The forgotten gem of medieval melee system

From Ebay (HERE)

I'm selling what I call the Leading Edge Games 'holy grail' – Sword's Path Glory, Books 1 and 2. This highly detailed fantasy roleplaying system is among the most nuanced and intricate ever developed! Book 1 includes pages and pages of realistic wounding effects, swing geometries, detailed movement, and other combat factors. Book 2 includes roleplaying and skills rules. No Leading Edge Games collector can afford to go without this rules set! Those programmers and game designers out there can find a lot of design ideas to inspire them or help flesh out a highly realistic video game...

These rules from 1982 and 1983 (for Book 2) are spiral bound with cardboard covers. They are in good condition, with no missing or torn pages. Book 2 has a one small marker line-out on the last page (in an advertisement) – otherwise the pages are unmarred.

You may look for years and never see these for sale (trust me on that one)! They are very rare and those who have them usually aren't selling them...

From Troll & Toad website:

At last, a realistic hand-to-hand combat system. First in a series of role-playing aids stressing accuracy, the Sword's Path Glory combat system includes these features: Simultaneous movement and combat, without turns or written orders. The effects of agility, speed, and strength on combat performance. The effects of weapon weights and designs, stabbing, slashing, or impact. The first accurate representation of armor protection, based on actual penetration tests. And, above all, over 67 anatomical hit-location tables which do away with "Hit Points" and other such arbitrary measures of how many times you have to hit the ogre to kill him.

I have my cherished copy of SPG, and i'd like to delve into it for several reasons:

- it is likely to be the most complex (fantasy) medieval melee system ever devised for a role-playing game, because of this reason alone such an item deserves to be perused and pondered.

-it belongs to the Old-school renaissance, being published in 1982- the combat is clearly aimed at being used in fantasy melee sessions.

-it is rare to obtain (125 dollars on ebay, and i've never seen another one popping up) and besides-

-it is poorly known - i should say it is OBSCURE ( i can't recall a single thread on Dragonsfoot forum or on blogs, and this is a pity in my opinion).

-even if you are not going to use it as is, portions of it may be taken and incorporated in any fantasy rpg, such as AD&D and the like.So if you are not satisfied with some aspects of combat, you can easily pick a rule from here in order to obtain more realism.

- i want to spread its knowledge, reading through its chapters thoroughly and so making them available to everyone again.

-Last, the principal reason: it is esoteric. I know some persons who are playing this, using it in their sessions. The mere fact of understanding it may be daunting, but it is rewarding as well. It opens new horizons- in a word, it is for the serious fantasy role player.


arcadayn said...

How similar is this to the Phoenix Command Hand to Hand system?

Sean Craven said...

I played in a brief campaign using these rules. The GM used a Sinclair computer with a cassette hard-drive and a home-brewed program to run the damned thing -- otherwise, we couldn't have managed the time.

My main memory was of one PC who received a blow in the forehead; he was unconscious, and when he rolled over in the night, his cerebrospinal fluid spilled, and he 'went to sleep.'

There's a certain point where a fixation on realistic combat starts to get kind of unwholesome. This game is way past that, plus the the rules are like a gore-coated cross between maritime navigation and corporate tax law. Good times, good times.

Philosophical slumber said...

sorry arcadayn i didnt notice your comment it went to the spam folder automatically i dont know why.
i honestly dont know, because i never played phoenix command.

@Sean craven: you are the first person i know of who played SPG, what you told is very interesting.

"his cerebrospinal fluid spilled"..
you made me laugh, but i have no doubts whatsoever that that was indeed the kind of extreme accuracy that game pursued and wanted.

you are right they perhaps pushed the whole thing a little too far.
But i can't help holding in high esteem Bary Nakazono and his intelligence, after all.

anarchist said...

'Realistic' combat systems, in my experience, seem to have a strange division where the 4 bludgeoning damage on your arm will have a specific effect on your ability to swing your axe, but fear doesn't exist.

Neddoscope said...

ciao Catacomb!
do you have SPG1 and SPG2?

Philosophical slumber said...


i have SPG1 in electronic form. I miss the second volume.

Anonymous said...

Do you have the spg1 pdf with all the tables?

Philosophical slumber said...

yes, send a mail to clibrarian@mail.ru

Andrea Magnani said...

Sorry for annoying you with this.
I am really very interested in this set of rules.
I have looked for it for a long time, without results.
I just found a pdf version of it, but without all the tables at the end.
Now the questions:
1. would you sell it to me? In this case, how much do you ask?
2. as an alternative, may I ask you to scan all the tables at the end of the book and send them to me? I will pay for your annoyance. Just make a price.
Thanks in advance.
All the best.
Andrea Magnani - Italy

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