The ENNIE-award winning retroclone of … not 5th edition, but “original edition.”
This book is an unofficial, “re-stated” version of the original Gygax & Arneson rules (0e), created using the Open Game License. This original game consisted of a boxed set of three booklets: Men & Magic, Monsters & Treasure, and The Underworld & Wilderness Adventures. Four supplements were also written by Gary Gygax, Rob Kuntz and others between 1975 and 1977, containing options for expanding the game with new rules. Collectively, all those booklets are often referred to as “0e,” standing for zero edition, and we mention the “Original Game” from time to time in this book, as a reference point. Swords & Wizardry re-describes selected rules from all seven of the Original Game booklets, taking some and leaving some. In general, Swords & Wizardry adopts class, monster, and spell rules from all the supplements, but sticks to the simpler combat mechanics from the boxed set and the first supplement only. Tim Kask, the first editor of the Dragon Magazine(TM), the first employee of TSR, Inc., and the editor of Supplements 2-4 for Original Dungeons & Dragons (TM), has more to say about that in the Foreword.
The Swords & Wizardry rules are extremely short, compared to the multi-paged rule-libraries required to play most modern role-playing games. Yet this game contains within itself all the seeds and soul of mythic fantasy, the building blocks of vast complexity, the kindling of wonder. Edition Zero is so powerful because it’s encapsulated in a small formula, like a genie kept imprisoned in the small compass of an unremarkable lamp. Take this framework, and then imagine the hell out of it!