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    Carcass Crawler: Issue One
    by Kalin K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/04/2021 00:12:56

    Really good material in this one, and if all Carcass Crawlers are going to be of this level of quality, then this is shaping up to be an awesome zine!



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    Carcass Crawler: Issue One
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    Old-School Essentials Advanced Fantasy Player's Tome
    by michael m. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/23/2021 08:48:45

    Great book. If you're into old school games. I highly recommend this. The rules are a combination of Basic D&D and AD&D. Well edited and great illustrations. The layout makes the rules easy to find. Compatible with Labyrinth Lord, Basic D&D and Swords & Wizardry.



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    Old-School Essentials Advanced Fantasy Player's Tome
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    The Hole in the Oak
    by Bill R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/15/2021 21:58:52

    My friends and I are playing this these days. Some new players and some experienced. It is super fun! I highly reccomend this.



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    The Incandescent Grottoes
    by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/06/2021 10:59:50

    Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2021/07/review-old-school-essentials-adventures.html

    There are a lot of great clones out there but right now nothing is scratching my old-school itch quite like OSE. I got my Kickstarter package a bit back and while I was engrossed with the rules of the new books, I utterly failed to give much attention to the two included adventures. That is until I started hearing people talk about them more online. I went back to them and you know what? They are really kind of great.

    For this review, I am considering both the hardcover copies I got with the Kickstarter and the PDF copies from DriveThru RPG. The adventure is a 48-page, full-color book. The maps are printed on the inside covers with encounter areas labeled on the maps. The physical books are A5 format (5.8" x 8.3", 148mm x 210mm).

    The Incandescent Grottoes by Gavin Norman

    This is an introductory adventure designed for characters level 1-2, written by OSE creator Gavin Norman with art by Nate Treme.

    The adventure could be considered a dungeon crawl along the lines of Keep on the Borderlands, but like so much of OSE it taps into how the games were played rather than written. The dungeons of IG could be like the Caves of Chaos, but more accurately they are played like Caves of Chaos were played back then. What do I mean? Well, there is a demonic cult here, The Cult of the Faceless Lord. There are factions within the dungeon and how they interact. Plus goals for the various groups of monsters. There are tables of treasures and random occurrences to make exploring this dungeon something players can keep coming back to.

    The rooms and areas a very nicely detailed and the whimsical art really adds to the dream-like qualities of the adventure. There is even a dragon waiting for the characters at the end! Ok, it is not a very powerful one, but to 1st and 2nd level characters it is powerful enough. There are some new monsters (the aforementioned dragon) and lots of great encounters.

    While there is no overt meta-plot here, one could easily see this as some sort of introduction to a cult of Juiblex vying for control of the Mythic Underworld.

    A bit about the name. I can't help but notice that a 1st level adventure into the "Mythic Underground" can be read as "I(n) Can Descen(d)t." I am sure this is intentional.

    If these are examples of how adventures for OSE are going to be written in the future then OSE is going have a nice long shelf life. While neither adventure is revolutionary in design or concepts they are really good adventures.



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    Halls of the Blood King
    by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/06/2021 10:59:41

    Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2021/07/review-old-school-essentials-adventures.html

    There are a lot of great clones out there but right now nothing is scratching my old-school itch quite like OSE. I got my Kickstarter package a bit back and while I was engrossed with the rules of the new books, I utterly failed to give much attention to the two included adventures. That is until I started hearing people talk about them more online. I went back to them and you know what? They are really kind of great.

    For this review, I am considering both the hardcover copies I got with the Kickstarter and the PDF copies from DriveThru RPG. The adventure is a 48-page, full-color book. The maps are printed on the inside covers with encounter areas labeled on the maps. The physical books are A5 format (5.8" x 8.3", 148mm x 210mm).

    Halls of the Blood King by Diogo Nogueira

    Diogo Nogueira has been racking up an impressive list of RPG publications and getting him to pen an adventure for OSE is quite a score. And the adventure is pretty much what I hoped it would be like.

    This time the artist is Justine Jones. If the art of Incandescent Grottoes is dream-like then the art here is nightmarish. I mean that in the most positive way.

    The adventure is set up in a manner similar to other OSE adventures. We get maps with major encounter areas, descriptions and relationships of the major factions/NPCs/Monsters.

    The adventure itself is a castle of a vampire lord for characters of 3rd to 5th level.

    Detail-wise this adventure lives somewhere between the sparse-ness Palace of the Vampire Queen and the detail rich Ravenloft. I don't want this to sound like there not a lot of detail here, there is, but there is no over arching epic here. This is great since it allows you to take this adventure and work it into your world much easier. For example with a tweak or two here and there I could make this "Halls of the Blood Queen" and add it rather nicely to my War of the Witch Queens campaign. This would work out well since I am using OSE for that. The only thing stopping me is I have so many Vampire Queens now! But still, it would be fun and very, very easy.

    The adventure is also rather good and looks like a lot of fun.

    If these are examples of how adventures for OSE are going to be written in the future then OSE is going have a nice long shelf life. While neither adventure is revolutionary in design or concepts they are really good adventures.



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    The Hole in the Oak
    by Michael A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/17/2021 07:59:56

    Awesome little dugeon with room for growth!

    It was very easy to run at the table, my first time running it I only had about 1 hour to prepare and the players were enchanted by the atmosphere. The layout and descriptions have just enough there to evoke the senses with plenty of opportunity or the referee to expand. There are a couple spots where it is noted that you can easily expand the dungeon into a multi-level environment and I will do just that when my players think they have 'beat' the dungoen. An excellent starter/learner dungoen with plenty of danger, gold, and glory to be had.



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    The Hole in the Oak
    by Tim Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/08/2021 15:22:16

    Fantastic advernture for those looking for Old School D&D role-playing. I played through this as a player (Thief 2nd Level) and a DM. Don't let the cover and inside art fool you...this adventure is not child's play. However, its a great adventure for those who are starting with their characters at Level 1-4. It is a balanced "dungeon" filled with wonderous traps and evil baddies. I wish THIS was the adventure module I started playing D&D with back in the 80's instead of Keep on the Borderlands. Great stuff and can't wait to play more from OSE.



    Rating:
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    Halls of the Blood King
    by Marco E. D. P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/05/2021 15:02:48

    Plain and simple: when you see something with Diogo's signature, just buy it. No kidding: he's one of my favorite game designers ever and his games are all about having fun with some degree of horror and weirdness. Pair this with an awesome tablet friendly layout and ease of access with the perfect rendition to BX D&D and it's deal. Note that I don't like premade adventures, but this is a brutal and funny horror sandbox to splash into any existing dark themed campaigns.



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    The Incandescent Grottoes
    by Ryan M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/05/2021 08:23:53

    Please check out my review below.

    https://thac0rpg.blogspot.com/2021/03/the-incandescent-grottoes-review.html



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    Old-School Essentials: Basic Rules
    by Jesper P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/21/2021 08:45:28

    Simple, useful and a great layout. This book was so good i got it printed and turned into a hand stitched book.



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    Old-School Essentials: Basic Rules
    by Gus L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/19/2020 16:39:59

    A clean modernized retroclone of the 1981 Molday Basic/Expert set. It doesn't make changes, but it has a nice muber of explanations and notes that make it a great introductory rule set for people that expect a different play style. For a free starter, it's complete, well illustrated and utterly sufficent to start running adventures.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Old-School Essentials: Basic Rules
    by Cosmo C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/27/2020 18:19:58

    Old School Essentials is the best way to play original B/X D&D. The TSR Basic and Expert rules are hard to come by and not organized well at all. This solves that perfectly. It's cleanly laid out and done right. So if you want to play a very streamlined and simple version of Dungeons & Dragons this is it. It does not, however, try and fix the design issues with the original version so you'll see a lot of relics of 1970s/1980s unrefined game design in some places (e.g. the thief saving throw vs wands is 13 for levels 5-8, then changes to 11 for levels 9-12, the real questions here are "why did it stay the same for 4 levels then jump 2 spots" and "why have a save vs. wands in the first place" and "why are all wands the same so far as saves are concerned"?). Simply put, you get an excellent presentation of some very old and simple D&D rules (which are still tons of fun to play).



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Winter's Daughter (Old-School Essentials Version)
    by Idle D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/21/2020 17:03:20

    This is an excellent module with a strong eerie fairytale theme and narrative background while still being very varied in the manner of encounters, challenges and obstacles it offers players, and still avoids railroading a party into approaching the dungeon 'the right way'. I've run this module a number of times with different groups of players, some experienced OSR players, some complete newcomers to RPGs, some only having played 5e, and each group has tackled the module in a different way with a different outcome.

    Presentation This is one of the best laid-out modules I've read - it is very GM-friendly. Lore is brief but sufficiently presented in bullet points, and room descriptions are clear, terse and very good at prodding the GM's imagination into gear. It's very straightforward to run with minimal prep.

    Playstyle This is one of my go-to modules for one shots, especially with groups unfamiliar with the OSR playstyle - it provides a bit of narrative guidance for those less used to completely open sandbox gaming, but acts as a good introduction to many old-school motifs. It's probably more forgiving than many old-school dungeons, but groups going in guns blazing won't get far. There are a good selection of encounters which encourage (and some require) a non-combat mindset.

    It has some nice plot hooks beginning - each one handy for different groups, depending on where they might sit on the hero / mercenary spectrum.

    Length For all that it has several maps, it's also quite a short module - I've seen it take between 2.5 and 4 hours, depending on the group.



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    Old-School Essentials Classic Fantasy: Rules Tome
    by Ryan K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/03/2020 21:12:43

    The best rules for playing Dungeons and Dragons. Especially when it comes to exploration.



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    Old-School Essentials Classic Fantasy: Rules Tome
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    Old-School Essentials Advanced Fantasy: Genre Rules
    by Paul H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/28/2020 10:38:02

    Asolutely love this. Whilst being a tome that ties in nicely with the Old School Essentials set, this is usable with most B/X (or even later Mentzer/Cyclopedia) versions of Basic D&D. It introduces race & class as distinct whilst keeping the flavour of osr gaming (you have the option to keep race-as-class, and it includes many new additions for this style if you prefer it).

    I particularly liked the feel of old-style classes (Acrobat, Assassin, Ranger etc.) in the context of the Basic set-up. Also includes 'advanced rules' (two-weapon fighting, parrying, multi-classing, skills, weapon proficiency), yet somehow manages to 'feel' like its own thing, i.e not just a compromise with AD&D rules tacked-on.

    I find the rules herein far more intuitive than the weapon rules offered in the Cyclopedia version of basic D&D (which add more complexity than AD&D in many ways, albeit adding great depth).

    OSE keeps to the design principle of 'rules-light' and intuitive, whilst serving up something very evocative of what I had been looking for whenever I went back to try the 'basic' version of the 'Original Game' and found it missing something. This volume is an incredibly good answer to that feeling of what was missing. Great work, all!



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