Friday, June 8, 2012

Old School Renaissance Primer

In the late 70’s and early 80’s roleplaying games became a popular pastime. Since then many new games and new editions of old favorites have been released. But unlike that old Apple 2 or Commodore 64, games don’t wear out or become obsolete. They are still as much fun to play today as they were back in the day.

In 2000,Wizards of the Coast released the 3rd Edition of the world’s most popular roleplaying game. In addition they released much of this edition under the Open Game License so that third party publishers could release products. This document had 90% of what is needed to play prior editions.

In 2006, the OSRIC team released the first retro-clone of an older edition. Now six years later every older edition has a retro-clone including many other roleplaying games that are variations. Taking the older editions in different directions that the original authors didn’t have the time or interest for.

The games listed in this primer are only a handful of the many that are available. For a person new to this it can all be confusing. The games selected in this primer are in the author’s judgment are representative of the OSR. After examining and playing these games you will find there is a incredible variety of other games, supplements, settings and adventures to choose from.

Thank you for reading this and I hope you find the same amount of enjoyment in these games as I did. Whether you are an older player returning, a parent looking to do something with their kid, or someone
wanting to see what it was all about.

In the words that closed the first ever roleplaying game.
Fight On!

Download the Swords and Wizardry quick Start

If you both like it then try either

Swords and Wizardry Core
Labyrinth Lord

If you have some trouble with rules light nature of the game then try reading the Old School Primer

And when you want more options go with one of the following

Swords and Wizardry, Complete

Advanced Edition Companion for LL


Adventurer Conqueror King

Look on and RPGNow for free or inexpensive adventures to use.
 For example my Blackmarsh setting.  (free to download)

I designed a one page fold up pamphlet that you can download from here. I am releasing this and the art to the public domain for everybody to copy and use. It includes a nifty cover along with a blank fourth pages that folks can customize to advertise their product or point out materials that I didn't.  I feel this pamphlet will get a novice up to speed quickly, explain why things are the way they are and a straightforward method of sampling the diverse material. I apologize if I didn't put your product on the list. Of my own material I only mentioned Blackmarsh because it is free to download.

Hope you find this useful.


Necropraxis said...

Very nice. I kind of wish LotFP was mentioned (especially since ACKS is on there), but I guess everyone will have a project that they wish was mentioned.


David said...

Great job, Mr Conley. Very succinct, while still being informative. Love the layout, too. I love S&W and am falling in love with ACKS. I think I would include Dark Dungeons in the DIY space, thanks for leaving us some "personal space".

Anonymous said...

Hmmm I personally believe it's important to mention that OSRIC was originally created so that people could legally publish new modules for AD&D; it was never really intended, at the beginning, to supplant those original rulebooks.

Hedgehobbit said...

I'd put Castles & Crusades in that list. I don't particularly care for it but, as I remember, it was pretty important in encouraging the whole formation of retro-clones.

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

Pretty humbled that you put the SWQS first. Glad it's still seeing some play. Cheers to you!

Robert Conley said...

It is that good, thanks for writing it and putting it together.