Swords and Wizardry Fantasy Role Playing

For me, nothing has ever quite caught the magic of the original Dungeons and Dragons rules I picked up sometime in the 1970s. It was a single 8 1/2 x 11 blue book, and it covered only levels 1-5 or so. But it was indescribably wonderful.

Swords and Wizardry is another (I’ve seen several) attempt to recapture that magic that we had before we all became older and White Wolf cynical. The authors write:

In 1974, Gary Gygax (1938-2008) wrote the world’s first fantasy role-playing game, a simple and very flexible set of rules that launched an entirely new genre of gaming. In 1976, the first supplement to these rules was published, with Rob Kuntz as Mr. Gygax’s co-author. Many years later, in the year 2000, Wizards of the Coast allowed the use of most of the material from that game under a license called the Open Game License. What you’re reading is an approximate re-creation of the Gary Gygax original fantasy role-playing game, created using the Open Game License. The re-creation isn’t exact — it’s not allowed to be, and we have treated the original copyright with utmost respect. But while the language in this book may be a little bit less magical than in the original, we believe the rules and system are close enough to reproduce the “lightning in a bottle” of that original edition (often called 0e). In fact, we think Swords & Wizardry is actually a bit better organized and easier to learn than the original. Since the original rules were supplemented with several later books, it’s impossible to nail down any “canon” set of rules for 0e. This is our interpretation of the game, using rules and systems from only the original set of rulebooks and some selected rules-material from the later supplements.

Labyrinth Lord

Labyrinth Lord is a free “throwback” style RPG.

I’m old school, so I’m going to give this a serious look.

Old School Dungeons and Dragons Role Playing

OSRIC (Old School Reference & Index Compilation) offers a free fantasy role playing game inspired by first edition Dungeons and Dragons. It’s not the first effort I’ve seen trying to recapture the magic of 1st edition, before the life was sucked out of it with the bloated later editions.

Dungeon Quest RPG

Dungeon Quest is a free old school fantasy RPG.

Old School Hack RPG

There are a lot of people out there trying to recapture the spirit of the original D&D games. For my own part, I can think of nothing that was more magical than my first excursion into the blue covered rulebook I got back in the late 1970s/early 1980s. Old School Hack is another attempt.