'Barbarism is the natural state of mankind,' the borderer said, still staring somberly at the Cimmerian. 'Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph.'

-Robert E. Howard
Beyond The Black River

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Monday, April 20, 2020

Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells: Intro & Quick Reference

Recently a member of the Conan Gaming Group, over on facebook, posted some materials to play a custom game of Monolith's Conan board game based around the 90s Cartoon, "Conan The Adventurer". I immediately chuckled and started to think of running an RPG scenario based on the cartoon.

If you have followed along here at all you may be aware I GM at a local convention here in Calgary Alberta, the RPG Alliance, and throughout the year various GMs run monthly sessions. With the current pandemic I thought this might be a perfect time to run this game and advertise it to the convention community. In keeping with the concept of what I wanted, a light fun sword & sorcery romp, I decided to stay away from the 2d20 system, as much as I enjoy it I didn't feel it fit the Saturday morning vibe.

As I continued to look through systems I found various ideas that I thought would work out well, many took ideas from FATE or similar systems, and while I think they have some great ideas, they had a little steeper learning curve. Not because they are complex, but because they are fairly different. My desire for a fun Saturday morning vibe shifted and my rules search shifted to a rules light Sword & Sorcery setting.

Enter "Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells" from Gallant Knight Games & Old Skull Publishing from Diogo Nogueira. It is billed as a rules light rpg with old school spirit and it came recommended from one of the Conan Gaming Group members so I thought I should give it a look. At the time of writing this it was even on sale for $5cad for the PDF, hard to go wrong with that price.

After having a quick look through the shortish rules I decided this system was simple and easy to learn, everything from combat to spell casting was incredibly easy to do. For new players this would be a breeze. I will give a more full review of the system after we play our game using it as our rules, but between now and then I thought I write a few articles about the mechanics and various things I have come up with for the game. So without further pre-amble, I give you the single page quick reference sheet.


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