S&W Light Rules

Welcome to Light!

You remember, don’t you? The sounds of battle heard through the clatter of dice? The shuffling of character sheets? The war stories shared with your fellow campaigners? There is a longing in the soul of every adventurer and though it sometimes fades to a whisper, you still hear it. Swords & Wizardry Light marks your return to fantasy roleplaying – or if you’re curious what fantasy gaming is all about, this is the perfect introduction. This folio, a twenty-sided die, and a few six-sided dice are all you need to return to the gaming table, recall those halycon days of heroism, and forge brand new legend. Welcome back to Swords & Wizardry Light!

Ability Scores

The standard way to create ability scores is to roll 3d6 in the order listed below.

Strength – Fighters can use their Str bonus to modify their to–hit and damage results in melee

Intelligence – Magic-Users can use their Int bonus to give their target a penalty to their save

Wisdom – Clerics with a 15 or higher Wisdom gain an extra 1st lvl spell

Constitution – You can use your Constitution bonus to gain additional hit points on each HD. Hit Die (HD) are rolled with a d6

Dexterity – You can use your Dexterity bonus to modify your “to-hit” number with ranged (also called “missile”) weapons and modify your character’s armor class

Charisma indicates your character’s personality and likeability. Characters with a Charisma of 15+ start the game with a
Torchbearer – AC 9[10] Attacks None Special: Carry torch Move 12

Attribute Bonus

Attributes scores of 15 or more have a bonus of +1

Armor Class

Armor Class (AC) rates how difficult it is to hit. It is expressed as X[XX]. The first number represents your AC (a lower AC is more difficult to hit). The second number in brackets is the number required to hit an opponent with that AC using a d20.
Example: An unarmored man would be AC9[10], while one wearing leather armor would be 7[12].

Turning Table

Undead Type












Shadow/ Wight









Characters gain levels by completing adventures. After completing two adventures, a character progresses to 2nd level in their chosen class. Upon completing three more adventures, a character progresses to 3rd level. For advancement beyond 3rd level, please refer to the full Swords & Wizardry: Complete rules.

Character Races

Elves populate the great forests, Dwarves carve their halls and mines into the heart of the earth, and Halflings reside in the comfortable hill-houses of their bucolic shires.

Dwarves progress as fighters or thieves and gain an extra +1 to hit and damage when fighting orcs and goblins. Dwarves receive a defensive bonus in combat because they are hard to hit (-4 against ogres). Dwarves get +4 on save vs. magic and +1 on Saving Throws vs.death magic & poisons.

Elves may use either the Fighter, Magic-User or Thief class. Elves gain an extra +1 when fighting goblins, orcs, intelligent undead, and lycanthropes. Elves are also immune to paralysis caused by undead such as ghouls. Elves get +2 on Saving Throws vs. magic.

Halflings are awarded a defensive bonus in combat because they are hard to hit (-4 against ogres). Halflings receive +2 when firing missile weapons in combat. Halflings may be Fighters or Thieves.

Humans may be any class.

Adventurer Packs

Each starting character gets to choose one of the following:

Pack 1

Backpack, bedroll, flint and steel, 6 torches (burn 1 hr and shed light 30’), 50’ Rope, crowbar, 7 days rations, and a water skin

Pack 2

Backpack, bedroll, flint and steel, hooded lantern with 2 pints lantern oil (each pint burns for 4 hrs and sheds light 30’), hammer, 12 iron spikes, 10’ pole, 7 days rations and a water skin

The Fighter

A battle-hardened warrior that trusts in arms and armor        

Hit Dice: 1+1 HD at 1st lvl, a 2nd lvl HD, at 2nd lvl and a 3rd HD at 3rd lvl.

Saving Throw: 16 at 1st level, 15 at 2nd lvl, and 14 at 3rd level.

Basic Hit Bonus (BHB): +1 at 2nd level and +2 at 3rd level.

Fighters start with either Long Sword or Battle Axe (1d6 damage) and Bow with Chain Armor and Shield AC 4[15] or Two-Handed Sword (1d6+1) and Crossbow with Chain Armor AC 5[14].

Fighters have no armor or weapon restrictions. Fighters get one attack per level each round against foes of 1 Hit Die (HD) or fewer. Fighters also get +1 on Saving Throws vs. death and poisons.


The Cleric

An armored priest who serves Good/Law or Evil/Chaos

Hit Dice: 1HD at 1st lvl, a 2nd HD at 2nd lvl, and a 3rd HD at 3rd lvl

Saving Throw: 14 at 1st lvl, 13 at 2nd lvl, and 12 at 3rd lvl

Basic Hit Bonus (BHB): +1 at 3rd lvl

Clerics start with either Mace or Hammer (1d6 damage) with Chain Armor and Shield AC 4[15].

Clerics have no armor restrictions, but may only use blunt weapons (club, flail, mace). Clerics get +2 on Saving Throws vs. death and poisons.

Starting at 2nd level Clerics can cast spells. They get their first spell at 2nd lvl and another spell at 3rd lvl.


Cleric spells


Cure Wounds I

Range: Touch        Duration: Immediate

This spell cures 1d6+1 hit points of damage.

Detect Evil (Good)

Range: 120 ft      Duration: 60 minutes
The caster detects creatures of Evil, evil enchantments, intentions, thoughts, or auras. The reverse of the spell, Detect Good, works the same except it detects creatures of Good.

Spiritual Protection

Range: Caster only        Duration: 2 hours
Creates a magical field of protection around the caster to block out creatures with ill intent, who suffer -1 penalty to hit, and the caster gains +1 on Saving Throws against such attacks.



Clerics have the ability to turn undead, causing them to flee. When a turning attempt is made, roll 3d6 and consult the Turning Table for the result. If the number rolled is equal to or greater than the number shown on the table, all undead creatures of the targeted type are turned and will flee for 3d6 rounds, or will cower helplessly if they can’t flee

Armor Table

Armor Type

Effect on AC




-4 [+4]

75 gp



-2 [+2]

5 gp



-6 [+6]

100 gp



-3 [+3]

30 gp



-1 [+1]

15 gp




The Magic-User

A mysterious student of arcane powers and spell casting

Hit Dice: 1 HD at 1st lvl, +1 HP at 2nd lvl, and a 2nd HD at 3rd lvl

Saving Throw: 15 at 1st lvl, 14 at 2nd lvl, and 13 at 3rd lvl

Magic-Users (MU) may only use daggers or staves (choose one at 1st level) and are not allowed the use of armor. MUs get +2 on Saving Throws vs. magic. The MU starts with a book of two spells, one chosen and one randomly awarded. Reading from the book, the MU presses his chosen spell into his mind.

Once a prepared spell is cast, it disappears from the MU’s ability to cast (until it is prepared again). It is possible to prepare a spell multiple times using the available “slots” in the MU’s memory. If the MU finds scrolls of spells, he can copy them into his spell book.

Lvl 1 MUs get one lvl 1 spell, Lvl 2 MU get 2 lvl 1 spells; Lvl 3 MUs get three lvl 1vl & one lvl 2 spells.


Magic-User spells – Level 1


Charm Person               

Range: 30 ft                    Duration: Until dispelled

This spell affects living bipeds of human size or smaller. If the spell succeeds (save allowed), the creature falls under the caster’s influence.

Detect Magic

Range: 60 ft                    Duration: 20 minutes

 Caster can perceive the presence of magic.

Light I

Range: 60 ft                    Duration: 1 hour+10 min/level
The target person or object (at a range of up to 120 ft) produces light about as bright as a torch, to a radius of 20 ft.

Magic Missile

Range: 150 ft                  Duration: Instantaneous

A magic dart flies where the caster directs, hitting the target, automatically causing 1d6 damage. There is no saving throw.


Range: 240 ft                  Duration: Referee’s discretion

This spell puts 2d6+3 HD enemies into an enchanted slumber. It affects creatures based on their hit dice.


Magic-User spells – Level 2

Knock Lock

Range: Close     Duration: Permanent until dispelled

The targeted door, gate, or portal can be opened or locked by this spell. A locked target is unlocked and opened (including those locked by this spell). Targets locked by this spell can be unlocked by this spell or broken by brute force (GM’s discretion).



Range: 240 ft  Duration: Until dispelled or an attack is made

The object of this spell (being or thing) becomes invisible and cannot be seen. An invisible creature cannot be attacked unless its approximate location is known, and then all attacks are made at -4 to hit. If the invisible creature makes an attack, the invisibility is ended. Otherwise it lasts until removed by the caster.


Range: 30 ft Duration: 8 hours

Fibrous, sticky webs fill an area up to 10x10x20 ft. It takes one turn to pass through if a torch and sword are used. Humans take longer to break through—perhaps 3–4 turns or longer at the GM’s discretion.

The Thief

A figure in the shadows, an expert in stealth and delicate tasks

Hit Dice: 1HD at 1st lvl, 2HD at 2nd lvl, and 2HD+1 at 3rd lvl

Saving Throw: 15 at 1st, 14 at 2nd, and 13 at 3rd

Thieves may wear only Leather Armor. Thieves use any weapon.

Thieves start with either Long Sword (1d6) and Dagger (1d61) or  Club (1d6) and Short Sword (1d6-1) with a suit of Leather Armor AC 7[12].

Thieves have class abilities as follows:

·        Backstab– When attacking with surprise and from behind the thief attacks at +4 to hit and x2 damage

·        Hear Sounds– Thieves have a 3 in 6 chance to hear and identify noise through closed doors

·        Read Normal Languages– Thieves have a 4 in 6 chance
to read normal languages

·        Climb Walls– Thieves have a 5 in 6 chance to climb
walls and cliffs

·        Thief Skills– Thieves have a 1 in 6 chance to succeed at Finding/Removing Traps, Opening Locks, Hiding in Shadows/Move Silently. Dwarves have a 2 in 6 chance to Find/Remove Traps, Elves have a 2 in 6 chance

to Hide in Shadows/Move Silently, and Halflings have a 2 in 6 chance to Open Locks and Hide in Shadows/Move Silently.

Playing the Game


A turn represents ten minutes, and a combat round is 1 minute.

Movement Rate

Base movement rate for all races is in terms of feet per combat round. 
Dwarves and Haflings move at  9ft.

Humans and Elves move at 12ft.

Careful movement halves the rate, running doubles it.

Damage and Death

When a target is hit, the amount of damage is deducted from their hit points. When these hit points reach zero, the target dies.



In addition to magical means of restoring hit points, a character will recover 1 hit point per day of uninterrupted rest.


Saving Throws

A spell or other hazard may require you to make a  Saving Throw.  A successful Saving Throw means that the individual avoids the threat or lessens its effect. Each character class has a Saving Throw target number based on level. Roll that number or higher to succeed.

Monster Saving Throw—target number is calculated by subtracting the monster’s HD from 19.



When the party of adventurers comes into contact with enemies, the order of events is as follows:


1.      Determine Initiative.

2.      Party with Initiative acts first (casting spells, attacking, etc.) and results take effect.

3.      Party that lost Initiative acts, and their results take effect.

4.      The round is complete; keep turn order for the next round if the battle has not been resolved.

Determine Initiative

At the beginning of a combat round, each side rolls Initiative on a d6—high roll wins. The winning side acts first—moving, attacking, and casting spells. The losing side takes damage and casualties, and then gets its turn. Initiative rolls may result in a tie. When this happens, both sides are considered to be acting simultaneously.


Melee Attack

A melee attack is an attack with hand-held weapons such as a sword, spear, or dagger. Two combatants within ten feet of each other are considered to be “in combat.”


Missile Attack

Missile attacks are attacks with ranged weapons such as a bow or sling. When using missiles to attack into a melee, randomly determine friend or foe as your target.


The Attack Roll

To attack with a weapon, the player rolls a d20 and adds any bonuses to the result. The total attack roll hits if equal to or higher than the number shown on the table below.

Monster attackattack as a lvl 1 Fighter, but add their HD to the attack roll. Monsters of less than 1 HD attack as 1st lvl Fighters.




Beetles, Giant Fire

AC: 4[15]                                      HD: 1+3              Attacks: bite (2d6)                                   Move: 12

A giant fire beetle’s light-glands glow reddishly and continue to give off light for 1d6 days after they are removed (lights a 10 ft radius).



AC: 5[14]                                      HD: 3+1              Attacks: weapon or bite (1d6)               Move: 9
Special: Surprise opponents (1–3 on 1d6 roll)

These goblin-like humanoids are large and hairy. They will surprise alert opponents with a roll of 1–3 on a d6 (50%).



AC: 9[10]                                      HD: 2                   Attacks: wooden dagger (1d6)                 Move: 12


Special: Charm Person                                         

Dryads are beautiful female tree spirits, and do not venture far from their home trees. They can cast  a charm person spell with a -2 Saving Throw.



AC: 6[13]                                      HD: 2                  Attacks: claw (1d6+paralysis)              Move: 9

Special: Immunities, paralysis                           

Any hit from a ghoul requires a Save or the victim becomes paralyzed for 3d6 turns.



AC: 5[14]                                      HD:2                     Attacks: bite (1d6)                                 Move: 9

Gnolls are tall humanoids with hyena-like heads.



AC: 7[12]                                       HD: 1-1                 Attacks: weapon (1d6)                         Move: 9
Special: -1 “to-hit” in sunlight             

Goblins are small creatures (4 ft tall or so) that inhabit dark woods and underground caverns.


AC: 5[14]                                      HD: 1+1              Attacks: weapon (1d6)                                 Move: 9

Hobgoblins are simply large goblins.



AC: 6[13]                                      HD: ½                Attacks: weapon (1d6-1)                        Move:6

Kobolds are subterranean, vaguely goblin-like humanoids.                                     


AC: 5[14]                                      HD: 2+1              Attacks: claws (1d6)                     Move: 6 (12 when swimming)

Special: Underwater               

Lizardmen are reptilian humanoids, usually living in tribal villages in swamps.



AC: 5[14]                                      HD:4+1               Attacks: weapon (1d6+2)             Move:9
Ogres are normally quite stupid.          



AC: 6[13]                                      HD: 1                  Attacks: weapon (1d6)                Move: 12

Orcs are stupid, brutish humanoids that gather in tribes.


Rats, Giant

AC: 7[12]                                       HD: 1-1               Attacks: bite (1d6)                        Move: 12

Giant rats are found in dungeons, and are about the size of a cat.



AC: 8[11], 7 [12] with shield      HD: 1                   Attacks: weapon (1d6)               Move: 12

Skeletons are animated bones of the dead.


Spiders, Giant

AC: 6[13]                                      HD: 2+2             Attacks: bite (1d6)                        Move:18
Special: See Below    

Giant spiders spin web-traps as per the Magic-User spell Web. Targets require a saving throw to avoid becoming stuck. Those who make their Saving Throw can fight and move (5 ft per round) in the webs. Giant spiders surprise on a roll of 1–5, and can hide in shadows.



AC: 4[15]                                      HD: 6+3             Attacks: claw (1d6)                           Move: 12

Special: Regenerates                                             

Trolls regenerate, healing 3 hit points per round. The only way to utterly kill a troll is to submerse it in acid or burn it.



AC: 6[13]                                      HD: 4                  Attacks: bite (1d6)                         Move: 18

Worgs are large, intelligent, and evil wolves.



AC: 3[16]                                      HD: 8                  Attacks: bite or sting (1d6)         Move: 6 (24 when flying)

Special: Poison, sting, flight 

A wyvern is the two-legged relative of dragons. Wyverns have a poisonous sting at the end of their tails. In any given round, the wyvern is 4 in 6 likely to use its tail.



AC: 8[11], 7[12] with shield      HD: 2   Attacks: strike (1d6) Special:Immune to sleep, charm              Move: 6

Zombies are mindless creatures, the walking dead.


Missile/Thrown Weapon Table



Rate of Fire







15 gp

 Crossbow,       light



60 ft

12 gp





2 gp





0.2 gp





1 gp

*Shooting or throwing beyond this range is at a –2 penalty to hit. The weapon cannot reach farther than twice this range. Outdoors, these range increments are tripled.


Melee Weapon Table




Axe, battle


5 gp



0 gp

Dagger (throwable 10’)


2 gp



1 gp

Mace, heavy


10 gp

Spear (throwable 20’)


1 gp

Staff, two-handed)


 0 gp

Sword, long


15 gp

Sword, short


8 gp

Sword, two-handed


30 gp

Character Class/Character Level

Target Armor Class [Ascending Armor Class]


4 [15]

5 [14]

6 13]


8 [11]



    Fighter 1 / Cleric 1-2

Magic-User / Thief 1-3
















Fighter 2 / Cleric 3
















Fighter 3
















Jim Vaughan,
May 21, 2017, 1:43 PM
Jim Vaughan,
May 21, 2017, 1:44 PM