Lizards vs Wizards
Lizards vs Wizards by James V. West Screenshot of the Cover

Lizards vs Wizards – Mini Review

Lizards & Wizards [Affiliate Link] is a fun RPG by James V. West. You can get it as Pay What You Want on DriveThruRPG. It is set in a post-apocalyptic world after “The Great Big Blammo.” You play a lizard seeking stuff while avoiding monsters and wizards. This is a 32 page booklet that is a full RPG, complete with tables for character generation, a d100 name table if you are stuck for one, three d100 loot tables for stuff you can find. There is a one page bestiary of six monsters, such as cats, dogs, and birds.

Like the character generation tables for lizards, the wizard generation table deals with size, and color. There are other wizardly attributes, aura and mobility. All wizards have powers, a d100 table helps generate them. Wizards need a goal to motivate them, and you get a d100 table also. A d100 name table is complemented with a d100 title table. So you end up with combinations like, Randy The Cannabalistic.

It is designed for quick play, lizards are very small and fragile, and everything else is larger and deals a lot of damage. The game master is called the Monitor, because, you know, lizards.

James has quite the artistic and otherwise plain old creative skill to make quick little games like this. He has illustrated it with images of various lizards, wizards, beasts and items to set the scene. He even lays it out on the first page:

The human world was blowed to bits in the Great Big Blammo way back in the Longago Days. Now is The Squam. There are monsters. There are wizards. There are lizards. You are a lizard. Good Luck.

This is an all around fun little book. I found it worth it just to read and enjoy the art. It is simple enough, it can serve as an introductory RPG for all ages. One could easily modify it for pre-literate children. The straight forward structure of this game makes it easy to mod so that you replace lizard with any small creature.

It already has a revision to the PDF, and also comes with two PDF character sheets, one is form-fillable. I can’t see what changed, probably a typo.

James V. West has done other games, is well-known in the OSR for his own hand-drawn character sheets, and has done them for specific games. Here are his DriveThruRPG links as an author [Affiliate Link] and as an artist [Affiliate Link]. Most of his own stuff is PWYW, so at least give him a dollar on any of his PDFs. They are definitely worth it.

This is very simple, a random generator via a spreadsheet or other simple random list picker could generate lizards, wizards, and loot for pre-gens and one shots. However, I think half the fun would be rolling up a lizard on the spot to see what you get. Online play, such as with Roll20 would also be quick. I’d rather play this with a group around a table.

A fun little game that I look forward to playing someday.

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