Browse Categories

Swords & Spells (0e) $4.99
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Karyn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/01/2021 16:22:09

Swords & Spells


Written by Gary Gygax

Development by Dave Arneson and Rob Kuntz

Graphics and graphic design by Dave Sutherland

Editing & Layout by Tim Kask


The PDF is a scan of the 6th printing from November, 1979. The PDF has bookmarks

History and Trivia

Swords & Spells is the fifth supplement for Dungeons & Dragons, though it is not called out as such, instead being described on the cover as “For use with Dungeons & Dragons.” S&S is an alternate take on miniatures battles from Chainmail.

Is it Pretty?

The cover, at least for this scanned version, is a sepia shade with artwork depicting two armies coming together centered on a scroll. The interior art is infrequent and lower quality, being a bit cartoony in style.

Zero stars in the prettiness category

Is it Professional?

The layout is good enough though there are no chapters, just various section titles. The scan quality gets blurry on pages that have diagrams. There are a couple of typos here and there. Overall, the book is fine for what it is.

½ star for professionality.

Is it Useful?

While designed for use with D&D to simulate large (ish) scale battles, Swords & Spells’ compatibility with D&D rules is a bit sketchy. And, like Chainmail, Swords & Spells assumes the reader knows things about miniatures wargaming that isn’t exactly common knowledge these days. It certainly isn’t written for beginners.

The game itself seems to involve a lot more bookkeeping and number tracking than I, personally, would enjoy during a fantasy game. The example of play at the end of the book puts the over-complicated nature of the rules on full display.

We’ll go with ½ star for usefulness.

Is it Affordable?

While not as pricey as the core original D&D game and its supplements, Swords & Spells is still $30 or more on the secondary market, making its price on drivethrurpg of $4.99 for the PDF, $8.50 for print on demand, and $10.50 for the PDF/POD bundle definitely the better deal.

One star for affordability.

Is it Fun?

As an adjunct to a D&D campaign Swords & Spells seems clunky and boring. Perhaps played on its own, separate from a campaign, it might be fun for miniature wargame enthusiasts.

While I’m not the target audience for Swords & Spells, I’ll still give it ½ star for fun factor since miniatures gamers might find it a fun distraction.

Where to find it

You can get the PDF (and print on demand) on drivethrurpg listed as Swords & Spells (0e). You can also find original print copies on ebay and similar sites.


As with Chainmail, Swords & Spells is mostly an historical curiosity these days, though I imagine there’s still a few folks out there that might actually play it.

Prettiness: 0, Professional: ½, Useful: ½, Affordable: 1, Fun: ½

Total: 2½ out of 5 stars.

[2 of 5 Stars!]
pixel_trans.gif Back
You must be logged in to rate this
Swords & Spells (0e)
Click to show product description

Add to Dungeon Masters Guild Order

0 items