Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Look at Free RPG Day's "Hall of Bones" (Swords & Wizardry)

Hall of Bones was the Free RPG Day 2103 release for Swords & Wizardry. I've heard some grumblings on the blogshere and such that it was lacking, and I understand the arguments. The thing is, those arguments are coming from within the OSR. Hall of Bones is not aimed at current OSR gamers. It's aimed at roleplayers that need an introduction to the OSR - primarily Pathfinder players I suspect.

On that level is works. It's a decent introduction to OSR gaming. The adventure is short, but if you plan to explain the rules and put them into action, you don't want a multi-session adventure. You probably want something that plays to the end in a short session, and that is what you have here.

I'm glad I picked it up even if it is of very little use to me, as it shows me that Frog God Games is serious about growing the Swords & Wizardry Game, and that is very good news indeed.


  1. Yeah, it amply demonstrates to the Pathfinder players how boring OSR adventures are.

    Not a good representation at all.

  2. Disagree...I was very dissappointed. There are 3 completely blank pages and plenty of empty space spread about. You want to present the Quick Start rules? Print them on the inside of the cover and make it detachable - instant GM screen with everything you need without flipping. Likewise, Pregens should have been available early online for GMs to print for the game.

    The story was OK but the Gold Cat is excellent! And what is up with the cover? Why is that armored guy so tiny - halfling maybe? Or why is that lady so blooming huge? Back stab the bone guy - should have aimed for the cultist looking dude ;)

    I just wish it was gieven a bit more effort.

  3. I read through the adventure last weekend. It had some nice details, but was a little short. Only 9 encounters over 4 pages - compare with the Holmes Sample Dungeon, which has 18 encounters over 3.5 pages. The cover art is also not at all old school.

  4. The pregens are sorta dull. I, and all of you, know that fighters are role-playing intensive in combat in order to make them fun. But a new person to the OSR or a Pathfinder, or other RPG, player will look at the fighter and the HUGE amount of empty white nothing on his pregen page as sign of how empty the class is. All of the pregens are suitably empty.

    The abbreviated Primer is cool though.

    Overall, this just screams move along, buy LotFP or DCC if you want to actually game.

  5. Picked it up too. Yeah it's a bit thin.
    However, as someone who's stepping back into the game after a brief (30-year) hiatus, the primer/philosophy section is the most useful to me. I'm not so interested in rules as build and play advice and resources. The module is a fun one-off ( I like the cat, too). I'll probably use it to cobble together some larger scenario or as a side.

  6. I feel it worked wonderfully. I ran it at my FLGS for two guys. One had played a lot of 4th ed games and the other not a lot of anything. Both were not particularly interested at first. As we went a long and got into it, they did not like having to leave early and finish the game. On the way out one of them picked up a set of dice. I have a feeling the scenario got finished. LOL. It could not be all me because I have not run any game in over 10 years. Score one for Swords and Wizardry guys and Frog God Games.

  7. The above earlier comments didn't apply in my situation either. I ran the game with 5 players, 4 being new to the OSR and old school gaming in general. They all had a blast and one guy even mentioned it was the best gaming session of "DND" he ever had. That was a guy that previously had played Pathfinder, 4th DND, and demoed DND Next.


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