Thursday, November 28, 2013

Free OSR Sword And Sorcery PDF Resource For Your Old School Horror Campaign - Witchcraft and Sorcery Volume 1 Number 5 (January 1971)

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This is a great British  resource with a cover by William Stout  that hearkens back to the Sword and Sorcery Revival of the 1970's.  Witchcraft and Sorcery was a good solid pulp that concentrated mostly on monsters, vampires, and Werewolves.  According to Vault of Evil blog: Coven 13 was launched in September 1969 and lasted four issues under the editorship of Arthur H. Landis before it underwent a name-change to Witchcraft & Sorcery with a new man at the helm, Gerald W. Page, who presided over six issues until the entire operation folded in 1974.
Too bad it would have been nice to still have such a publication around today. 
Witchcraft And Sorcery is a solid and interesting read as well as a great resources.
 The Contents include the Following : 

WITCHCRAFT AND SORCERY - Volume 1, number 5 - January - February (Jan - Feb) 1971: Mistress of Death; The Momentary Ghost; Tower of Blood; The Dark Door; The House of Evil; Portrait of Things to Come; The Ideas; Wind Magic; The Hate; The Rat and the Snake [Paperback]
According to the Vault of Evil blog :
"Subscribers to Coven 13 received a free 9 X 7 full colour lithograph of William Stout's cover illustration for #1. Wonder how many of them are still floating around?" 
What a great lithograph to have. 

Using Witchcraft and Sorcery For Your Old School Campaigns 
Witchcraft and Sorcery has a completely different feel then many of the other publications out in the 1960's and 70's. It has a very dark and sinister feel to it akin to many of the later British adventures we'd see come out from TSR and the old school role playing publications such as White Dwarf.
Many of stories border on straight up horror but have roots that touch both sword and sorcery as well as dark fantasy. Its a pretty careful balancing act but one we see reflected today in games such as Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea as well as the efforts of folks like Jack Shear.
The balance between horror, dark fantasy, and sword & sorcery is one that seems at times to not exist in the corners of  OSR gaming. 

Even more information both Coven 13 & Witchcraft and Sorcery can be found right


  1. Oh. I think I am in love with this. Thank you so much for finding this.

  2. I've been getting into the connections between 1970's horror magazines, 1930's horror writers , and the various Hammer style movies. The tropes of Sword and Sorcery seem to have a lot in common with each of these. Coven 13 and Witch & Sorcery seem to plug into all of these and might represent a common ground from which to connect these background elements into a game like Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea.
    Thanks for the comment and more coming up!

  3. Never heard of this zine--it is fantastic! Thanks for finding and posting about this--what a great resource. Great stuff.