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Old-School Essentials Author's Notes on the RulesClick to magnify

Old-School Essentials Author's Notes on the Rules


Old-School Essentials is an adventure role-playing game of exploration, danger, monsters, and magic. The game is intentionally rules-light, putting the focus of play on imagination, improvisation, and fun. The rules are optimised for ease of use at the table, with meticulous attention to wording and layout clarity. What's more, Old-School Essentials is 100% compatible with the classic Basic/Expert game from 1981, meaning that decades of adventure are at your fingertips!

Author's Notes on the Rules

Old-School Essentials is the product of over two years of poring over venerable tomes, discussing rules minutiae with the elite of online RPG geeks, laborious writing, and painstaking layout work. The result—in the form of the Core Rules and Classic Fantasy books—is a game 100% compatible with the classic Basic/Expert rules from 1981. However, no game is perfect, and Old-School Essentials attempts to fix some of the most irksome errors in the Basic/Expert rules.

This document describes the tweaks that were made, for those with a passion for rules archaeology.

Deluxe Rules Tome and Boxed Set

Old-School Essentials is available for sale from the Necrotic Gnome publisher website in the form of a deluxe all-in-one tome and a wondrous boxed set.

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Discussions (1)
Customer avatar
Rachael S May 09, 2019 11:32 am UTC
I like your stuff but honestly having only A5 versions is ....a block to buying into the kickstarter. If you offered letter sized that would be good too. Some of us old timers can't read these smaller books very well.
Customer avatar
Necrotic G May 10, 2019 8:23 am UTC
Sorry, we won't be offering the game in any different formats in the foreseeable future. The layout work involved (we'd have to completely redo the layout of all books!) and manufacturing costs of producing the game in multiple formats are just prohibitive. Plus the A5 format is kind of a selling point for the game. No other major B/X clone exists in that format.

One suggestion would be to print the PDFs at Letter size. That way, you'd get a version of the books with a really large font size, for easy reading.
Customer avatar
han H November 21, 2019 11:04 am UTC
It's metric, the entire idea is that it scales up easily. A5 can be losslessly converted to A4.

A4 is almost Letter size, and when printing you just tell the printer driver to fit in available space.
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0.28 MB
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These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

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File Last Updated:
September 12, 2021
This title was added to our catalog on April 12, 2019.