OSR Dragonslayer RPG truly delivers.



My last thread about Dr. Greg Gillespie's RPG Dragonslayer was quite the dumpster fire, so hoping this time around things could be a bit more civil. I was certainly disappointed the conversation got shutdown so quickly, but with so little information about the game at the time and how angry the author made people, I certainly wasn't going to bring it up again unless it turned out to be really good.

Well, the game is out now, and it is in fact, really good. Greg's game truly has enough going for it to be considered "the best" even, despite coming in at a time of complete B/X saturation. Solid and consistent artwork on just about every page (including work from TSR alumni), clean "OSE like" formatting, and the "simplified, but not simple" version of the D&D ruleset. And although it's clear where his inspiration is from, Dragonslayer is far from being just a "clone". From major changes like Monks being friars and combat being more tactically demanding, to smaller changes like improved % to Thief skills, it's clear this game was written by someone that has lived and breathed trying to improve on AD&D his entire life.

Better than me blabbing about it and showing off random pages, here is a great flip through of the book for those interested.
Here's a small sample of the rules from Drive-Thru too.

And to save others from having to post it and to show good faith I'm not trying to "trick" anyone in supporting a "baddie":
Greg is very outspoken about his "anti-Marxist" views online (think James Lyndsay). If that bothers you, certainly skip this product.
Greg is a professor and requires students to purchase his work. Was pretty normal when I was in college, but others find this to be immoral.

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Some Dude

Greg is very outspoken about his "anti-Marxist" views online (think James Lyndsay). If that bothers you, certainly skip this product.
It's more the "white grievance" stuff than the so-called "anti-Marxist" stuff for me. So, yeah, I'll be giving this one a hard pass. I wouldn't buy any product by Gillespie, even if there wasn't already so much great OSR product out there by people far more worthy of support. Not to mention, I'm not sure what this brings to the table that it's worth $80.


From what I've heard of the content of the book, there isn't enough in it that pops to make me want to purchase it, especially not at the price he's asking for. His book might have been an option if I didn't already have other great BX options.
Understandable. I think $30 for the PDF is more than fair since it has so much great art throughout and is a combination all 3 books, but the $80 POD price is certainly too steep for me to consider. I don't like cheaply made books.

Now, if it was actually well made... despite already owning just about every OSR title, I think I would be willing to drop the money. There is just too much here I like. Clerics not allowed to prepare a spell more than once (forcing diversity), but getting to channel any 1st Lv as a heal (like 3E). Fighters getting Cleave as a Class Feature. Identify spell granting a bonus to succeed based on INT. Burning dead PCs on a pyre to absorb a portion of their XP. I could go on and on, but it adds up to probably the best version of Gary's AD&D for me. 😃

Some Dude

I've never heard that term. Does this article explain it correctly?
Not exactly, but it's related. It seems Gillespie has added his voice to the chorus of grognards who seem to think that old white guys are the real victims of persecution (for the record, I'm an old white guy). His review of the D&D movie was bizarrely built around the idea that it was designed to denigrate straight white men. His logic was so tortured that it likely violated the Geneva Convention. I just can't with that guy.


Lurker Extraordinaire
How many B/X-AD&D mash-ups does the world need?

Regardless of the product, I will never send a dime to Gillespie. I think Jahydin undersells Gillespie’s politics. I recommend you take a look at his RateMyProfessor page for some insight.

Also, while I had to purchase a number of textbooks that various professors wrote, I was never forced to provide a receipt showing that I had bought a new copy. That is nothing but immoral.

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