Getting back into the whole blogging thing. And one of the things I like to do is go back and find really cool stuff that isn’t exactly that new or the flavor of the day. So enter Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells (and it’s Addendum).
So what is it? First it’s a low magic game that leans more towards dark sword & sorcery than your usual high fantasy. There’s no non-humans or clerics and magic is dangerous and not a sure thing. So that’s the vibe. But if really wanted to you could add those.
Mechanically, it takes a lot from Black Hack (and its Hacks) as well as 5E D&D, DCC, and Fate. So it’s a simple light game that focuses on ruling not rules and “if you don’t like then don’t use it”. Those are two things that I just love.
There’s four Abilities: Physique, Agility, Intellect, and Willpower and three classes: Warrior, Specialist, and Magic-User. It uses the basic roll under an Ability score mechanic. Vocations are akin to “High Concept” in Fate and uses Positive and Negative Dice which is similar to 5E’s Advantage/Disadvantage mechanic. And the magic system becomes a push your luck type situation with player determining how powerful the spell will be and hoping to roll enough to pull it off. So yeah. That’s the basic stuff why I like this game and think it’s cool.
Now here’s the bonus content. Or at least that’s what I’m calling it. Because even if you don’t play the game, there’s some handy resources no matter what game you’re running a GM could use. From the core book, I plan using Complications for the upcoming resurrection of my DCC game. Plus there’s a pretty cool, Adventure Idea Generator in there. The Addendum is just filled with various charts and tables handy for a GM no matter the rule set they happen to be using.
All this goodness is crammed into a couple of tiny books. the Core Book is under 46 pages (plus character sheet and OGL) and the Addendum is 87 pages. But wait there’s more. The PDF’s are PWYW. The Core Book. and for The Addendum.
I don’t often do this but shortly after I grabbed the PDF’s, I just had to have some hard copies from Lulu. After lugging around various other tomes to play other games, it nice to have such robust but light and efficient game. It’s get a big thumbs up from me.