Thursday, October 14, 2010

Swords and Wizardry Complete Rulebook

Full power old school feel!

This book expands the Swords and Wizardry Core Rules ( to cover all of the early phase supplements from the 1970’s. It creates a 1-volume resource allowing the players and game masters alike to create and run adventures and campaigns that will last for an entire lifetime. The game is supported by a vast array of adventures, and other resources that are produced by Frog God Games.

This is the game you played 20 years ago. It’s true to the original style and philosophy that made the game great. No “Spot Checks” here. Simple, flexible rules that allow players and game masters alike to roll play and roleplay. This stand-alone tome provides all the rules you need to play the game. Its easily transferable as a rules set for other retro-clone games as well as those old dusty modules you still have in the attic.

In 1974, Gary Gygax (1938-2008) and Dave Arneson (1947-2009) wrote the world’s first fantasy role-playing game, a simple and very flexible set of rules that launched an entirely new genre of gaming. In the year 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc. (holder of the “Dungeons & Dragons” trademark) released the “Open Game License,” which allows third parties, like us, to use various intellectual properties historically associated with the Dungeons & Dragons game – although not the actual trademarked name itself, and with specific terms and restrictions.

This book is an unofficial, “re-stated” version of the original Gygax & Arneson rules (0e), created using the Open Game License. This original game consisted of a boxed set of three booklets: Men & Magic, Monsters & Treasure, and The Underworld & Wilderness Adventures. Four supplements were also written by Gary Gygax, Rob Kuntz and others between 1975 and 1977, containing options for expanding the game with new rules. Collectively, all those booklets are often referred to as “0e,” standing for “zero edition,” and we mention the “Original Game” from time to time in this book, as a reference point. Swords & Wizardry re-describes selected rules from all seven of the Original Game booklets, taking some and leaving some. In general, Swords & Wizardry adopts class, monster, and spell rules from all the supplements, but sticks to the simpler combat mechanics from the boxed set and the first supplement only. Tim Kask, the first editor of the Dragon Magazine(TM), the first employee of TSR, Inc., and the editor of Supplements 2-4 for Original Dungeons & Dragons (TM), has more to say about that in the Foreword.

The Swords & Wizardry rules are extremely short, compared to the multi-paged rule-libraries required to play most modern role-playing games. Yet this game contains within itself all the seeds and soul of mythic fantasy, the building blocks of vast complexity, the kindling of wonder. “Edition Zero” is so powerful because it’s encapsulated in a small formula, like a genie kept imprisoned in the small compass of an unremarkable lamp. Take this framework, and then imagine the hell out of it!

Estimated Retail Price: $39.99, limited edition signed, numbered, hardcover (100 copies) and pdf, $19.99 perfect bound softcover and pdf (200 copies only of the first printing), $9.99, pdf only.

Estimated Page Count: 128
Authors: Matt Finch
Scheduled Release: November 2010


  1. This might not be the best place to ask this question, as it is only slightly on topic, but how do you define "old school."

  2. Old School?
    Just simple and rules lite and full of imagination due to the simpleness and undefined rules. That gut feeling of really being there!

  3. Gwarh a.k.a. Chris McNeilOctober 29, 2010 at 7:51 AM

    This might not be the best place to ask, but I'm stuck at work on a network that doesn't allow me to view the Mythmere/S&W website.

    So does anyone know how different, if at all this newer release of Swords & Wizardry is than the previous edition?

  4. From what I understand, Complete S&W is basically the Core S&W rules with a bit more crunch taken from the 0e supplements. There are more class options, more spells, more monsters, rules for naval combat, etc.

  5. lousy cover and s no free D/L really ticks me off.

  6. I love the cover. The rules are probably my favorite for any fantasy RPG at the moment. I think it's well worth the $10 price for the PDF. (Hell, I bought the softcover and the limited edition hardcover as well). The fact that Frog God Games is supporting the system is a huge bonus as well.

  7. I'm 56 - and this 'Old School' revival is what I've been hoping would happen through all the intervening iterations of D&D which got to be more and more like a job! Time to hit the dungeon again, I think. Just need a party to DM.....