Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day!
It’s the first official Swords & Wizardry Appreciation day! Considering Swords & Wizardry Whitebox is the ruleset we’re using for the Fellhold campaign, I thought I’d like to jump in on this. I’ve expounded earlier why we went with Whitebox, but basically I found the simplicity attractive as a foundation to add house rules to, rather than trying to cut out pieces of other versions. As play has gone on, it has both taught me to value and enjoy the lack of some rules but also it has pointed out exactly how other rules came to be by experiencing the desire to have them in game. My only real regret about using Whitebox is that it means my beautiful full core rules I got in the kickstarter are only pulled out when I’m looking for guidance on making a ruling on something outside the scope of the Whitebox rules. A small price to pay for an excellent slim set of D&D rules that is far more in-play reference friendly than the actual Little Brown Books.
I’m working on a quickstart character sheet that will hopefully have everything a player needs to create a character A) on one page, and B) logically sequenced and labeled to be as new player friendly as possible, but I’m traveling and wasn’t able to get it finished yet. So, instead I’ll post my custom Fellhold character sheets (heavily inspired by the Dwimmermount character sheets), and, unimaginatively enough, a couple of magic Swords and an example of some Wizardry.
Fellhold Character Sheet
Grief, the Foemaker
Grief is a finely made long sword with intricate knot and runework on the crossguard and round pommel. The steel of the blade is dark, almost smokey, and the scabbard is black leather with inlaid silver in the form of a knotwork wyrm.
When Grief comes into the possession of a new owner, it is a +1 sword that increases its wielder’s chance to fumble by 1 (so, a 1-2).
Every time its owner rolls a fumble, increase the to-hit bonus by +1, to a maximum of +4, and increase the chance to fumble by 1. This works out to:
- +1 = Fumble on 1-2
- +2 = Fumble on 1-3
- +3 = Fumble on 1-4
- +4 = Fumble on 1-5
In addition to an increased chance of a fumble, as Grief’s to hit bonus increases, the severity of fumbles should increase. This is left to referee discretion, but anything that increases discord and endangers allies should be preferred.
Whenever the owner of Grief is present during an interaction with strangers, any reaction rolls will suffer a penalty equal to Grief’s current to hit bonus.
Grief cannot be freely given to anyone its owner considers a friend or ally. If Grief is ever used in the presence of a former owner, any fumbles will automatically strike the former owner (provided it is even somewhat reasonable).
Grief’s powers “reset” whenever it comes into the possession of a new owner.
Woe, the Blooddrinker
Woe is a “viking style” sword of regular size, effective at both stabbing and slashing. The broad fuller is bronze, and the crescent shaped upper and lower guards are inlaid with copper knotwork polished to a bright red sheen. The hilt is wrapped in simple, well-worn leather. It is currently housed in a weather and sweat stained simple leather scabbard.
Woe gives no bonus to hit, but instead any damage dice rolled “explode”, meaning that if the maximum value is rolled, save that value, roll again and add them together. If this second roll is also the maximum value for the die, roll again and add, and so on.
On a critical hit, automatically consider the damage die to have rolled maximum value and proceed from there, in addition to any other usual effects from a critical hit.
Woe always inflicts vicious, nasty wounds when it is able. Any time its damage die “explodes”, NPCs and monsters with HD equal to or less than the victim must test morale (yes, this applies to both friends and foes).
Woe’s owner will find it hard to keep his or her hand off of the hilt and the blade in the scabbard anytime his situation is uneasy or dangerous, unless he exercises iron will (a good way to reflect this is for the referee to assume that the owner does these things in these situations unless the owner’s player specifically says otherwise). NPCS will likely interpret such actions as hostile and react accordingly.
Spell Level: 1st
Duration: 8 hours
The caster may take on the appearance of any person of roughly the same size and shape provided he obtains something that belongs to the person being imitated. He may change appearance within the duration as many times as he likes, though once he returns to his own appearance the effect ends. The greater the disparity between the caster’s appearance and the imitated person’s, the more likely something will seem off, and people familiar with the imitated party will have a greater chance of spotting the deception.