Showing posts with label spellcraft swordplay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spellcraft swordplay. Show all posts

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012

Xena & Gabrielle: Spellcraft & Swordplay

Note: This is my first (albeit late) post for the YAM Magazine LBGT Blogathon.  I am going to go over some of my favorite characters from TV, Books, and Movies and talk about how to use them in various games.

In some cases I'll also talk about why I picked the characters I did and why I paired them with the game I did.

Xena & Gabrielle: Spellcraft & Swordplay

I make no excuses of my enjoyment of Xena: Warrior Princess.  The show was silly, irreverent and always a fun time. Frankly, with it's mix of comedy, drama, memorable characters and a mis-mash of historical and mythological events, it really was the perfect D&D TV show.

I have discussed Xena in the past, with both M&M3/DCA stats and Ghosts of Albion/Army of Darkness. The unisystem versions has been one of my most popular posts. Xena certainly has earned a place in many game worlds, but in particular mine.  So here are some more stats.

This is Xena and her anamchara Gabrielle for the Spellcraft & Swordplay RPG.  Unlike my other stats, these assume that Xena and Gabrielle are still together and travelling the world.

Xena, Warrior Princess of Amphipolis
Warrior (Fighting Woman): 9th Level

Strength: 18
Dexterity: 18
Constitution: 17
Intelligence: 11
Wisdom: 12
Charisma: 15

Attacks: 7+5 (7 attacks per round, +5 to any one attack)
Hit Points: 40
Alignment: Neutral (Unaligned)
AC: 5
Sword: 1d6+3
Chakram 1d6+1, decapitates on "box cars" (double 6s), on any double that hits can knock out instead of doing damage.

+2 to Con-based Saves

Gabrielle, The Battling Bard of Potidaea
Bard: 7th Level (Bards are found in Monstrous Mayhem)

Strength: 14
Dexterity: 15
Constitution: 15
Intelligence: 15
Wisdom: 14
Charisma: 16

Attacks: 4+3
Hit Points: 25
Alignment: Neutral (mostly Good)
AC: 7
Sword: 1d6+3
Favored: Charisma, Intelligence
Oration: Gabrielle is a teller of tales, in particular the tales of Xena.  She is the author of the so called "Xena Scrolls" which could be a fabled magical tome in your game.

Staff: 1d6
Sais: 1d6 can attack with both hands (used later in the series)

Why Xena?
There is one thing that Xena does better than any RPG.  It attracted a huge female audience and kept them.  Granted, one could argue that "Friend in Need" might have killed that, but up until then.  I think Xena works for the same reason that other successful shows do.  Great characterizations and great characters.  You know all about Xena and Gabrielle, but they are still great to watch.  Adding them to your game might just be that spice you didn't know you were missing.

Adding Xena and Gabrielle to your Game
Given their wanderings across the world it should actually be only a matter of time before the characters would run into her.  Maybe they know of her infamy as a conqueress.  Maybe they know of her turn and desire to do good to atone.  Or maybe it is just one of those things where the PCs and Xena arrive in the same place at the same time.  Fate is funny that way.

Plus they are kick-ass characters that bring a lot of fun to the game.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

S is for Spellcraft & Swordplay

Continuing on with some of the games of the Old School Renascence I want to talk about my favorite game.
Spellcraft & Swordplay by Jason Vey.

Now, just I get this out of the way first.  Jason is a friend of mine and we worked on a lot of Unisystem games together.   Also I worked on a supplement for S&S called Eldritch Witchery that is due out soon.  That all being said I developed my opinion of this game long before EW ever was thought of.

 Spellcraft & Swordplay is not a retro-clone exactly.  It is more of a "near-clone" or as I often think of it as an alternate reality version of OD&D.

When D&D was starting out it grew out of the rules in Chainmail.  Using a d20 (twenty-sided die) was the "alternate" combat method that became the norm.  But the original combat method involved 2d6 (two six-sided dice), S&S (among other changes) explores that further.

There are other changes such as saving throws are made against the appropriate ability (which is not to far off to how 3rd or 4th ed does it) and there are no skills, but ability rolls.

So in many respects it is a much simpler game than the other clones.
I have written a rather long review here for the core book:

I wrote that before I got the gig to write EW.  In fact I got the book, read it, reviewed and then convinced Jason to let me write EW.

If you are new to this sort of game or want to check it out then PLEASE give this a shot.  All you are two normal 6 sided dice, just like the ones in your Monopoly game to get started.

There is the core book, Spellcraft & Swordplay and a supplement, Monstrous Mayhem.
Both PDFs and print copies are on sale now. Plus if you buy the print copies you can get the PDFs for free.

I really can't say enough about this game. In fact here are my old posts about it.

Get it.  You can thank me later.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Holiday Sales at Elf Lair Games

Hey all!

Quick one to let you all know that Elf Lair Games is offering some discounts on the print editions of the Spellcraft & Swordplay game.

Spellcraft & Swordplay: Core Rules Hardcover
Spellcraft & Swordplay:  Monstrous Mayhem Softcover

A great game and a great gift choice for the gamer (or non-gamer) in your life.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sir Gannon, the Gold Knight

I normally don't mix my professional day-to-day job with my gaming or blog writing,  but I was on campus recently and this thought came to me.

So here is a character you can steal for your game.

Sir Gannon, the Gold Knight
There is a small hamlet on the shores of a large lake in the Land of Penn that has known peace for nearly three generations.  The land has had a history of great war, the Burg of Getty in east still sees the ghosts of long dead warriors from their bloody battles there. Even the home of the King in the Burg of Harris is constantly prepared for war and many of the best warriors come to this town to learn the arts of combat.   But these towns do not have the one thing that has insured peace of small village of Erie.
They are not the home of Sir Gannon, the Gold Knight.

Gannon began, and many say remain to this day, a modest man of simple means.  He inherited his father's castle at a young age.  While he could have been content with the life of a land-owner he instead began his trainning for the priesthood.  He spent long hours in quiet meditation, prayer and scholarship.  His studies began early as a child and continued long past what others had done into his manhood.  He turned his father's castle to a place where all could come and learn as he had done to make their lives better or just to satisfy an intellectual hunger.  He only asked that help contribute to the town, and embrace his values of good over evil, charity over greed, and lawfulness over chaos.  Some said he was naïve of the world and even old-fashioned, but Gannon knew better, he simply wished for a peaceful, quiet life.
Gannon would have been at peace, but peace was not offered to him.  His land was plagued by foul undead, goblins and fell spellcasters.  Reluctantly he took up the sword and defended the people that had come to learn from him.
He doned the only armor he had available to him, his father's magical gilded platemail and he met the challenges.  For years Sir Gannon defended his lands.  He always meant to exchange his armor for something less ostentatious, but his renown had grown.  While not vain, he knew that the stories of "The Golden Knight" were often enough to persuade evil men and creatures to find spoils elsewhere. Plus the sight of his gilded armor on horseback was a welcomed and reassuring sight to those he defended.

Though now the great Sir Gannon is old and there are few willing, or able, to take up his cause.

Here is the great Sir Gannon as a Spellcraft & Swordplay Paladin (Warrior Elite-path).

Sir Gannon, The Gold Knight
Paladin 10th level
Strength: 16
Dexterity: 13
Constitution: 11
Intelligence: 16
Wisdom: 17
Charisma: 18
HD: 10+7 (60 hp)
AC: 12 (magical Field Plate and shield)
Attacks: 8+6
Special: +2 to Con-based saves (+4 total), Combat Style Mastery: Mounted Combat +2, Healing touch 20hp per day, +2 to all saves, disease immunity, detect and dispel evil, Holy Sword +3 ("Aggredior"), Holy Mount ("Charger").

Sir Gannon has recently taken on a young squire to aid him.  Del is not a knight, but he will to aid the Gold Knight and that makes up for his lack of combat skill.
Bards are an elite path found in Monstrous Mayhem.

Del, his squire
3rd level Bard
Strength: 11
Dexterity: 16
Constitution: 12
Intelligence: 14
Wisdom: 12
Charisma: 16
HD: 2+2 (11 hp)
AC: 3 (magic leather)
Attacks: 2+1
Special: Favored Abilities (Indigence, Charisma) +1, Open Locks +3, Trapsmith +3, Pick Pockets +4, Stealth +4, Perception +2, Expert Linguist, Climb, Vital Strike, Uncanny Dodge, Lore +1,  Prestidigitation

Currently Sir Gannon and Del are perusing what they believe to be a coven of evil witches.  They are in fact Succubi.  The Succubi though have no greater plans than to stir up some trouble and maybe claim a couple of souls, or at least enough gold to move on to the next town.  They were summoned by an old warlock that died before he could send them back and now they are running free.  They have taken false names to hide their True Names.

Succubi, witches and warlocks all appear in Eldritch Witchery.

"Sabrina", "Raven" and "Destiny"

AC: 7
Move: 90' / Fly: 120'
HD: 6 (25)
Attacks: Claw/Claw/Special (2 dagger-2)
Special: Fly 120', Energy Drain (kiss), Darkvision, Dominate, Magic Resistance (fire), Immune to mundane weapons
Treasure: 6
XP: 345

Monday, October 31, 2011

Spellcraft & Swordplay: The Necromancer

The Necromancer

One of the most oft created sub class, new class or alternate class is the Necromancer.
Gamers in good campaigns look to them as the penultimate foe. Gamers in evil campaigns dream of controlling scores of undead.

The Monstrous Mayhem book for Spellcraft & Swordplay introduced the Necromancer Elite Path.  He is also featured in the Deluxe Core Rule book.

The Necromancer
Level 8
HD: 6+4 (36 hp)
Attacks: 5+3 (Staff, spells)
S: 10 D: 12: Con: 13 Int: 18 Wis: 16 Cha: 13
Bane of the Dead, Enhanced Undead, Skeletal Minion, Undead Apotheosis: +3
First Level: Bane, Chill Ray, Detect Evil, Inflict Light Wounds
Second Level: Cause Fear, Death Knell, Hold Person, Protection from Good
Third Level: Curse, Speak with Dead, Unholy Blight
Fourth Level: Death Ward, Vampiric Killer
Fifth Level: Shadow Armor

The Necromancer prowls the night looking for crypts to raid or fresh corpses to use in his unholy experiments of the dead.

He is armed with a Skull Staff that gives him a +1 on his spellcasting rolls.

More Spellcraft & Swordplay love

A couple more good posts on Spellcraft and Swordplay this fine Halloween morning.

A new post at newer blog (for me anyway), Adventures and Shopping.

And a mini-review from Tenkar's Tavern,

Looking forward to seeing more.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Going back to School with Spellcraft & Swordplay

I was over at my regular DM's house this weekend helping get his new router up and running.  He mentioned that he wants a new fantasy game to run at the high school.  He is a high school football coach and he runs the D&D group.

I had just gotten a couple of copies of the Spellcraft & Swordplay core rules from Drivethru's Print on Demand service and I gave him a copy to try out.  Well he came back to me says he going to give it a try with his group.

You can read his blog here,, and check on his group's progress.

I am glad to see this game getting some more love!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Elizabeth Bathory: Spellcraft & Swordplay

A while back I posted a bunch of character write-ups on Elizabeth Bathory.
I thought, given the season and to celebrate Spellcraft & Swordplay in physical print copies I'd bring them both together.  Based on my Dracula stats from early today, Bathory also has the advantage of being a coven witch.
This build is based on my earlier ones, as well as the material from Eldritch Witchery, which is coming out soon.

Elizabeth Bathory
Vampire / Witch (Demonic Tradition)

AC: 5
Move: 90'
HD: 15 (48 hp)
Attacks: 2 claws (short sword), 1 bite OR Spells as a 6th level coven Witch
Special: Climb 40', Blood Drain, Animal Empathy (Improved; Rats, bats, wolves), Dominate, Spawn (Blood or Energy drain), Energy Drain (bite), Alternate Form (wolf, incorporeal gas, improved), Resist electricity, Immune mundane weapons, Vulnerable sun, fire, holy water (treat as 2d6 acid), witch abilities
Treasure: 8
XP: 2100
S: 21 D: 16 C: 18 I: 14 W: 16 Ch: 19

Bathory can not change into a bat as other vampires.  She can also only summon wolves. Unlike Dracula, Elizabeth is damaged by the sun.
In addition to being a vampire, Elizabeth Bathory is also a coven witch of the 6th level.  She is not the highest level witch, but she is the coven leader.
Her familiar is demonic black coated wolf with red eyes.  When she is done draining her victims she feeds the remains to this monster.

She may cast the following spells
First level: Charm, Ghostly Slashing, Increase Sex Appeal
Second level: Ecstasy, Rite of Remote Seeing, Virgin Innocence
Third level: Dance Macabre, Toad Mind
Fourth level: Masque

These spells, the Demonic tradition, and what a coven witch is will all be detailed in Eldritch Witchery.

Dracula: Spellcraft & Swordplay

I think it would be awesome to run a total old school dungeon crawl in Castle Dracula.  Not Castle Ravenloft, with it's puzzles and puns.  Castle Dracula.  It would be a blast.
And what better system to do it with than Spellcaft and Swordplay?

Anytime I stat up a character for S&S I have to ask myself the question, could this guy go toe to toe with Conan?  Sort of like what I did with Red Sonja.

Vlad Dracula
Warrior Vampire Lord

AC: 4
Move: 90'
HD: 15 (54 hp)
Attacks: 2 claws (short sword), 1 bite OR 1 weapon as a 15th level warrior (8 + 6)
Special: Fly 40', Climb 40', Blood Drain, Animal Empathy (Improved; Rats, bats, wolves), Dominate, Spawn (Blood or Energy drain), Energy Drain (bite), Alternate Form (bat, wolf, incorporeal gas, improved), Resist electricity, Immune mundane weapons, Vulnerable sun, fire, holy water (treat as 2d6 acid), +2 to all Con based saves.
Treasure: 9
XP: 2400
S: 24 D: 18 C: 18 I: 15 W: 15 Ch: 17

This incarnation of Dracula is the Transylvanian warlord with vampire powers to make him far more brutal than he ever was in life.  He will be surrounded by an army completely loyal to him, though only human, not vampire.

As per the Vampire, Dracula is immune to sleep, charm and hold spells. He may summon 10-100 rats (5-20 giant rats), 10-100 bats (3-18 giant bats) or 3-18 wolves (2-8 dire wolves). Dracula may shapechange into a large bat or wolf, but his hit points remain unchanged. Dracula may also regenerate 5 hit points per round as long as he has fed.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Red Sonja

I was thinking after yesterday's post on Red Sonja and what system to run her in. While certainly nearly any flavor of D&D would be fine, I also think there is another very good choice. Army of Darkness. The comics have a vibe about them that has always reminded me of the Evil Dead movies. Not so much the humor, but the darkness.
Red Sonja, the comic, is now published by Dynamite, which also gives us the Army of Darkness Comic and the Army of Darkness/Xena crossovers. Given I have down all of that for Army already, then it make even more sense.

Of course given the source material it also makes sense to stat Sonja up using OD&D.  My favorite OD&D like product is Spellcraft and Swordplay by Jason Vey and using his Hyborian Age Supplement.

Red Sonja of Hyrkania (Army of Darkness)
Very Experienced Hero

Life Points 76
Drama Points 20

Strength 6
Dexterity 5
Constitution 6
Intelligence 4
Perception 4
Willpower 5

Promised One (Choosen of Scáthach)
Acute Senses Vision 1
Attractiveness +3
Hard to Kill 6
Fast Reaction Time
Natural Toughness (+4 to Armor)
Nerves of Steel
Resistance (cold) (she grew up on the Steppes)
Situational Awareness

Adversary (lots)
Honorable (Minimal)
Love, Tragic (various significant others and offspring)
Mental Problems (Mild Cruelty)

Acrobatics 7
Art 0
Crime 3
Doctor 2
Driving/Riding 4
Getting Medieval 9
Influence 2
Knowledge 4
Kung Fu 5
Languages 4 (varies on which comic)
Notice 5
Occultism 2
Science 0
Sports 1
Wild Card

Maneuver Bonus Base Damage Notes
Sword 14 35 Slash/stab
Punch 14 12 Bash
Dodge 14 Defense action
Parry 14 Defense action

Red Sonja of Hyrkania (Spellcraft & Swordplay)

Warrior (Fighting Woman): 8th Level
"Every great fantasy swordsman, from Robert E. Howard's barbarian hero to Tolkien's great returned King are warriors." - Spellcraft & Swordplay, p. 11

Strength: 18
Dexterity: 16
Constitution: 17
Intelligence: 12
Wisdom: 11
Charisma: 18

Attacks: 7+5 (7 attacks per round, +5 to any one attack)
Hit Points: 56
Alignment: Neutral (Unaligned)
AC: 5
Sword: 1d6+3

According to Jason's rules the Hyrkanians are a horse culture. They also take a -2 to save vs any sort of mind-affecting magic, including illusions. (Save vs. Wisdom)

+2 to Con-based Saves

Red Sonja vs Red Sonja vs Red Sonya
The Red Sonja in the comics now is not the same as the Red Sonja of a few years ago.  In the current comics the woman calling herself Red Sonja is actually the reincarnation of the first Red Sonja.  The Wikipedia article gives a rough overview, but it also mentions another "Sonja". Red Sonya of Rogatino was not "the she devil with a sword" we all know and love, but rather a "gun-slinging warrior woman of Polish-Ukrainian origin" from the 16th Century.

What they had in common was coming from the same general area (Hyrkania/Ukraine), of course red hair and the temper to match.

Given the change in the comics one is tempted (and I often am) to say this is another reincarnation of the first Red Sonja (which of course is backwards since Sonya came before Sonja).  Works for me.

Given that, who is to say when the next time Red Sonja is reincarnated, and what system.

ETA: A pic of Red Sonya originally posted by Mikeyboy over at Red Sonja: She Devil with a Sword.
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