Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thoughts on the New Swords & Wizardry Rulebook

During the mad rush the other day when Frog Gods opened the gates, I failed to get a hardcover.  Ah well.  I was able to land a soft cover and get the PDF for free for only $23 after S&H.  An excellent deal.  Now I haven't read the whole rulebook.  I can't do that reading the PDF, just bits and pieces and sections.  Normally I would print it out, but since the book is coming, umm I don't know when, I only printed a few sections.

The biggest thing is the new S&W felt more like AD&D than white box.  The biggest difference is the availability of more classes, those available in the original PHB.  There are a larger range of attribute bonuses, different from AD&D but again farther away from the white box.  Races are not a class.  All of these I am in favor of, but was wondering what others thought.

A few things about the layout though, some of the text parts are difficult to read because they text is so close together.  Also in some section I was very interested in like high level adventuring, hiring henchmen and developing an adventure I wanted more.  I'm a sucker for reading those kind of things and I would have like to have seen a little more space dedicated to those sections. 

I'm not sure when the shipping dates are for the books.  I hope its soon.  Anyway, those of you who have read through the PDF more thoroughly than me, what do you think?


  1. I'm enjoying reading through it, but waiting to get the printed version in hand to really read it with a reviewer's eye.

    I'm very happy about the all the new monster tables though!

  2. I've just given the PDF a quick glance but haven't had a chance to really dig in. I'll wait for the hard copy to do that. It looks awesome though.

  3. I'm skipping it. If I wanted AD&D style, I'd get OSRIC. That and the limited hardcover doesn't help. If the hardcover was available as a normal option, I'd reconsider.

  4. I didn't like the idea of the limited HC myself, as signed limited editions are for collecting, not reading or actually using at a game-table.

    I picked up the PDF the other day and while I've only glanced through it, a lot of things look really nice. I noticed a couple of odd design decisions, like Paladins and Ranger not getting the bonuses for high strength, but that's not something I consider an "issue." After a year's worth of immersion in the OSR, I'll never again see a rule as anything other than a potentially useful ruling for my houserules, anyway.

    The only other thing I could mention so far, is that the succubus in an old school game should be naked.:)

  5. Al: You and your monster tables!

    Johnathan: Pretty much what I am doing. Would like to take a couple hours one day and read it through.

    Dan: Yeah, I would have preferred to get a hardback version of it also.

    James: If I got a limited hardback version I'd still use at the table and a regular book. I like to collect things, but only if I can use them. As for the succubus, you will find no argument here.

  6. I think I'm with Dan on this. I prefer S&W:Whitebox to core anyway so if core has moved nearer to AD&D I'm less interested. Besides, between WB, LL, my orginal B/X books and LotFP it's not like I'm short on rules.

  7. I'm with Dan and Redwald. I just started playing B/X and I have a S&W:Whitebox that I am planning to use for my next PBEM game. I think if I was to go more toward AD&D from the classic I would probably pick up a copy of LL,AEC since that could be integrated really easily with my copy of B/X or LL. I will probably end up picking up a copy of this game eventually, but for the moment I'm skipping.