Swords & Wizardry Plus My 0e House Rules From Microlite74 Extended?

I’ve been asked a number of times since my 0e house rules first appeared as part of Microlite75 (now Microlite74 Extended) if I would not publish a variant of Swords & Wizardry with my house rules baked into the rules book. I’ve always held off because most people did not want a supplement, but a complete copy of the rules with my house rules built into the game. I really had no desire to cut into S&W sales by producing a complete set of the rules with my house rules included.

However, the requests keep coming in and it really would not be that hard to edit the “.doc” version of OGL S&W Core Rules to add in some or all of my 0e house rules, lightly format it into two columns, can call it something like “Blades & Sorcery” and make it available for download. Now that Swords & Wizardry has been available for several years, I have much less problem doing something like this.

If I were to do this, I would need to know which house rules people would want to see put in this S&W variant. I would definitely include backgrounds (and the “skill” rolls that can be used with them), the minor powers of clerics and magic-users, and my Body/Hit Point system. Saving throws would not change, however — as many people like the one saving throw system S&W currently uses and not changing it makes modifying the rules much easier. My alignment rules (and the optional Virtues and Vices” system would probably be included. The major questions would be:

1) Whether or not to replace the standard “Fire & Forget” magic system with my “burn HP to cast spells” system. I used it with 0e back in the late 1970s, but many people do not consider it real “D&D” without a Vancian magic system.

2) Whether to add my more complex combat rules to the current system or to leave the current system more or less alone?

What would you like the answers to these questions to be? Other comments on the idea are welcome as well.

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4 Responses

  1. Your "Burn HP" thing is vastly better than Vancian casting in my opinion– but I never liked D&D's particular take on Vancian casting in the first place. If they don't like it they're not beholden to use it.
    What about the HP/BP divide? I've been an aficionado of that way of handling damage ever since I first encountered it.

  2. Randall says:

    The BP/HP stuff will be included. That's core to the house rules, IMHO. It solves a lot of D&D's problems with interpreting hit points without being too much of a pain to deal with.

  3. faoladh says:

    Answers I would give:

    1) Include the "Burn HP" system.

    2) Include the complex combat rules.

    Reasons: If I don't want to use a rule, it's easy enough to ignore. I can always just go to the S&W rules for Vancian magic or simpler combat rules. However, if I want to use a rule, I can't use it if I don't have access to it. Anyway, spell point systems were developed for D&D almost from the beginning, with varying levels of complexity.

  4. o_O S&W always explicitly encouraged making your own version of it. See method 2 here: http://www.swordsandwizardry.com/?page_id=2