mercoledì 17 aprile 2013

Swords & Wizardry a short review and a new class

This post is for the Swords and Wizardry appreciation day. You will find more information at Tenkar's Tavern, at 2000 coppers and in our previous Castelli & Chimere post.


The S&W ruleset has a great merit, every page cries "THIS IS YOUR GAME", this is your game to take and modify as much as you like. 

To me this is the most evident "selling" point of the game, but this is not the only merit of S&W, the rules are clear, the respect to the old rules is evident, the change are clearly indicated. As if this was not enough the game is free (in its pdf and rtf format) and it is supported with a very useful S&W online SRDthat contains also the rules from the (not for free) S&W Complete Rulebook Frog God Games version (with the additional rules from the original expansion books.
For people familiar with the original game some coordinates:
  • ONE saving throw (instead of having 5 saving throw, presented as an option - since THIS IS YOUR GAME), with modifier based on character classes;
  • TWO initiative system (roll 1d6 or hightest dexterity goes first);
  • double AC (the system has both the ascending and descendig AC system (becoming a nice Rosetta Stone) for the two camp of OSR enthusiast;
  • Race and classes are divided (as in the original game, but not in some successive versions);
  • Bonus from attribute scores are lower than usual (and this is a GOOD thing);
  • Classes: Cleric, Fighter, Magic-User and Thief (if the GM allows it) in the core rules; to wich must be added: Assasin, Druid, Monk, Paladin and Ranger (from the S&W online SRD);
  • Races: Dwarves, Elves, Halflings, Humans (in the core rules); and Half-Elves (from the S&W online SRD); 
In short you have everything you need to play in a compact and nice book (as we said the pdf is free, but it's possible to buy the printed S&W book on
There is also a Swords & Wizardry Whitebox rules, this is based on the S&W rules but is more concise and tries very hard to consider only material from the three original books.

The Prize

Before getting to the new class I must signal the nice offer from Frog God Games:

Here is the coupon code for the Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day sale tomorrow (starting tonight at midnight)!


Occult Physician (new class)
Occult Physicians are part of an mysterious order dedicated to heal all who needs healing. They studies medicine, herbs, magic, mysticism and pursue healing in all its forms. While they don't specialize in combat, they receive training in self defense since their profession often take them in the middle of battles or dangerous places. While they can seem similar to Cleric they share some characteristic of both Magic-Users and Monks. They study magic and inner energy to find the best way to heal people in need and discover all the secrets of diseases, poison and the secret working of the body.

Prime Attribute: Intelligence and Wisdom, both 13+ (+5% experience bonus)
Hit Dice: 1d4/level (Gains 1 hp/level after 9th.)
Armor/Shield Permitted: none.
Weapons Permitted: Dagger, staff and darts.
Race: Any race may become an Occult Physician.

Combat: as Cleric
Saving Throw: as Cleric
Spell progression: as Cleric (no bonus spell for high wisdom)
XP needed: as Fighter

Requirements and Limitations
Must be Charitable: Occult Physician must donate 25% of all their gains to the Order of Physicians, such money will be used for research, building house of healing and train mundane physician (and occult ones).
Must observe Occult Physician Hierarchy: the Order of Physician is not very strict but they must obey higher level physician if commanded to heal people.
Must heal those in needs: the Occult Physician must heal all who needs healing, they can have priorities but they cannot refute to heal (at least with mundane methods) who is in need.

Class Abilities
Spell Casting: like a Magic User an Occult Physician needs a book of spells (also known as a book of recipe), such spells are written in a different form of magical writing that can be understood only from other Occult Physician (everyone knows that Physician writings are unintelligible except that for other Physician). Reading from his spellbook, Occult Physicians force selected spell recipe into their minds, “preparing” as many spells as the Occult Physician can mentally sustain. (It is possible to prepare a spell multiple times using the available “slots” in the Occult Physician’s memory and mental capability.) Once a prepared spell is cast, it disappears from the Occult Physician’s ability to cast, until it is prepared again. If a Occult Physician finds scrolls of spells while adventuring, these spells can be added to the Occult Physician’s spellbook.
Spells Known: as Magic User..

Healing arts: the Occult Physician is an expert physician able to bandage, operate, use herbs and other remedies to help wounded or sick people. The Occult Physician can stabilize any dying character (if the OP make a ST with a +2 bonus), improve the rate of healing by +1 each day of care, and treat disease (need one week treatment to get another saving throw, if the OP make a ST with a +2 bonus) and poisons (give another save to the character, if the OP make a ST with a +2 bonus). The OP can recognize poison and disease, if he make a ST with a +2 bonus.
Induce regeneration: the OP can induce anyone to heal 1d6 hp 1/day (this improve of 1 more use each 2 level, 2/day at 3rd level, 3/day at 5th level and so on), who receive this healing must make a Saving Throw versus Death or become unconscious for 8+2d6 minutes.
Martial Arts: the Occult Physician are trained in a defensive martial arts, they start with an AC of 6 [13] which will improve of -1[+1] each 2 levels (AC 5[14] at 3rd, AC 4[15] at 5th and so on); they don't get any improved attacks.
Induce healing: at 4th level the OP 1/day can cure a disease or a poison (this will improve each 4 levels, 2/day at 8th, 3/day at 12th and so on), 
who receive this healing must make a Saving Throw versus Death or become unconscious for 1d4+1 turns.
Immunity to disease: at 6th level the OP is immune to any kind of disease.
Create Potions: at 7th level an OP can create potions that duplicate their spells.
Immunity to poison: at 10th level the OP is immune to any kind of poison.
Establish an House of Healing: at 11th level an OP can establish an House of Healing where people in need will be cured, physician will be trained and so on.
Ageless: at 13th level the OP will age of only 1 year each 5 years.

Occult Physician Spell List
Occult Physician may prepare and cast the following spells:

Level 1
  1. Adrenaline Surge (1 additional attack/round; duration: 1 round)
  2. Alert Sleep (you are conscious while sleeping, you cannot be surprised)
  3. Cure Light Wounds (1d8 regeneration, subject must save vs death or became unconscious for 1-2 turns)
  4. Improve Inner defense (1 additional ST vs poison or disease at +4)
  5. Purify Food and Drink
  6. Resist Cold (+2 ST vs cold, ignore natural cold; duration: 8h)
  7. Resist Hunger (no need for food 1 day/level)
  8. Strength (+1d6 STR, duration: 4h)

Level 2
  1. Fertility (improve chance of procreation)
  2. Gliding Wings (the recipient sprout wings that let him glide, duration: 1 turn/level)
  3. Regenerative Sleep (the recipient sleep for 6-8 hours and regains 2d6 hp)
  4. Remove disease (the recipient is curede of one disease, must save vs spell or go unconscious for 2d6 turns)
  5. Resist heat (+2 ST vs fire, ignore natural heat, duration: 8h)
  6. Resist thirst (recipient don't need to drink for 1day/level
  7. Stop Poison (the effect of poison are halted for 1 day/level)
  8. Water Breathing (the recipient develop gills for the duration of the spells)

Level 3
  1. Cure Blindness
  2. Cure Disease
  3. Giant Size (the recipient double size, +2d6 damage, +20 hp)
  4. Haste
  5. Neutralize Poison
  6. Polymorph Self
  7. Resist Fire and Ice (half damage from fire and ice + effect of resist heat and cold)
  8. Resist Hunger and Thirst (recipient don't need food or drind 1 week/level)

Level 4
  1. Cure Serious Wounds (regeneration, subject must save vs death or became unconscious for 1-2 turns)
  2. Dispel Magic
  3. Hold Monster
  4. Mass cure light wounds (1 recipient/level, as 1st level spell)
  5. Mass resist hunger/thirst (1 recipient/2level, as 3rd level spell)
  6. Polymorph Other
  7. Remove curse

Level 5
  1. Greater Polymorph Self (special abilities, double duration)
  2. Mass Alter other (as polymorph self, 1 recipient/level)
  3. Mass Remove Disease (1 recipient/level)
  4. Mass Neutralize Poison (1 recipient/level)
  5. Raise Dead (this is a form of extreme regeneration)
  6. Simulacrum

Level 6
  1. Clone
  2. Heal (heal all hp, disease, poison)
  3. Polymorph Object
  4. Regenerate limbs and organs (can regenerate limbs, organs and other missing parts; the spell put the recipient in a deep sleep for 1d6 days)
  5. Stop Aging (the recipient will stop aging for 1 year/level)

Level 7
  1. Healing wave (induce regeneration of 3d12 hp, heal disease and neutralize poison to all in a 100' radius)
  2. Restoration
  3. Restore Youth (the recipient will grow younger of 1 year/level - no lower than 20 year; must make a ST vs death or the spell will not work and will never work again).
  4. Resurrection (or istant clone)
  5. Shape Change

9 commenti:

  1. Cool idea! Somehow I see it fit in a human-only setting, either in an ancient times/Sword & Sorcery setting or in a Renaissance/LotFP one, especially at low levels.

    1. I was thinking more ancient Greece but you are right also a renaissance style would be perfect. The idea is to have an healer without divine ties.

  2. That is really cool. I wanted to do a Healer class myself, but got sidelined by a migraine.

    My Swords & Wizardry posts, The S&W Witch and The Ördög

  3. That's excellent. I can see this class finding its way into my game. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I always like healer/support classes that do not require miracles. I see this class finding its way into my game.

  5. Hi all, I updated this post with design notes here: