Frog God Games to publish Swords & Wizardry

Here’s the announcement on the Swords & Wizardry forum:

August 24, 2010 – Poulsbo WA

Frog God Games, the successor to Necromancer Games, is pleased to announce that effective immediately, Mythmere Games, headed by award-winning author Matt Finch, will be joining up with the Frog God Publishing team to produce even more of the true old-school gaming resources that Necromancer Games and Frog God Games have always been known for.

Matt explained one of the reasons for the agreement as “There is a large and active community of gamers playing various out-of-print editions of fantasy role-playing games. This alliance is going to be a big leap forward in terms of providing new resources and adventures to those of us who prefer an older-school type of game. It doesn’t matter if you’re an old-school grognard, a brand-new player, or an experienced gamer trying out this whole ‘old-school’ thing the internet keeps talking about. You’re going to like this”.

As a result of this merger, Frog God Games will be publishing the Complete version of the old school, ENnie Award-winning Swords & Wizardry™ fantasy role-playing game, which will be released in November.

“This merger is very much in line with my philosophy on game design, I play an old school game at my table, and have always written and produced books of that genre”, said Bill Webb, CEO of Frog God Games. Frog God Games and its predecessor, Necromancer Games both are known for producing d20 and Pathfinder adventures and sourcebooks with a distinctive “old school” feel. Necromancer, where Bill was partnered with Clark Peterson, produced over 50 books between 1999 and 2007, including Wilderlands of High Fantasy™ (under license to Judges Guild), Gary Gygax’s Necropolis™ and Rappan Athuk, Dungeon of Graves™.

Frog God Games is currently producing adventures to support the Pathfinder™ role-playing system. According to Bill, “This brings together the best of both worlds for me; our material is distinctly old school feel, regardless of the game system. By supporting both formats, I see an opportunity to provide high quality and exciting material to a larger audience. It’s a win for the gaming community.”

Frog God Games will now produce game supplements for both the Swords and Wizardry™ game and for the Pathfinder Game™ (published by Paizo Publishing of Bellevue WA).Swords & Wizardry builds and supports free-form role-playing games.That is to say, games where “light” rules create a framework instead of trying to cover every detail, every rule, and every situation. Over 30 books are currently in production for release in 2010 and 2011.

Matt explained , “There are a lot of gamers out there who are using out-of-print rules quite happily, or who have a vague feeling that they lost some of the game’s spirit over the years and don’t know how it happened. And then there’s the thriving community of old-school gamers on the internet, who have been powering forward for years. I think this new development is going to take us to critical mass. With an old-school game like Swords & Wizardry breaking into the mainstream, with all the power of Frog God Games behind it, I believe that all these three gamer-communities are about to connect. This is when the thunder starts to roll.”.

The Swords & Wizardry game “clones” the original rules of the fantasy role-playing game that started it all back in 1974, when it was published by Gary Gygax and DaveArneson. Part of the reason for the merger was to expand distribution and enhance production quality by involvement of a larger company. Matt described this as, “a step that has been developing for years, as the old-school community has grown larger and larger, supported by more and more gamers, and, increasingly, even by publishers. And this is the point where it all reaches critical mass, I think. Frog God Games has the resources and the high profile to introduce this particular style of gaming back into the mainstream.”

An OSR retroclone published by the successor company of one of the most prolific publishers of the 3.5 OGL era.

This could be huge.

As for the raised hackles in the POD-favoring segment of the OSR community about this statement on FGG’s home page:

We are not the guys who are going to offer bargain basement junk for a quick buck. We won’t sell you hand drawn maps and clip art laid out by amateurs and posted up on Lulu.com as a cheap book that you look at and discard.

Sure, I can see how that might be seen as dumping on your prospective buyers. Thing is, the OSR crowd isn’t FGG’s main target demographic, as those guys already have umpteen different versions of one OSR rules system or another. FGG is aiming a bit higher here: An audience not yet familiar with OSR games. This means they’ll be competing with big boys like WotC, Fantasy Flight Games, Paizo, Chaosium, etc., and with competition like that, presentation really matters. You need top notch production values, and art by professionals. You need to put out books that will get picked up by vendors, and in turn, by the Average Joes frequenting gaming stores.

Frog God Games have raised the bar on this one. Now they just need to deliver…

4 responses to “Frog God Games to publish Swords & Wizardry

  1. Delivery is key. One of the reasons I won’t let folks pre-order (until the books are at press) is just that. We do have everything lined up, and over 30 books in production–but you never vknow if I get hit by a truck…etc.

    Thanks for the kind words; we really hope to hit a broader audience for old school feel; whether you play and OSR clone or Pathfinder.

    Keep rolling dice,

    Bill

    • As evident from my blog post; I really am quite exited about this development, and await great things out of this. Yes, I am one of those people with a metric tonne of RPG books, both old and new lining my shelves, but I fully intend to buy this new version of S&W. It will fit nicely next to my copies of Mentzer D&D, D&D 3.5, Pathfinder RPG, Labyrinth Lord, OSRIC, and LotFP: Weird Fantasy Role-Playing.

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