Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Gather Ye Materials: Swords & Wizardry

Before I actually start creating the campaign (which I hope to start in around four months from now, so plenty of lead time for prep work), I'm going to go over the sources I'll be using. This boils down to Swords & Wizardry itself, the Strategic Review, Dungeoneer, and other miscellaneous sources. Starting with Swords & Wizardry, then...

OK, so here I have the basic rules set for the campaign. Three classes – Fighting-Man, Magic-User and Cleric, and four races – Humans, Elves, Dwarves, and Hobbits. (Yes, I know the book calls them halflings. But they are Hobbits, darn it. Christopher Tolkien can sue me if he wants.) It seems a sensible idea to work on the principle that these will be the major classes and races of the campaign; so at least 95% of the classed NPCs encountered will be of the races and classes from this book.

One house rule I make right from the start. Instead of advancing as a hybrid, Elves choose either Fighter or Magic-User as a class, and advance as appropriate. A bit AD&D of me, I know, but it solves the 'Elves are awesome at first level' problem. (This further suggests the possibility that the Elves of this setting are divided into two different groups with two different traditions, but I'll shelve that for later.)

licking right to the back, there is the appendix with the Thief and Monk classes. Monks – no. This is a fantasied Occidental setting, and there were no 'hi-yah' kung-fu monks in Western Europe. It's not as if he's going to sit around copying manuscripts. The Thief is a harder sell. I must admit, I kinda agree with the school that suggests the Thief is an unnecessary addition – having said that, however, a lot of my players like playing Thieves. So the thief is in. I'll go with the Traditional Thief, and allow Elves, Dwarves and Hobbits to select it as a class. Already this greatly expands the number of options...

onsters and magic are nothing to particularly write home about. I intend to make greater use of the creatures from Dungoneer and the Strategic Review – but D& S&W isn't the same without the usual suspects making an appearance. Happy with the spell list as it stands, as well, so I don't plan to make any changes at this point. No need to reinvent the wheel at this stage. The idea is to run a fairly classic-styled campaign, after all.

Tomorrow: The Strategic Review!