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Carcass Crawler: Issue One €6,94
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Carcass Crawler: Issue One
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Carcass Crawler: Issue One
Publisher: Necrotic Gnome
by Brian [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/07/2024 20:47:50

The optional D6 thief skills rules are the main reason to get this issue for me. The options for adjudicating thief skills are also helpful. The Acolyte and Mage classes are well done and probably better for newer players or short games than the existing Cleric and Magic-User. They may also serve experienced players well. In a longer game the Mage will likely make finding and scribing scrolls play a larger role in the game. I thought it was funny that the Mage and Acolyte adopt the % system that the D6 Thief Skills was moving away from. I think I'd prefer a d6 skills for Mage and Acolytes rather than %.

I'm not itching to add black powder fireams to my game but I appreciate the rules here in case it I need them. Some of my players feel the Combat Talents get away from the strength that is OSE's simplicity and start to feel too much like 3e or 5e but I know other players like them. The Hephaestan is a vulcan and the Kineticist is based on force-users from Star Wars. They could be fun to add but some players might feel they don't fit in some settings.

Overall, this is a solid issue of the official OSE zine and I'd recommend adding it if any of the above appeals to you but I definitely don't see it as essential and I'd pick up certain 3rd party OSE and general OSR supplements before it if I somehow lost access to my books and files. Carcass Crawler 2 is somewhat stronger in my book and its closer to what I want from an official OSE zine.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Carcass Crawler: Issue One
Publisher: Necrotic Gnome
by matt r. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/28/2023 10:31:17

Great product. Super useful zine for old school fantasy games. Well written, high quality.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Carcass Crawler: Issue One
Publisher: Necrotic Gnome
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/03/2022 08:10:16

What do we have here? Issue one of a zine supporting what is easily my favourite OSR game, Old-School Essentials. The game is a masterpiece. Go and buy it immediately.

So, the zine; any good? Let’s find out.

Firstly, it’s up to the standard of other OSE publications, crisply laid out, concise, easy to read and reference, with wonderful artwork. My favourite illustration is the trio of wolf-riding goblins. I suppose the only issue would be the goblins and wolves being much bigger than the adventurer pictured in the foreground. Still, the piece is excellent; very much in the DAT style.

We get 32 pages which include the front covers, a couple of leading and trailing blank pages and the OSR License.

The writing is strong, although littered with jarring exclamation marks such as: “…players may choose from when creating a character!” Should we be exclaiming that? It’s a small point I know but as an editor, these things tend to pop. Oh, there are also a few errant apostrophes but that’s inevitable these days.

First up we get a two-page spread preceding new class as race descriptions and for the Advanced version of the rules, races. Both Mage and Acolyte are the result of a “thought experiment”; I’m not sure what that means exactly. Perhaps the author thought it was a good idea then wrote it down?

Of the new class-as-race creations we have the Acolyte, a cleric replacement with six percentile abilities handled in a way similar to thieves’ skills, doing away with spells. The Acolyte can use some of these “skills” to perform spell-like effects and can use them at first level; interesting, but the character trades near-assured success and a vast array of powers for six skills with a very real chance of failure. At level two, the chance of succeeding with the Bless skill is 35%, with the Bless spell the chance is 100%. At second level, the Acolyte can heal 1D3 lost hit points. Hmmm…however, that can grant a second saving throw to resist and existing malady.

The Mage follows a similar path; a Magic-User replacement trading the certainty of spells for the random throw of percentile dice. In the case of both Acolyte and Mage it is mentioned that these new classes would suite a low-fantasy setting nicely. It surely would. Very nice. The Mage has a Gandalfy feel and that was the intention, he can wield a sword, is harder to hit and his staff packs a punch. Don’t be rude now.

Next up: The Gargantua, big and muscly and the Goblin, short and weedy. Very nicely done with fully integrated abilities.

A pair of sci-fi inspired classes are included and they are well imagined with interesting abilities that won’t derail your game.

After the Basic classes come the Advanced race details. This is where I find that my 32 pages has been diluted. I only play the basic game and I’m sure others will only play the Advanced game. Half of this material will only find a home in one of those two camps.

The Firearms rules are an excellent addition to any game, well conceived and as complete as they can be. Having read this section I’m keen to introduce guns to my games.

Fighters are treated to six talents adding some flavour and provide a small bonus. They have all been seen elsewhere but are a welcome inclusion here.

To my tastes the most useful and inspired chapter covers the transition of thieves’ skills from percentile to a six-sided die. I’ve always wanted to see a workable implementation and here it is. I’ll say no more but if you want to see Thief skills how they should have been, buy Carcass Crawler. I’ll say a bit more after all: the two pages outlining ways for the referee to apply the new system logically, is outstanding. Even if you use percentile dice, read this.

That’s it. To my taste there is some necessary redundancy built in, the author’s want to provide meaningful material for players of both Advanced and Basic games, this they do but as I’ve mentioned, I only play Basic. That aside, this is a must-have for OSE players, beautifully produced and for a first issue it’s clear this will be a fantastic run. More please.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
Carcass Crawler: Issue One
Publisher: Necrotic Gnome
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/08/2022 14:17:06

Originally posted here:

Arguably one of the biggest success stories of the late OSR movement has been the publication of Old-School Essentials Classic Fantasy (2019) and Old-School Essentials Advanced Fantasy (2021). Indeed I feel that OSE has supplanted Swords & Wizardry, the darling of the middle OSR movement as the old-school game of choice. It is the old-school game of choice here in my home game, alternating between it and D&D 5e, and seems to be the most talked-about game in the old-school discussion areas.

This is all with good reason. OSE is well designed, superbly organized, and has wonderful art. There is a minimalist approach to the rules and presentation that does not detract from the experience, instead, it rather enhances it. You can see my enthusiasm in my review of the Old-School Essentials Classic Fantasy Boxed set back in 2020.

I have detailed my introduction to D&D many times here. But briefly, my "first" D&D was a poorly copied version of Holmes Basic with an AD&D Monster Manual. My first "true" D&D, the one I could properly call my own was Moldvay Basic/Cook & MArsh Expert (commonly referred to as "B/X"). I would over the course of a year or so add in elements of AD&D. Most importantly the Deities & Demigods, the Fiend Folio, and a copy of Eldritch Wizardry. My D&D was always a mish-mash of Basic D&D and AD&D. I later discovered that my playstyle was not at all unique.

Old School Essentials Advanced Fantasy Edition really strikes at the heart of what this sort of play was like. The familiar and easy Basic/Expert rules with AD&D layered on top. Layered is the right word, AD&D had a lot of situational rules and rules used in tournaments and rules designed to cover what looked like medieval realism. As real that is in a world where half-elves fought dragons with magic. OSE-AF strips this down back to the B/X style rules found in OSE-CF and then adds in what people used the most from AD&D. No weapon speed factors, no tournament scoring, just D&D-style play.

OSE-AF Carcass Crawler #1

PDF only, 32 pages. Color covers, black & white interior art. $7.50 PDF.

The sometimes zine for OSE and named for the OGC version of the infamous carrion crawler.

This issue adds the new races to the Advanced Fantasy line, the gargantuan (like Goliaths), the goblin, and the hephaestan (logical, elf-like beings). I am particularly happy with the Goblin.

New classes for Classic and Advanced fantasy are the acolyte (a type of spell-less cleric with healing), the gargantuan (race-class), the goblin (race-class), the hephaestan (race-class), the kineticist (psychics), and the mage (a spell-less magic-user with magical abilities).

There are new rules for fighters and thieves as well as black powder guns. I like the fighter talents, help give it a bit more to do really. They are at every 5 levels, but I might make them every 4 instead.

Throughout all these books and the entire OSE line, the art is both evocative of the old-school style and still modern enough to please new audiences.

This is the game of choice for me to introduce old-school style play to players of modern games. My regular 5e group took to it like ducks to water. They love it. They still love their 5e games, but they also like to do this one. None of them had ever played B/X prior to this and it was a huge success.

I know that Gavin Norman and Necrotic Gnome have more material to give us for this, I hope it all lives up this new gold standard I set my OSR book to.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Carcass Crawler: Issue One
Publisher: Necrotic Gnome
by Kalin K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/04/2021 00:12:56

Really good material in this one, and if all Carcass Crawlers are going to be of this level of quality, then this is shaping up to be an awesome zine!

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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