Wizards

Wizards is a game published by the Avalon Hill Game Company. The players construct a map by placing 18 lands on a map that is otherwise considered to be water. They then travel about the map, completing tasks in order to thwart Evil and to advance in rank as Wizards, Sorcerers, and Druids.

A friend of mine had a copy of Wizards, but we never played it because it had a lot of problems. Several of the rules seemed unclear, and the last part of the game (in which players who have achieved the highest possible rank must then chase down the High Wizards in search of Sacred Gems) seemed to take forever. Over time, my gaming group modified the rules a lot, and developed a version of the game that we consider a lot of fun. I'd estimate we still use about half the rules from the original game.

If you have a copy of the game, and are interested in our changes, you can follow this link to a PDF of our reference sheets, which include all our changes. (If you prefer, you can instead get the PostScript version.) It looks a lot like the sheets that come with the game, except we don't use it for recording tasks or other such stuff that arises in play; we use it solely for reference. (We track durations of animals and events by placing markers on the Calendar track, and track tasks and points on scratch-paper.) Thus we were able to fit in a lot more information. The first two pages are designed to be used as a single two-sided reference sheet.

If you don't have a copy of the game, then all of this is likely to be of little use to you!

Summary of Changes

Our initial changes were aimed at making the game playable, and are listed on the third page under the headings ASSORTED CHANGES and EVIL OVERRUNNING LANDS. The most significant items: Other changes in various parts of the sheets include:

One item may look like a change but isn't: the RANDOM WIZARDS table. This is just a way of saving wear and tear on the Wizard cards by using percentile dice (two 10-sided dice; use a white one and a colored one and read the white die first as usual) to select one of the 14 cards at random. If a Wizard or Secret Wizard marker is on the board you have to resort to shuffling the deck as before. (If the only markers are for non-secret Wizards, and no phantasm or trap cards have been removed from the deck with the Wizards, you can still roll the dice and then reroll as necessary.)

The reference sheets also include some information that is unchanged from the rules but which we found was needed often enough that it was worth having on the sheet: Random Encounters, the order things happen in if you have Multiple Specific Encounters, descriptions of the effects of Animals, etc. We also include rulings we've made when we found the printed rules to be unclear.

Later Changes

After playing Wizards as a competitive game for more than five years, my group started experimenting in 1997 with a COOPERATIVE VERSION in which all the players form a single partnership against Evil. Within a few years we were playing it that way almost exclusively, and in 2002 I updated the reference sheets to include those rules as well.

More recently, we developed rules for two new "character classes" in addition to the wizards, sorcerers, and druids of the original game. The new classes are described under ORDER OF RANGERS and ORDER OF EVIL, and the points requirements, new spells, and other details are incorporated into the rest of the pages. After refining those rules a while, we decided it was time to update the sheets posted here, and took the opportunity to reorganize the information quite a bit. That uncovered some places where our rules would be simpler if we made some small changes, plus we incorporated selected items from a page of suggestions posted by the game's original designers, Coral and Thomas Mosbø. The last (short) page lists the changes between this version and the 2002 version of our rules (.pdf, .ps).

About the PDF/PostScript Files

The file prints six pages, which we print as three two-sided pages. The PDF can as usual be viewed and printed using the freely available Adobe Acrobat Reader. If for some reason you prefer using the PostScript source version, it should print on any PostScript printer. It does not obey Adobe's document-formatting conventions, so some software may have trouble with it, but if you can get it to the printer it should print okay. It tries to use Palatino font since that's very close (maybe even identical) to the font used in the original game, but if that's not available it settles for Times-Roman/Bold instead.

The first part of the PostScript file is my personal tools package for writing PostScript documents. The Wizards-specific part starts at a line that says "START OF WIZARDS STUFF".