xmas

Sunday, January 20, 2013

What Three Free OSR RPG Products Would You Suggest For a "Lapsed" Gamer?

I've been thinking of this for a while: What would be the three OSR RPG products I would steer a retuning or "lapsed" gamer towards? We have such an abundance of free (and inexpensive) RPGs to choose from in our corner of the RPG universe, which can be as much curse as boon when one first looks.

So I figured I'd put together a 3 pack that would allow a returning gamer to get his feet wet in the OSR without being overwhelmed. My picks are below. Nothing states my picks are the only ones or even the best ones. Part of my thinking was a single system for all three products. Yes, everything in the OSR is extremely compatible, but I wanted to simplify things as much as possible.

Labyrinth Lord (no art version) - It was a toss up between LL and Swords & Wizardry. LL has the Advanced Edition Characters book freely available in a no art version, so they could make their campaign more AD&D like without having to pay for a new rulebook like you would with Swords & Wizardry Complete.

Blackmarsh - I'm not sure how many freely available campaign settings there are in the OSR, but this is professionally done and has the makings of one heck of a hexcrawl if the DM so desired.

Tomb of Sigyfel - A short and simple dungeon adventure. Short enough to be finished in a 2-3 hour session, it shouldn't overwhelm a returning DM.

What "Free OSR Three Pack" would you assemble for a returning player or DM. Would it be different than what you would give to a totally new player to the hobby? Why?

Give me your picks and we'll add to this page.



---------------------------------------------- Reader Submitted Lists -----------------------------------------------------

1  +Jeremy Friesen 

1) Labrynth Lord - its really close to the original, with excellent free support
2) Dungeon World - I love this game, and the narrative style may be a better fit for a lapsed player.
3) Stars Without Number - Maybe they played Star Frontier's or Traveller? Its a good system.

2  wrathofzombie

I'd also recommend the OSR Premier as an excellent guide for new and rusty Rpgers.

3  +Tim Shorts 

I would have a hard time arguing against any of those choices. My 3 would be.
1. Swords & Wizardry Core
2. Blackmarsh
3. While Tomb of Sigyfel is great I think I would go with the one-page dungeon collection.

4  The Dave

1. BFRPG core rules - To me its OSR minus the descending armor class..and I like that its completely open source..
2. BF1 - Morgansfort: Very Keep on the Borderlands. Some small beginner adventures along with a small keep that the adventurers can base their exploration from.
3. AA1 - Adventure Anthology: A compendium of different adventures that could take a party from beginner to mid-level.

5 Robo

1) Labyrinth Lord
2) Obelisk of Forgotten Memories, a Level 1-2 outdoor encounter area and small dungeon complex designed for Patrick Wetmore's ASE setting
3) World of Algol 1: The Iridium Plateau


6  Tori Bergquist

1. Labyrinth Lord
2. Mutant Future
3. Stars Without Number
Those cover the OSR experience pretty nicely, and each has the feel and familiarity of the most popular classics (B/X D&D, Gamma World, Traveller)

7  S'mon

1. Labyrinth Lord
2. The Endless Tunnels of Enlandin off Dragonsfoot, for use with LL.
3. Mutant Future would be a good intro to the non-D&D side of the OSR.

8  Rob S

1. Labyrinth lord
2. One page dungeon compilation 2012
3. Secret Santicore 2011

Honourable mention goes to Dyson's Delve.

9  +Charles W 

1) Labyrinth Lord
2) BLUEHOLME Prentice Rules
3) alas was not free ;)

10  +Roman Mollari 

Swords & Wizardry SRD
Labyrinth Lord and Advanced Edition Companion (no art version)
Mutant Future (no art version)
Star Frontiers - all of it
Marvel Super Heroes RPG - FASERIP

11 +John Bell 

Swords and Wizardry Core
How to Make a Fantasy Sandbox
Stars Without Number

12 +Bruce Callan

1) Labyrinth Lord
2) Stars Without Number
3) Mutant Future

13 +Dead Greyhawk 

Stormcrows Gather
Obelisk of Forgotten Memories
Labyrinth Lord

Two radically different ways to play a game under the same rules. 

14 +Zachary Houghton 


-Stars Without Number
-Labyrinth Lord
-Either Blackmarsh

15 +Richard Iorio II 

Microlite 74

Stars Without Number
Labyrinth Lord

16 +James Aulds 

Labyrinth Lord
Stars Without Number
One Page Dungeon Contest

17 +Pearce Shea


Old School Hack
Fictive Hack
Stars Without Numbers










13 comments:

  1. Regarding free products, I would go with:

    1) Labrynth Lord - its really close to the original, with excellent free support
    2) Dungeon World (book.dwgazetteer.com) - I love this game, and the narrative style may be a better fit for a lapsed player.
    3) Stars without Number - Maybe they played Star Frontier's or Traveller? Its a good system.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'd also recommend the OSR Premier as an excellent guide for new and rusty Rpgers.

    http://www.lulu.com/us/en/shop/matthew-finch/quick-primer-for-old-school-gaming/ebook/product-3159558.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would have a hard time arguing against any of those choices. My 3 would be.
    1. S&W complete
    2. Blackmarsh
    3. While Tomb of Sigyfel is great I think I would go with the one-page dungeon collection.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Tim - the only problem with that is S&W Complete is it isn't free. I'll substitute S&W Core when i update the post ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hmm, Core it is then. But really any of the big three retro will do nicely.

      Delete
  5. Basic Fantasy Roleplaying. While I wish it would have gone with 3 saves (reflex, will, fortitude) instead of the classic 5 I think it's overall the easiest to play retro-clone

    ReplyDelete
  6. I recommend Old School Hack or it's "advanced" version, Fictive Hack.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the recommend! I agree those would be great for new gamers, but I do not think they are in any way OSR. They aren't old, or D&D, and the playstyle is different.

      That said, they'd be a blast for new or returning gamers looking for fun.

      Delete
  7. Since I am the BFRPG guy I would go with..

    1. BFRPG core rules - To me its OSR minus the descending armor class..and I like that its completely open source..
    2. BF1 - Morgansfort: Very Keep on the Borderlands. Some small beginner adventures along with a small keep that the adventurers can base their exploration from.
    3. AA1 - Adventure Anthology: A compendium of different adventures that could take a party from beginner to mid-level.

    ReplyDelete
  8. 1) Labyrinth Lord

    2) Obelisk of Forgotten Memories, a Level 1-2 outdoor encounter area and small dungeon complex designed for Patrick Wetmore's ASE setting
    http://dungeonofsigns.blogspot.com/p/pdfs-to-download.html

    3) World of Algol 1: The Iridium Plateau http://redboxvancouver.wordpress.com/2011/07/04/world-of-algol-pdf/

    ReplyDelete
  9. Free? 1. Labyrinth Lord, 2. Mutant Future, 3. Stars Without Number. Those cover the OSR experience pretty nicely, and each has the feel and familiarity of the most popular classics(B/X D&D, Gamma World, Traveller). If it was a lapsed gamer who was just interested in fantasy, though, I would probably pick the same range as yours, Erik, including Blackmarsh, which I didn't know about until your plug above (but having downloaded it...very cool setting, Conley up to form as usual!)

    ReplyDelete
  10. 1. Labyrinth Lord
    2. The Endless Tunnels of Enlandin off Dragonsfoot, for use with LL.
    3. Mutant Future would be a good intro to the non-D&D side of the OSR.

    ReplyDelete
  11. 1. Labyrinth lord
    2. One page dungeon compilation 2012
    3. Secret Santicore 2011

    Honourable mention goes to Dyson's Delve.

    ReplyDelete