Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells
A Sword & Sorcery Rules Light Role Playing Game with Old School Spirit
In ages past, great kingdoms covered the world. Now, their ruins dot the savage wilderness that encroaches the few decadent city-states of our current time. In this perilous world, brave adventurers bearing sharp swords and sinister spells look for glory, gold and forbidden knowledge.
Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells is a rules-light, sword & sorcery, old school role playing game inspired by the original fantasy RPG and the Old School Renaissance movement as well as the stories by such authors as Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, H.P. Lovecraft, Fritz Leiber and Michael Moorcock. With this book, you and your friends will be able to play exciting adventures with bold barbarians, witty thieves and cunning sorcerers without worrying about complex rules and tiresome preparations.
ATTENTION! Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells is not a Simulacrum of an older edition of the world’s most famous fantasy RPG! Although inspired by the original game and the OSR movement, the game was designed to be have its own unique system, more suitable to the Sword & Sorcery genre the author has in mind. The following authors inspired the mechanics: Gary Gygax, Dave Arneson, David Black, Christian Mehrstam, John Cocking, Peter S. Williams, Joseph Goodman, Harley Stroh, Jason Morningstar, Ian Livingstone, Steve Jackson, Simon Washbourne, Kevin Crawford, Sandy Petersen, Mike Manson, Jay Little, James M. Spahn, Ben Milton.
The World of Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells
Men and women, considered brave by few, desperate by some, and insane by most. They leave the fragile security of the City-States to enter the ancient ruins in search for treasure and secrets that are better left undisturbed.
The world of Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells is an ancient one. Many civilizations have risen and fallen through the ages and not all of them human. Now what remains are their ruins and a few decadent City-States that live in the shadow of their former ancestors. The men and women of the current time are divided between many cultures, each with its own ambitions and rivalries.
The players’ characters are typical adventurers who seek glory, gold, ancient relics, power and other personal goals. They are not the stereotypical heroes who risk their live for the simply benefit of others. Many of their adventures put them face to face with weird things, terrible and fantastic, which are not as common place as in other fantasy genres. There are no elves in the forests. No dwarves in the mountains. Dragons and other monster are legendary creatures and, probably, unique. Sorcery is feared, respected and hated by most mortal men. The steel of his sword and the courage in his heart is all an adventurer needs to forge his destiny.
The Game System
Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells is flexible and quick, with tools to generate story seeds to be used by the referee and players alike. Created to allow players to spend the least amount of time outside the actual gameplay and to experience adventures in the style of the Sword & Sorcery tales, the system has the following characteristics:
• A complete game within 48 pages. You can get it, read it and start playing within a few hours!
• Four basic Attributes on which all actions are based: Physique, Agility, Intellect and Willpower.
• An Archetype and Vocation system, giving complete freedom in character creation. You can be a barbarian, a knight, a ranger, a pirate, a mercenary, an assassin, a smuggler, a warlock, a druid or anything else you might want to be. There is not a definitive list of classes to limit your choices.
• A leveless spell system, allowing a spellcaster to cast any spell he can learn. The more powerful a spell is, the higher the risks of casting it. You can try to cast the same spells many times, but each time you risk your body and soul. Magic is powerful but dangerous.
• Armor reduces the potential damage taken. It also can make you easier to hit, as the heavier suits restrict your movement.
• Characters have a Luck Die that help determine random effects in the game and allow them to cheat death.
• Simplified and intuitive encumbrance rules.
• Characters complications give the referee immediate resources to introduce story drive challenges.
• Abstract and streamlined combat and movement rules.
• There is no healing magic, making every combat more dangerous. The players need to evaluate each situation before resorting to pure violence.
• Magic items are rare, unique, powerful and always charge a price for their use.
• The game comes with an Adventure Idea Generator to help referees to come up with adventure ideas, hooks, NPCs, locations and many other things