Halloween

Halloween
5% of All Sales go to Support The Tavern

Friday, May 13, 2016

What Ever Happened to the "All Woman Team" Edition of Swords & Wizardry Announced for the Summer of 2015?

I was recently asked a question via email about the new edition of Swords & Wizardry. Now, I had totally forgotten there actually WAS a new edition of Swords & Wizardry in the works. Most likely because the person leading the project is not one I personally like much (because "issues"). Still, it is Swords & Wizardry, and it would be interesting to see an "all woman" take on the game.

The only mention I can find online of the project is at +Christopher Helton 's Dorkland Blog from April 17, 2015:
So, this summer there will be a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money for a new printing/edition of Swords & Wizardry. What makes this newsworthy is that the fact that the graphic design, layout and art direction for this new edition will be an all-woman team of artists and designers lead by Stacy Dellorfano, the founder of the online gaming convention ConTessa. The art for the new edition will also feature new iconic characters that are female and people of color. In a way, the old school is stepping into the "new" school and with this edition of Swords & Wizardry we see Frog God Games bucking the perception that OSR/old school gamers are all conservative and reactionary individuals, interested only in continuing the status quo. Good on them for that.
So, here we are over a year later and I've heard nothing since. Anyone know who's on the team of artists and designers that Stacey assembled, because I don't recall Stacey writing an RPG (or rewritting an RPG) prior to this announcement. Last April the Kickstarter was only months away - it still hasn't been announced. Is this project still in the works?

52 comments:

  1. The virtue was already signaled and they got to slap on gamers at the same time why the need of doing actual work?

    ReplyDelete
  2. This year's Swords and Wizardry Appreciation Day episode of Drink, Spin, Run included both Matt & Stacey - both of whom talked extensively about this new S&WC. It's a reprint, not a new edition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Didn't listen to that episode. Can't imagine why...

      Delete
    2. Was it a podcast episode or a Twitch broadcast? I wanted to listen to hear more about it, but all I could find was a Twitch announcement and no one ever responded to my comment asking for more.

      Delete
    3. Theodric, it was a live broadcast via Twitch. They guys running the podcast will have it up sometime in the near future.

      Delete
  3. That announcement is obnoxious as hell.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the problem is that the quoted blog post isn't very well written. I'd be interested in seeing any PRESS RELEASE that Frog God Games may have put out. I suspect it would be more eloquently worded.

      Delete
    2. The problem with the blog post is that it is insulting of its customer base - I'm sure that it's exactly what Helton meant to write, given his usual shtick.

      Blog posts by individuals associated, professionally and community-wise, with the individuals spearheading the next edition are relevant for what they are. Why close our eyes to everything but official press releases by FGG?

      Delete
    3. I have no idea who Helton is. All I know is the text quoted is poorly written. In particular the entire last sentence is awful. I would be more interested in what the company "officially" has to say about this product over what any one individual, however directly or tenuously associated with it, has to say.

      I have a little sympathy for them being a publisher myself I guess.

      Delete
  4. It was discussed in the Appeciation Day pod-cast https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oelHLODebHA

    Apparently it's coming very soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for posting this. Just ran through all of the comments before posting myself.

      Delete
  5. Did they mention who else was involved when it was discussed on the podcast?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They named several of the artists contributing to the reprint.

      Delete
  6. I don't know understand... How do you make a new edition of something that is just a rewrite of a 40-year-old game anyway? Just new art and change some names?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess so. Why did they have to insult a lot of gamers in the announcement?

      Delete
    2. The quote above is a blog post by someone other than FGG or the design team. The blogger is responsible for the wording. Checking to see if FGG put out a press release, which I am sure would not be insulting.

      Delete
    3. Alex, I hope your Google-Fu is better than mine. ANY information on this project is like looking for a needle in a haystack...

      Delete
    4. I contacted the folks at FGG for any information about a press release. I don't fault you for using the quote you have, but I think everyone is reacting to its poor choice of words as if it were an official press release from FGG.

      Delete
    5. "How do you make a new edition of something that is just a rewrite of a 40-year-old game anyway?"

      Are you kidding? That's pretty the entire foundation of the OSR movement.

      Delete
  7. Hopefully Stacey's attacks on various old school luminaries as well as NTRPG Con don't sour the project's release.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What was said about NTRPGCON?

      Delete
    2. last summer she went off on Merle Rausmussen running an "all ladies" Top Secret game session (which my wife played in - best time she had in 2 years) and the "serving wenches" - it wasn't pretty

      Delete
  8. Ah.. the fembot movement went into hiding? Good.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It's not a new edition, it's a reprint.

    ReplyDelete
  10. First of all, not offended at all by the announcement. I say, Right On!

    However, not cool at all is the whole attack on Merle. Wasn't there something about Jim Ward and perhaps one other ex-TSR too. Just not cool. AT.ALL.

    ReplyDelete
  11. "new iconic characters that are female and people of color."
    Why don't they just say "no white males"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe because "new iconic characters that are female and people of color." doesn't make any claim about the old iconic characters. Perhaps many of those will be retained. Maybe there will be white males as well?

      Just a thought here, but maybe all inclusive means exactly what it means.

      Delete
    2. It's almost too easy...

      Delete
  12. I was actually quite interested in another printing, and in giving an all-female team a chance to design the look. I hope that it does not descend to the level of attacks on people or the furthering of any agenda beyond women are human beings, gamers, awesome, and to celebrate their contributions to the hobby.

    ReplyDelete
  13. The tentative schedule for the new printing is late this summer. We had a huge crush of Kickstarters at the end of last year, which pushed back the smaller projects, and this one isn't critical until we get close to the bottom of the existing book stock.

    Frog God doesn't have a political or social agenda here, although I'm sure Stacy and Chris see this project as having a beneficial approach in those terms. Our charge to Stacy's team was to produce a printing that appealed as much to women as to men. That expands the game's mainstream appeal, which has been a long-term strategy: getting the 1974 rules to be seen as a valid alternative to newer styles of gaming that eclipsed it.

    (Due to corporate decisions, the "kiss my ass" paragraph has been deleted).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Matt! I knew there was probably more to this than a random blog post from 13 months ago could impart.

      Delete
  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  15. To clarify, the "Kiss my ass" paragraph wasn't at you, Erik. :) It was directed at people who think they know my politics based on a third-party description of a game product.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heh - never thought it was directed at me :)

      Keep me in the loop when there is an official press release please

      Delete
    2. Wow, what an arrogant ass you are. Count me out of any of your products and kiss my ass, fella.

      Delete
  16. If the art is great then this sounds like a nice addition to my current book.

    ReplyDelete
  17. The idea of an alternate art version of the book is actually pretty appealing, ideally if the imagery localized it to some well-defined non-European cultures that gave it unified thematic flavor, like Spears of the Dawn (instead of just making it look like a generic multicultural checklist).

    That being said, Helton's post is another example of taking a good idea and making it look unnecessarily polarizing, with stuff about "dragging" tabletop gaming "kicking and screaming into the 21st century". It's all so annoying in its self-congratulation, and it's a shame that trying to politically encode the project's objectives might cause some reduction in the success of the Kickstarter. I'm way more likely to pay money for good original art than I am to pay money to make some kind of divisive political statement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't put much weight in Helton's words or let those color your opinion of the project. The guy believes you have a _right_ to a living wage doing RPG design and that the GM has no more authority during the game than any other player, which he stated in a post where _Stacy_ was pointing out how it was an issue when it intersected with gender.

      So it would be a shame if this project suffered just because he had an opinion on it.

      Delete
  18. One thing that seems sort of weird to me about this product is that it is essentially a game created and designed by men, based on another game created by men, with the new art being done by all women. It is not a new RPG designed by an all woman team, it's just a different color of paint on an already existing book.

    So if that is a ground breaking '21st century' approach, I'm not sure I see the point. Though for sure it is going to start arguments.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's no longer groundbreaking, but it's probably necessary. Pathfinder has a group of iconics of mixed genders and (human) ethnic groups. In an increasingly diverse society, the game that lets members of other demographic groups see themselves in the game materials is the one that succeeds.

      Delete
  19. Sounds good, Matt. I look forward to hearing more and supporting the KS.

    Clearly, women are playing OD&D and S&W. (Certainly, the last time I had the pleasure of running it for a group, the players included a college age lady and a teenaged girl, females comprising half the group.) Why not provide a book design that involves women gamers appealing to more women gamers? I don't see why that in and of itself should start arguments or disparagement. For myself, I'll feel free to criticize the noise but not confuse it for the virtue of the project itself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The irony is that the introduction of OD&D in the 1970s brought a bunch of women into the sausage factory that was wargaming at the time. There's a reason the "fighting man" became the fighter. I wonder if there were male gamers writing into the fanzines at the time railing against that change from OD&D to AD&D.

      Delete
  20. Gotta ask...what iconic characters does S&W have to begin with? Or any D&D clone for that matter...? Is there some S&W comic book I haven't seen? Cartoon? Movie? I can't even think of any iconic D&D characters, never mind S&W!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The usage being used here, and I'm not sure it is entirely etymologically correct, deals with recurring images. Mischief, Inc. adventure modules have iconic character images that appear throughout the book. They are the same half dozen characters being repeated in different situations. They are iconic to the adventure or book, not necessarily iconic the way a rock star, or ancient greek hero would be.

      Delete
  21. its hard to see how anyone has trouble understanding why this edition is a good idea. just ask the women in your life about these sorts of things and they can explain it to you.

    i have a daughter just getting into role playing, and its VERY HARD to find materials that suit her. she is not an idiot, and most role playing books have a very heavy male slant that does not appeal to her. the books in a not unsubtle way say, "this is not for you".

    moldvay basic is about as good as i have found, but the stupid backwards AC and other rules quirks hold it back a bit.

    so yea, really looking forward to this edition. and seriously, there is a lot of gamergate type bs packed into the comments above. people should check themselves before they wreck themselves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally agree with every word of this except calling the original AC scale backwards. ;-)

      Delete
    2. How are they going to 'wreck themselves' if they fail to 'check themselves'?

      Personally I find I can encourage female players and GMs just fine without all this crap.

      Delete
    3. Crap? It's crap to show men and women, and multiple races and cultures in a RPG product?

      Delete
  22. You want to chase women out of gaming?
    This is how you chase women out of gaming.

    ReplyDelete