What's this about Original D&D?
"Dungeons & Dragons" and "D&D" are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc.: Mythmere Games isn't associated with WotC at all, and obviously makes no claim to these trademarks. Indeed, Swords & Wizardry is not compatible with the WotC Dungeons & Dragons editions.
Wizardry (TM) is a "retro-clone" of the original version of Gary
Gygax's fantasy roleplaying game, which was published in 1974. In other words, S&W is the "rules" of the original system, reconstructed and re-described using the "System Reference
Document," an open license provided by Wizards of the Coast, Inc., the
publishers of Dungeons & Dragons and owner of the "intellectual property" of Dungeons &
Again, Swords & Wizardry is not compatible with their editions. It's a whole different game - faster, less based on
rules, and highly adaptable. It's our goal to rebuild an old approach
to fantasy gaming; where imagination tends to replace rules, where
rules are easily customized, and where there's less "procedure"
intruding on the fantasy. We're supplying a toolkit for fantasy
gaming, and what you do with it is up to you - there are no "official"
answers, and no "official" procedures, and not even any "official"
rules if you're in the mood to tinker. You just take the game's basic
elements and then, as we say, "Imagine the hell out of it."
What is the Swords & Wizardry Project?
To reawaken the hobbyist-gamer and put to rest the consumer-gamer, to break out of the miasma of RPG consumer-think, and to re-ignite the original wide-horizon view of fantasy roleplaying and its potential. That goal turns out to be connected to a particular style of gaming -- using open-ended, vague rules, where the referee is truly a referee, not just an opponent for the other players. You'll see why if you read onward. And yes, this is indeed the style of gaming called "DM fiat" by those who don't like it. If you've been told that "DM fiat" is evil and bad, well ... welcome to the dark side. You're in its lair.
1) Create an open-content set of rules based on the rules of Original D&D circa 1974-1976.
These rules are the common denominator of all the later editions, many
spin-offs, and the other two major retro-clone games, OSRIC (1e) and
Labyrinth Lord (Moldvay's Basic). Not only are they the common
denominator, but they are the vaguest and most flexible rules. Thus,
they're the easiest rules to use in free-form gaming and the easiest
rules to use as a platform for tinkering and re-imagining.
2) Make those house rules available for cutting and pasting, in a Word document.
Why? Because if you're going to be house ruling, you're probably
making your own document. Having those words in some inaccessible
view-only format is great for getting ideas, but not so good if you
have to re-type everything from scratch. We're providing that tool.
3) Support the game.
It's important to many hobbyists that they're playing a "living game,"
one that's supported with new products. We've already come out with a
few gaming resources - new spells and city encounters so far.
4) Publish a Magazine.
Knockspell Magazine is NOT a "house organ" for Swords & Wizardry.
Swords & Wizardry is just a means to an end, a toolkit for
hobbyists just like Knockspell will be a tool for hobbyists.
Knockspell is intended as a general gaming magazine for all
out-of-print fantasy RPGs that use D&D-style systems. That includes
Original D&D, Advanced D&D, OSRIC (1e), Swords & Wizardry
(both Core and WhiteBox), and Goblinoid Games' Labyrinth Lord. There
might also be articles about Castles & Crusades and BFRPG (Basic
Fantasy Roleplaying Game). Because of licensing requirements, specific
game resources will be identified by the name of the retro-clone, not
the trademark: Swords & Wizardry (0e), OSRIC (1e) or Labyrinth Lord