S&W Light - Why?

Discuss Swords & Wizardry Light - Rules questions, commentary, house rules

S&W Light - Why?

Postby merias » Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:01 am

I see the obvious similarities between Light and White Box, although it has elements from Core. But - here's the thing. The original WB was a great beginner's game if you had an experienced ref running it. There was too much left unsaid and implied to be helpful to a completely new referee (and this is why the S&W Quickstart was so useful back then - an adventure with loads of practical tips). That seems to be the case with Light as well, but to a much greater degree, since the hints and suggestions for house rules are gone. Not only that, what struck me first when I read Light is that it is so concise it had stripped away the bits that fired the imagination.

Light's primary purpose was originally for the lapsed gamer, but the opening paragraph on page one of the rules seems to imply it is also aimed at newbies ("or if you’re curious what fantasy gaming is all about, this is the perfect introduction"). I can't see myself recommending this to either camp, and if Light was available in 2009 in its current form, I don't think I would have played it, even though I was the textbook case of a lapsed gamer back then. Now we have continual light coming soon, and monster supplements, and adventures/settings...most of which could have been in the rules to begin with so ref's did not have to download four or five different documents. But then I guess continual light will have a setting and 14 more pages of rules. So I guess I'm wondering - what is the point of Light? Is White Box really too unwieldy that we need to have two micro-rulesets and a bunch of supplements to replace it? Maybe I'm not the target demographic so I should really just relax :). But I'm interested to hear what others think.
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Re: S&W Light - Why?

Postby Shadow Demon » Tue Apr 04, 2017 4:29 pm

In a nutshell, Light/Continual Light is about marketing for Frog God Games and using Tenkar's Tavern blog to do it. Erik is more than happy to associate his name with a new version of S&W and actively promote it on his website. Plus, Erik has been promoting directly at Gary Con and will do so at the upcoming NTRPG Con. With this marketing effort, the Frogs also enlisted the help of Mike Badaloto to work on a version of organized play called S&W Legion. This has lead to two versions of S&W that considered officially supported by FGG: Light & Complete. Since Light/Continual Light is the closest to the game that Bill Webb plays then the marketing continues when Bill runs his late-night S&W games at multiple cons (even PaizoCon).

I agree it really doesn't work for lapsed gamers or even gamers that have never played a RPG before. However, it is perfect for introducing convention players to a micro-RPG. This exposure continues with James Spahn's involvement with Continual Light by incorporating many of character classes from Complete using his White Box Options published under Barrel Rider Games.

It is yet another coat of paint for marketing purposes. It is interesting that the last coat of paint with the 3rd printing of S&W Complete is not really promoted. There was not a one in sight in all the pictures of the Frog God booth at Gary Con. I did see the 2nd printing Erol Otus on display and on sale.
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Re: S&W Light - Why?

Postby merias » Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:01 pm

Shadow Demon wrote:I agree it really doesn't work for lapsed gamers or even gamers that have never played a RPG before. However, it is perfect for introducing convention players to a micro-RPG.


I hadn't considered that, but you're right. It is perfect for conventions.
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