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Saturday, September 27, 2014

The OSR for the Lapsed Gamer - Free PDFs - Swords & Wizardry

What can I say about Swords & Wizardry that I haven't said before?

It seeks to emulate the original edition of D&D - the White Box. Depending on the flavor you choose, it also grabs inspiration from the various OD&D supplements.

Swords & Wizardry White Box emulates what it says on the tin - the original edition of D&D without digging into the supplements. Biggest shock to most gamers? No thief class, just clerics, fighters and magic-users.

Swords & Wizardry Core was the first of the Swords & Wizardry "trilogy" to be releases. It includes the thief class and will be more familiar in feel for those that played Basic D&D.

Swords & Wizardry Complete was the last of the "core" rulebooks to be released. The PDF went free last November. This includes all of the classes AD&D players (or those that played with all of the OD&D supplements) would be familiar with, with the exception of the illusionist.

Probably one of the attractions of Swords & Wizardry is that both the Core and White Box rules are available in RTF format - which means one can design their own game using the S&W rules in an editable document or create a house ruled document to distribute to your gaming group.

Here's a short list of S&W derived games (and I know I'm missing more than a few so help a brother out and add them to the comments below):

The World of Onn, Crypts & Things, Renegade, Corruption, Woodland Warriors, Ruins & Ronin, Blood & Bullets, Ancient Mysteries & Lost Treasures, Sabres & Witchery and Pars Fortuna(these will get covered to a lesser extend further on in this series of posts)

Probably the biggest change in Swords & Wizardry from the originals it seeks to emulate is the single saving throw. I wasn't a fan of the change when I first found S&W, but after having run and played with the single save for well over a year, it's fine in practice. Another noticeable change is that Armor Class is expressed in both ascending and descending order, so you can use either depending on the preference of your group.

Swords & Wizardry is strongly supported by Frog God Games.

Swords & Wizardry White Box Rules (free PDF / RTF, print $9.99 SC, $18.99 HC Lulu)

Swords & Wizardry Core Rules (free PDF / RTF, print $14 SC, $24 HC Lulu)

Swords & Wizardry Complete (free PDF, print $34.99 Frog God Games)


  1. The WhiteBox PDF can be found on www.swordsandwizardry.com - to be more precise, here: http://www.swordsandwizardry.com/whiteboxpdf.pdf

    1. i missed that, didnt i? time to fix it (to the full WB link, so it can be grabbed it editable RTF for those that like to tinker.

  2. The Complete set is no longer available at that link, but it is currently available for free at DriveThruRPG.com.

    1. Frog God has the HC in stock and the PDF available for free.

      You can also go to the RPGNow site linked or directly to my Dropbox link which is also provided

  3. Another variant is Sabres and Witchery, IIRC - sort of a Solomon Kane thing

    Pretty good stuff

  4. One correction, didn't AD&D have the bard class as well? So that would be one more class along with the Illusionist that S&W:C doesn't include from that version of the game (since it wasn't in the original supplements either).

  5. No Bard in AD&D PHB as a beginning class. To become a Bard, you first had to be a 5th level Fighter, then dual-class as a Thief. When you hit level 5 Thief, then you dual-class as a druid. It's really a Prestige class.

    In AD&D 2E, Bard was a starting class.