Thursday, January 28, 2010

Comments on Swords and Wizardry

Overall I am really pleased with how Swords & Wizardry played. The one serious combat was a snap to resolve taking about 20 minutes. With GURPS it would probably taken twice as a long.

I have to say Sleep is one useful spell.

I award XP for monster/challenges overcome and a roleplaying award. In addition I decided to allow players to spend money for training at a rate of 1d (silver penny) per 1 XP. The limiting factor is that you can only spend 1,000d per week.

The roleplaying award works by multiplying a factor time 200xp time the character level. I was going to go with 100xp but after talking I decided to boost it to 200xp. The factor is between 1 to 5 with 3 being average. I rarely award below a 3 in fact I can only think once where I had to do it and that was two decades ago. The max is 5 which is for roleplaying that will be remembered for years. 4 I award when there a great session of roleplaying.

So for last monday's game I awarded a 4 factor. Everybody did a great job roleplaying, staying in character and in-game. So that 800 xp then there was 260 xp for challenges and opponents overcome for a total award of 1,060 xp for the night. As everybody was hightailing out of Gormmah there was no chance to spend any silver on training.

As for my coinage system the basics are working out. The only trouble is making sure I charge the right amount for the D&D elements. When the characters went shopping for healing potions I had to come up with a price on the fly as I haven't gotten my magic prices settled yet. I just used the old price for GURPS Healing potion which was 30d per. Gormmah had only 16 between all the vendor so the players cleaned them out.

I just might keep it at 30d and factor everything else from that price. For example if say a Potion of Inviability was 10 times more expensive in most D&D editions I would make it 300d.

The Knight Killer Crossbow worked perfectly. A weapon used once in a combat that does a lot damage. Thanks to Dwayne's input I changed it from 2d10 to 5d4 to increase the minimum damage. It is +4 to hit due to superior accuracy and armor penetration. The downside is that it takes 6 round to reload.

When Tim nailed the Warden of the Madmen for 5 points I should have roleplayed the hit better. The guy was 5th level so 5 points was damaging taking him down from 25 hit points to 20. But I roleplayed it like it didn't even faze him. I should have come up with something to represent the guy twisted away a bit or dodging enough so it was a graze wound. On the bright side Tim caught on on fast that the guy was lot higher level.

I just slipped back into what I used to do for AD&D for combat. The basic action is 1/2 move and attack. You substitute anything reasonable for either half. For example drinking a potion and attack. Drinking a potion and doing a 1/2 move. And so on. You can always take a 5 step if you don't move either 1/2 round.

One thing I really like about Swords & Wizardry it the fact it is D&D distilled. There wasn't a whole of wrinkles with the combat game like there would been with AD&D/OSRIC. I like the idea of just having the spell caster go I cast X spell and not having to worry about segments or rounds of casting for the most part.

Plus when I ran that sample combat with Dwayne and the Rusty Battle Axe going down the tomb it was easy as heck to bring up some random monster and just drop him in. I would not like a true lite game, Swords & Wizardry + Majestic Wilderlands has just the right amount crunch to make tactical combat interesting yet simple and straightforward so I keep much of the rules in my head.

One thing I didn't like was the +1 for 13 to 18. I felt that higher attribute should be rewarded but not D20's +4 at 18 or AD&D range of modifiers. I asked the question over on at the Swords & Wizardry forums nobody gone higher than a +3 for 18.

I am going to change so that 13 to 15 is +1, 16 to 18 is +2 , if you get a 19 or higher because of racial bonus you can have a +3. In addition I will try to add little benefits to make having a 18 more significant than a 16. For example the thug increased damage bonus. Or the rule we have about dying at negative constitution. Note you start at dying at -3 at first level. It lowers by -3 for each level until it reaches negative constitution where it stops.

This post was a bit of a stream of consciousness hope you get some useful rules out of it. Next week should see a workout of Chigowiz's S&W Reference Sheets and the Wilderness Encounter charts. We will see if they make it to Hwath.

1 comment:

squidman said...

Very useful post! I'm going to run S&W for the first time on Saturday and you gave me some ideas about resolving some issues I had! Thanks a lot!