Monday, June 6, 2011

For Those Not in the Know: Resources I

I have had a few requests from those unfamiliar with the OSR for information about resources that I have been referring to. So if you are already familiar with the OSR, these next few pots might seem a bit blasé, but for someone unfamiliar with the movement, who didn’t know where to look, I am hoping this will be useful and informative.


To list blogs as a resource might seem a little strange at first, but in many ways blogging is the heart of the OSR movement. All the main creators (i.e. people who produce useful and game-able resources, not just opinions and reviews) post on blogs, often providing links to pdf dungeons, charts, even whole campaigns. Frankly, the ‘idea’ posts are of even more value, once you begin to delve into them and begin to see how to apply the ideas to your game.

I’ll just list a few of the more famous ones, along with a brief note about each.


James Maliszewski writes the premiere old-school blog. He’s generally very thoughtful and interesting, but only occasionally serves up the red meat of resources in the way many other blogs do.

Lamentations of the Flame Princess

James Edward Raggi IV produces the LotFP RPG, which is an adaption of Labyrinth Lord in the Weird Fantasy vein. He’s got a bit of a bay-boy rep, but his works include some of the best old school dungeons available, not to mention fantastic work for LotFP.

Playing D&D with Porn Stars

Speaking of bad-boy reps, Zak S. happens to GM a game with his GF (wife?) who just happens to be a porn star. And most of his other players are porn stars as well. Ya know what? That’s not the most interesting thing about his blog, it’s the tons and tone of useful, gameable old-school resources that he posts every week. Author of the acclaimed Vornheim: the Complete City Guide, which is probably the best fantasy city campaign guide published since The Kaiin Players Guide.

Society of Torch, Pole and Rope

Michael Curtis has written three works, each one of which would grant some lasting fame to any RPG writer, but he wrote all three, and they are really as good as the hype says they are. The Dungeon Alphabet, filled with incredible old school art, Realms of Crawling Chaos, Lovecraftian fantasy written with Dan Proctor, and his sublime Stonehell Dungeon.

Sham’s Grog & Blog

Dave Bowman produces many excellent short PDFs of excellent utility, such as Time in the Game, the One page Dungeon template, marvelous little works like d6 Dungeon rooms and many other tables of use.


As you might guess, the OSR is all about the original rules, but that is actually a little more complex than it seems.

The first set of ‘rules’ that can be called a true RPG is debatable, but for most, the white box Dungeons & Dragons is considered to be the first true RPG rules published.

Four core supplements were profited for this version of the rules.

White Box Swords and Wizardry emulates the box rules alone, and not the supplements

Swords & Wizardy Core emulates the Box rules plus the first supplement, Greyhawk.

Swords & Wizardry Complete emulates it all, plus two classes as they originally appear in the The Strategic Review, precursor to Dragon.

Next: more rules.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoying the posts.

    Links to Wisdom collects many of the OSR blog house rules.