Broadsword is a fantastic sword & sorcery game designed for an evening of friendly gaming. The 1PG (one page) design purpose is to generate substantive characters quickly and begin play. Characters have several degrees of randomness, which allows power-gamers to luxury to try new archtypes without cringing. Diversity abounds with some special features, including over twenty different (yet all too familiar) character advantages. Imagine a barbarian with a wild mountain lion as his personal pet. Imagine a skilled sharpshooter whose arrows do more trickery bouncing and influence the game map more than simply deal damage. Imagine a tough-as-nails chainmail bikini clad Amazonian wielding as powerful two handed-sword over her head…wait, where was I? The combat system and use of armor and gear is intentionally let very vague, yet concrete with how contests are resolved. Players looking for many options for resource books will be happier elsewhere; in Broadsword, the referee makes adjudications for armor, weapons, and other gear, although a baseline description is included. For example, an axe may deal 6 damage, but nowhere is found a cost sheet for how characters can spend their silver pieces. Looking for a torch? Okay…keep looking; it’s not found in the core rules. This game is a fantastic way to illustrate the great S&S genre, although intentionally lacks many examples of magic. Spellcasters are given three basic spells, and expected to work with their referees to create more. Sometimes, this freedom can be suffocating, but others may be liberated by it. For the cost of less than $5 and 20 pages, Broadsword offers a storyteller and a group of friends several evenings worth of entertainment. Isn’t that the point of gaming together with friends?
[4 of 5 Stars!]