Monday, January 16, 2012

Mini Review - Companion Expansion - (For B/X - OSR)

Want to add Druids, Illusionists or Bards to your B/X game (or most any OSR that doesn't already include them)?  Gnomes as Class, as well as Half-Elves, Half-Orcs and Half-Ogres?  Well, the Companion Expansion is here to help you do so.

Oh, did I mention it also includes levels through 36 for the base B/X classes?  Yep, it does.  As well as the spell lists to fill in any gaps through level 9 you might have.

New monsters and treasures too.  Oh my!

Did I mention the price of this PDF?  Free.

No bookmarks in this PDF, but at the price of "free" I can't really be all that picky.

Looks good at first glance with a definite B/X look to the typeface.

From the blurb:

Presenting additional creatures and magical items for fantasy roleplaying games for basic- and expert-level players and gamemasters, including 7 additional character classes (bard, druid, gnome, half-elf/half-orc, half-ogre, illusionist, scout), expanded experience tables, two additional types of magic (druid and illusion) and additional magic-user and cleric spells (90 in all), over 130 new or additional creatures, dozens of new or additional magic items, and a complete treasure generation system!

Also includes expanded spell lists for three free "retro-clone" rulebooks and expanded combat, saving throw, and other tables. Use these rules to expand your campaign in the WORLD OF STRONGHOLD or wherever your games are set! Note: this free download version does not contain art. Print version available at www.barrataria.com.


  1. Eh. I think my own is a better product.

    On the other hand, mine's not free (though some might say, 'you get what you pay for').

  2. So what specifically is better about yours, JB? Neither work could exactly be called original, by my estimation...

    And for $30 I could get a Rules Cyclopedia or a few AD&D books. What makes your 64-pager a better value?

  3. P.S. - I'm not trying to be confrontational, I'd just like to hear some of your specific reasons why yours is better.

  4. Thanks for the tip Erik! I downloaded it and it looks very cool. I've always wanted to see more race & class options in B/X. Monsters and treasure are also cool. Looks like great ideas and inspiration.

    PS: I now have both "Companion" books and will get great use out of both. Kudos to both these guys for putting out good stuff.

  5. @ JB - Your B/X Companion is well worth the price. I think my printing is the 2nd ;)

    @Aplus - I think the RC goes for a premium these days, so its a bit more then 30... ouch.

    I've become a "more choices is better" type of gamer, so thank you for more options.

    @George - You are very welcome. I try to keep on top of new releases (I'm not always successful)

  6. @ Aplus:

    Ha! Probably came off as snarkier than I meant! And, no, I don't take your question as 'confrontational."

    It's hard to list the ways without coming off as a bit of a narcissist, but...oh, well:

    - My book is a complete game, similar in format to both the Basic and Expert rule books, providing the same types of info as found in those books but for higher levels.

    - Rather than ape AD&D or the Mentzer Companion set, it builds on the info found in the original B/X books in a similar fashion to OD&D, using monsters, treasures, and spells from mythology and fantasy literature.

    - The information in my book is designed to facilitate high level (post-15th level) play, providing the kinds of challenges and ideas that would pertain to characters that own strongholds and command armies.

    - Includes a serviceable means of running mass combat and managing dominions based on systems already in place (for example, morale and reaction) rather than the soulless mathematics found in Mentzer.

    - Provides open-ended inspiration with ideas on other planes and dimensions, rather than the "closed system;" the idea being a jumping off point for your own creation.

    - Provides a rule book that's easy to use and completely serviceable at 64 pages, making play at the table nice and easy (not to mention practical).

    Also, I like a lot of the artwork in my book. I really lucked out with some great artists.

    : )

  7. Thanks very much for noticing the book. I hope you can find something useful in it, and continue to be pleased that others find it worthwhile.

    And I'm sorry that it was unavailable for a while after lulu stopped hosting free downloads. Even while hibernating there are too many tasks for me to find time for.


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