The Swords & Wizardry project builds and supports free-form roleplaying games. That is to say, games where “light” rules create a framework instead of trying to cover every detail, every rule, and every situation. The Swords & Wizardry game “clones” the original rules of the fantasy roleplaying game that started it all back in 1974, when it was published by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. We also support two games we didn’t write: OSRIC and Goblinoid Games’ Labyrinth Lord. OSRIC is a clone of the game’s 1978 “First Edition,” and Labyrinth Lord is a clone of the game’s 1981 “Basic” Edition. All these game rules are rewritten and reorganized to be easier to learn and play.
Erik Tenkar of Tenkar’s Tavern fame has gotten together with Christopher Helton of Dorkland to set up a Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day on April 17th (that’s in 2013, for all you time-travelers needing a reference point).
The idea is for lots of bloggers to all have something related to Swords & Wizardry on that day, whether it’s a new spell, monster, a play report, etc. Erik is going to be giving away a gift certificate to a random blogger, and I’m pretty sure I can scare up something from Frog God Games as well.
In any event, it’s something to look forward to! As of today, 24 bloggers are already signed up, and that’s only after 24 hours since the announcement. In the meantime, of course, there is a ton of activity at the Swords & Wizardry Google+ community, so if you need a quicker fix for your OD&D, come on over.
There is a ton of excellent talk about Swords & Wizardry on the Internet, but it keeps migrating from one platform to the next. You may have noticed that the forums here are virtually empty, and that’s because first there was a big shift to our facebook page, and then an absolute flood of people into the Google+ discussion. If you want to do some talking about S&W, head on over to The Google+ Page and take a look!
October 31, 2012 — Most people are aware of all the developments of the last couple of years, including our alliance with Frog God Games, the publication through FGG of a Swords & Wizardry Rappan Athuk and Tome of Horrors Complete. Both of these are epic, encyclopaedia-type resources, and have gotten enthusiastic accolades from the gaming world. Other resources for Swords & Wizardry through FGG include The Black Monastery, my own Tome of Adventure Design, and the modules in Ken Spencer’s Northlands Saga. If you go to those pages, make sure that you are getting the Swords & Wizardry version! The Pathfinder versions are side-by-side with the S&W ones on the ordering pages.
If you are a printer, please note: customers are authorized to print physical copies of the pdf files for their own use. Thank you!
BRAVE HALFLING TO PUBLISH SWORDS & WIZARDRY WHITEBOX
December 22, 2009 – Brave Halfling Publishing, Black Blade Publishing, and Mythmere Games are pleased to announce a new forward leap in the development of the ENnie-Award-Winning Swords & Wizardry game. Swords & Wizardry is a retro-clone of the original, 1974 edition of the well-known fantasy game written by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson (often called “0e,” for “original edition”). The Core Rules version of 0e, published by Black Blade, includes material derived from the various 0e rules and
supplements originally published by Tactical Studies Rules and TSR Hobbies between 1974 and 1977. The WhiteBox version of the 0e game is based solely on the first boxed release of 1974, which was altered in many ways by the later supplements.
As of today, Brave Halfling Publishing will become the publisher of the Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox Rules, under license from Mythmere Games, the producer of both versions of Swords & Wizardry. Brave Halfling will publish not only the WhiteBox rulebooks, but also a full line of supplemental material including modules and other resources specifically designed for use with the WhiteBox version.
“This is going to be a real boost for fans of Swords & Wizardry: WhiteBox,” said Matt Finch, founder of Mythmere Games. “There has been a lot of excitement about the Swords & Wizardry game, but up until now, most of the attention has been focused on the Core Rules. With Brave Halfling coming in to publish and support the WhiteBox rules, this is a chance for the game’s earliest, un-supplemented edition to really grow and thrive. Brave Halfling plans to build an entire supporting line of WhiteBox products, which didn’t happen even back in 1974. The game was changed with supplemental rules before TSR ever published a single module. Brave Halfling is going to be the first into that new territory.”
“We have lots of plans for Swords & Wizardry: WhiteBox,” said John Adams, president of Brave Halfling Publishing, “and you’re going to begin seeing them almost right away. For starters, we’re already assembling a Boxed Set packed full of Old-School goodies including four digest-sized rule booklets, a set of dice, a tablet of digest-sized graph paper, twelve 3×5 index card character sheets and a digest copy of Matt’s A Primer for Old School Gaming. Next we will be releasing a single-volume version of WhiteBox in both perfect bound and hard cover.”
“At first glance, it may seem unusual for two versions of Swords & Wizardry to be published and distributed by different companies,” said Jon Hershberger, president of Black Blade Publishing, “but there are key differences in the rules mechanics, and available character classes and monsters, spells, and magic items, which creates a unique and distinct feel to both versions of the game. With both games being developed by different publishers, that also guarantees that the two won’t grow too similar over time.”
“Twice as many modules,” Matt Finch added. “That says it all, doesn’t it?”
Formed in 2009 by Jon Hershberger and Allan Grohe, Black Blade Publishing publishes the Swords & Wizardry Core Rulebook under license from Mythmere Games. For additional information, visit www.black-blade-publishing.com.
John Adams’ Brave Halfling Publishing has been producing Old-School products since May of 2008 and now publishes Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox under license from Mythmere Games. For additional information, visit www.bravehalflingpublishing.com.
Black Blade Publishing to become Exclusive Publisher of the Swords & Wizardry Core Rules and Knockspell Magazine
October 27, 2009 – Mythmere Games, developer and publisher of the ENnie-award winning Swords & Wizardry fantasy role-playing game, is pleased to announce an exclusive agreement with Black Blade Publishing to publish the Swords & Wizardry Core Rules and Knockspell magazine, and to lead the charge to get Swords & Wizardry into retail distribution. The first print releases under this agreement will be a softcover version of the 124-page Swords & Wizardry Core Rulebook and Knockspell #3.
Working with Studio 2 Publishing as its distribution partner, Black Blade Publishing expects the Swords & Wizardry Core Rulebook to start hitting the shelves of brick and mortar game stores by February of 2010. In addition, the in-print version of the Swords & Wizardry Core Rulebook will be available for purchase directly from Black Blade Publishing or through select retailers by late-October, 2009.
Electronic copies of the Swords & Wizardry Core Rulebook will be available immediately directly from Black Blade Publishing, and will be available very soon directly from Studio 2 Publishing, DrivethruRPG, RPGNow and YourGamesNow.
Print versions of Knockspell #3 are available for purchase directly from Black Blade Publishing, and issue #4 may be distributed to stores around February of 2010, at the same time as the core rules.
“The Swords & Wizardry fantasy role-playing game is about a lot more than a return to the way these games used to be played. Swords & Wizardry unapologetically throws off 30 years of re-imagining and so-called ‘fixing’ of the original rules, returning to the wonder and mystery of “free-form” fantasy gaming without complicated rules and long rulebooks. Black Blade Publishing is very excited to be publishing the key Swords & Wizardry titles from Mythmere Games. The quality of new products being introduced in the old school gaming community is amazing, and we are really excited to be a part of it.” — Jon Hershberger, co-founder of Black Blade Publishing
Founded in 2008 by Matthew J. Finch, Mythmere Games is best known for the Swords & Wizardry fantasy role-playing game, the award-winning retro-clone of the original 1974 edition of the world’s most popular fantasy game. For additional information, visit http://www.swordsandwizardry.com.
Formed in 2009 by Jon Hershberger and Allan Grohe, Black Blade Publishing will begin publishing the Swords & Wizardry Core Rulebook in October 2009 under license from Mythmere Games. For additional information, visit http://www.black-blade-publishing.com.
Studio 2 Publishing has been serving the games hobby industry since 2004, serving game designers and publishers as a sales and marketing organization as well as providing fulfillment and inventory management services. For additional information, visit http://www.studio2publishing.com.
Center Stage Miniatures has licensed the right to produce Swords & Wizardry miniatures, and they are running a contest for Knockspell Magazine readers! Write up the best new monster and Center Stage will sculpt it and put it into their Swords & Wizardry line. Here are the rules: (1) it has to be a monster; (2) it has to be roughly human-sized; (3) the description has to be in Swords & Wizardry format; (4) the winner has to sign a contract allowing Center Stage to produce the minis for as long as they want to. There’s not a money prize, but it isn’t every day you get to see one of your own creations immortalized in metal.
How to enter the contest: send your monster description, in Swords & Wizardry format, to firstname.lastname@example.org, attention Matt Solarz, who is the president of Center Stage Miniatures. Center Stage will judge the entries, and the winning entry will be sculpted and sold in the Swords & Wizardry line of miniatures, as well as being published in the magazine. The monster description will also be printed on the packaging for the miniature, with your name as author.
The first contest runs from September 1, 2009 until December 31, 2009. Fire up your creativity and make some monsters!
At GenCon ‘09, the Swords & Wizardry Core Rules won an ENnie award for best free product!
The congratulations for this are due to the amazing efforts of many people on this site. In particular, Verhaden, Jeff Preston, and Chad Thorson are responsible for the book’s amazing appearance, together with cover artist Pete Mullen. The proofreading efforts of many, many people on the site are responsible for the game’s internal consistency and editorial quality. Everyone deserves a pat on the back for this victory, including those who helped mobilize the old school community to let people know the voting was going on. I think it was Venomous Pao who made the sig-line banner, Michael Shorten (Chgowiz) who headed up the information effort which fed our bloggers, who included MANY people too numerous to list.
I cannot thank you all enough for this fantastic group effort! I’m humbled by it.