OSR Opinions wanted and help getting started (primarily for 1st ed AD&D OSR)

I normally enjoy really complex and modern games, but am feeling a serious wave of nostalgia for the earlier days of the industry.

Please share any and all opinions about the various 1st AD&D compatible OSR games. I am almost a complete novice in this area - I have OSRIC and some of the Old School Essentials that also have the Advanced. What else is out there, what is good, what should I avoid, and if there are exceptional adventures/modules I would love to be pointed in that direction. I have an almost complete run of the original AD&D 1st stuff from back in the day as well as some other stuff from that era, but am completely lost at sea with the OSR.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
If you are looking for rules, Hyperborea is, IMHO, a very cool AD&D-adjacent game.

Another interesting line is Adventures Dark and Deep from BRW Games. It is a sort of "variant" 2e, built to be much closer to Gygaxian (post-Unearthed Arcana) AD&D. I find it quite bloated, but one can certainly pick separate elements for backporting to 1e. The game is stand-alone, but it can also be bought as two tomes meant to be used with AD&D: Book of Lost Lore and Book of Lost Beasts.
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
OSRIC is one of the early pillars of the OSR, of course, being a rules reference for (slightly clarified) 1E AD&D. I've never played with it yet, but if I specifically wanted 1E, it'd be my go-to.

Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea is functionally a lightly houseruled AD&D with its own Conan-esque setting, which naturally has lots of variant humans instead of the classic Tolkien races. I've only played it a little, but I quite like it.

I don't know a lot of specific for-1E AD&D OSR modules. Most OSR content nowadays seems to be aimed primarily at OSE AKA B/X, or deliberately kind of generic, intended to work with minimal conversion or adjustment for any TSR-era edition.

One place you probably want to take a look at is Dragonsfoot.org, which is one of the oldest OS sites I know of, dating to before the OSR as a movement really started, as a site focused primarily on 1E AD&D. Their forums are a little more inclusive now, generally open to any pre-WotC edition, but the free content they host is mostly still 1E. They have at least a couple of dozen free modules for download, including additional entries in Len Lakofka's Lendore Isles series, building on what he published with TSR as L1 The Secret of Bone Hill, and L2 The Assassin's Knot. Len used to be a regular there.
 
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Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
OSRIC is one of the early pillars of the OSR, of course, being a rules reference for (slightly clarified) 1E AD&D. I've never played with it yet, but if I specifically wanted 1E, it'd be my go-to.
OSRIC can be a very valuable resource. It is much cleared than 1e! :D

Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea is functionally a lightly-houseruled AD&D with its own Conan-esque setting, which naturally has lots of variant humans instead of the classic Tolkien races. I've only played it a little, but I quite like it.

Just to avoid any possible confusion. This is the same game as Hyperborea; they just shortened the name for the 3rd edition.

I don't know a lot of specific for-1E AD&D OSR modules. Most OSR content nowadays seems to be aimed primarily at OSE AKA B/X, or deliberately kind of generic, intended to work with minimal conversion or adjustment for any TSR-era edition.

Greyhawk Grognard (the author of Adventures Dark and Deep has published some modules (some free, some for sale), but it's true tjat B/X is much more popular among OSR creators.

One place you probably want to take a look at is Dragonsfoot.org, which is one of the oldest OS sites I know of, dating to before the OSR as a movement really started, as a site focused primarily on 1E AD&D. Their forums are a little more inclusive now, generally open to any pre-WotC edition, but the free content they host is mostly still 1E. They have at least a couple of dozen free modules for download, including additional entries in Len Lakofka's Lendore Isles series, building on what he published with TSR as L1 The Secret of Bone Hill, and L2 The Assassin's Knot. Len used to be a regular there.
Yes, DF is a great site. Plenty of free material available.
 



overgeeked

B/X Known World
I normally enjoy really complex and modern games, but am feeling a serious wave of nostalgia for the earlier days of the industry.

Please share any and all opinions about the various 1st AD&D compatible OSR games. I am almost a complete novice in this area - I have OSRIC and some of the Old School Essentials that also have the Advanced. What else is out there, what is good, what should I avoid, and if there are exceptional adventures/modules I would love to be pointed in that direction. I have an almost complete run of the original AD&D 1st stuff from back in the day as well as some other stuff from that era, but am completely lost at sea with the OSR.

Thanks in advance.
I’d stick with Old-School Essentials Advanced. Of the games that are even loosely compatible it is by far the simplest and cleanest. Great layout and everything is clearly explained. It also seems to be one of the best supported OSR games.

It’s not pure AD&D, or a pure AD&D clone, but it’s close enough that you don’t have to worry about converting things. The biggest differences are AC and hit points. AC starts one point higher in AD&D (10) than in OSE (9). Some classes have slightly more hit points on average in AD&D. OSE fighters have 1d8 but AD&D fighters have 1d10. Otherwise you can use any module or sourcebook with ease.

The best OSR YouTube channel is Questing Beast. Lots and lots of reviews on OSR material.
 

I’d stick with Old-School Essentials Advanced. Of the games that are even loosely compatible it is by far the simplest and cleanest. Great layout and everything is clearly explained. It also seems to be one of the best supported OSR games.
I took a lot at what I had for this - the wife and I tend to like high level play (throwing around 8th and 9th level spells) and this stops at traditional B/X levels, but thank you. Getting into details in that helped guide me.
 

Endroren

Adventurer
Publisher
I have an almost complete run of the original AD&D 1st stuff from back in the day as well as some other stuff from that era, but am completely lost at sea with the OSR.
Why don't you just play 1E? It's true, there is a ton of great OSR stuff, but if you already own all the 1E stuff, just fire it up for a few games and see how it goes. Or is there a reason you specifically don't want to run with 1E that's pushing you to try the OSR games?
 

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