Searching For The "Wee Little Bear" System

Philosophical musings from the Shadow Frog!

It is 33 years since the summer of 1981 that I was first introduced to the world of Dungeons & Dragons. I have had a lot of ups and downs with the game over this time. I reflect upon the multitude of things that are just not as important as they seemed to be at times in the past. A question I ask myself especially with dawning of a new edition: Is it time to sacrifice more sacred cows upon the altar of change?

The Sepulchral Realm of Vadhu

[Author’s Note: The following is an excerpt from my own vanity project that follows no specific rules set. I am posting these simply to express myself and hopefully to entertain!]


Bill Webb and I work well together when it comes to writing adventures. Each other's adventures. It's gotten to be a common thing that when one of us hits a snag or a creative block, or gets written into a corner, we pick up the phone and call in the other for assistance. Yesterday we spent about 45 minutes flipping back and forth on our adventures for the Quests of Doom book, coming up with all the little ideas that make an adventure really sing. I proposed a different structural organization for Bill's adventure, and Bill basically invented the magic item at the center of my adventure.

A New Monster for Swords & Wizardry

These little horrors are slated to make their appearance in the second volume of Cyclopean Deeps. It turns out that they are a bit like Pathfinder's goblins, although they are smaller and native to much deeper realms than the little psychopaths of the Pathfinder Roleplaying game.


Hit Dice: 1d3 hit points

Armor Class: 8 [11]

Attack: Stone dagger (1d4), bite (1d3), or dart (1d2)

Save: 18

Special: Hit only by silver or magical weapons

Monster Hit Dice & Class Levels in S&W

From the swampy muck of the Shadow Frog bog! The following blog may not be for the faint of heart with regard to rules and may cause your eyes to glaze over. 

PaizoCon Recap

Last weekend was PaizoCon. While it’s a long flight for me, I do highly recommend anybody interested in Pathfinder try to attend this convention at least once. It’s fantastically fun, and it gives fans and publishers a chance to interact—with the Paizo crew, of course, but also with each other. I had a chance to talk to a lot of great people, about Pathfinder, gaming in general, and what it’s like to work for Frog God Games.

Alternative S&W Saving Throw Table

Off in the system design weeds with the Shadow Frog!

A unique S&W feature is the single saving throw.  All other “systems of the game” whether classic or modern have multiple saving throw categories. Five for the oldest systems, then three by 3e, and now six for 5e. A look at the 0e five category system is shown in Table 28 (S&W Complete, p.35). 

About Legal Questions

We had a good question asked by Amurayi in the comments section of the Necromancer Games Kickstarter. Since the answer is too long for a Kickstarter comment, and I’m not sure if non-backers can read the comments, I thought I’d post it here. Keep in mind that this is NOT intended as legal advice, and definitely not as a handbook for would-be publishers who aren’t intimately familiar with the Open Game License and copyright law.


More S&W Third Party Publishing!

It's always great to see more people publishing for the Swords & Wizardry system, so we were glad to see Hereticwerks publishing their module Taglar's Tomb! It's an 18 page pdf and it's pay-what-you-want. Take a look at

Theory of a Basic Set Part 3

So, in my last installment of this series, I pointed out that there have been two different approaches taken for D&D in terms of creating a basic set. The first of these, the Holmes basic set, was essentially a full set of rules that only went up three levels. The second, the Moldvay Basic set, was the first half of a complete game, a game that ran parallel with Advanced Dungeons & Dragons all the way up to the top possible levels.


Subscribe to RSS - blogs