Most people who know my game preferences know that I’m a B/X D&D man and thus my retroclone of choice is Labyrinth Lord as it holds closest to that rules set and includes the least house rules…
But last year there was a Kickstarter for a new edition of Swords & Wizardry from Frog God Games – with an amazing set of people working on the revision headed up by ConTessa’s Stacy Dellorfano.
Already owning one edition of S&W Complete, and with it not being my preferred Old School rules set, I was kind of on the fence about it.
Then the shit started within the OSR “community”. I saw the kickstarter get called out for a whole pile of bullshit to the extreme of it somehow being some sort of slap in the face of the OSR and/or old school gamers.
So I backed it.
And it is lovely.
I originally hesitated when I saw the layout of the pages in the KS – there’s a lot of “border art” on the pages and I worried it would be overwhelming and/or just too reminiscent of the bad layout & design of many books during the d20 bubble. But in print the border elements are light enough and tight to the page border, making them an accent to instead of overwhelming the text.
(also not pictured here is something I always pick up for RPGs that I grabbed for this one too, a S&W DM Screen)
So – huge kudos to Bill Webb & Matt Finch & Frog God Games, and to Stacy Dellorfano and company. I may run a S&W game yet, and I’ll be glad to pull this out the next time I play in a S&W game.
The howling in certain quarters (and the form of said howling) certainly put a damper on my remaining OSR enthusiasm at the time, yup.
I also have to agree, the book is both lovely, and easily the best-accessible of the various S&W versions I own; if I get to using the system rather than LL or Mentzer Basic, this will be what I reach for.
Shadow Demon said:
If you never actually play it because the rules are exactly the same, what is the point?
Is it solidarity with the oppressed? A neat coffee table with cool art?
LL is simply a better ruleset. Using the Advanced companion, which is AD&D through a B/X lens, just does a better job than what S&W Complete is trying to accomplish. Instead, the true purpose of S&W Complete is a marketing tool for Frog God adventures.
If you want to go back further to 1974 than White Box: Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game is even better. From a gaming perspective without consideration of art and layout, S&W Complete has very little to offer. A gamer can find better source material elsewhere.
Dyson Logos said:
I do play it, I just don’t run it and it isn’t my favourite system. When I run D&D games it is typically B/X D&D by the book or with a small truck-load of house rules.
While I do have a prior printing, it was a very limited edition one and now I can gift it to one of the people who were admiring it and saying they wished they had said printing – because I’m a gamer and not a collector, I would rather a copy I won’t feel bad scribbling notes and alternate rules into.
But really, when it comes down to it, I saw people doing the right thing, and then taking a lot of flack for doing the right thing. And no matter how much I dislike capitalism, a primary way of getting your opinion noticed is to buy or not buy something. So I bought it and I didn’t buy the stuff the people bashing it were selling.
Shadow Demon said:
I have to say that is great. Personally, I think the B/X revision is the best version of OD&D which is why LL is really the best of the prime three. Once the supplements are added in, you might as well go AD&D (or LL Advanced Companion not OSRIC).
I guess from gaming only perspective without going into other reasons that this printing was controversial, there isn’t much here. I wanted to like it. Over time, it has faded away to a curiosity only. Maybe convention play, that’s about it.
Andreas Davour said:
Reblogged this on DDOCentral.
Jim McLaughlin said:
I got one. I love it. Crucify me at will.