Monday, January 8, 2018

Mini Review - B/X Essentials: Classes and Equipment

I was asked the other day if we really needed another presentation of B/X D&D, as that was the purpose of Labyrinth Lord - a cleaner presentation of B/X. My truthful answer is that while it wasn't needed, it is much appreciated.

Let me explain.

B/X is a great if poorly organized system of rules over multiple vloumes. Labyrinth Lord rewrote it and presented it as a much more organized single volume of rules. The B/X Essentials series is doing much the same, but split among what will be five volumes - Core (the rule mechanics), Classes & Equipment (what I'm looking at now), Spells, Monsters and finally Adventures & Treasures.

Which method is better? All in one or five volumes. That's up to you, the consumer.

As for B/X Essentials: Classes and Equipment - The presentation is easy to read, the layout is clean and easy to read, art ranges from fine to exceptional, the table of contents is hyperlinked, the classes and equipment are what you would expect and the water transportation section I may yoke for my own campaigns regardless of system

B/X Essentials: Classes and Equipment is exactly what it says on the tin. Yes, you've seen it before but this is probably the cleanest and clearest presentation yet.

B/X Essentials: Classes and Equipment with all of the bells & whistles is $4.99 for the PDF. Print plus PDF is a very reasonable $7.99 for a standard color paper softcover ($9.99 if you want heavier paper and staple bound instead of perfect bound)

Plain "vanilla" text version is free - perfect for a living houserules document. Also, a great way to try before you buy.

You can find the Core Rules here.
The B/X Essentials line is a restatement of the classic Basic/Expert fantasy adventure gaming rule set, given a fresh, new presentation focused on usability:
  • Basic and Expert rules seamlessly combined.
  • Streamlined presentation optimised for ease of reference during play.
  • Meticulously researched; a guaranteed 100% accurate rendition of the classic rules of yesteryear.
  • Carefully clarified, ironing out ambiguities in the original rules.
This second book lays out the standard classes of adventurer and the ways in which characters can spend their hard-earned treasure, including: arms, adventuring gear, mounts, sea vessels, mercenaries, specialists, and (eventually!) castles and strongholds.
44 pages 
I was comped a PDF copy for review purposes. Yes, there are affiliate links above. Keep the taps flowing and the lights burning at The Tavern. Thank you :)


  1. B/X Essentials is what I'll be rolling with once all the books are out.

  2. Once all 5 are out add I can get a single volume I'm sold

  3. I agree with Erik wholeheartedly here. I’d also like to point out the truly exemplary way in which Gavin Norman is going about putting it all together. He keeps everyone up to date and listens to suggestions and debates different points of view with real integrity. He clearly loves what he’s doing and it shows in the quality of the work. Jon Salway


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