Attronarch's Athenaeum


Matt Finch of Mythmere Games just published OSRIC mission statement at the Knights & Knaves Alehouse:

Since the “OSRIC's Path Forward” thread, there has been more discussion about OSRIC, licensing, and so forth.

Stuart and I are working on an OSRIC 3.0, but it will be under the AELF License (a Mythmere Games license that's similar to the OGL). OSRIC 3.0 will be produced by Mythmere Games, and we are planning (tentatively) for a Kickstarter in September or October of this year.

A few points:

1) Simply maintaining OSRIC under the OGL is possible at this time, but in the long run I think it's a bit of a risk. WotC can probably cut off access to new users of the OGL at any time by “withdrawing the open offer”. I don't think I'm giving WotC a roadmap here; they almost certainly are aware of this approach to the license. They wanted to do more than that to kill it quickly, but there's a much more reliable way to poison it over time, which is simply to withdraw the offer to “sign on” to the OGL. But after the massive backlash to their attempt to kill the license at one blow, they will have to wait a while before mentioning the OGL again. This potential future withdrawal of the offer would create a problem for anyone new who wanted to publish something for OSRIC, so it behooves us to move to a different license now, before the axe eventually comes down.

2) The ORC license has some problems with easy usability. I won't go into those because it's complicated and also because there's discussion about it in lots of other places. The AELF License, since it works in the same way as the OGL, is familiar enough that it can be adopted relatively easily by anyone familiar with the OGL.

3) OSRIC 3.0 is intended to be completely backward-compatible with OSRIC 2.0, and it shouldn't require any “new versions” of adventures that have been published in the past. There might turn out to be minor glitches in terms of backward compatibility, but those will be the exception.

4) The reasons for coming out with a new version: a) First, the license, as mentioned above. b) Secondly, it's to meet the needs of a younger batch of gamers in a context where the PDFs of the original books are available from WotC (which wasn't the case when we originally published OSRIC 2.0). This means several different avenues of approach.

—– The writing style will use bullet points and other visual call-outs to avoid the “wall of text” effect. Even those of us raised in pre-internet days are starting to find the bullet-point arrangement preferable to a long block that doesn't visually separate and organize the more important elements of the text.

—-We're going to include a VTT-friendly method of scale since so many people now game online.

—-We're going to try to make this version what EOTB calls a “teaching edition,” meaning lots of guidance for playing the game. The “how to play” information is in the original books to a degree, but it can be presented at the forefront and that's what anyone new to the whole OSR needs. Also, AD&D is simply more complex than other OSR games like B/X, so it needs to be presented in a step-by-step format that draws the learner into the process.

More information to come later.

Great move to focus on teaching and accessibility! First edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons is packed to the brim with stuff that stood the test of time, but its presentation and density sometimes scares people away. Stuart and Matt are more than capable in producing text that is both inspiring and informative—hence I'm looking very much forward to OSRIC 3.0.


Subscribe to get the latest post in your inbox. No spam.


Wonderful news from Dan Proctor / Goblinoid Games:

The Labyrinth Lord full draft can be downloaded now!

Feel free to look it over and offer any feedback you might have over at our forum. Once we review for any additional formatting, typo, or other issues it will be made available for wider distribution and in print.

Also grab the character sheet by James West!

On the first skim it looks much, much better than the first preview version. Great art, solid writing, and very old-school feel. Just how it should be!

#News #OSR #LL

Subscribe to get the latest post in your inbox. No spam.


Mythmere Games just launched a new Kickstarter with five books for Swords & Wizardry:

  • Swords & Wizardry: The Book of Options. 11 new optional character classes, new spells, new magic items, and much more.
  • Fiends & Foes – A Monster Compendium. 300 monsters updated with morale numbers and revisions to the Swords & Wizardry Complete Revised rules.
  • Domain of Heryngard. A hex-crawl campaign with a section of the Uldra Cthon megadungeon and room to explore.
  • Tomb of the Iron God. Great, challenging low-level adventure.
  • Referee Screen. 33 inches long and 8.5 inches tall, printed in color on cardstock.

Read more and back on Kickstarter.

#News #Crowdfunding #OSR #SW

Subscribe to get the latest post in your inbox. No spam.


Legendary Fight On! OSR fanzine is now available on DriveTrhuRPG as well! Or, at least, some issues are:

In my opinion, Fight On! remains the best OSR zine. Each issue is filled to the brim with gameable material, and everything is bursting with creative energy. Rules, monsters, treasures, adventures, essays, interviews, megadungeon... So much!

Once I finish with the Dragon Magazine reading I'll do the same with Fight On!

Print compilations are available at Lulu:

#News #OSR #FightOn

Subscribe to get the latest post in your inbox. No spam.


Return to Perinthos: A Memorial Book Fundraiser in the Memory of Jennell Jaquays has just launched. It contains over 80 “one-spread” dungeons that can be used together or standalone, unpublished Q&A with Jaquays, and a mini-setting by Luke Gearing.

Pre-publication contributions can be seen here. Some of the OSR systems included are OSE, S&W, Cairn, and Shadowdark. There are also OD&D and AD&D contributions as well.

I've donated the Halls of Viridian Mist, a dungeon level for 4 to 6 Swords & Wizardry Complete characters levels 3 to 5. This challenging adventure features many tricks Jaquays used in her dungeons like non-linear loops, multiple elevations, interactive factions, and secret doors hidden behind other secret doors.

You can learn more, support the fundraiser, and get the book here.

#News #Crowdfunding #OSR

Subscribe to get the latest post in your inbox. No spam.


Running a freewheeling city adventure can be hard work, but this book gives you a powerful resource for handling interactions with non-player characters — their names, objectives, abilities, and quirky activities! City Encounters provides 200 daytime encounters and 200 night-time encounters for your characters to run into while exploring the city. Plus, each of the encounters has several alternative possibilities involved, so you can adapt the encounter to your players or use the same encounter more than once with a different alternative. Encounters that can lead to adventures are cross-referenced to let you find the other NPCs who might be involved in an ongoing situation, and there are several possible “recurring” villains, heroes, and weirdos to battle, assist, and befriend.

Enter a city filled with anarchists, arsonists, sorcery, skullduggery, factional conflict, and necromancy!

This is the OSR version of City Encounters, written for Swords & Wizardry but easily usable with systems including OD&D, AD&D (1E), B/X, OSE and others!

It's great to see City Encounters once again available. It's a great utility for running urban adventures on the fly. You can get it in PDF and print at DTRPG.

#News #OSR #SW

Subscribe to get the latest post in your inbox. No spam.


Charlie Mason, of White Box: Fantasy Medieval Adventure Game fame, has just released a Player's Guide for OSRIC:

This is intended to be a table copy for players. Use it, write in it, spill soda on it and get cheeto fingers on the pages. Then when it falls apart, get another one.

You can get print version, at-cost, from Amazon.

PDF is available for free from here.

Thank you Charlie!

Old School Reference and Index Compilation (OSRIC) is an OGL retroclone of the AD&D 1E. It restates PHB, DMG and MM in a single book, with minor modifications for legal reasons.

Version 2.2 was released in 2013, and is freely available on Lulu and DTRPG. Knights & Knaves Alehouse hosts a thread for tracking and cataloguing latest known errata.


Subscribe to get the latest post in your inbox. No spam.


Jennel Jaquays needs help due to sudden medical complication:

Jaquays is a well known RPG author whose work includes brilliant modules like Caverns of Thracia, Dark Tower, Griffin Mountain, and many others.

Even $10 helps.


Subscribe to get the latest post in your inbox. No spam.


How to Make a Fantasy Sandbox by Robert Conley of Bat in the Attic Games is coming to Kickstarter soon.

This book is a collection of 24 updated and revised articles published by Rob since 2009. It follows a 34-step process for creating a fantasy sandbox that should take around 24 hours to complete.

Rob has four decades of experience playing, running, and designing fantasy sandboxes. His credentials include:

He is currently working on Majestic Fantasy Realms, a spiritual successor to the Wilderlands of High Fantasy.

I hope it will be crowdfunded right after How to Make a Fantasy Sandbox!

#News #OSR #Wilderlands

Subscribe to get the latest post in your inbox. No spam.


Adventurer Conqueror King System Imperial Imprint (ACKS II) is coming to Kickstarter on October 24th. It will consist of three books: Revised Rulebook, Judges Journal, and Monstrous Manual.

ACKS II Revised Rulebook will be everything BECMI and Rules Cyclopedia wanted to be.

ACKS II Judges Journal will be the contemporary OSR Dungeon Master's Guide.

ACKS II Monstrous Manual will set the standard for OSR bestiaries.

Here are five reasons why I will back ACKS II on day one:

  1. If you ever read early issues of Dragon Magazine, you have surely spotted various letter and articles proposing various tactics to cheese the game and one-up the Dungeon Master. A lot of Gary's rule modifications were his responses to players attempting to break the game. That's how we went from original Dungeons & Dragons booklets to the legendary Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. We wouldn't have had the game we had, hadn't it been for all the players that tried to break the game. ACKS II went through more than a decade of brutal play-testing. It survived players trying to break dungeons, economies, kingdoms, and planets.
  2. Basic D&D was about dungeon delving, Expert D&D was about wilderness exploration, Companion and Master D&D were about domains, warfare, and rulership. BX/BE procedures held up extremely well, as attested by a deluge of retroclones built on them. I attribute that to all the play-testing these rules were subject to. Domain and war machine rules, on the other hand, were mostly penned by a single man (probably a small team to be honest), and briefly tested. D&D was never known for tight economy. Some try to fix it by introducing the silver standard, i.e. switching all costs from gold piece to silver piece. ACKS II is built ground up to have tightly integrated economy which works. It is based on thorough research of historical data, followed by careful modelling and simulation, followed by playtesting above. “Oh no, is this a spreadsheet simulator?” Only if you want it to! ACKS II summarises everything in gameable tables. You know the numbers work—you can roll and play, being confident in the results given.
  3. Common complaint (lament?) in OSR circles is that player characters rarely go over 10th level, hence a lot of cool higher-level BECMI stuff doesn't get played. ACKS II fixed the problem by building everything from level 1 to 14. There is domain stuff you can play with from level 1; there are warfare rules covering small gangs as well as whole armies; there is something to challenge character of every level and every class.
  4. It evolves and builds on decades of gaming experience. Innovations it brings are firmly in the spirit of TSR's D&D, while fixing many, many small issues. Linear fighters, quadratic wizards? Fixed. Monsters of myth and legend that have very little to do with actual monsters of myth and legend? Fixed. Thieves that suck? Fixed. The list goes on (really, campaign description has 40+ bullet points). And the best part? Everything is presented and explained in such a way a Judge can simply lift part of ACKS II they like and use it.
  5. Because Gary Gygax would've been proud.

I'm very much looking forward to Adventurer Conqueror King System Imperial Imprint.

#News #ACKS #OSR

Subscribe to get the latest post in your inbox. No spam.