Cats Have No Lord

An Abundant and Disproportionate Number of Swords

Dear reader, the text you are about to read is an un-playtested thought experiment; a shitpost of a game, if you will. It springs from the singular question: What if everything in D&D was swords? An abundant and disproportionate number of swords. What if we could make a game with one stat, one weapon type, one class, that is still compatible with B/X D&D and also interesting to play? Let’s find out together.


The age of swords is upon us. The eternal war of law and chaos has led to a literal arms race of magical body enhancements, producing fighters with an abundant and disproportionate number of arms to wield deadly blades in battle.

You are one of these fighters. Take up your arms and delve deep into the dungeons, the battlefields of this never-ending conflict, to leave your bloody legacy and gather treasure to buy more swords.

Character Creation

Follow these steps to make a character:

  1. Roll 3d6 to determine your Swordarm (SWD) number. This notes the number of swords you have and the number of magical arms you use to wield them. Your SWD number is used in determining the outcome of all dice rolls in the game and also serves as your health and armor scores.

  2. Roll 1d4 and assign sword tags to that many swords in your possession. See the section on sword tags below.

  3. Describe other aspects of your character, such as name, appearance, or personality.

Sword Tags

Sword tags are descriptive tags that add extra powers to swords. Players may agree on any number of tags and the mechanical effects of those tags to be used in their game, and new tags may be added during play. Each sword may only have one tag. An example list of tags with effects is below.

Doing Things and Saves

If a player attempts to do a challenging task that would have serious consequences for failure, they roll 1d20, succeeding if it is equal to or less than their SWD number. A result of 1 always succeeds, while a result of 20 always fails.

If a players is attempting to avoid harm, such as from a trap or spell, they may roll a save. They roll 1d20, succeeding if it is equal to or greater than their SWD number. Success reduces damage by half or negates the effects depending on what the save is rolled against.

Combat, Damage, and Healing

In combat, players may select a number of targets within 5 ft. up to their SWD number, and they may dedicate one or more swords to each attack up to their SWD number in total between all targets. To attack, roll 1d12 for each target and add a bonus equal to the number of swords dedicated to that target. The attack succeeds if the modified result is greater than or equal to the targets armor score. For each successful attack, roll 1d6 for each sword dedicated to that target to determine the damage dealt.

For attacks against a player, the player’s SWD number serves as their armor score (they cannot wear armor to modify this), and attack rolls against them must be greater than or equal to their SWD number to succeed. Each point of damage dealt by a successful attack severs a sword arm and reduces the SWD number accordingly.

Once a player reaches a SWD number of 0, they will die if they take any additional damage.

Sword arms recover naturally at a rate of 1d4 sword arms regrown per every full day of rest. Magical forms of healing such as potions and spells can regrow sword arms instantaneously, with one arm regrown for each point of healing.


Characters may pay magic users specializing in the creation of magical arms to grant them additional magical arms to increase their SWD number. The first additional arm costs 500 gold pieces, and the prices doubles for each new arm after that point.

Characters may also gain access to new abilities by finding or purchasing swords with interesting sword tags.

Other Rules

For game rules and procedures not covered here, refer to your favorite B/X rules reference or your own preferred rules and procedures from other sources.


Written by Luke Simonds, publishing as Cats Have No Lord.

Inspired by an article by Guillermo Carvajal published in La Burujal Verde.