Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Questions for the Tavern Master - Swords & Wizardry Light Omissions, Clarifications & Questions - Part the First

+Sophia Brandt emailed me some questions / clarifications regarding Swords & Wizardry Light. Without further ado, here we go:

edit - somehow blogger dropped this post)

I'm writing on a post for SW Light. First, great idea to slim down the ruleset!

Second, I have some questions + I found a typo.
a) Typos
1. The Thief:
"...Leather Armor AC 12[7]." - Shouldn't it be AC 7[12]?
ET - yep - that's a typo

2. Magic-User
Magic-user spells – Level 1 (*user* is lowercase)
ET - I'd need to refer this to one of our grammar experts...

b) Questions
Does the game assume that the reader knows Swords & Wizardry rules?
ET - No, but it does assume a familiarity with RPGs and to a lesser extent older editions of the original RPG. Basically, lapsed gamers and current players of the latest editions and those between. Can you learn to play from just these rules? Probably, but it would sure be easier to have a gamer show you the ropes, as we learn best by doing and experiencing, not by reading. With just 4 pages to play with, explaining the concept of an RPG is beyond the scope of the rules

1. Ability Scores/Ability Score modifiers
You mention that you can use the bonuses for different things, for example, STR bonus for Fighters to hit. But there is no table for the bonuses. AFAIK the modifiers between various editions are slightly different.

ET - There is no table because there is only, at most, a + 1 bonus

2. Hit Die
Is it a d6? HD is mentioned but it's not explained that HD = Hit Dice

ET - The morning tea hasn't quite kicked in, so I can't say for sure we explained that you roll a D6 for Hit Dice. A D20 and D6s are, however, the only dice used in the game. That was to simplify the learning curve, as I've noticed new players often have difficulty telling the different sized dice apart.

As for Hit Dice = HD, it is a common abbreviation across all editions of the game. Additionally, it is shown here for clarity:

3. M-U
Does the M-U get no starting weapons, no dagger? Per rules as written he only gets a spellbook.

ET - That is a big "oops". Dagger or staff. I'll update the Word file later today.

4. Does spellcasting require a test?
Couldn't find an explanation, just that the M-U prepares spells.

ET - As far as I can recall, no edition of the original RPG required a test or spell check to cast a spell (later editions did require one if struck while casting, and the DCC RPG does require such, but it is a very different beast)

All the questions may be redundant if you assume familiarity with S&W Complete. But then it wouldn't be necessary to explain a lot of other things.

ET - Excellent questions. It should be noted that the Swords & Wizardry Light Word Doc will be the living document for SWL. All corrections and edits will be made to the document you see in the SWL download folder. I'll make sure to add a "date updated" to the last page, so you know how current a copy you have. If and when there is a 2nd printing of SWL we'll make sure to include the fixes and corrections.

Please send any questions / clarifications / unlawful gratuities to tenkarsDOTtavern at that Gmail thing. Put SWL in the email title if you could.




  1. Thanks for the post.
    I overlooked the explanations for Q 1 & 2 - oops.

  2. This is very helpful. Thanks, ET!

  3. There are 3 items that stand out that are need of possible correction:

    1) For the fighter, Base Hit Bonus (BHB) and attack matrix table are inconsistent. The table is consistent with S&W Complete.

    2) Cleric Undead Table in order to be consistent with given monster list should list skeleton, zombie, and ghoul under undead type. Eliminate the fourth row.

    3) Under Combat, item #4 should be changed to "The round is complete; roll initiative for the next round if the battle has not been resolved." if the intention is to roll initiative for a beginning of each combat round.

  4. Actually, there is a fourth item regarding the movement rate that was mentioned in Save or Die podcast.

    IMHO, B/X which is the basic revision of 0e eliminates the Chainmail inches/feet mess. The B/X combat movement ( x 10 /3) is used in S&W Complete.


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