Monday, August 28, 2023

Kickstarter - DragonSlayer (Greg Gillespie's Old School Clone)

I know what some of you are saying, as I've heard myself ask it many times over - Do we need yet another OSR ruleset? The answer, surprisingly, is yes, so long as the new ruleset has something new to offer. ShadowDark is very much Old School while being built on a 5e rules engine and adding the torchlight gimmick, and it works very well.

Well, earlier today, Greg Gillespie of Barrowmaze fame, launched a new Old School ruleset titled Dragonslayer. So, what does Dragonslayer offer that brings something new to the table? Let's see how Greg states it:

Once upon a time, as kids in the late 1970s and early 1980s, we played the first role-playing game created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

There were options at the time. Some played Basic and some most moved to First Edition (as best they could).

Most of us kept using the Basic Engine (elegantly restated by Tom Moldvay in 1981) and grafted the chrome of First Edition onto our existing style of play. We used First Edition spells, character classes, monsters, and all the adventures. We left behind lame rules that bogged down gameplay and made it feel like actuarial science (for example, counting segments for spells or weapon-speed factors, among others).

This wasn't Moldvay Basic and it wasn't First Edition.

This was the edition we all played. We called it .75 or halfway between BX and 1E.

This is the ruleset that I've played for decades. This is how I play medieval fantasy role-playing games. This is the way...I want to play fantasy role-playing games.

This is the ruleset I used to create and play some of the most popular and evocative megadungeon adventures on the RPG market today:

Barrowmaze, Archaia, HighFell, and Dwarrowdeep.

Both Archaia (2017) and Dwarrowdeep (2022) won the Three Castles Award for Independent Game Design in recent years.

This...is the DragonslayerTM Role-Playing Game.

DragonslayerTM is a 300 page rulebook with cover art by legendary ex-TSR artist Jeff Easley.

The DragonSlayer Kickstarter is about 26 USC in PDF and about 63 USC in Print plus PDF. I say "about" because Greg is Canadian and the prices are converted by Kickstarter into USC. When you read the word "about", you need to read it with a Canadian accent ;)

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  1. I'm curious. I already have ACKS and that seems 'enough' but the new new is worth checking out!

  2. Yeah, I'm not sure if this offers anything new if you already have OSE Classic and Advanced Fantasy in some form. On the other hand, physical OSE books are hard to come by if you don't back their Kickstarters, so this may be the next best thing for some people.


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