Two great flavors that go together!
The idea of the book is that you can play either the Wizard or the Warrior (with the other becoming a helpful NPC partner.) The Warrior gets to choose 3 cool weapons in addition to a magic sword, and the Wizard can cast any of the spells (though each has its risks.) Then it is a “Choose Your Own Adventure” style, where depending on what you choose of the rigid options, you turn to another page to see how it works out. You can lose frequently and for no good reason, there is a lot of random chance in the book, but it’s small and you’ll win sooner or later. (I like the pictures.)
I understand every few books they changed up the spells and weapons, but I just have the one tiny little book, so I adapted what is present there, mining it for Old School Hack inspiration. Let’s step away from D&D as a base, and see how other styles would fit.
I created a document with the magic weapons statted up for the Warrior, and the spells converted to a single grimore list for the Wizard.
The book’s perspective on magic is that it is slippery, and can get away from you if you are not skillful and steady (for both some magic weapons, and for spells.) The author didn’t have to work out any details, because the reader is firmly on the railroad and can only choose at junction points, never thinking outside your pulpy paper box. I think I rendered the stuff playable in a much more wide-open venue, showcasing the strengths of the Old School Hack rule set.
There are a number of different ways you could play an Old School Hack game with these weapons and spells and flavors.
- Champions of King Henry of Silvergate. This is the premise of the books. You guys are the go-to heroes for King Henry and his many gonzo problems.
- Since there are only 2 heroes, they are both more powerful; the Warrior can have as many of his magic weapons as he can carry, and the Wizard can draw from the whole spell list using Awesome Points for spells not yet learned (as base template talents).
- King Henry gives you stuff to do for the good of the kingdom. Wash, rinse, repeat.
- Successors to the Champions. They just got wasted in the line of duty, and as their apprentices, you’re called up.
- Maybe they don’t get ALL the gear, they have to recover some of it from corpses. But the Wizard is just as powerful as if they start off as the champions.
- Ideally there is a mystery to solve and vengeance to wreak. Killing off mentors is a great starting point.
- Looting the Ancient Ruin. King Henry is long passed on, the kingdom fell into disrepair, then ruin, then rumor, then legend. Now you enterprising adventurers are after the magic weaponry and pile of lost spells of the former Champions of Silvergate.
- The good news and the bad news–this is a really familiar model, and characters need no institutional loyalty or personal loyalty to pursue it.
- You can spread the magic weaponry around the whole group, so no one special warrior kicks all the butt.
- Any spells the group found would have to be learned one by one by a wizard, no one would start with the Silvergate grimore as the base template.
- Champions and Henchmen. Sure, there is the Wizard and Warrior, but the rest of the group can be their entourage and support characters, possibly including apprentices and stakeholders for the current mission, as well as specialists for anticipated challenges.
- Some groups don’t like having two characters get special treatment. Your mileage may vary.
- Diluting the formula adds a dash of flavor to a different kind of game instead of running “Wizards, Warriors, and YOU”; and that can be good.
- Get Your Stuff Back. A time-honored tradition: take all the warrior’s cool stuff, sell it off or split it up, and the Wizard and the Warrior must reclaim it all a piece at a time for the honor of Silvergate.
Of course, you can come up with your own uses as well. Without further ado, here is the document with all the “Wizards, Warriors, and You” magic weapons and spells.