OSR I never should have picked up Old School Essentials…

Jahydin

Explorer
I play a lol of OSE because of how different the feel is thanks to the low power level. Makes it my go-to game for simple dungeon crawling, especially with small groups (running up to 4 characters each is a snap!).

I feel most at home with C&C though. Slightly stronger characters brining it up to a Tolkien like power level, unified resolution system that is easy to use and hack (SIEGE), and my favorite random treasure tables: no funny letters, it's organized by level; market value and xp for each item; value caps so you don't roll a +5 sword at level 2.

For the AD&D lovers though, I hope you have given Hyperboria a look. I think it's the best reimaging of that ruleset to date.
 

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Musing Mage

Pondering D&D stuff

The superior AD&D edition.

I championed 2.5 for years (decades! :eek:). When I was first introduced to it I loved the variability and options, and still do to a degree.

Combat and Tactics is a great sourcebook that cleans up 2nd Ed combat beautifully. I almost ported it back to 1e, but decided I'd rather parse out 1e combat and keep it distinct, which I'm glad I did.

What began to wear on me with 2.5 was that the options and 'builds' and such started to grate at my nerves. Players will be players, and always try to maximize things, and constantly pestered me about including this or that... it's like "you have 1000 options!" "yeah, but I want THIS option" "Well you can't have it!" "Waaaaaahhhh"

It was also quite a bear for new players, especially more casual players.

I'm pretty much done with 2e at this point, but if I went back I'd definitely restrict many things to the core books and only allow a handful of carefully selected aspects from Player's options systems. If you do that, and cultivate specific options for flavour it's a great sourcebook. But allowing 2.5 player's options full scale... nope never again.


OSE/AF does have an AD&D-like rule for MU starting spells (based on INT score) and copying spells from scrolls and spellbooks (with % chance of success).
Right. This discussion was in the context of him saying that he was starting with just Basic OSE, and that he'd consider including Advanced elements once he had a chance to peruse them. I was suggesting that additional spell acquisition is worth including from the start.

That's interesting, will definitely look into that when I get the AF books. Until then I'm going with the simple adjustment of giving Read Magic as the default, plus one other spell. Game is on tonight and 4 of 6 players have made Magic users as one of their stable of 3 characters. Offering Read Magic as a default to the M-U but not the Elf seemed to be instrumental in that decision process for 3 of them.
 
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Right. This discussion was in the context of him saying that he was starting with just Basic OSE, and that he'd consider including Advanced elements once he had a chance to peruse them. I was suggesting that additional spell acquisition is worth including from the start.
I agree. It could be powerful drive, questing to acquire new spells. Additional starting spells also highlights the difference between a MU and an elf character. My point was to help inform @Musing Mage decision process by telling him the AF books have such a rule: it works with OSE/BX just fine.
 

deganawida

Adventurer
I looked at it and even did a few solitary D&D sessions with it. It is really a well-made document. Much better than flipping back and forth through my old Basic and Expert books.

But ultimately I prefer the AD&D1e (Greyhawk) vibe of Castles & Crusades.
…I should hate you. Your comment had me investigate it and, guess what? I just got the 8th printing PHB this week, was up past midnight reading it, and am now completely in love with it. My wife is going to kill me because I want to get other books and of course inflation is hurting our disposable income :(

Those class designs are phenomenal at capturing the class fantasy, there’s a lot more emphasis on things other than combat, and it makes me think this was the game I thought I was playing when I started playing in the early 90s.

Oh, boy, she is going to KILL me.
 

Jahydin

Explorer
My wife is going to kill me because I want to get other books and of course inflation is hurting our disposable income :(
That's awesome! Great thing about C&C is you don't need a ton of books at all.

PHB and MM are all you need for years and years of gaming.

GM Guide for when you're ready to start tweaking the rules.

Player's Backpack and Mystical Companion when you're ready for more unique player options.

Adventurers and Historical Codices can be completely skipped IMO unless you're really a fan. As much as I like the game, the adventures are pretty rough around the edges and the Codices are pretty dry reads. Recommend making your own or pulling in other OSR material.

Oh, and don't forget to drop in their Discord. Great community over there.
 

Yora

Legend
I tried to actually fully read the rules for ships. I love sailing ships and it's always nice to see some thought put into them in fantasy. But his is ridiculous. :LOL:

These ship tables are like the polearm classifications of AD&D. Who in their right mind would ever need such detail and granularity for a D&D. There's small ship, medium ship, and big ship, and they can go that far in a day and carry that many people. This is overkill.
 





Cruentus

Adventurer
We started Basic (after several years of 5e, starting with the pandemic - 1980s players picking it up on VTT), played it for a couple months, then quickly rolled into OSE for its clarity, organization, and simplicity. Everyone appreciated how quick a turn was, how the character sheet didn't hold the answers, and we didn't have a lot of analysis paralysis.

Now I'm launching a Greyhawk game using OSE/Advanced. The hex crawling, resource tracking, old school style of game might not be for everyone, but the general power level and feel and simplicity hits all the right notes for our group. I'm still curating the race list, and the class list, to fit the type of game we want to run.

I find its really easy to just add in optional elements from Advanced as needed and it doesn't break anything. Necrotic Gnome has an "optional rules checklist" on the website which outlines all the optional rules from advanced that "could" be in play. Once I found that, it became super easy to decide what I was using and what I wasn't.

Oh man, now I'm going to feel compelled to check out C&C. Ack!
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I find its really easy to just add in optional elements from Advanced as needed and it doesn't break anything. Necrotic Gnome has an "optional rules checklist" on the website which outlines all the optional rules from advanced that "could" be in play. Once I found that, it became super easy to decide what I was using and what I wasn't.
Nice. I hadn't seen that before. Thank you.
 


Cruentus

Adventurer
Been thinking about buying into OSE. I never played B/X, I came in at 2e. This thread might be the push I needed to take the plunge.
I would recommend checking it out. The core OSE experience is a lot of fun, and clearly laid out. I'm using the Advanced OSE book in addition, and it adds in the Ad&d classes, and other odds and ends, but back-codes them to be more like Basic, and less like Ad&d 1/2. It certainly adds more variety, and my players, I think, like the race as separate from class better (we're currently using OSE race and class in our other campaign, and its been fine, either work).
 

Reynard

Legend
Well, I finally failed my save. Even though I already own the RC and multiple copies of B/X and BECMI I wanted a clean reference for an old school sandbox i want to run and bought the Advanced Fantasy books (plus the Silveraxe adventure). Count me a convert, i guess. They are really nicely laid out.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Well, I finally failed my save. Even though I already own the RC and multiple copies of B/X and BECMI I wanted a clean reference for an old school sandbox i want to run and bought the Advanced Fantasy books (plus the Silveraxe adventure). Count me a convert, i guess. They are really nicely laid out.
Weirdly I think that's one of the biggest selling points for OSE, generally. Everything is well laid out and easily found and referenced. Important stuff is bolded or put into pullet points. Things are plainly said and they move on. There's so much good stuff out there for OSE. I can't wait for Gavin's Dolmenwood Kickstarter. That's going to be a tough one.
 
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Weirdly I think that's one of the biggest selling points for OSE, generally. Everything is well laid out and easily found and referenced. Important stuff is bolded or put into pullet points. Things are plainly said and they move on. There's so much good stuff out there for OSE. I can't wait for Gavin's Dolmenwood Kickstarter. That's going to be a tough one.
I really can't back another kickstarter. What am I going to do with 3 A4 size setting books? Yet, it looks so pretty...
 

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