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Swords & Wizardry White Box Rules
by Samuel [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/12/2024 04:03:43

Incredibly exciting to see Mythmere update their white box ruleset! The rules are clean and fast (except for the occassional typos or confusing rule phrasing), and Matt Finch's optional rule sidebars provide great guidance for running the game.

The compact A5 format also a firm favourite for me, though it would be nice to have a hardback option for POD.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Swords & Wizardry White Box Rules
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City Encounters for Swords & Wizardry
by Aaron [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/15/2024 10:08:38

Managed to thrust the characters into some delicious intrigue with one of the encounters. Completely improvised save for the initial encounter and the players loved it. Most encounters I've seen have a lot of potential for engagement, or disengagement if the players say "Not interested.". Most encounters are stat-lite, so moving this to any other system would be easy. It wouldn't be hard to use this in 5e, if really desired. Could also work with Blades in the Dark after some easily made-up changes (Make fey into ghosts, change garbs to a more modern attire, etc)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
City Encounters for Swords & Wizardry
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City Encounters for Swords & Wizardry
by larry [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/16/2024 07:23:42

Got the new S&W complete and this to go along with it. Urban adventure is a weak spot in my game and I'm using this to add variety and depth to my city gaming.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Swords & Wizardry Complete Rulebook (Revised) - Erol Otus cover
by Kyle [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/13/2024 05:23:32

I started my old-school journey a couple years ago with BECMI D&D, then tried OSE, then Worlds Without Number, then OSRIC. My players (who are used to 3.5 and 5e) bounced off each one for one reason or another.

I should have started with Swords and Wizardry. The complete revised edition of S&W strikes a perfect balance of classic adventure game tone while not being so streamlined it feels sterile the way Old School Essentials does. The prose is flavorful, clear, and doesn't meander. There's strong GM guidance and lots of different options for specific rules subsystems (initiative, for example) that empower the GM to make the game their own.

It's a testament to the '74-'78 D&D game that its core mechanics still feel great at the table half a century later, excellently repackaged and cleaned up by Matt Finch and his editor at Mythmere. The rules are loose where they ought to be and tight where they need to be.

This book is my old-school rosetta stone, completely compatible with my entire OSR library virtually without adjustments. The new revision has monster morale scores that make the ruleset even more compatible with the popular B/X (OSE) and BECMI modules, though with the benefit of much stronger class identity than those rules due to classes having more meat on the bone in S&W.

The game is imminently customizable. If you need a rule for something, you could drop in rules from any of classic D&D's lineage effortlessly. I often supplement the game with spells and magic items from OSRIC, monsters from the D&D Rules Cyclopedia, or a subsystem from more modern games such as Errant. The game has held up to anything I've thrown at it so far, and the players keep coming back every week.

Everything you need to play in or run a campaign is covered in a single book. While the book lacks an index, I haven't missed it at all. The table of contents and 144 page count makes navigation easy. The formatting and layout in this revision is also excellent, bucking the "control panel" trend that works great for modules, but makes rulebooks feel clinical and bland. Both the print on demand and premium offset books from Mythmere's site are high quality.

If you haven't played S&W and you enjoy classic fantasy adventure games, you owe it to yourself to give this a shot. If you're just starting out with old school D&D retroclones, you could not do better than starting with Swords and Wizardry Complete: Revised.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Swords & Wizardry Complete Rulebook (Revised) - Erol Otus cover
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City Encounters for Swords & Wizardry
by William [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/10/2024 19:02:23

Grabbed this one so fast. 400 great encounters, most with multiple twists/variations. Useful appendices like random spell lists for mid-high level casters and lists of sword & sorcery names. What's not to love? Don't sleep on it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
City Encounters for Swords & Wizardry
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Legacy of Blackscale Lagoon
by Patrick [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/29/2024 08:23:54

This is an excellent adventure for low-level characters. You have a lot of adventure for 2-3 sessions: it has a good story, good encouters, simple and efficient wildness exploration, good social and roleplay encounters.

The concept is simple but well crafted: a small village has a problem and the heroes are invited help. What makes this adventure great is that everything is connected: on a small wilderness map, all the locations have an encounter and it's connected somehow to the adventur. The encounters are good and fit the storyline (swamp creature: goblins, lizardmen, giant frogs to name a few...). And almost all situations offer roleplay and social interaction to either avoid combat and gather information.

There are really good ideas in this adventure (the cult of a dead dragon, a mute ranger who knows a lot, a lizardman who prefer to parlay, a camp with a prisonner who wants to run away but can explain a lot, a small cultist leader who is hiding something...).

On the topic if magical items, there are plenty to find if the group take the time to search and succeed in getting them (almost like puzzles).

I wish a sequel or a campaign could be designed for level 3-5 after this one!

Highly recommended.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legacy of Blackscale Lagoon
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Magic User Digital Spellbook for Swords & Wizardry
by Wim [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/06/2023 14:57:21

Really handy, but the Sleep spell is missing the table that couples HD to Number affected



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Magic User Digital Spellbook for Swords & Wizardry
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Legacy of Blackscale Lagoon
by Andrew R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/22/2023 13:55:41

Clear background and a great map open the adventure. a good small town filled with plot and mystery follow it up. a local hexcrawl map with fun locations are the heart of the adventure. and it ends with a boss dungeon at the end. there is lots that could be expanded by the DM and many great chances to roleplay and to fight monsters. James Spahn did a great job, this module is really good to introduce players and/or DM to the system, the game, or a campaign.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legacy of Blackscale Lagoon
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Tome of Adventure Design (Revised)
by Mikhail J. A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/19/2023 05:24:20

As a resource, this book is definitely 10 out of 10. This is a gold mine of inspiration and ideas. However, there are two things that prevent me from giving this masterpiece 5 stars: (1) The fonts are so small. I have no idea how the physical book would look like, but I read mostly in PDF. And wow. It's so hard to read even on a 1080 monitor. I can't imagine this being easy to read on phones and tablets either. (2) So much wasted space. Many of the pages have unused space. Leading me to think; if they made the fonts bigger, the page count would not change at all. The smaller font is definitely not to save ink because most of the pages have this horrendous black side panel. I have no idea why they made this great resource so hard to read.

The only reason I can tolerate them is because the actual content is just that good. I'm just so disappointed by how inconvenient it is to use. If you can tolerate the small font, it's definitely a must-buy.

Edit: Checked out for updates after 4 months release. They removed the secured PDF and improved the bookmarks! This makes it much better. I still don't like the small font and thick gutter. But the bookmarks are a great upgrade. Previously it was a secured PDF with terrible bookmarks. That meant I couldn't edit the bookmarks myself. But now they removed it, and improved the bookmarks! From 3 stars, I would give this 4 stars!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tome of Adventure Design (Revised)
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Swords & Wizardry Complete Rulebook (Revised) - Erol Otus cover
by Les F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/08/2023 05:57:50

I've been enjoying using this so much at the table. 0e+supplements in one easy volume, really nothing not to like. The cover is fantastic, and a crowd pleaser. Mr. Finch is far kinder to Druids than Eldritch Wizardry was, not a bad thing, and his reading of the OG redeems the Fighter class as a player option (the thief, alas, remains a feeble dodger). AD&D lite, is no perjorative when you have such splendid organization and masterful interpretation, 0e+ wouldn't be a misnomer either. Plus Otus. I'm no reviewer, but I am a player, and this is a book you'll play.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Swords & Wizardry Complete Rulebook (Revised) - Erol Otus cover
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Swords & Wizardry Complete Rulebook (Revised)
by Bruno [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/29/2023 02:57:11

The book is at a good price and with cleaner aspect, morale was added to the monster stats, some more few improvements. Although the biggest issue is the movement and time, Matt decided to change a combat round to 1 minute and the movement increases to 90/120 feet. After all the improvements in the OSR, it is strange to have a combat round of 1 minute were a character/monster can move a lote and strike only once...



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Swords & Wizardry Complete Rulebook (Revised)
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Tome of Adventure Design (Revised)
by Jan S. d. B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/28/2023 01:12:15

This a handbook for designing “adventures”, as the term is used in Dungeons and Dragons, namely, a map or story prepared by the gamemaster beforehand for the other players to explore and experience through their characters later. This book is not, as the author himself states at several points, a collection of random tables convenient for use at the table or for improvisation. Rather, he says, the random tables are meant to “shock the reader’s creativity into operation”, serving as fodder for creative rumination. To this end, many entries are open-ended or cryptic.

The tables are roughly organised in the order in which the author thinks it likely they will be used, beginning with locations, missions and villains, and then proceeding through monsters, dungeons, and the wilderness. The sheer number and variety of tables is staggering. Mercifully, the tables of contents (plural!) are all hyperlinked in the PDF. The layout leaves something to be desired, but everything is clear. The tables are interspersed with reflexions on creativity in general and adventure design in particular. The author has found a method that suits his purposes very well, and he shares it with the reader in an authoritative, even professorial, tone.

Now, none of this is quite what I expected when I purchased the book. I was hoping for a collection of interesting people, places, etc. that I could roll up and weave into my game. I was dismayed to see how few of the tables were suitable for this. For example, the locations table will not return evocative names like the Tower of the Dawn or Redjaw Pass, but rather enigmas like the Elliptical Stockades of the Many-Legged Daughter or the Wooden Mounds of the Zombie Star. As mentioned above, this is intentional because the author finds that these Delphic phrases drive his thinking in unexpected directions: me they just confuse. A wonderful exception is the chapter on monsters, which yields intriguing creatures and manifestations specific enough to tickle the imagination, and nebulous enough to work into any ruleset or story.

A second misconception I had before buying the book was that it would work equally well with games other than D&D: the blurb, after all, says that it “can be used with virtually any fantasy game”. This may be true of other games that require the gamemaster to plan the sessions out in detail ahead of time, but it is not true of the games I prefer, like Dungeon World. To make matters worse, the book refers in several places directly to rules (like saving throws) which are particular to D&D and its closest cousins. I believe even a gamemaster who plays D&D will find it difficult to make full use of this book if he has an improvisational style (à la Sly Flourish). This is a staggering oversight given the amount of thought and care that the author has obviously lavished on this project.

A final consideration is the writing, which may seem odd given how little continuous writing there is in this volume. The advice and commentary, however, are an integral part of the book, laying out the purpose and guiding the interpretation of each section. The author expresses himself clearly and sprinkles his work with often delightful allusions. As described above, he delivers his ideas in an authoritative and professorial tone, which is where the trouble comes in. Just as he seems to assume that all fantasy games are like conventional D&D, he assumes that everyone thinks exactly as he does. In the introduction, he asserts (in bold letters, if you like) that one cannot brainstorm in the way that I myself routinely do. The reader (or, at least, this reader) is left with the impression that the author’s confidence exceeds his knowledge, which is unfortunate given the many kernels of sound advice found throughout the book.

To conclude, then, I will certainly use several sections from this book (especially the monsters!, and also several other tables near the beginning and end). The author had a very clear purpose in compiling this volume, and seems to have succeeded: I just wish that I had understood it before buying, because it limits the usefulness of the book to me.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Tome of Adventure Design (Revised)
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Tome of Adventure Design (Revised)
by David Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/21/2023 02:02:54

Honestly I was expecting a lot but this exceeded my expectations. This is fantastic. It goes into significant detail on building out lots of things key to adventure design. This book is pretty deep, when you start rolling it tends to lead you down the rabbit hole of more and more specialized and relevant tables until you have more than just a couple keywords that could fuel an idea but rather a full paragraph describing something specific. For example there is a table where you roll three times to customize an oasis. That's right, in the section of non-dungeon adventuring you might roll up a need for an oasis and then you customize it. Mine was a sacred oasis owned by a djinn and full of birds. Honestly I can use that, so much more useful than just an oasis.

But the best part of this book for me caught me by surprise, it's the section on monsters generation. 104 pages of tables for constructing monsters. You roll on monster body category, specifics, multiple times to combine them, special attack tables, defense tables, unique attributes, etc etc. Some of the monsters had a bit too much going on and needed to be paired down a bit but every time I built a monster using this book it comes out, with a little effort, as a unique and interesting thing to include in my game. I mean the undead section even has a "how they died" table!

If you generate anything randomly get this book and Worlds Without Number. You'll be golden.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Swords & Wizardry Complete Rulebook (Revised)
by Thiago L. P. S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/17/2023 11:37:27

This is an excellent value for your money. A very slick retroclone for the 0e rules with years and years of refinement. This is the one retroclone you need for your OSR needs (together with OSRIC for 1e). Decades of original TSR modules compatibility and lots and lots of now classics that came out for the system over the last 15 years or so. Can't praise this one enough. You can't get wrong with this one. Go get it now!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Swords & Wizardry Complete Rulebook (Revised)
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Tome of Adventure Design (Revised)
by Morgan M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/04/2023 14:53:52

Great product. It is of quality for getting ideas flowing.

Of note: if you want the print version of this book, the publisher has it on their website. That purchase comes with the pdf of this book, so if having a physical book to reference will be of use to you, you may wish to purchase it there.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
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