Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Some House Rules From the Tavern for Swords & Wizardry

I have this really bad habit. I house rule the just about every game I run. I can't help it.

The thing is, Swords & Wizardry is built for house ruling, and it's damn hard to break the rules while doing so.

Without further ado, here's some of my current house rules:

- A killing blow results in a free attack against any enemy in reach. Fighters and their subclasses can keep this going for up to their level in attacks, assuming each blow is a killing blow. Other classes get one free attack after a killing blow (Inspired by ACKS)

- Spell bonuses from high ability scores: if the prime stat (WIS for Clerics and INT for Magic-Users) of the caster is 13+, they are entitled to memorize bonus spells each day.
     13-15 = bonus 1st level spell
     16-17 = bonus 2nd level spell
     18+    = bonus 3rd level spell
Bonus spells are cumulative. Bonus spells are only available when the caster can normally cast that level of spell (exceptions may be made for 1st level Clerics and 1st level spells)

- I find that I don't stress racial level limits, as PC death seems most prominent at 1st level and name level, when encounters start to get all swingy again.

- One thing I'd like to borrow from the DCC RPG is The Mighty Feat of Arms, as I think it's one of the finest things the system has added to gaming in general. I just need to tweak a version of it to S&W ;)

- Max HP at 1st level. "1" are rolled again at later levels, but kept if the second roll is a one

- BAD ASS - Bonuses for Attacking the Darkness, Advantages Shared and Simple
     I've changed the conversion from 25 points of damage to 10 for a BAD ASS, and 10 x leftover  damage points for expo, awarded to each PC (not divided) - It makes them choose between an XP boost or encounter help, and makes rolling a "1" on a to-hit roll exciting, sorta. It's worked well in my Rappan Athuk / AD&D 1e campaign since last fall.


  1. As I told my friends from Saratoga, the reason NY is so friendly is that all the a-holes moved to Arizona.

    Love-n-Kisses from Overgaard, AZ

    -- Doug

  2. I approve of bringing the cleave feat from 3e D&D to the OSR.

  3. The 1st level Hit Point idea I had, but have yet to use, is to roll two hit dice-take the higher. On ties, use BOTH. So everyone gets at least 2 HP.

    Constitution Bonuses/Penalties applied only once.

    S&W:C Rangers roll a 3rd die-use any two. Triples use all three.


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