I mentioned in this post, New Free Microlite74 Releases Planned for 2013, that I was clearing my schedule to devote time to my Gryphons & Gramarye project and promised more information later. I've finally managed to put my thoughts together well enough to make a post.
We continued the discussion mentioned in a post on February 11th (Rethinking Gryphons & Gramarye: Whitebox or Core?) after the Sunday Game last weekend and this project is the result of these discussions and a lot of thought on my part.
First, everyone -- except me -- hates the Gryphons & Gramarye name. My players have convinced me to change the name of the project (and the resulting game) to Lords & Wizards. The focus of the project has also changed. There's really no reason to add just add my house rules to Swords & Wizardry and call it a new game. I know I have had a large number of requests for this, but it has always seemed somewhat silly to me. Just about any GM with a few sessions experience with S&W should be able to find the house rules in Microlite74 Extended and add the ones they are interested in to S&W. Conversion is so simple it is practically a no brainer. My players have convinced that simply adding my house rules to S&W is really as much of a waste of time as I originally thought it was. Gryphons & Gramarye will now by a short supplement to S&W with my house rules.
They have instead want me to take Swords & Wizardry White Box as a starting point and add material to it until I end up with that strange combination of 0e and 1e I used in the late 1970s as the three original 1e core books were released one book a year. This sounds like a more interesting project, but it is really little more than Swords & Wizardry Complete with my house rules and the 1e monster and spell lists.
However, this suggestion gave me an idea. What if I combine that "strange combination of 0e and 1e I used in the late 1970s" with some of the ideas from B/X -- especially topping out at level 14 (and thus avoiding the higher levels where 1e begins to show balance issues that even people like me who do not consider balance a core design goal can't help but notice that there are problems). What if I also added some of the more interesting ideas from Microlite74 (like Experience Base) and other OGL retrogames (like the simple "stones" encumbrance system, weapon damage by class, etc.) to the mix? After thinking about this a while, I decided that this could be an interesting system to both design and play and the new Lords & Wizards project was born. My Sunday Game group likes this idea so much they want to convert our current Microlite74 Extended campaign to Lords & Wizards as soon as I get the basic system roughed out enough to use. That will probably take a month or two, but I'm excited and can't wait to get started. All I've done so far is to think a lot and produce the cover mockup pictured above.
There will, of course, be a lot more information on this project in the coming weeks. Lords & Wizards will be another free game from RetroRoleplaying.com. However, there may be a print copy available through Lulu or Drivethrurpg for people who want a hard copy.
The Brown Box/Wee Warriors Cancer Fund Drive is on. 12 giveaway items (including a third printing Brown Box D&D and Wee Warriors items are available. High Donors will get get six (their choice), the rest will be raffled off with each $10 donating giving you one chance. You can see the complete list of 12 items and read more about this fund drive in this post: Brown Box D&D and Wee Warriors Goodies Available (For Cancer Fund Donors). This is in addition to the usual PDF downloads and other benefits of a donation to the RetrpoRoleplaying Cancer Fund. To get help us pay our cancer treatment related bills (and to get access to some special downloads and a chance at the above-mentioned items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. Thank you!