On it's simplest level, it's a reworking of the Swords & Wizardry Core rules to be more Swords & Sorcery in nature.
On a publishing level, it's the latest game from D101 Games, the fine folks that brought us OpenQuest, the open version of the MRQ rules.
One a purely gamiest level, it gives us the first true Swords & Sorcery set of rules to the OSR that I can think of. There have been a couple of S&S rulesets for Savage Worlds recently, the latest being Beasts & Barbarians: Golden Edition. It's becoming popular in the gaming circles, so the timing is right.
I jumped on the $40 level of the preorder / fundraiser earlier this week and have just started looking thru my PDF copy. I like what I see so far, but that's no surprise, and Swords & Wizardry has become my go to OSR ruleset these days.
I'm going to quote from the PDF as to what makes Crypts & Things different from the rest.
How is Crypts & Things
different from Swords &
The Fighter has optional fighting styles, to add more
options and fun and to differentiate between fighter
Adds the Barbarian character class based off the version
of the class originally published in White Dwarf 2 in
Adds the Thief class. This is a more martially-inclined
version of the Thief, inspired by the Grey Mouser from
Fritz Leiber’s Lankhmar stories.
Adds the Magician class, which combines the spell lists
of the Magic-User and Cleric, and then separates them
into White/Grey and Black magic spell lists.
Higher Abilitiy bonuses (+1 to +3) to highlight
Removes the Cleric and Magic-user Class
No Elves, Dwarfs or Halflings..
No Turning the Undead either as a class ability or spell.
Life events. This takes the form of a simple table where
characters roll a single D20 three times for starting
characters to learn some of the events that occurred
before they started adventuring and the benefits that
A simple skill system based off the Saving Throw
number. Used for class skills (such as the Thieves’
skills and Barbarian’s abilities) and other skills that the
character may have picked up along the way.
Sanity rules. Wisdom is used as a measure of mental
stability. This system is used for both taking mental
damage for witnessing horror and for magicians casting
Altered damage rules. Hit points become a measure
of exhaustion and fatigue – and are lost as a Magician
casts spells. Constitution is used as a measure of
physical health, and is lost once Hit points have been
Back ground and Setting
Crypts & Things is based more upon the Sword and
Sorcery works of Clark Ashton Smith, Fritz Leiber
and Robert E Howard, than the more traditional