Friday, June 5, 2009

Sidetracked! (or why do I do this?)

I've held off from doing much with Swords and Wizardry so far. Sure, I went and downloaded both versions so that I could look through them, but hadn't really done much yet. Unfortunately, I finally caved in to the hype and took a bit of time to read the White Box version.

Now, as I've noted, BECMI/RC D&D is my system of choice for an ongoing campaign and that won't change. I do want a bit more crunch in my base rules, but RC still gives me all the freedom to house-rule as I see fit. I've never played Original D&D, and never have seen a real, live set of those little brown books. So, when I had just skimmed through S&W on other occasions, I just saw rules variation that I didn't get. They weren't quite "right".

This time reading through it, something was different. Maybe I just was looking at it with a different mindset, I don't know. But what I saw was really cool - the simplicity just kicks rocks, and I can totally see using White Box for one-shot and pick-up type games.

What's it got going for it? Well, simplified mechanics, mostly. The whole "all weapons do d6 damage" thing, a single saving throw, very basic monster stats, index card character sheets. I have to say that for these quicky games, I'll even use Ascending AC. It's pretty simple to understand and use on the fly.

I plan to put together a little gaming package in a digest-sized DayPlanner binder that I can take anywhere - vacation, camping and so on, so I can pick it up and play with the kids for an hour if it rains. The WB rules, printed digest size, a single set of dice, and some adventure stuff.

What I need to spend a little time on is the adventure part. I want to put together a small 'sandbox" style setting to include in the kit. A map of the PCs home base village and the surrounding area, populated with mini-dungeons and set-piece encounters that will be found as they follow rumors or just hex-crawl around the map. That'll be the most time-consuming part, but I think it will be worth it. Once it's put together, I'll be sure to share.


  1. That is a pretty slick setup. I am trying to do the same thing, but I am hoping to see Brave Halfling Publishing make the digest sized books. Excellent work!

  2. Thanks for the praise, I appreciate that. I do like what I've seen from BHP, but haven't purchased anything from John yet. Or, for that matter, from any of the OSR publishers. Right now, I print my own, since I have the means to do so. Over time I'll show my support by sharing my stuff for free - with a family, house and real grown-up life, there isn't much $$ for gaming stuff.