Saturday, June 5, 2021

Old Game, New Project: Introducing Weapons, Wits, and Wizardry

As a result of some external family factors, I'm not going to get out a new dungeon, innovation in house-ruling, or review this week - so instead, I figured I'd share a project I'd been collaborating with a few friends on, an attempt to integrate the Fantasy Supplement into a classless fantasy adventure experience, all the while maintaining mechanical OSR compatibility.

Weapons, Wits, and Wizardry

Corpse Candles; Gustave Dore
Weapons, Wits, and Wizardry
Rules for Dungeon Exploration,
the Hero's Journey,
and the Founding of Kingdoms

Dreadful Was the Din; Gustave Dore
The Referee's Enchiridion
Guides, Charts, and References for Running a Game

Weapons, Wits, and Wizardry is a booklet which contains rules for creating, playing, and advancing heroic fantasy characters. Using character races as a template and experience-buy as a mechanism into the eldritch arts of sorcery and the talents and minutia of the tunnel-crawling specialist, it aims to provide a framework by which characters are envisioned, adventure, and grow to participate in regional exploration and politics. It is not original Dungeons and Dragons, nor does it embrace several defining elements of original Dungeons and Dragons, however it is written to be compatible such that a table using the Weapons, Wits, and Wizardry ruleset can freely utilize material from the little brown books, their related supplements, and any other OSR-compatible product - or utilize material designed for Weapons, Wits, and Wizardry in a different OSR-compatible rule system - with minimal to nil adjustment.

The Referee's Enchiridion is a folio intended for use by the master of the game, the Referee, and provides resources to assist in the running of a game, editorials and explanations for decisions made within Weapons, Wits, and Wizardry to help guide a Referee in the customization and crafting of their home table's experience.

Linked above are the working PDFs for these two complimentary booklets.

As of this writing, both documents are in alpha: that is, the rules are still under active development, the editorials are still being edited, and many facets of the game are still subject to change, pending ongoing play-test and community review. Document versions and update dates will be provided to the best of my ability for the convenience of the reader, however the download links will remain unchanged.

Ringmail

Scotch Soldiers; Lancelot Speed
Ringmail
Rules for Fantasy and Medieval Engagements

Ringmail provides the foundation on which Weapons, Wits, and Wizardry is built. It is a tabletop strategy wargame based on the spirit of 1974: intended for use in mass battles between armies in the Medieval period, alongside supplemental rules for the inclusion of fantastic elements - such as dragons and wizards - such that either historic battles, favorite fictional battles, or original competitive engagements of like theme can be played out using this sub-50 page document. It is not Chainmail, but it is intended to be compatible - such that players accustomed to Chainmail will be able to use the Ringmail rules with minimal to nil adjustment - and it is intended to be legible, re-worded and re-arranged, such that learning the game for new players and referencing the manual for experienced ones will be easier and more intuitive.

Linked above is the working PDF of the Ringmail rulebook.

Ringmail is, as of this posting, in beta: that is, the rules are largely set and initial play-testing, third party usability review, and draft editing are in progress - and I've got a dozen or so points I know I need to fix about it. Document versions and updates are provided to the best of my ability for the convenience of the reader - though as the document changes, the download link will remain unchanged.

Get Involved!

This part, I'm still working on. At some point, I will put up a public Discord, helping to coordinate conversation and facilitate running games using Weapons, Wits, and Wizardry, ironing out the kinks and helping move the document into the place it needs to be in order to fulfill the objective it sets out to accomplish and fill the niche it sets out to fill - but the elephant in the room, the update dates on some of those files is admittedly a long while back: at least, as of this writing.

But that's life sometimes. Gets in the way of more important things - like elf-gaming.

In the meantime - if you want to be involved in the Weapons, Wits, and Wizardry project - do! Play the game: try it out - a one or two shot with your home group - to see how it fits. Download the PDF and page through it - identify the pieces that make sense or don't make sense, and feed questions back to me so that in future iterations, the questions won't need to be asked. Let it inspire you - run the game your table wants to run, run the experience you and your players want to experience, and take from this tome the bits and pieces conducive to that end.

The fact that you're here on this blog means you know how to get into contact with me - using the provided contact mechanisms in my profile or just tagging me, pinging me wherever it was that we both were when I shilled the link out!

Most importantly - however - delve on!

He Roasted Him; Louis Rhead

Public domain art for this post was downloaded from OldBookIllustrations.com. Attributions in alt text.

2 comments:

  1. This looks intriguing. Up the alley, so-to-speak, of similar concepts I've had under minimal contemplation.

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    Replies
    1. Rock on, my man! I am hoping, when life slows down a bit, to keep working on this - in the meantime, I hope it helps you get your game to where you want it to be!

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