Sword & Shield

I wanted to highlight a new rules-light rpg I discovered a couple of days ago.  Sword & Shield is a quick and dirty game of dungeon bashing that comes in a handy little 8 page pocketbook.  It uses a die roll vs. die roll mechanic for combat and magic resolution (for example, your fighter rolls 1d10 in melee combat while an orc rolls 1d6, high roll wins, the difference is damage done to the loser).  Another perfect game for teaching kids about rpgs, or a good beer-and-pretzels rpg when you don’t have a lot of prep time.  And it’s easy to house-rule and customize to your heart’s delight.

I only have one minor quibble with the system.  Where combat and magic use a die roll vs. die roll mechanic, the game eschews this for a fixed target number mechanic when it comes to skill rolls.  I have to wonder why the die roll vs. die roll mechanic wasn’t carried over to skill rolls as well.  Something like: Easy = d4, Average = d6, Difficult = d8, Hard = d10, Heroic = d12.  There’s nothing that says a rpg must use a uniform mechanic for all systems, but for a light game like this I think a uniform mechanic would add to its charm.  At any rate, the system is easily house-ruled if you don’t like it.

The author has already put out a clever character sheet and a short intro adventure.  You can download everything here (and it’s free!).

Edit:  Meant to add, it’s been a hectic week for me, so I probably won’t be able to finish the Magus class conversion until next week.  Then Gunslinger is next after that.  Cheers.

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2 Responses to “Sword & Shield”

  1. Fenway5 Says:

    Hello,

    I am the guy behind the SS rules set and blog, and I wanted to say thanks for having a look and the quick review.

    The rules set is a v1 tester for a broader set I have in mind including a slew of classes, spells, beasts and monsters, skills and feats. This was meant as a test subject, and the skill die test you allude to is part of the revised full rules. I tested the Target number idea in this set to see if it was needed or not. Strangely some folks hate the die v die mechanic for everything (2 play testers did) and it made me rethink my original die vs. die system for everything. Clearly based on your thoughts, my original plan and inclusion of them in the full rules is the right path.

    Thanks again for the feed back! Full rules to come…

  2. edowar Says:

    Fenway5,

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I think for such a light system a die roll vs. die roll mechanic would not be bad. For a heavier ruleset I can see where it might bog down or get annoying.

    I look forward to reading the full rules. 🙂

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