Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Time to "Red Ink" White Box - Trimming the Fat to Get to S&W: Light

A while back I stumbled across a really good deal on Swords & Wizardry White Box softcovers. I ordered a half dozen with the intention of giving out copies to my old face to face gaming group at our next annual gathering. Once I got them, it was kinda obvious they weren't being sold by Matt or Mythmere Games. I wish I had paid closer attention. I wasn't going to hand out bootlegs, but throwing away gaming material felt like just compounding a bad situation. So, I put them on a shelf and there they sat. Until now.

Now that I'm working on what is tentatively titled Swords & Wizardry: Light, these books are a boon. I get to "red ink" - in metallic no less - a hard copy of White Box. It's actually a thrill to go through and trim what isn't needed.

The idea is that some of the material trimmed could be added back in a series of adventures. The same adventures that will be written to help a lapsed gamer regain his game mastering footing.

Now to rewrite the Sleep spell...


  1. "Diet Swords & Wizardry will be the best tasting Diet product ever, even in PDF!" --Michael Gross, author of things written in small font after quotes on the backs of books ;)

  2. This looks like a great project. However, there are a lot of pages due to the nature of the rule set. For example, the different XP tables for the classes should be reduced to a single universal table. Throw out the prime attribute XP bonus/penalty as well. It would be great if the thief class could also be included. I think the best house rule book for White Box is Jimm Johnson's Planet Eris. It includes an excellent thief using only d6s.

    1. xp is out, along with the charts - level 2 after 2 adventures, level 3 after 5 additional adventures, move on to a fuller S&W ruleset with 5k XP at that point

    2. Cool, using the milestone advancement method for the beginner levels

    3. That's a cool "short cut," Erik.
      :thumbs up:

      (I hope my silly jest above was taken as intended.)

  3. I like this approach : remove what can be done without, or replace it with something simpler while allowing to move on to a fuller set of rules later. Do you think that Delta's "Target20" system would have a place in that approach ? I known it really simplified my games with children, and it uses descending AC ! It also works very well with the unified saving throw, and with "Searchers of the Unknown"'s mechanisms (always a good place to start when devising a "minimalist D&D".)

    1. as the goal is to make this compatible with the various flavors of S&W, I'm not sure how far off the reservation we can go and retain that goal.


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