Review: Whitebox

blog stars fourNhalfI stumbled upon this game while randomly wandering through some other blogs and gaming sites and was immediately intrigued with the idea of it all. Essentially it is the original D&D rules, cleaned up and better organized for modern readers. And let me just say, I love it.

sw_small_cover_wbIf you grew up playing D&D, I am pretty sure you could sit down right now and play these rules. Though streamlined and cleaned up a bit, these are the rules, classes/races, etc we grew up with. You will immediately recognize them and be able to understand the rules fully. There are a few deviations, such as the rewritten (read: fixed) Armor Class rule, using a well thought out and better functioning system based  on the newer 3.0 rules instead of using the oh-so-painful-to-understand THAC0 rules from the original rules. Other than that, it looks like everything else is simply thought out more fully and refined to produce faster play.

What I really like about it, and something I guess I had thought before but never fully realized, was the fact that this system promotes freeform gaming! There are rules covering a few things such as spell casting, combat, healing, and a few others, but for the most part, it is left up to the GM to wing-it. This is wonderful imo because this is exactly how I GMed those original D&D games nearly 25 years ago.

If you are like me and get glossy dreamy eyes when thinking of those awesome D&D games you used to play with your friends when you were in elementary school, you will enjoy this game. Whitebox provides the bare bones of a game, yet in a slick modern format, that is just waiting for you to come and create worlds to play in. I highly recommend this game to anyone, especially if you used to play D&D that came in a box, years and years ago.

Whitebox is D&D around 1974, while Swords and Wizardry is D&D around 1979 and is a little more fleshed out.

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