Tonight will be my first night back behind the screen since March. We've taken a break from our Swords & Wizardry campaign to play in a Savage Worlds game for a while (to be followed by Paranoia). But tonight's game is with just a small group of our regular players. You see, their PCs separated from the rest of the campaign group and got trapped and lost beneath the tower of Zenopus. One of the 5 PCs died by slipping and falling into icy blue lava. We're going to continue with the remaining 4 right where we left off to determine their fate and play through until they're all dead or they find a way out or become slaves or whatever may be. We've all been looking forward to this session as it seems pretty grim for our players.
Anyway, it got me back flipping through my campaign material and I just so happen to have received my new printed Swords & Wizardry Core rule book.
I know, everyone is all excited and talking about the new Dungeon Crawl Classics beta sample and it is interesting. But I'm a Swords & Wizardry guy and reading these new Core rules just solidifies that.
We've been playing with the 1st & 2nd printing of the rules. These were great and I've made a number of house rules to fill in the gaps and flesh out the campaign. We've been playing for almost 2 years without a hitch. I skipped the whole Frog God games version of the rules but decided it was time to pick up the new Core.
I have to say that I love the additions to the new Core. It's a beautiful reworking and tweaking of the rules which I think perfect the game even more. It's still a great foundation to house-rule as well.
I was brought up with Holmes Blue Book and that has been and always will be my vision of D&D. Swords & Wizardry Core captures, what I feel, are the same gritty rough edges of the Holmes book. In my mind, the Holmes rules are the balance between the loose free-form OD&D and the (over-complicated) AD&D. A perfect balance. Swords & Wizardry Core is that modern balance.
I've picked up and read through most of the 'retro-clones' to have come out in the past number of years (and they're all great rule-sets, mind you) but Swords & Wizardry just clicked perfectly with me.
I'm not breaking out the Core rules into our campaign just yet. I'll be waiting until we determine the fate of these lost souls and regroup to continue as a whole. I've got to do some tweaking to my house rules a bit to 'conform' to some of the changes to the Core but I think this version of Swords & Wizardry Core Rules has reached a perfect plateau of perfection.