Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Why Swords & Wizardry is the #1 RPG

It was a toss up between Swords & Wizardry and Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG in my mind. And I love both, and I wish could play more of each. Both harken back to "Old School" game design. DCC RPG is almost like Joseph Goodman's doctoral dissertation--he read the equivalent of a field's list of sword and sorcery fiction. I've even used the "funnelling" system in my Swords & Wizardry games.
DCC RPG, however, is meant for more advanced players.

With that said: I think there should be a Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG Appreciation Day. 

So what makes Swords & Wizardry #1 in my mind?

1. That spark. Remember that spark when you first played D&D, or any other RPG? It was when you realized that this game was unlike any other. Your character can attempt to do just about anything. I saw that spark in a newbie's eye not too long ago at the gaming table.

His character sheet was a 3"x5" index card.

It had been awhile since I'd seen that spark. With D&D 3.5e I'd more or less see newbies eyes glaze over from rules bombardment.

2. The simplicity of the "guidelines." I would have typed "rules," but the S&W isn't about learning a
bunch of rules. You don't have to master the rules to play.

People are more busy now than ever, it seems. Nobody wants to sit down and learn a bunch of rules. They want to play and learn the rules as they go or learn them later. You can have newbie playing within 15 minutes because character creation is so short.

3. Swords & Wizardry is a template for creativity. It goes back to that spark, this time as a GM. Remember when you first wanted to create your own dungeon and run your own adventures? Yeah... all of the possibilities were open to you.

I found that spark again with Swords & Wizardry, because it harkens back to the days when stating out NPCs and monsters weren't such a chore.

Finally, I assure that my opinion has not been swayed by the fact that I, along with many other bloggers, are recieving 25% off our S&W purchases today, because we apprecitate S&W that much. 

Here's how you can be appreciating, too:

To get both books and pdfs at 25% enter in SWApprDay at:

To get just the pdfs, enter in SWAD252013 at:

And here's Ode to Joy by Ludwig Van B. to celebrate this momentus occasion.


  1. Awesome post -- I particularly like that there's an available soundtrack!

    1. And thank you so much for visiting and creating an awesome RPG.


  2. Yes to the funnel system and a few other aspects of Dungeon Crawl Classics. I think mixing both is a great idea!

    I'm all about nostalgia, old school gaming, and the like... but not 3x5 card character sheets. Characters deserve an entire 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper.


    1. My houserule: if the S&W character survives to 2nd Level, it gets a character sheet. lol

  3. I'll take S&W over DCC. It fits the type of game I like to play better.

    My Swords & Wizardry posts, The S&W Witch and The Ördög

  4. Yes. S&W is so easy to get in but not easy to get out... :)


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