Sell Me on OSE

I still overall find a lot to like about Dolmenwood, such as its more localized dark fairytale Europe feel. This world-building detail, however minor, was a bit off-putting of a design choice. Also this is no way detracts from my recommendation of OSE.

why does everything have to turn into a gender based attack?
@Aldarc does not seem to be attacking OSE, but rather giving it a recommendation while noting, for a prospective buyer, one small aspect of the setting that they found to be off-putting. And it might be off-putting on any number of accounts; if I were playing OSE with my nephew, for example, I would likely exclude that bit of setting detail.
 

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Along these lines, Gavin Norman rewrote the intro to Winter's Daughter to make it less...intense. I much prefer the new intro to the adventure, especially as it is a good starting point or one shot for OSE

 


overgeeked

B/X Known World
Alright, people really seem to love OSE as an alternative to B/X and other early versions of the game and retroclones. If you are one of those people, tell me what I should get OSE versus using my Rules Cyclopedia or my old B/X books? Also, tell me about the much lauded support for OSE, especially support in the weird fantasy/genre mashup space, if it exists.

Note that this isn't going to be the hardest sell in the world. I have some extra Christmas money, but I want to know why folks love it so much.
To bring things back around a bit...

OSE is as direct a retroclone as is legally possible to make of B/X. It has no content from the BECMI line or the RC, as far as I know. As mentioned, the books are new and designed in a great, easy to read layout. A few minor things that were inconsistent between B and X were smoothed out and they include charts for using either old-style descending AC or the newer ascending AC. They also make great use of space by printing on the end papers. Usually the charts and tables you'd have with a DM's screen.

There are a lot of adventures and 3PP writing for OSE now. It's kinda staggering for a "small" retroclone. Even a few award-winning adventures. Dolmenwood is great, except a few bits that have already been mentioned. Halls of the Blood King is a great adventure. The Incandescent Grottoes is another great one. As is The Isle of the Plangent Mage. The thing I love about OSR games, especially OSE, is the level of weird that goes into it. I really miss that. As mentioned, Planar Compass is their Planescape / Spelljammer mashup.

If you want pure B/X, pick up the Classic Fantasy black books. The Rules Tome is all you need as it contains all the rules for the game. The Player's Rules Tome is handy to pass around the table and only includes the player-facing rules, so no monsters or treasures, etc.

They recently did Advanced Fantasy. Which takes the races, classes, spells, etc from AD&D and fits them to the B/X rules. You can have either race as class per B/X or have race and class separate per AD&D. It's important to note you'll need both the Player's Tome and the Referee's Tome as the full contents are split between the two books, akin to the PHB and DMG.

There are some quibbles about the conversion of AD&D stuff to the Advanced Fantasy rules. Like the paladin's stats. In AD&D the paladin needs a 17 CHA, but in Advanced Fantasy only needing a 9 CHA. As far as I can tell there's a few oddities like that, but you're not dealing with wildly different abilities between AD&D classes/races and Advanced Fantasy classes/race. A paladin's a paladin and a barbarian's a barbarian.

ETA: To be clear. Advanced Fantasy has everything Classic Fantasy does plus their conversions of AD&D stuff into the B/X rules.
 
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Aldarc

Legend
To bring things back around a bit...
Thank you.

There are a lot of adventures and 3PP writing for OSE now. It's kinda staggering for a "small" retroclone. Even a few award-winning adventures. Dolmenwood is great, except a few bits that have already been mentioned.
Just to add more regarding what I like about Dolmenwood: While Dolmenwood is written so that one can play the pre-existing B/X (and converted AD&D) classes (e.g., Fighter, Bard, Ranger, etc.), it also makes more genre-appropriate variants that help capture the medieval fairytale flavor of the setting better: e.g., Knight, Minstrel, Friar, Hunter, etc.

Halls of the Blood King is a great adventure. The Incandescent Grottoes is another great one. As is The Isle of the Plangent Mage. The thing I love about OSR games, especially OSE, is the level of weird that goes into it. I really miss that. As mentioned, Planar Compass is their Planescape / Spelljammer mashup.
Winter's Daughter (for Dolmenwood) also gets a lot of praise as an adventure.
 

schneeland

Adventurer
Another nice thing about OSE is that it is apparently popular enough to receive translations. The German version has just been announced and according to the Necrotic Gnome info page, there are also versions in French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.

This also includes some of the adventures (e.g. Winter's Daughter is available in German and more is to come with the above-mentioned translation).
 

Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
Another nice thing about OSE is that it is apparently popular enough to receive translations. The German version has just been announced and according to the Necrotic Gnome info page, there are also versions in French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.

This also includes some of the adventures (e.g. Winter's Daughter is available in German and more is to come with the above-mentioned translation).
In Italy it has indeed proven quite popular.
 

Mezuka

Adventurer
OSE combines the B and X books in a single volume with crisp and clean modern-day graphic design. The author also fixes some omissions and inserts minor errata that are explained at the end of the book. He offers ascending AC and other optional rules. I also bought Advanced OSE, which separates race and class but also gives you extra race-as-class character choices.

The character sheet is really well made. It has useful boxes to record important info about exploration skills, like finding secret doors. Something the original D&D sheets didn't have. In other words, it's hard to forget about them. It is a better teaching tool when explaining how to play Original Basic D&D to those who never played the game.

I've never played beyond level 14. At that juncture, characters retired to their castle, hired new adventurers to go out and defend the kingdom, while they are miserably caught up in court intrigue, paying the bills and looking for spies!

I really enjoyed reading it and using it. OSE is a great addition to my collection.
 
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kenada

Legend
Supporter
There are a lot of adventures and 3PP writing for OSE now. It's kinda staggering for a "small" retroclone. Even a few award-winning adventures. Dolmenwood is great, except a few bits that have already been mentioned. Halls of the Blood King is a great adventure. The Incandescent Grottoes is another great one. As is The Isle of the Plangent Mage. The thing I love about OSR games, especially OSE, is the level of weird that goes into it. I really miss that. As mentioned, Planar Compass is their Planescape / Spelljammer mashup.
Can confirm. I just finished running Halls of the Blood King for my group today, and we had a ton of fun. As far as horror fantasy adventures go, my players felt a sense of unease the entire time, which is not something one typically finds in a D&D game (and I ran it using WWN rather than OSE, so their characters were more powerful and resilient than the typical OSE character). We’ve also done Winter’s Daughter, which they liked too. As a referee, I like how in both adventures what happens depends greatly on the actions the players take as their characters.
 

LoganRan

Explorer
Can confirm. I just finished running Halls of the Blood King for my group today, and we had a ton of fun. As far as horror fantasy adventures go, my players felt a sense of unease the entire time, which is not something one typically finds in a D&D game (and I ran it using WWN rather than OSE, so their characters were more powerful and resilient than the typical OSE character). We’ve also done Winter’s Daughter, which they liked too. As a referee, I like how in both adventures what happens depends greatly on the actions the players take as their characters.
Remind me...why did you stop using the OSE ruleset in favor of Worlds Without Number?
 

kenada

Legend
Supporter
Remind me...why did you stop using the OSE ruleset in favor of Worlds Without Number?
My players bounced off OSE. I think they prefer more customization than what OSE offers, and they weren’t happy after one combat went particularly poorly, but what they really didn’t like was how the XP system works in OSE. They felt XP for gold really pushed them into playing the game like it was about dungeon heists, but what they would rather do is pursue their characters’ agendas without the system’s pushing them to go in a certain direction. What we’re doing for XP in WWN is very heavily goal-driven, which they really like. For more details on what we’re doing, I made a recent post in the WWN thread with that discusses it a bit.

However, I’m still sort of having it both ways when it comes to system. Obviously, I’m keen to run Necrotic Gnome’s adventures because they’re pretty good. I’m also running something of a hybrid between WWN and OSE. WWN has some gaps in its rules and procedures (particularly when it comes exploration), which I’ve filled in from OSE. I also largely based my bestiary on OSE’s, though I have tweaked things a bit for WWN’s sensibilities. Vampire energy drain, for example, causes the target to gain system strain (and take a stacking penalty) instead of causing level loss, and going over your limit will cause you to turn into one in three days.
 
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deganawida

Adventurer
Just want to say thanks, I think. My wallet is a little bit smaller, but I'm eagerly anticipating the arrival of my Basic Fantasy Tome. While I'm still deciding on system, this thread got me to purchase an OSE product, and I absolutely love what I've seen of Dolmenwood, though I'm debating on whether or not I want to do the Patreon or just wait for release.
 

OSE with its Advanced Options+Rules Cyclopedia variant rules/toggles+Lamentations of the Flame Princess+all four Creature Crucibles Gazetteers sounds like my go to set up for doing it/older DND that isn't 2nd Edition or 3.0/3.5.
 

thirdkingdom

Adventurer
Publisher
There's only a couple days left for the OSE Treasures Bundle of Holding, which includes the OSE rules and a bunch of 3pp stuff (full disclosure I've got a couple titles in there).

 

JarooAshstaff

Explorer
What is blowing my mind with OSE, is that youtube channels and lots of people have praised the book on its organization.

But it has no index.

How can you have no index in this world of computers?

They added a spell index, a monster index, but no index for all the important things you want to look up.

How is this possible?
 


JarooAshstaff

Explorer
OSE organizes content around the spread and puts all you need to know about a topic in its appropriate section. What would be the point of an index? It would (more or less) duplicate the table of contents.
I understand if you have only ever googled things its a confusing concept I will grant you. But I like to lookup things efficiently in an alphabetical index, not read the entire contents trying to guess which section it would be under.
 

What is blowing my mind with OSE, is that youtube channels and lots of people have praised the book on its organization.

But it has no index.

How can you have no index in this world of computers?

They added a spell index, a monster index, but no index for all the important things you want to look up.

How is this possible?
So as you note, the indices are grouped by category: spell, tables (players), monsters, magic items, tables (referee). Then of course the table of contents. Looking over all these just now, there's even a lot of overlap between them, so I don't think it would be hard to find things during play. I suppose it would be helpful to have page numbers associated with some of the random tables (e.g. for monster encounters and magic items). The only organizational thing that I'm a bit unsure of is that spells are organized by class, meaning that there are repeats. But I guess this makes it easy as a player to choose your spells.
 


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