Thursday, December 31, 2009

White Box News

John Adams of Brave Halfling Publishing announced that he is now taking pre-orders for the boxed edition of White Box Swords & Wizardry. The official release/shipping date for the set is February 1, but BHP will ship all pre-orders as soon as the dice and boxes arrive.

The boxed set includes:

* 6" x 9" Game Box (This is an actual game box manufactured for just this purpose)
* Four Rule Booklets (Characters, Spells, Monsters, & Treasures)
* A digest-sized copy of Matt Finch's, "Quick Primer for Old-School Gaming"
* Ten of Marv Breig's 3" x 5" Index Card Character Sheets
* Set of Polyhedral Dice
* Pad of digest-sized Graph Paper
* Pencil

Pre-orders are discounted by $4, so they sell for $25.95, plus shipping, which is frankly a great deal. I'm sorely tempted to order multiple copies of the thing and give them as gifts, since that's a good price for a complete RPG in this day and age and White Box is increasingly my preferred version of S&W (and BHP is a company well worth supporting).


  1. I plan on placing my order after next paycheck. I'm actually kind of excited about this set, and rpg's don't really do that to me anymore.

  2. When You get the Box Set, give us a sneak peak!, I'd like to see what it looks like before purchasing it.

  3. I placed my order last night as soon as I saw the news. $12 shipping to Canada hurts - especially for a $25 item. that's what I have to endure living in the Great White North.

    Can't wait. I'm working out the logistics to kick-off a sandbox campaign using WB and have been waiting to get a printed edition.

  4. I posted some shots of the booklet interiors. The text is very sharp, clear and easy to read.

    All of the new art is on the booklet covers and on the box itself. There is very little art inside of the the booklets (which is necessary to keep the page count down).

    I'll have pictures of the thing when the boxes and dice arrive.

  5. Already ordered mine. I'll have to ask John about buying additional copies of book one (characters) so I can give those to my players.

  6. @Rob: I agree, the #12 shipping does hurt us Canadians. While I have already ordered my copy, I will have to ask John if there are plans to get this into distribution with the FLGS.

  7. Yeah, $12 to Canada is rough, but the USPS is raising their shipping prices on January 4, so I had to take that into consideration.

    The WB Boxed Set will not go into distribution. It will only be available directly from BHP. There will be a single volume version of WB down the road that will go into game stores.

    Yes, you will be able to order extra booklets starting on February 1. I will have individual ones, a Gamer's Bundle and a Referee Bundle.

  8. Rob & Paladin,
    Try ordering 3 copies and see what the shipping is...
    But I closed my eyes and did it anyways!

  9. Two or three Boxed Sets to Canada are the same for shipping - $25.95. I didn't make these numbers up. That is the USPS priority shipping price to Canada.

  10. Well I think it looks pretty well done. I was wondering a few things though. Is this the start of a new product line? or a limited one shot deal?. Or do you have plans to take the game further?. And is there any legalities with Wizards in doing so?

  11. @Delve: This is the start of a new product line. The single-volume version of WhiteBox will be going into game stores this year and BHP will be supporting WB with lots of products - digest, pdf and in distribution. Plus, I hope that other publishers will also support WB.

    As for legalities, this is not the place to discuss such things, but WB is a product that is based upon and fully conforms to the OGL.

  12. @Delve

    I'm not a lawyer, so the following is just my own opinion, not a legal one.

    The d20 SRD and OGL release in 2000 allowed 3rd-party publishers to create D&D 3.0 compatible products as long as they did not reference WoTC intellectual property specifically excluded from the SRD. This helped create a boom of d20 D&D publishers that helped with the revival of the D&D brand.

    A (perhaps unforeseen) side-effect was that publishers could reference something in the SRD (ie. Fireball spell), throw away the SRD definition and write their own. This meant that several publishers began using the OGL to write their own rules, and we've seen several commercial products take such a route. This same interpretation of the OGL allows for the creation of 'retro-clones' like white box as long as they don't go and copy WoTC/TSR owned text from the older editions. WoTC has not taken any legal action to test this in court, and probably never will unless a major competitor shows up, which I think is unlikely.

    BTW, this would be why the D&D 4e GSL is so much more restrictive on how you can use their 'stuff'. Still a good license IMO, but doesn't let you 'offroad' into your own ruleset.

  13. Right on!, I'm definately going to get a copy of this game. I hope some accessories come out later. would be neat to see some of the old style Dungeon Dwellers figures reappear.

  14. Ordered! Thanks to James for keeping us updated on this product.

  15. "A digest-sized copy of Matt Finch's, 'Quick Primer for Old-School Gaming'"

    Yeah, this I'm not so sure about. One of the main reasons D&D play developed into so many diverse forms so quickly is precisely because the original work didn't include the kind of prescriptive "this is how you do Old School Gaming (tm) right" tone that I feel I can fairly fault this document for.

    I enjoyed the Primer. It represents a great way to play, but at the same time its focus really is too narrow to really do the author's own game justice.

  16. Also, can you elaborate on the differences (if any) between "White Box" and the S&W hardcover I've run across?

  17. "can you elaborate on the differences (if any) between "White Box" and the S&W hardcover I've run across?"

    Verhaden explains is this way:

    "WB has a lower power curve--most things are handled with a d6 (hit dice, weapon damage, etc.). There are demi-human level limits, and because of that demihuman abilities are more defined in WB as compared to the Core Rules. Cleric's top out with 5th level spells and Magic-users top out at 6th level.

    You could say that WB tries to hedge closer to the 3LBB's while the Core Rules breaches into Supplement I territory but stops well short of being OSRIC.

    This 2nd print edition incorporated a great deal of textual fixes and corrections, cleaned up and clarified wording and rules, as well as a new layout designed explicitly for digest sized (5.5x8.5) booklet printing. The booklets from BHP will also include blank template pages at the end of the books to allow players and referees alike to write in their own spells, monsters, notes, etc."