Referee’s Bookshelf: Simon Washbourne’s Swords & Wizardry Microgames

Simon Washbourne, who puts his material out under the Beyond Belief Games name, might be mostly known for Barbarians of Lemuria (which has an original system), but he has a fine sideline in Dungeons & Dragons reskins. I’ve previously reviewed Woodland Warriors, his Swords & Wizardry-powered take on Redwall; some time after producing that line, Washbourne seems to have found himself bitten by the Swords & Wizardry bug again, leading to the creation of a triptych of games all coming out in June of that year.

(It didn’t stop there – in August Washbourne would put out Stone & Wood, an adaptation of Swords & Wizardry to the setting of the Thomas Covenant books following in the footsteps of his D20 take on the setting, Chronicles of the Land. But whilst, like the three games reviewed here, Stone & Wood was released as a free PDF, Washbourne has wisely not tried to actually sell hard copies of his Stephen Donaldson-inspired fan works, whereas these three games have printed copies available via lulu.com).

Each of these games combined some handy innovations over baseline Swords & Wizardry with features unique to the game in question in order to adapt it to a genre distinct from standard D&D fantasy. As such, it’s worth taking a look at each to see what they have to offer.

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