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Trouble in Trollwood: An Old Norse-inspired adventure for Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day

April 17, 2015


Gamers & Grognards is hosting/coordinating this year’s Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day. I am pleased to participate.

Last time we did this, I wrote about my love for Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox and posted one of my “daft wee dungeons” written for that system. This time around, for the sake of variety, I present a mini-hexcrawl adventure written for the S&W Core Rules. Naturally, being S&W, it’s playable with any TSR-era version of D&D or clone or whatever, with (at most) minor tweaking.

That’s one of the reasons Swords & Wizardry appeals to me; it’s simple and consequently extremely flexible. Tweaking the rules is easy, and it’s actively encouraged throughout the text. One only has to look at the range of games that have sprouted from the fertile soil of S&W – including John M. Stater’s Blood & Treasure and Pars Fortuna, Christian Mehrstam’s Whitehack and Dave Bezio’s X-Plorers – to appreciate the extent to which one can “genetically engineer” Matt Finch’s creation, producing “designer baby” games in a variety of genres and styles.

Both of this blog’s regular readers will know that I’m fond of the Icelandic sagas and all things Norse. They may also recall that I hold David “Zeb” Cook’s Vikings sourcebook for AD&D 2e in high regard. That book, and each of the other similar volumes produced at the time, struggled (and mostly succeeded) to tweak and twist the AD&D rules to fit a particular historical milieu. They were, at least in part, collections of setting-specific house rules. That sort of thing is immeasurably quicker and easier to do with Swords & Wizardry.

Hence my Old Norse campaign notes.

You can use those house rules to play “Trouble in Trollwood” if you want to enhance the distinctive Old Norse flavour. However, nothing in the adventure assumes that you will.

That’s enough blether. Here’s “Trouble in Trollwood”, an adventure inspired by the Eddas and some of the fornaldarsögur. It’s suitable for a party of 4th- and/or 5th-level characters. I hope you enjoy it.


Edit: Damn. Just spotted a mistake in Isgerd’s spell list. It’s fixed now. If you’re one of the first five people to download the PDF, you might want to do it again. Apologies.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. anonymous permalink
    May 4, 2016 2:12 pm

    Excellent work, thanks for this!

  2. October 22, 2016 7:06 am


    I just want to let you know that I like a lot this aventure so I translated it into Spanish. I hope you don’t mind. Just in case if you want to check it out you can find it here:

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