Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Muddying the waters

Now that Swords & Wizardry White Box is not going to going to be carried by Brave Halfling anymore, there's been a lot of debate as to the fate of WB and Core editions of S&W. There's a lot of talk of changing the names of the editions because of White Box being kind of a klunky name, but I think this is just making things more confusing and will turn people off from S&W. Just in the span of 3 years there have been 6 different variations of S&W.

Personally I use Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia for my go to rules and my game group uses Labyrinth Lord. So I don't really have a dog in this race, but it just seems that S&W is being diluted down.

Brave Halfling S&W Whitebox

Brave Halfling S&W White Box boxed set

1st Edition S&W Whitebox

S&W Complete

S&W Core 2nd ed.

....and 1st ed. Core


  1. I would have to agree with your assessment. S&W seems about as focused as TSR was with all their editions of D&D in the early 80s.

  2. You are definitely onto something. I felt a distinct lack of enthusiasm for the latest developments, and I think the fact that new versions of S&W have been pouring forth might have something to do with it.

    Having many clones to choose from is one thing...

    I'm beginning to see why so many people are worked up over Labyrinth Lord, frankly. While not for me (I have multiple copies of B/X, thank you), I understand why this flailing about have served to make S&W less popular.

  3. I like how LL has made itself into one cohesive rules set, with Original Edition, LL and Advaced LL. Advanced is a very nice progression towards AD&D without all the clunky bits.

  4. Well, I like the idea of S&W. More so than LL.

    LL never appealed to me the same way. But, not having been a fan of AD&D naturally makes me less susceptible to the idea of the add ons. ;)

  5. Convoluted! I own at least one or two versions of S&W and I respect the amount of work that went into them. So far though none of the clones have really hit my Gorgon-spot, if you get me.

  6. Greg, don't get me wrong, I like S&W and I know a lot of work has gone into it (being one of the illustrators for S&W). I just think in the long run it's just going to be more confusing for newer players to see so many editions of the game.

    LL appeals to me more also, because B/X is the version I started on.