Two books being reviewed today, the 'Book of Wizardry' and the 'Book of the Divine'. Both of these are small, digest-sized books running to 38 and 30 pages respectively, and both are available on Lulu. Production quality on my copies is excellent.
When I bought these books, I was rather expecting books of new spells for Magic-Users and for Clerics. This is not what I got, and under other circumstances, I might have been somewhat annoyed. (To be fair, the write-up on Lulu looking back does indicate that this is the case, but perhaps not clearly enough.)
However, I have actually come to the conclusion that these have the potential to be extremely useful. What you have here, quite simply, are copies of the spells from the Swords and Wizardry Core Rules, for Magic-Users and Clerics respectively. The use is simple – hand a copy of the relevant book to each spell-using character, and he has his own description of the spells without having to leaf through the rulebook. This plays into a line from the 'Primer for Old School Gaming', which notes that in this style of play, the only character liable to be referring to the rules at all would be a spellcaster. And this makes that rather simpler.
Is this an essential purchase? By no means. You can come up with this yourself fairly easily. But they are pretty darn cheap, and have the potential to be useful as handouts for a game. And as I said, the production standards are high, and they are probably more durable than 'tatty paper'. It would be nice to see equivalent versions for the 'White Box' version and for Labyrinth Lord and OSRIC – it is exactly this sort of supplemental handout that can be extremely useful in play. I'm happy to have copies.
Buy Book of Wizardry at Lulu.
Buy Book of the Divine at Lulu.