Well its Wednesday on the other coast and its S&W appreciation day . How I came to know my group is ready and how I came to choose S&W is my topic
A couple of campaigns down the line I'll be running a lightly mutated form of swords and wizardry, think a cute polydactyl kitten version not some three headed Cowthulu variant here.
I don't know if my methods would work for y'all but as Rick Hunter used to say "Works for me."
It starts like this, our group like many groups has people that sometimes can't make it to sessions
. On those nights when too few of us are available to run the main game we have something we call Robot Chicken Night
I don't know why its called that and someday we might even come up with a decent name but for know its that and how this works is simple, we make something up that seems fun.
Some people play, some people GM. They are always one shots and they can be anything, we've run supers, space intrigue, fantasy, horror, post apoc, all sorts of things. Rules are usually improvised (we used d12's last week, the time before d20s)
During one session I used (from memory mostly) the S&W rules (yes memory, my PDF's were forgotten) and the players took right too it and even liked them. At that point I knew the rules wouldn't be an issue.
I put that on hold and a few months later the players requested a "survival based" game where they could play well survivalists.
The game went well, very well and during this time they displayed the improvisational analytical and problem solving skills required to play in the old style. Not only did they do well but they had fun doing it, felt challenged and were enthusiastic.
A that point I knew the Old School would work for these Generation Six gamers with a Generation 2 DM (theory from Cyclopeatron) and its game on.
so why did I chose S&W for the new game ?
First, I like Labyrinth Lord and the others a whole lot and would cheerfully play them and steal ideas from them but in the end they lost out as "first OSR RPG for my playgroup". There are three big reasons
#1 The saving throws.
This system is simple, elegant and doubles as a universal skill system in the superb variant, Crypts and Things. What's not to like? It allows me to have a coherent set of rules that deals with some of the aspects of older games (that nasty percentile thieves skills) in an elegant fashion
#2 Its rules light
I am kind of allergic to heavy prep and S&W is simple enough to allow me the fudge factor I like.
#3 Its free
Here of course.
Now granted so is Labyrinth Lord but S&;W requires a little less study time than LL does and my players are not from the generation that devoured rulebooks like Talmudic study. They'll read them but mainly just want to get down to play and S&W is faster and easier for them
So there you have it, one S&W campaign just waiting to be cooked up and a new generation of gamers weaned on GURPS and Pathfinder ready, willing and able to play Old School thanks in part to Swords and Wizardry.
So give it a try, maybe your group will appreciate S&W too.