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Swords & Wizardry Core Rules
by James L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/16/2013 16:45:52
One of the original retroclones, Swords and Wizardry is a great choice for both new-comers as well as those who want something different. It has what I think is the best cover ever created. Simple choices in classes and races, and the single savings throw is nice. I don't get including both ascending and descending armor class; the multiple savings throws were tossed out, so why not just stick to ascending? While some will like all of the asides for alternative ways to play combat, etc. I think they start to get a bit distracting. I just like a game/rulesystem to present one "set way" and then let me house-rule if needed. The Core edition is a nice balance between the spartan Whitebox and the text-dense Complete.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Swords & Wizardry Core Rules
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Swords & Wizardry Core Rules
by John G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/20/2013 12:29:09
Swords and Wizardry is old school at its best! While the game does take some turns and incorporate some of the better modern way of doing things it does so with a eye on what worked before and what makes a game truly old school.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Knockspell #4
by William W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/14/2012 13:00:05
A beautifully produced magazine for old school gaming - the format is clear and easy on the eyes, the art is classic, and the content is superb. Indie RPG magazine publishers - look to this for the level of quality you should be aspiring to!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Knockspell #4
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Swords & Wizardry Core Rules
by Jim R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/07/2012 23:18:20
Reading the Swords & Wizardry rulebook was a fantastic trip down memory lane. I can't wait to try it out with my gaming group!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Swords & Wizardry Core Rules
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Knockspell #6
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/03/2011 22:45:53
(review originally posted at TenkarsTavern.com)

Full disclosure - I do have a short article in this issue. That being said, Knockspell #6 still a damn good issue ;)

I love the cover. Yes, it's a bit modern comic bookish, but it pulls it off. It would look fine on the wall of a man cave.

The layout of this issue is top notch. I really shouldn't have to say it looks extremely professional, but it does, and it is. Even more importantly for those that will be reading this in PDF, it has bookmarks. Nice work by Matt and his team.

First up we have the next installment of Allen Grohe's From Kuroth's Quill. This time he offers us a new class for OSRIC - the Shadow Master. It's a nice addition to the spell caster stable, and adds some new spells into the mix. Part 1 of 2, the follow up will include the higher level spells, new poisons and some new monsters.

We follow this up with the Random Orc Generator by Robert Lionheart. Orcs are boring, but a staple of low level campaigns - Robert gives us some random charts to make them exciting again. If nothing else, there are some very good adventure seeds here.

Gabor Lux must be one of the most prolific and skilled "Old School" adventure writers out there. This time he gives us Isles on an Emerald Sea IV. I don't think I've ever come across a "normal" adventure from Gabor. Short but sweet.

Random Perks and Flaws by Stefan Poag. For me, I think the flaws outweigh the perks on this table, but the right perk can be a real advantage. Roll if you dare!

Mr. Finch himself gives us Fire and Other Eldritch Energies. It's kind of a game science article (initially) dealing with the energy types found in D&D, ranging from the aforementioned fire to necromantic nastiness and then some. Add some delivery system and effects random tables and you'll be able to keep you players guessing the pain they are going to be for campaigns to come. It's a good method to help find some unique powers for your unique badies.

Where were we in the review? Oh, yeah, The Body in the Street. It's a piece of fiction by Al Krombach. I was never one for short pieces of fiction, but then I started reading Solomon Kane and found I enjoy the medium. I haven't read this piece yet, but it's on my list to read.

Ouch, My Brain Hurts! is a psionics article for S&W by Robert Lionheart. I think Robert's first line sums my thoughts up pretty well: "Are psionics an unholy heresy or a valuable aspect of old School fantasy roleplaying?" I'm on the fence on it myself, having experimented with it in AD&D 1E and I never found it very satisfying. Robert's system requires PCs to sacrifice XP earned to acquire psychic powers. It's a decent trade off for the additional power the PCs may attain. Being that the powers are limited in the amount of uses per day, they may or not be worth the XP cost, but it may be a viable option depending on the type of campaign you plan on running. It's a long article, and would have been a viable PDF in it's own right.

John M. Stater (best known for NOD magazine, and the man I borrowed some OGL content for my Bard class design) presents us with Catacombs of Ophir. It's a nice little dungeon under the city-state of Ophir (itself detailed in part in NOD 2). I don't recall a level range for it, but I'm going to guess 2-4. Looks good, and it marks the second adventure for this issue of Knockspell.

Next up is A Duet if Bards. The first part of this section is by Doyle Taverner. Here he presents us with an adaptation of the original Bard class presented in The Best of the Dragon, Volume 1. He cleans up the fuddilly bits, such as using thief abilities with heavier armor (aint happening) and spell casting in armor (also aint happening). For me, the highlight is the page on magical instruments for bards. Leaves me wishing I had included some, but I think Doyle gives a nice assortment to choose from.

The next part of A Duet of Bards is Tenkar's Bard. It's short and sweet. I like it, but then, I should ;)

Locks and Traps as a "Mini-Game" by Jim Pacek follows. Not what I expected. Holy Crap but I really like the system he uses. Color me surprised, and I generally detest "mini-games in a game", but this isn't so much mini-game as a task resolution system. It gets my "Kick Ass!" Award. First time I've ever given one out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Knockspell #6
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Swords & Wizardry Core Rules
by Ron A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/09/2011 16:03:34
A great set of rules that captures the old school flavor. I will be using this set for a campaign I'm currently developing. The only thing I found wonky is the single saving throw for everything. I think they should have tied that to ability score modifiers for different saving types. Overall a very professional and concise rules set.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Swords & Wizardry Core Rules
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Surge of the Wine-Dark Sea
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/22/2011 22:51:35
What type of artwork do you associate with “old-school gaming”? Whatever it is, you can probably find it in this gallery of previously-published artwork. Thirty-four artists’ work appears here, and with such a broad selection of artists and styles, your enjoyment of the art is bound to vary. If, to you, “old school” artwork means cartoonish black-and-white artwork, check out the pieces by Zhu Baile. For more “fantasy realistic” black and white pieces, turn to the pages featuring the work of John Bingham, Brian LeBlanc, Jeff Preston, and Hugh Vogt. Other featured artists, like Jason Sholts, Stephan Poag, John Larrey, and Michael Coté, lie in between these styles. Among the black-and-white pieces, Christopher Burdett’s “Skeletal Minotaur” stands out. Color artwork is present, too. The closest you’ll find here to the fantasy realism of a Frank Frazetta, Boris Vallejo, or Brothers Hildebrandt are Emilio Dominguez’s “The Tempus Cleric,” “Northlands” by Mkultra Studio, and the color pieces by Rowena Aitken and Paul Jaquays (the most recognizable featured artist to me from my days of using Judges Guild products back in the late 1970s). The color artwork by Peter Mullens and Stefan Poag make me feel like I’m looking at the front covers of AD&D modules from the early 1980s. Robert Altbauer’s cartography has the feel of AD&D Greyhawk gazetteers and similar works. Of course, you don’t have to enjoy “old school” gaming in order to appreciate this collection of artwork—but it doesn’t hurt, since much of the value in the collection is nostalgia value.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Surge of the Wine-Dark Sea
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Surge of the Wine-Dark Sea
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/08/2011 17:09:49
I love RPG art books. The art is wonderful to look at and often very inspiring. The "Surge of the Wine-Dark Sea" is not only no exception to that rule, but it exemplifies it.

This is the best of the best of the Old School Renaissance art. Plenty of good pieces that should inspire you and hopefully take you back to a time when funny dice and sitting around a table pretending to be an elf was still a new idea.

You can't use these in your own publications, others have already done that, but buy this to enjoy the art for it's own value.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Nameless City (WhiteBox Rules)
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/08/2011 22:13:46
Mythmere Games, who gave us Swords & Wizardry, have recently published a new adventure and I decided to download it. I am very happy I did.

The Nameless City is built in the same vein of the old TSR S-Series, the same that gave us Tomb of Horrors and The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth. The adventure is for higher level characters, 7 to 10, and the adventure is certainly a deadly one.

The adventure itself is something of a cross between a dungeon crawl and an H.P. Lovecraft story (the Nameless City in fact). There are plenty of degenerate lizard men, a cult to a forgotten god ala Lair of the White Worm, undead galore and of course dinosaurs and crazy snake-people cultists.

While there is nothing per se new here, it is all put together in a rather interesting and fun way. Yes this adventure is dangerous. The first room is enough to kill most parties and they have not even gotten into the city yet.
There is a bit of "old school ecology" here, ie monsters seem to be here for the sole purpose to be killed, but that is fine really and the adventure does give reasons why everything is in the place it is in.
The maps are nice, but I like mine a bit larger, but that's fine.
The plot is thin, but more robust than most of the old school modules it emulates and it does, I think, exactly what it was setting out to do.

What do I like about this?
Well the obvious and acknowledged nod to both Lovecraft and the dungeon crawls of old are nice.
Killing undead is always a plus in my book.
Loved the desert setting. Investigating pyramids is always a blast.
Snake-People as secretive cultist like bad guys pretty much moves anything to the top of my list.

So this adventure succeeds for me on many levels.

I would have liked some more art sure, but what is there is very useful and the rest I guess is up to me and m players. Again, bigger maps would have been nice.

The Nameless City comes in two flavors, S&W Complete or Core Rules/OSRIC version and a S&W White Box Version. The rules are the same, except where needed and the monster stat blocks differ. Of course either version should work well with any version of D&D or it's clones you desire. Heck even with a very, very minor amount of tweaking I bet it would work well with 4th Edition, Call of Cthulhu, Savage Worlds or even Ghosts of Albion. If I were Mythmere games I'd be looking into a CoC version myself.

The Nameless City is fun adventure and one that can be run in an afternoon or so. And for the price it is a steal.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Nameless City (WhiteBox Rules)
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The Nameless City (Core/Complete Rules)
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/08/2011 22:13:32
Mythmere Games, who gave us Swords & Wizardry, have recently published a new adventure and I decided to download it. I am very happy I did.

The Nameless City is built in the same vein of the old TSR S-Series, the same that gave us Tomb of Horrors and The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth. The adventure is for higher level characters, 7 to 10, and the adventure is certainly a deadly one.

The adventure itself is something of a cross between a dungeon crawl and an H.P. Lovecraft story (the Nameless City in fact). There are plenty of degenerate lizard men, a cult to a forgotten god ala Lair of the White Worm, undead galore and of course dinosaurs and crazy snake-people cultists.

While there is nothing per se new here, it is all put together in a rather interesting and fun way. Yes this adventure is dangerous. The first room is enough to kill most parties and they have not even gotten into the city yet.
There is a bit of "old school ecology" here, ie monsters seem to be here for the sole purpose to be killed, but that is fine really and the adventure does give reasons why everything is in the place it is in.
The maps are nice, but I like mine a bit larger, but that's fine.
The plot is thin, but more robust than most of the old school modules it emulates and it does, I think, exactly what it was setting out to do.

What do I like about this?
Well the obvious and acknowledged nod to both Lovecraft and the dungeon crawls of old are nice.
Killing undead is always a plus in my book.
Loved the desert setting. Investigating pyramids is always a blast.
Snake-People as secretive cultist like bad guys pretty much moves anything to the top of my list.

So this adventure succeeds for me on many levels.

I would have liked some more art sure, but what is there is very useful and the rest I guess is up to me and m players. Again, bigger maps would have been nice.

The Nameless City comes in two flavors, S&W Complete or Core Rules/OSRIC version and a S&W White Box Version. The rules are the same, except where needed and the monster stat blocks differ. Of course either version should work well with any version of D&D or it's clones you desire. Heck even with a very, very minor amount of tweaking I bet it would work well with 4th Edition, Call of Cthulhu, Savage Worlds or even Ghosts of Albion. If I were Mythmere games I'd be looking into a CoC version myself.

The Nameless City is fun adventure and one that can be run in an afternoon or so. And for the price it is a steal.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Nameless City (Core/Complete Rules)
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Knockspell #5
by Stuart R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/28/2011 19:57:05
This is a really fun periodical and I look forward to new issues being available. It reminds me of the D&D magazine I used to read back in the 80s and is filled with the same kind of material. Interesting articles, new monsters and spells, and a couple of neat adventures. I highly recommend spending the $5 for this PDF especially if you have an iPad or other E-book reader you can transfer your PDF to. Sitting with a cup of coffee and reading an old school gaming magazine is great.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Knockspell #5
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Swords & Wizardry Core Rules
by Tamas I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/24/2010 17:09:12
Swords & Wizardry is OD&D made easy and accessible. It has everything you need to play in one book, from character creation to high level playing, from referre tips and guides to monsters and treasures. Also, it's easy to read, one afternoon is enough to read a book and get your first adventure ready. Character creation takes minutes, just like combat. There are also optional rules, which make it easier for younger audiences to get into the game.
There are of course some errors, but only minor, and the Referee is free to do with them what he likes. Still, I would be grateful, if there was a non-free version of the book in pdf format, which includes the Thief and Monk classes from the print edition - although it's not hard to create your own version of these classes, and there are some gamers, who already did it...

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Swords & Wizardry Core Rules
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Swords & Wizardry Core Rules
by Dean B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/13/2010 14:48:52
I think the look, rules and everything else is just as good as the original 0e. The ascending Ac was unnecessary but nothing bad.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Swords & Wizardry Core Rules
by Ronald W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/21/2009 14:50:03
S&W is a fantastic retro clone that is worth a way more than the DTrpg price tag:). The product recaptures the wonder of the original edition era from '74 - '79. I grew up with the AD&D material so it is nice to be able to get my hands on a glimpse of that game's beginnings. I will most likely get a print copy of this game. The producers of this prodcut really deserve the support.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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