Monday, November 7, 2022

Returning to Swords & Wizardry!

Yours truly holding the Beginner Kit and wearing the local Swords & Wizardry T-Shirt
My journey through the OSR landscape was a long one. After abandoning D&D 3.xE in 2008 or so, I moved to the Basic Fantasy RPG (BFRPG). This rekindled my joy of fantasy role-playing, after an almost-burnout by 3.xE, where I felt that prepping game material is a menial chore. In BFRPG, I could simply run with the game and have fun, even as Dungeon Master.

Afterwards came Lamentations of the Flame Princess; the Adventurer, Conqueror, King System (ACKS), a short bout of Swords & Wizardry: White Box, and, finally, settling on Old School Essentials (OSE) as my go-to fantasy RPG. However, things have changed recently, and I am returning to Swords & Wizardry!

The reason is that Swords & Wizardry is enjoying rapid growth here in Israel. After the core book was translated in the previous decade, a local team gathered and created an actual Beginner Kit boxed set! This costs 99 NIS (approx. $30 USD) and includes all the rules necessary to play the game up to level 5, as well as dice and two adventures! This Kit is now sold in multiple game, toy, and book stores across Israel, ready to bring new players and Game Masters into our hobby!

Swords & Wizardry booth at a local convention, with a wealth of new products!

This opened the floodgate to a burgeoning ecosystem of supporting books, especially adventures, put forth both by the local translation team, and by third parties. This happens while D&D 5E is unavailable in Hebrew (other than its mostly-unformatted SRD) due to licensing issues. While most adult Israelis know English relatively well, children are rarely fluent in it, and even many adults prefer to run and play games in our native tongue. So, the game is growing exponentially here!

I am also behind the local (Hebrew) Swords & Wizardry fanzine, the Fighting Agama, which already published two issues, and a third one is already in the works - this is intended to be a bi-monthly, or maybe even later monthly, publication.

The Fighting Agama fanzine!
Thus, I am switching over, for all my "D20 fantasy", to Swords & Wizardry!

Disclaimer: The Hebrew version of Swords & Wizardry is based on Swords & Wizardry: Core by Matthew J. Finch ( The translation was performed by Itai Greif, Michael Gorodin, Eran Aviram, Itai Horev, and Eran Ben-Saar. the local team is unaffiliated with Frog God Games or Mythmere Games.

Also note that I have not been personally involved in the Beginner Kit's development, though I backed it on local crowdfunding, but I am involved in the upcoming Expert's Kit development.


  1. Swords & Wizardry is an excellent choice. I used it in combination with Basic/Expert D&D and was very pleased with the results.

  2. And where can find this wondrous item in the far Northern reaches of our country? ;-) (Well not that far... Haifa...)
    And a link to your zine would not hurt your sales

    1. Should be in Steimatzky and similar book stores. Otherwise, you canorder it and the fanzine (and a lot of other cool stuff) here: