Last week we started a little experiment and went GMless with Swords & Wizardry using the Mythic GM Emulator. It may sound crazy but I've got to say that it was absolutely incredible from the first session and continues to be so after 4 sessions so far.
My wife is playing a ranger named Silvia who has already had run-ins with goblins in her wood. My character a paladin named Osric is from a far away order who has come to the area of an ancient battle to discover why evil is once again stirring. This was the entire premise for the start of the game. Through play it has become amazingly complex and intricate.
The joy for me is that it feels incredibly old-school. By that I mean that it feels so much like the way I played role playing games, when the game was the story.
Back to the Mythic GM Emulator for a bit. It may be the best old school GM that money can buy. It's completely merciless in its decision making. For example, from the first session, our PCs walked into an ambush set by 5 goblins. Silvia went down but in a fury Osric swung his blade and chopped the ambushers down but not before he himself was whittled down to 2 HP. Knowing that they'd be jumped again if they stayed in the general area he hoisted the ranger onto his shoulder and started heading back to the settlement. Slowed down to a pace of 3 it was going to take almost 3 days to get back.
On the way, Osric ran into a nasty orc who was just as heavily armed and armored. Both parties stumbled onto one another so there was no surprise. Osric wins the initiative even with Silvia on his shoulder. Still lingering at 2 HP he unceremoniously lowered her to the ground. Tinged with desperate fury he charged and with a single swing of his broadsword he cut the orc down. It was epic. Cheers went up on both sides of the table. From there it was a series of cut scenes of Osric carrying the unconscious ranger, making camp, the paladin meditating and the laying on of hands in attempt to get the ranger ambulatory.
They survived by the skin of their teeth, carrying an intercepted message taken from a goblin courier. The next move was to find out who it was intended for.
It's a different take on what one would expect with a Swords & Wizardry game but I've got to say that S&W actually makes using Mythic easier because there was virtually no rules lookup. The spirit of rulings vs rules still holds and really allowed our collective imaginations to weave the story. And the cool part is that I actually get to play.