm posting the beginning of the the article here, but you'll need to go HERE for the full article:


I’ve got a set of house rules I use for most OSR games I run. They add a simple “hero point” mechanic, skill system, and critical damage system to the game. Why did I add these rules?

It gives the players something to look forward to between levels, without adding a lot of complexity or minmax potential.
It gives players the option of surviving with lasting injury or trauma, instead of dying immediately from serious injuries. I don’t use these rules when running Dungeon Crawl Classics, for example, because heroes characters are supposed to die in droves in that system. That’s half the fun.
It gets players involved and moving forward. They don’t get rewarded for playing it safe and cautious, they win big, and if they screw up, they have a chance to survive.
My first DM used an ad-hoc “point reward” system, to give us stuff when we rolled well or had great ideas. My beloved fighter-wizard had a peanut butter point, a “Knight of the Bone” point (it was because he saved the party by striking up a conversation with a lich, although the name certainly suggests other tales of bravery…) and assorted other silly points by the time that first campaign was done. This is a similar idea, just implemented in a slightly less silly way.

The rules have two parts: Valor and Cunning, and Anguish and Trauma.

This section provides a rudimentary “hero point” and “skill/feat” system.

Each time a character gains a Valor or Cunning Point if they roll:

Any extremely effective, clever, entertaining, humorous, and/or successful plan or action.
01 to 05 on a Thief Skill check.
 20 on an attack roll.
 1 on an Attribute roll.
Any other roll, if the player rolls the best possible result. If the best possible result occurs less than 5% of the time, round up. So, for example, players would gain points on a roll of 1 or 2 on 1d30 (roughly 6.67% chance).
Gaining Valor Points: Characters that roll well on physical actions, or that act with vigor, speed, force, and good combat tactics, earn Valor Points. Attack rolls using physical weapons, lockpicking, and tumbling earns Valor.

Gaining Cunning Points: Characters that roll well on mental actions, or that demonstrate good long-term or large-scale planning, ideas, puzzle-solving, deductions, foresight, and persuasive skills, earn Cunning. Well-placed attacks with spells, social interaction, and abstract thought are all worthy of Cunning Points.

As you might expect, fightery types, including rangers and paladins, are more likely to earn Valor Points, while spellcasters are more likely to earn Cunning Points. Characters that act in both a physical and a mental capacity, like thieves and bards, have a good chance of earning both.

(go to the INVULNERABLOG for the rest)

1 comment:

  1. Similar to my houserule:
    All player characters have 1 fate at 1st level; adding an additional fate point at 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter (2 fate points at 4th level, 3 at 8th level and so on). These fate points replenish when your character levels up.
    A single fate point can be replenished before leveling up by having your character do something inventive or heroic, or something that furthers the storyline and the group’s enjoyment of the game. A character may use a fate point to:
    1] Re-roll a d20 roll made by a character or an NPC.
    2] Add 3 to a d20 roll made by their character or an ally.
    3] Have a character’s wound stabilize when unconscious.
    4] Negate a critical hit scored against a character.
    5] Change a normal hit made by a character into a critical hit.
    6] Have a character be left for dead when unconscious.
    7] Change some minor detail about your surroundings (unlock a door, place a mundane object in a room), at the DM’s discretion.
    8] Change a ability check (including skill checks and saving throws) into a success with complications (DM's discretion).