I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's. I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.
- William Blake
Sunday, August 29, 2021
Friday, August 27, 2021
The essential old-school game of fantastic adventure, monsters, and magic!
A Complete Game All in One Book
- This book contains everything a referee needs: the complete game rules, full guidelines for creating and running adventures, 7 fantastic character classes, full equipment lists, over 100 classic spells, over 200 fearsome monsters, and over 150 wondrous magic items.
- Simple rules let imagination and fast-paced action take the spotlight.
- Clear, modern presentation makes the game easy to learn and quick to reference.
- Compatible with decades of classic adventures and supplements.
Classic Fantasy or Advanced Fantasy?Old-School Essentials comes in two flavours: Classic Fantasy (based on the 1981 Basic/Expert rules) and Advanced Fantasy (the same game, massively expanded with content inspired by the 1970s Advanced 1st Edition rules).
Deluxe Print Edition
A deluxe, sewn-binding hardcover edition of this book is available from the Necrotic Gnome publisher website. The game is also available in the form of a boxed set of 5 modular books.
Note that there is no print-on-demand edition of this book!
Free Basic Rules
A fully illustrated, 56-page sample of the basic rules of the game required by players is available here:
- The full introduction and character creation rules.
- The four core human classes: cleric, fighter, magic-user, thief.
- Full lists of adventuring equipment, weapons, and armour.
- The rules for dungeon adventures, encounters, and combat.
- The full rules for spell casting and the complete set of 1st level spells.
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Saturday, August 21, 2021
One third, golden ration
|4-5||-2||A lot lower|
|6-8||-1||A bit lower|
|9-12||0||Same as the one before (or average)|
|13-15||+1||A bit higher|
|16-17||+2||A lot higher|
So, start big or start small?
I'd say start small, but keep a very low resolution world map if you want to.
Sunday, August 15, 2021
There are also those weird witches... Well, that's what the folks call them, although elsewhere they'd be called "psychics". There are universally feared and respected.
Thursday, August 12, 2021
Now, I haven’t purchased every single title but there’s a group that I have purchased many of and that’s the Dark Fantasy supplements. These are short, low-cost, system-neutral PDF’s. I’ve grabbed up Dark Fantasy Settings, Dark Fantasy Places, Dark Fantasy Religion, and Dark Fantasy Magic. Each one contains a whole series of random tables for a GM to use as inspiration for creating a Dark Fantasy or even a Weird Fantasy campaign or adventure. For me personally, these are the best kind of supplements. They don’t spell everything out for a GM but inspire to bring in whatever weird thing they want. And as I said, they could used for just plain old inspiration. Each PDF is only about 12 pages. Long enough to cover the subject but not overly detailed. These PDF’s give you just what need to get the job done.
Saturday, August 07, 2021
Things have changed. In modern D&D, you will hardly make any check that does not include one ability score in some way. Saving throws, initiative, attacks, damage... all rely on your abilities to some extent. In old school D&D, class and level were more important. In 5e, it is about 50-50.
And the overlap has increased, too. Now you can cast spells with Intelligence, Wisdom and even Charisma. You can use your Strength to boost your AC with heavy armor, or you Dexterity with light armor. Some classes get to add Wisdom or Constitution to AC when not wearing armor (maybe Charisma too; I don't recall, but it would be fitting). Some weapons allow you choose between Strength and Dexterity for attack rolls AND damage. When escaping from a grapple, you can choose between Strength (athletics) and Dexterity (acrobatics), making both abilities AND skills overlap.
|Art by Rick Troula - source.|
Monday, August 02, 2021
One thing I dislike is how some skills are practically useless while others are ubiquitous. The user Merudo has compiled a couple of lists that illustrate this point:
I've searched through the adventure Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and counted the number of times that a given skill is used in an ability check.
Here are my results:
- Athletics: 48
- Acrobatics: 6
- Sleight of Hand: 3
- Stealth: 9
- Arcana: 6
- Investigation: 15
- History: 3
- Nature: 3
- Religion: 4
- Animal Handling: 3
- Insight: 10
- Medicine: 0
- Perception: 56
- Survival: 3
- Deception: 9
- Intimidation: 16
- Performance: 1
- Persuasion: 22
So the main skills are Perception (56), Athletics (48), Persuasion (22), Intimidation (16), and Investigation (15).
Note that some of these skills will actually show up more often than listed in the book, simply because the checks are a result of player actions. That's especially the case for social skills, Stealth, and Sleigh of Hand.
I've searched through the adventure Tomb of Annihilation and counted the number of times that a given skill is used in an ability check.
Here are my results:
- Athletics: 51
- Acrobatics: 14
- Sleight of Hand: 1
- Stealth: 10, plus extra opportunities if moving at slow pace
- Arcana: 5
- Investigation: 10
- History: 4
- Nature: 2 + recognize 8 plants/animals
- Religion: 6
- Animal Handling: 4 + dinosaur race
- Insight: 2
- Medicine: 4
- Perception: 96
- Survival: 13 + navigation checks
- Deception: 8
- Intimidation: 3
- Performance: 1
- Persuasion: 11
That level 20th fighter? Yes, he DOES know a thing or two about arcana. He cannot cast spells, but he has seem plenty of sorcerers, spells, monsters and magic weapons.
|Robson Michel - source.|