Thursday, January 22, 2009

S&W: White Box Now Available ...

... in print.

Get thee to Mythmere Games' Lulu.com storefront and buy a copy. It's cheap, has an amazing cover, and is a great example of how wonderfully flexible Swords & Wizardry is.

Get moving!

22 comments:

  1. Hmm. Pass. I've already printed the PDF, put it in a three-ring binder, and I really like that green cover.

    Besides, how gauche would it be if I bought S&W in print before Thousand Suns?

    ReplyDelete
  2. My one and only gripe about S&W is that it requires products published using it to note both ascending and descending armor class. The game is hard-core old-school except for this single, bizarre foray into 3rd-edition ecumenical land.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Do I need this if I still have my original white box set? Does it add or change anything, or is it a pure clone?

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a great week for me! I finally got my first real white box set (5th ed) plus supplements, Carcosa came in the mail today, Spellcraft & Swordplay OSE shipped yesterday, and now this. Goodbye tax refund, hello to the old school goodness I'd just missed by the time I got into the hobby ('78). Thanks for the heads-up on this.

    ReplyDelete
  5. James, someone on the Eiglophian Press blog made a comment that the white box file is actually two iterations back. Can you confirm if its been updated to the most current version?

    @Bob, I too printed out the original version and put into a binder--but that was months ago and this apparently is updated. (Hence my question to James).

    ReplyDelete
  6. The file uploaded for White Box at Lulu should be the most recent (and corrected) file.

    So, if you've not downloaded WB in a while, then yes, the pdf would be updated on the site, I believe.

    Now, apparently, the Core rulebook is going to get a redux.

    Bob - You mentioned the "green cover". I'm assuming here, but you do realize that this is a different ruleset? There are two versions of S&W: Core and White Box.

    -Eric

    ReplyDelete
  7. The game is hard-core old-school except for this single, bizarre foray into 3rd-edition ecumenical land.

    It bugs me too, which is why, though I use S&W for my home game and plan on publishing products that use its rules, I likely won't indicate explicit compatibility with the rules. I find the ascending AC distracts too much from the feel of the game and so won't include it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Do I need this if I still have my original white box set? Does it add or change anything, or is it a pure clone?

    It's mostly a pure clone. If all you're doing is playing and you already have the original books, there's not much need to buy S&W. On the other hand, if you're a publisher looking to create new material or a player who doesn't own the originals, it's well worth acquiring.

    ReplyDelete
  9. PDF hasn't been updated yet. Version as of printing should say "First Print Edition--22 January 2009."

    ReplyDelete
  10. @Jay: Well, I only printed the PDF a couple weeks ago. One would hope it was current. If it's not ... I'll never know the difference.

    @Eric: Ah, very sound point. Given that, I'm probably going to be happier with the "Core" edition anyway.

    (Happier being a relative term, since I'm not in a position to play either. Or anything.)

    ReplyDelete
  11. All three files for the WhiteBox are current as of this morning (Friday) - there have been small changes in the free pdf and the free .doc version over the last couple of days.

    If you already play using the real OD&D books, there's no reason to use Swords & Wizardry except as a search term to find new stuff to buy or download. It works very well for teaching a new player (especially an experienced player who originally learned using any edition from 2e onward and already expects the information to be presented in a particular way).

    ReplyDelete
  12. "I find the ascending AC distracts too much from the feel of the game and so won't include it."

    Seriously? It seems like a rather trivial thing to me. For the life of me, I can't see how "AC8" has a "different feel" than "AC12". It would be a pity not to indicate compatibility with S&W over this IMO.

    Personally, I like that both systems are used, as I find the ascending system far easier and faster, especially when introducing new people to the game.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Seriously? It seems like a rather trivial thing to me. For the life of me, I can't see how "AC8" has a "different feel" than "AC12". It would be a pity not to indicate compatibility with S&W over this IMO.

    The Ascending AC system ties too strongly into the notion of a universal mechanic, where "high is always good" for my liking. Moreover, I think it's important to maintain some mechanical "firewalls" against 3e-isms where possible and this is a good place to do so without sacrificing playability at all.

    ReplyDelete
  14. What really baffles me is that the license at the end goes out of its way to state: "You must, when referring to the armor class of any creature or character, include both the descending AC and the Ascending System AC, with the Ascending System AC in brackets."

    Huh? Why? Why is it VITAL that ascending AC be included in brackets? Why would it be a problem if only descending AC were included in a product?

    I can think of various ways around that (such as putting the bracketed ascending AC in teeny, tiny one-point font), but why should that be necessary?

    Don't get me wrong. I think S&W and its creators are very cool. It's just this one thing that's WAAAAY out in left field that utterly baffles me. It's like insisting that Jar Jar be stuck in the original Star Wars movie for just a few seconds. It stikes a wrong note.

    ReplyDelete
  15. "The Ascending AC system ties too strongly into the notion of a universal mechanic, where "high is always good" for my liking. Moreover, I think it's important to maintain some mechanical "firewalls" against 3e-isms where possible and this is a good place to do so without sacrificing playability at all."

    But both descending and ascending ACs are used. The ascending AC is in square brackets after the descending AC. I fail to see how providing additional options is a bad thing. I mean, geez, the descending AC is still included first!

    Also, I find the ascending AC to be 'more playable' since it removes the need for the 'to hit' charts (or awkward THAC0). I've also found new players (or people returning to FRPGs after many years) find the ascending AC to be far more intuitive. Anything that helps new players is a good thing, IMO. YMMV, obviously.

    ReplyDelete
  16. It's the narcissism of small differences, Akrasia.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I fail to see how providing additional options is a bad thing.

    I simply find Ascending AC out of place in White Box, whose entire raison d'ĂȘtre is to be as faithful a recreation of the LBBs as possible.

    ReplyDelete
  18. It's the narcissism of small differences, Akrasia.

    Being a philosopher, I would hope Akrasia would disagree with such an assessment. I can appreciate that not everyone agrees with where I have chosen to draw a line, but I don't think that reduces my stance to mere narcissism.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I find significant (YMMV) differences between each version and the original game. Some may indeed be necessary, but I'm especially puzzled by some differences between WB and Core, where Core is closer to the original or (as in the case of spell names) even matches it exactly. What you get is basically a "house rules" variation on D&D. The foundation is solid enough to make learning or borrowing from another set (anything from actual OD&D or Holmes Basic to 2nd ed. AD&D) quite easy. Given what's left out (e.g., much related to wilderness expeditions and the campaign beyond the dungeon), such borrowing may be desirable.

    As I understand it, ascending AC is required because the goal is to facilitate compatibility of S&W products with various other "retro-clone" type games, some of which use that system. If one is not concerned about "proper stat blocks" and the like, then the proliferation of retreads of D&D might not be of much consequence -- certainly not as much as the hoped-for cornucopia of good new adventure material.

    ReplyDelete
  20. There's the real test: Is using S&W going to prove advantageous over simply publishing with one's favored actual "old-time" set in mind? Are S&W Core or WB (or BFRPG or LL) players going to consider each other and players of the old games all one big, happy family -- or just bring in more misunderstandings and "edition wars"? Time, of course, will tell.

    ReplyDelete
  21. There's the real test: Is using S&W going to prove advantageous over simply publishing with one's favored actual "old-time" set in mind? Are S&W Core or WB (or BFRPG or LL) players going to consider each other and players of the old games all one big, happy family -- or just bring in more misunderstandings and "edition wars"? Time, of course, will tell.

    Honestly, seeing how these very questions resolve themselves is one of the most exciting parts about the old school renaissance.

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.