Swordbearer RPG: a vintage review by Ken St Andre

From "The Oracle" fanzine, issue #3 (link)


5 Stone Games said...

Swordbearer unlike many of the older games you've covered is still readily available from its publisher.

FGU sells the game and its single supplement in PDF form. Its kind of controversial to some since they do it to prevent the rights from returning to the original owner but no matter, the game is easily had.

I've owned and read this game and really doubt my recollections are much better than the you'd get from the review you kindly posted however I might as well post them.

I do recall I found the equipment system to be a little to stylistic and abstract.

Understandable as it was created as a reaction to the bookkeeping aspects of more conventional roleplaying games of the time.

The magic system was well described in the review . It was was extremely interesting and unique even to modern standards and nothing like it would appear to my understanding till computer games like Final Fantasy and its materia

Had the game caught on it certainly would have benefited from a companion volume but given the tastes of the time (more powerful magic and precise equipment lists) it was not to be.

Heck even I no longer have a copy at this time and like most of the lost treasures you discuss almost no one plays it anymore

Kind of a shame too as many of these games deserved to be dusted off and taken for a spin, to be played and appreciated, not just read and pondered.

Ah well time is limited for most of us and the new and shiny called.

Oh as an aside, you gave me a rather grand idea,

As I've mentioned on my blog, my group rotates games. Maybe I should I inveigle my group into trying a few of the older games on my next rotation.

Choosing one might be difficult but worse case scenario, they refuse and I'm out nothing.

Anyway as always keep up the good work.

Matthew Schmeer said...

I would really like to get my hands on scanned versions of all 5 issues of The Oracle (hint hint wink wink nudge nudge).

Philosophical slumber said...

@mwschmeer: i would like to have them all as well.

Philosophical slumber said...

Thanks 5 Stone for your recollections.
I'm pretty sure i saw a mailing list recently devoted to Swordbearer. .owned by an enthusiast of the game.I don't know how many subscribers he has though.

tim h said...

Next year, or maybe late this year, the entire run of The Oracle along with extras is being reprinted by The Play Generated Map and Document Archive as a single hardback.

It should be neat. Go over to the plagmada.org site if you want to get on the mailing list.

Philosophical slumber said...

Thanks for the tip, i joined the mailing list.

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