Spellcraft & Swordplay
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:38 pm 
 

Sometimes I buy something though I have no idea what it is.  I picked this up at the Gen Con auction.  It's a white box, obviously trying to look like an OD&D white box (so much so, I've got to believe there's a legal claim here somewhere).  The author is Jason Vey, and it was published by Elf Lair Games in 2009.  This one comes with a card inside (along with the mandatory three books and reference sheets), which says that it is a limited collector's box, number 4 of 30.

So, anyone ever hear of this before?


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Post Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:02 pm 
 

Check out this thread Mark:

http://www.citadelofchaos.net/forum/arc ... ad-14.html

I remember reading about this before, just couldnt remember where.  I think he put together around 30 of these and sold most of them to friends on the forums he frequents.

Is this what yours looks like?

http://www.grey-elf.com/snsboxopen.jpg


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Post Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:18 pm 
 

Yeah,

That's the very limited hand-made Spellcraft & Swordplay Boxed Set.  I believe I have number 15 of 30 myself.

Spellcraft & Swordplay (S&S) is kind of a "what if" version of OD&D.  It imagines and implements what OD&D would have been like if it used the D6 combat mechanics of its Chainmail predecessor entirely, rather than the more widely used D20 (alternative) combat chart.  So it is not a clone of OD&D per se, but rather like Castles & Crusades it tries to capture the old spirit of the game but using differing mechanics.  Also magic does not hit automatically was the other major change.  So it is basically OD&D using all D6 percentages for the various throws ...what could be more ole school than that. :)

Anyways the game has always been print on demand through Lulu, and there have been various formats.  But the one you have was hand printed and assembled by the author as a kind of cool thing do right when he was first releasing it on Lulu.  He just announced it on his blog and if you were following OSR trends at the time and were quick you could snag one.

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Post Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:21 pm 
 

I recently picked up a copy of this. I'm a sucker for boxed sets. Not sure what number is on my card but its under 30 (I'll have to dig it out and check if anyone is interested). Not quite sure what to make of the set though. The box itself is nicely constructed for one of these "OSR" sets. I don't know if I like how the box art on the top is pasted on ala wood grain sets.

As for a little background, from what I've read on certain OSR sites, I guess the creator of this set had a falling out with the OSR diehards. It could all be rumours though. Who knows  :roll:


Last edited by GreyM on Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  

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Post Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:22 pm 
 

Yup, that's it.  Thanks, guys.  It really is amazing the depth of knowledge on these boards.  

Now I just need to find some time to look through it.


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Post Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:42 am 
 

If someone have a copy for sell, I would be interested.
As GreyM, I really enjoy boxed sets :)


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Post Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:28 am 
 

yup... i didnt know of this boxed set even though i downloaded the 3 booklets of the box... iirc they are for free on lulu.

anyway, i have just finished to read the core book (my copy is a second printing, with all the amendments mentioned by stephen) and found it a good system... what is more interesting is the supplement "monsters & mayhems" which has very intersting rules for tournaments, naval warfare and mass combat! i do reccomend to read it!

like for lookie, if anybody has a spare copy of the box, i am more than happy to trade/buy it!

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Post Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:31 am 
 

GreyM wrote:As for a little background, from what I've read on certain OSR sites, I guess the creator of this set had a falling out with the OSR diehards. It could all be rumours though. Who knows  :roll:

It wouldn't surprise me in the least, given the obsessive pseudo-religious fervor of more than a few of them. Would one of those sites be Knights & Knaves?



  


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Post Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:59 pm 
 

Its possible, but to be honest I can't remember now. It may have been on some blogs too now that I think about it. I'm pretty sure I read it on a forum site originally though. Still seems like a pretty good little box set especially considering how few were made.

  


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Post Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:49 am 
 

Hi, everyone,  Jason Vey here.

I was told about this thread by a fan via e-mail.  Pretty awesome to see one of my boxed sets made the Gen Con auction.

To clarify a few things:  There were 50 boxed sets made, and everything said is pretty much accurate about the release.  It wasn't just friends I sold them to, but anyone who wanted to buy one, but they went within two weeks.  I considered doing another run, but I haven't had the time or finances, and if I do it, I want to do it properly.

The game itself will be available through drivethrurpg.com very soon (the account is set up; I just need to work out the logistics of getting the game up there) in both print and pdf formats.

As for the OSR, I didn't actually have a falling out with the people involved; I just kind of distanced myself from it.  As someone else pointed out, some of them have a near religious fervor about being part of the OSR, which has (in my opinion and observation) led to dogmatism and one-true-wayism, as well as a sense of arrogance about the OSR being a movement.  I felt that these attitudes were harming the OSR as a whole, driving away people instead of bringing people in, but when I called them out on it, people didn't like that and were rather dismissive of the fact that I refused to name names and provide laundry lists of specific complaints.  I decided it wasn't worth my time.  

That being said, I still maintain an AD&D/OD&D blog and I still consider myself a proponent of the old school,  but I refuse to let my love of the old school be defined by someone else's definition of "Sandbox play," or be told that I'm not allowed to like Larry Elmore or Dragonlance if I'm really old school.

I'm still an occasional poster on the OD&D message forums; I just haven't had a whole lot worthwhile to add to the discussion there of late.  

All that being said, I hope you like the game, and if you have any questions, glad to answer!



  


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Post Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:57 pm 
 

Jason,

    Thanks for clarifying what happened. Atleast now it'll get archived by google ;-) One question though, I'm almost positive my set says XX of 30 not 50. I'll have to dig it out tonight to make sure though. Did you initially plan 30 and have the cards printed up or am I mistaken and it actually says 50?

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Post Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:02 pm 
 

I am certain that is the case also GreyM ...99.99% sure my card says #15/30, and I distinctly recall 30 being the number offered as I got in just under the wire.

Were 20 more printed to satisfy interest and/or sell to the local game shop?

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Post Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:24 am 
 

Nope, must be my faulty memory...guess it was 30!  

Good Lord, I'm starting to have senior moments already and I'm not even 40 yet!



  

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Post Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:07 pm 
 

Or is that 20?


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:31 pm 
 

serleran wrote:Or is that 20?


I just checked my copy. It is number 25 out of 30 for what its worth  :D

  

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Post Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:33 pm 
 

Jason, thanks for posting and filling in some of the details.  Like I said, I knew nothing of the set, but it looked interesting and so picked it up at the auction.  I'm looking forward to giving it a good read . . . as soon as things slow down at work and I have a minute to myself.

serleran wrote:Or is that 20?


The card in my box clearly says number 4 of 30.


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Post Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:56 am 
 

I'm sort of surprised we've been discussing this since Monday and not one has popped up on Ebay. Normally when we do something like this at least one is listed  :D

Guess the ones that actually exist are in the hands of collectors eh?

  

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Post Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:19 am 
 

GreyM wrote:Guess the ones that actually exist are in the hands of collectors eh?


I do hope not since I'd like to get one :)


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Post Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:05 am 
 

GreyM wrote:Guess the ones that actually exist are in the hands of collectors eh?


I'm thinking that most of them aren't in the hands of collectors.  More likely they are owned by people that were genuinely interested in the rules of the game and how they compared to D&D and other clones like Swords & Wizardry, Labyrinth Lord, etc.  Most of those people don't frequent The Acaeum.

I am amazed that even one of these sets made it to the Gen Con auction.  Simply because of its scarcity.  But also because I assume that whoever purchased it most likely gamed with it.  I would be loathe to get rid of something like that.


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Post Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 3:35 am 
 

Kingofpain89 wrote:
I'm thinking that most of them aren't in the hands of collectors.  More likely they are owned by people that were genuinely interested in the rules of the game and how they compared to D&D and other clones like Swords & Wizardry, Labyrinth Lord, etc.  Most of those people don't frequent The Acaeum.

I am amazed that even one of these sets made it to the Gen Con auction.  Simply because of its scarcity.  But also because I assume that whoever purchased it most likely gamed with it.  I would be loathe to get rid of something like that.



Somehow I stumbled on to Jason's site in 2009 as these were being sold one or two at a time.  It was, as I recall, before Allan and I started publishing Swords & Wizardry with Matt Finch through Black Blade (that was in Sept of 2009).  I may have first encountered S&S on Lulu, but I don't think that was where it was.  At any rate, I ordered one myself.  I haven't played it yet - my group is pretty much a straigh AD&D group - but I think Jason did a great job of putting it all together and I'm glad I own a copy.  I can't see getting rid of my copy, either.



  
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