Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ruins & Ronin Released

More old news, but Mike D of Sword +1 has released his chanbara-inspired version of Swords & Wizardry. Called Ruins & Ronin, it's available either in print or PDF form from Lulu.com.

I saw early drafts of the rules and I was very impressed with them. What I particularly liked was that no attempt had been made to create a historically accurate set of rules. Ruins & Ronin bears about as much connection to real Japanese history and culture as OD&D does to medieval European history and culture -- and I think that's just swell. What you get is an old school Japanese "flavored" fantasy RPG, where bujin, shugenja, and sohei all meet in the local tea house to plan their expedition into the ruins of Katsushiro's Castle.

If that sounds awesome to you, go ahead and grab yourself a copy.


  1. Another cool thing to buy and read! :)

    And another old school product with a rocking cover from Pete Mullen!

  2. I bought the PDF and once payday hits I'm sure I'll get a hard copy too.

    Great work Mike!

  3. Great title!
    Quick question: Any topics that S&W rules cover that AD&D does not?
    I am looking for a reason to get this thing...

  4. Interesting! Does it contain Open Content?

  5. @Mike,

    Yes, other than the title of the game, it is all open content. Much like S&W.

  6. Not to completele skip over Mike's work, which I did follow on Sword +1, and thought was totally awesome, but that cover is stupendous. I think Peter Mullen is really showing the way for neo-old-school fantasy art. It's a style that is completely his, but takes me right back to the art from the early 80s and before.

  7. Just grabbed a copy of this. I'll dig through it in more detail tonight, but so far, it looks *really* nice.

    I may have to write an adventure for this.

  8. I can't wait for my print version to arrive. As to whether the game contains more than AD&D, it contains less, since it's based not just on 0e, but on only the first three books that came in the boxed set. No Greyhawk, no Blackmoor, no Eldritch Wizardry. It's a very, very freeform game relying on referee rulings, not on specific rules.

    It's also a complete game, although it's based on Swords & Wizardry. Which means it's like a standalone intro to hardcore 0e, too, only with samurai.

  9. @Brooze, S&W is rules-lite and generic enough it can be easily adapted to just about any other system including AD&D.

    If you're still on the fence, get the PDF, which is a steal at only $1 for about 80 pages of wonderfully flavored material.

  10. Just got back from japan (including visit to the AMAZING Himeji castle) so this is a given!

  11. I'm going to have to pick this one up. Pete makes me totally jealous of his style (again)!

  12. Jay,
    @ $1 Buck, definitely a steal.
    Will check it out!

  13. Ordered. Looks great.

    I'm not sure about getting the PDF. I probably will, maybe after I get my print copy. But I don't like to "spoil" the print by looking at the PDF first.

    I'm so old fashioned.

  14. $1 certainly is a bargain! That is good for me, because I doubt that I would actually use much of the book.

    I definitely lean more in the "semi-historical" direction. My collection includes four quite complex games on the subject: Bushido, Land of the Rising Sun, GURPS Japan, and Sengoku.

    Rules heaviness (coupled with out-of-print status) makes those a tough sell -- but I value them as source material. Besides covering different periods, they reflect different approaches in FRP.

    It seems one of the perennial truisms of the hobby (familiar from its war-game roots)that the only really adequate RPG is the one that one has cobbled together oneself!