(review originally posted at TenkarsTavern.com)
Ever have one of those situations, where something seems very familiar yet strange at the same time? Spellcraft & Swordplay is one of those situations for me.
It starts up like one of your usual OSR games, usual stats, 3-18, familiar classes... and then it takes me for a side trip when I realize everything is resolved using D6s. It's almost like melding Tunnels & Trolls with Original Dungeons & Dragons. Well, not quite, but you get the idea.
The main change (there are others, but to me this is the biggest switch) is that, for the most part, an increase in combat ability comes from an increase in the number of attacks, not in an increase in chance to hit. The number you need to hit is dependent upon the weapon wielded and the armor worn, level has little to do with it. A strength bonus to hit is a mighty bonus in this game.
All in all it's a well written, well presented game. I found some small editing gaffs (at one point in the rules, it refers to 2 "elite paths", but the third path, Ranger, is in the book) but nothing major.
Looking for a D&D / OSR like game that can be played with the dice in your Risk or Monopoly box and little else? Spellcraft & Swordplay is what you are looking for.
[4 of 5 Stars!]