05 January 2013
Playing Swords and Wizardry with some buddies has been a great time. It's a big change of pace from writing abstractly about game theory and systems that look like they'd read great to actually playing them.
As a good example, the way things work in Swords and Wizardry. You read through the tiny class section and the things each class gets and you wonder if there shouldn't be more crunch or complexity. You get ideas where the classes could be more different, or maybe you put an extra class in there that's sort of a mix of things. And the spells! You don't even get any combat magic at first level! The cleric doesn't get a spell until second level! And there's no skill system or anything!
But in actual play, all of that disappears. When the players went to the tavern (where the Fighter decided he worked), they didn't roll to charm anybody or anything. In this specific case, there was a large drunk man who was more than happy to dish out some juicy rumors for the price of a couple of pints. And they talked to him. When they were looking for the lucky man, they used their wits to find him. When they found him, they tried to convince the guy to come out so they could help him get his so-called fortune. When he didn't, they smacked his kneecaps in.
It feels that (besides the tiny combat where the beggar attempted to bash the fighter's head with an enormous stone) we rolled dice maybe six times, and even when we got further in the adventure (spoiler: the map leads to an old wizard-king's cursed burrow) everything was going great. Everybody's got firm ideas of who they are, they're cooperating (and squabbling) plenty based on their backgrounds and real-life personalities, and it's almost too fun.
The really interesting thing is playing with somebody new, but that's a post for another day. For now, it's enough to have this, to celebrate kind of getting back into the swing of things. Expect some Swords and Wizardry stuff based on our campaign, and some stuff based on the material that never quite made it.
Until next time!