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S&W Continual Light - what's not to like ?

Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:08 am

We'll see if we can get a public release of the Swords & Wizardry Continual Light Beta PDF in the next few weeks. There are various iterations of the SWCL rules currently in playtest as well as being used as reference by creators of SWL content. We want to lock down the rules before moving on to the rest of the release.

As I've stated before, the full release will add 16 to 20 pages of adventures and setting to the 16 pages of actual rules. So, complete game and campaign material in 32 to 36 pages.

Sounds like the kind of product I was looking for in 2008 when I chanced upon S&W, a well-supported, rules-lite fantasy game with a community. Sure it may be 'it's own thing' rather than an OD&D clone but hasn't S&W always strayed away from the 3LLBs as far as rules were concerned. It's more about the gamestyle right ?

Add to this pocket settings, a zine, 3000 downloads of Light so far, what's not to like ?


Re: S&W Continual Light - what's not to like ?

Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:57 am

Hard to say until it is released. I going to guess it is going to be the 16 pages of rules. I am not particularly impressed with the "perks" system. There were choices in Light that could have better; a repeat of the same ones from WB 1st printing upon which Light was based. Anything else of supporting value will be compatible with WB: FMAG (IMHO. the current gold standard, even more so with the next printing as it corrects many of choices mentioned above). On the Referee side, compatibility is a certainty. The player side is where it is likely to become disposable especially if one already has Spahn's White Box supplements.

Re: S&W Continual Light - what's not to like ?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:14 am

So now that it has been released, I have to say I'm underwhelmed for a product that was hyped so much. The cover is nice, but the rest, well let's just say that the layout, editing and presentation is sub-standard (my opinion of course, I am not a layout guru but for something that was hyped this much and is associated with FGG and James Spahn I expected much more). The art is an eclectic mix of stock art, some custom pieces and some that is cartoon-like (e.g. the goblin and zombie - quality art, but it just seems out-of-place). I don't see any of the promised setting here, maybe this is planned for the future? The character sheet looks like it was typed up in a few minutes. The whole seems rushed, incoherent and uninspired.

The advancement system mostly works as a simple alternative to XP. Lots of DMs dispense with XP and advance players based on the number of adventures completed, or when they feel it is appropriate. But there is no way to offset the demi-human abilities, traditionally something done with level limits or higher XP requirements (there is a suggested house rule to allow humans to swap their lowest ability score with a 15, I'm not sure this makes up for the difference in abilities). I agree with Shadow Demon that the perks system is not impressive. It seems overly fiddly for what is advertised as a simple game, and the mechanics don't seem well thought out (that 1hp bonus every five adventures after 7th level won't help your fighter).

The intro to the rules says it is aimed at lapsed gamers, but I'm still not seeing it. For a lapsed player, I'd point someone at White Box (any version) over this. For a lapsed DM, I'd probably point them at Core or one of the other clones, something with a bit more guidance on running old-school games.

As for community, I don't see much chatter about SWCL right now apart from Tenkar's blog and G+ posts. One good thing is that settings and adventures, when they come out, will be largely compatible with WB and easily converted to Core/Complete, so there should be no lack of material we can all use.

Re: S&W Continual Light - what's not to like ?

Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:40 pm

I'm not a fan of the Perks system and the hodge-podge artwork makes it seem too generic rather than a solid coherent statement of intent. I prefer the early version of Core.
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