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Should I Write a Swords & Wizardry Complete Supplement?

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I've been asked to convert some of the core Microlite75 rules to Swords & Wizardry by a surprising large number of people. People apparently like some of the modification to "old school D&D" I use in Microlite75: backgrounds, minor magic, vices & virtues, the combat mods like strike speed, using body points and hit points, etc., but want to use them in Swords & Wizardry.

My initial reaction was "just use them" -- after all many of them were simple conversions of rules I was using in the late 1970s in my D&D games so converting them to S&W would be simple. Weirdly, this answer does not seem to have gone over well. The majority of people who've asked for S&W conversions don't want to just use the M75 rules in S&W, they want me to rewrite them especially for S&W and publish them so they can use them. I don't understand the need, but as this would not be hard to do, I might just write a short supplement for S&W Complete if I can find the spare time.

A smaller group of people don't just want a supplement, however, they want me to take a copy of Swords & Wizardry and rewrite it with my rules changes replacing those in the original so they can have a single set of rules with "Randall's Own Version of S&W". This boggles my little mind. This would be at least ten times as much work as a supplement -- and I can't see how it would be ten times as convenient. I know this sounds like a "I walked five miles to school in a blizzard and it was up hill both ways" story but I remember using the original D&D books, their four official supplements, a couple of volumes of Arduin, the Warlock rules from The Spartan, and photocopies of a good number of Dragon articles, All the Worlds' Monsters, and more to run game sessions with back in the 1970s. The idea that all the rules "must be" nicely incorporated in one book to be usable is just incomprehensible to me. Needless to say, I have no plans to do this.

8 comments:
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The Bane said...
March 15, 2011 at 10:03 PM  

Portability is 'in': Single tomb, digest sized, minimal works are all the rage. That being said, I too would love to see, and would invest in, such a culmination of your works for Swords & Wizardry, but for the White Box version. Of course, after I get the Majestic Wildlands...

Now, realizing that you said you have no plans to do this, I would be happy to see anything S&W related.

TB

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Timeshadows said...
March 15, 2011 at 10:43 PM  

"...I remember using the original D&D books, their four official supplements, a couple of volumes of Arduin, the Warlock rules from The Spartan, and photocopies of a good number of Dragon articles, All the Worlds' Monsters, and more to run game sessions..."

Indeed! :D

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AD&D Grognard said...
March 16, 2011 at 1:03 AM  

Well, your work is superb, so take it as high compliment.

Ask yourself also on the time issue how this affects your own work. I don't believe I have seen any plans yet, but you are always cooking up something good. How would it interfere with that.

The idea of you doing a full version is interesting...I know I know...too much... :)

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ChicagoWiz said...
March 16, 2011 at 8:49 AM  

I've been surprised as well at the reluctance to take several sources and roll their own. Your stuff is OGC, S&W Core is OGC, and if they own a PDF of S&W Complete, it's not that hard to extract text and be able to roll their own.

I'm not sure how much more S&W that m74/m75 can get. It's all D&D! :)

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Lord Kilgore said...
March 16, 2011 at 9:19 AM  

I will agree with The Bane about portability being in. I remember lugging around all the AD&D hardcovers and Dragon mags and associated stuff, and I have no desire to go back to that.

However, I wonder why people don't make their own books if they want something specific.

Someone has already gone to the trouble of thinking up, codifying, and publishing some material. Now they're supposed to integrate it into X number of systems and publish that, too? Are you kidding?

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AD&D Grognard said...
March 16, 2011 at 11:40 AM  

Like I said, this site is a huge inspiration to me and maybe they just see him doing it right. Time is always a factor for both sides but if I wanted to do it right I would ask RS to do it.

It truly is a compliment. At least that is a positive spin :)

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Mike said...
March 16, 2011 at 12:23 PM  

Copyright could be a problem if you went for the complete all-in-one rules replacement.

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Randall said...
March 16, 2011 at 8:10 PM  

@Mike: Copyright would not be a problem. The text of S&W Complete is almost entirely OGL Open Content. If I were to produce the requested "Randall's Version" I'd have to change the name. However, I'd also have to layout the complete text, find public domain artwork for it, etc. That's a lot of work. All because a few people are too lazy to use S&W Complete with a 16-24 page set of supplemental rules.

@All: I will produce a S&W supplement as it is not much work on my end. Translating variant rules designed originally for the TSR version of 0e to my (Microlite20-based) M75 variant of 0e was easy. Translating them to the Swords & Wizardry variant of 0e will not be any harder. I guess I just find the request weird because, as ChicagoWiz says, "It's all D&D!"

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