Saturday, November 19, 2011

Three Things I Like Best About Swords and Wizardry (title edit)

I've been thinking about a few month old AD&D campaign and how it compares tot he retro clones. It has been a blast digging through the old books and they still fall open to the tables a DM is always looking for.  But there are a few things I do like better with the retro clones.  Here is a quick shot.

1. Ascending Armor Class
Simple, no table needed.  I like it for easy reference.

2. One Saving Throw
I do like the single saving throw more than the five different saving throws.  But, I think I like the Fortitude, Reflex, and Will saving throws the best.  Still, the single number save is easier and keeps things rolling.

3. Easy Monster Creation
Okay, this may be a subtle difference between 1st edition and the retros, but miles easier than doing GURPS critters.  The simple stat blocks of the Monster Book (which is the only thing I wished they had included in The Complete Tome of Horrors) save the GM a lot of headaches.

Have a great Saturday and try to be nice to those gentle peasants.  Remember to leave them their wedding dresses and grandmothers.


  1. When you say "there are a few things I do like better with the retro clones," which retro-clones do you mean? So far as I can recall, neither Ascending AC nor One Saving Throw are supported by the majority of them. It's only Swords & Wizardry that has both and it's these two changes that make S&W, fine game though it is, less "clone-like" than OSRIC or Labyrinth Lord.

  2. That's because S&W is obviously the _best_ retroclone ;). But I agree with all 3 points. I'm trying to figure out how I'd do F/R/W saves for a 10 level S&W:WB version.

  3. You are right James. I guess I was just speaking of S&W. That's the one I have the most experience with. Though it might not be an exact clone, maybe its just a second cousin.

    Dan > Please post it when you do. I would really like to see it.

  4. @James: To be fair, #'s 1 and 2 aren't changes so much as included options. #1 as always been so, and re: #2, "Saving Throw Categories (Alternate Method)" is included now in the latest editions of S&W.

  5. Tim, S&W is also by far my favorite retro-clone, in part because it was the first one I read. It has some undefinable quality that makes me return to it (it was also responsible for short but delightful game sessions with novice players). I agreed with all three points (specially for novice gamers).

  6. S&W is my poison of choice, too!

    With respect to point #1, though, the descending AC system doesn't require tables - you just subtract opponent's AC from your THAC0 and you have your number to hit. So, really, descending AC is just as fast and easy as adding your BAB to the dice roll.