Swords & Wizardry Wheel Chart

Heres how my mind works- When I think of 1974, there is one tool that epitimized nerds more then anything else- the Slide Rule.  Its an amazing piece of technology that was pretty much killed off by the pocket calculator, and later the PC.  But looking at the attack roll charts in S&W, I had the thought - "I bet I can make a sliderule type tool to make that easier."

So after a few nights puttering around I came up with this volvelle design.  Pretty simple- you cut out the two circles, and pin them together through their center- and then just line up your character's level with the target's AC.  Pretty simple.

Now some folks might argue that part of the fun of retro-gaming is looking up to-hit numbers in giant charts in the book.  But I figure I don't want players asking for the book everytime they want to hit something new.  Also wheel charts fit with the whole math nerd side of classic gaming.

Anyhoo, I figure I can probably make a similar chart of Labyrinth Lord/Moldvay, since the charts work in a similar fashion.  Let me know in the comments if that is worth doing.

Download the Sword & Wizardry Wheel Chart (350kb PDF)


For the last few months, I have been exploring the vibrant OSR scene.  I am still involved with 4E D&D, but I have been less fired up about it since they announced the new products for 2010.  It feels like WotC has successfully launched the system, and so for this year they are working on expanding their base of players, and going back and doing some polishing.  I just got the Plane Above that looks like a good read, and I am sure I will pick up the Dark Sun books, but otherwise 4E is not going to be my main focus for a while.

So instead I have been looking at Swords & Wizardry, Labyrinth Lord, as well as OSRIC and 1E AD&D scene.  The key philosophy that the old idiosyncratic rules systems don't need 'fixing' or 'expanding upon' is kind of interesting. (Here is the primer for OSR gaming that explains it better then I can.)

I think for me the draw is the fact that it keeps the focus on the game session as a social interaction, with "rules" more akin to social rules at a party.  the other draw are the freer OGL type rules that allow creating supplements that can be sold on Lulu.

In any case, I will callout what system a posting is referring to going forward.