The Essential Old-School Fantasy RPG!
Old-School Essentials is a role-playing game of fantastic adventure, monsters, and magic.
Simple, robust rules: Light, easily modified rules put the focus of play on shared imagination, improvisation, and fun.
Easy to learn and reference: Modern formatting and layout make the game easy to learn and a breeze to reference during play.
Classic and Advanced flavours: Two flavours of Old-School Essentials offer the choice between a simple game that’s quick to jump into (Old-School Essentials Classic Fantasy) and an advanced game with a deeper selection of character options, monsters, and magic (Old-School Essentials Advanced Fantasy). Both flavours are 100% compatible.
Compatible with decades of material: Based on the 1980s Basic/Expert rules (the most popular edition among connoisseurs of old-school RPGs), Old-School Essentials is compatible with decades of classic adventures and supplements.
100% old-school rules, 100% modern design!
Classic and Advanced Flavours
Old-School Essentials comes in Classic Fantasy and Advanced Fantasy flavours. Advanced Fantasy = Classic Fantasy + extra classes, optional rules, spells, monsters, and magic items.
Classic Fantasy Rules Tome (complete standalone game): A complete retelling of the classic 1980s Basic/Expert game. 7 character classes (cleric, dwarf, elf, fighter, halfling, magic-user, thief), 100+ spells, 200+ monsters, 150+ magic items.
Advanced Fantasy Player's + Referee's Tomes (complete standalone game): A "best of" old-school gaming: a complete retelling of the 1980s Basic/Expert game expanded with reams of extras inspired by the 1970s Advanced 1st Edition rules. 22 character classes (acrobat, assassin, barbarian, bard, cleric, drow, druid, duergar, dwarf, elf, fighter, gnome, half-elf, half-orc, halfling, illusionist, knight, magic-user, paladin, ranger, svirfneblin, thief), optional rules for choosing race and class separately, 200+ spells, 320+ monsters, and 300+ magic items.
Both flavours are 100% compatible!
Also Available as Box Sets!
For those who prefer box sets of slim books for sharing around the table, Old-School Essentials is also available as a pair of box sets!
Classic Game Set (complete standalone game): The complete Old-School Essentials Classic Fantasy game. A box set of 5 slim hardcover books detailing the rules for characters, magic, adventures, monsters, and treasures. Coming late 2022.
Advanced Expansion Set (expansion to Classic Fantasy): Expands the Classic Game Set with the extra content from Old-School Essentials Advanced Fantasy. A box set of 4 slim hardcovers expanding the game with extra advanced character options, magic, monsters, and treasures. Coming late 2022.
Great for sharing around the table!
Check Out Old-School Essentials For Free!
A fully illustrated, 56-page sample of the basic rules of the game required by players is available for free.
Getting started: The full introduction and character creation rules.
Classes: The four core human classes: cleric, fighter, magic-user, thief.
Equipment: Full lists of adventuring gear, weapons, and armour.
Adventuring rules: The rules for dungeon adventures, encounters, and combat.
Spells: The full rules for spell casting and the complete set of 1st level spells.
PDF Starter Pack: Only $29.95!
Want to quickly get started with Old-School Essentials? The Old-School Essentials PDF Starter Pack at Bundle of Holding gives you everything you need to start playing!
The complete game rules: The complete Classic Fantasy rules.
An adventure scenario: A dungeon suitable for beginning characters, presented in an easy-to-run format.
A referee's screen: The most commonly referenced tables and game rules presented on four panels.
21 pre-gen characters: A set of 21 pre-generated characters for groups who want to jump straight into the action.
All for just $29.95 (total retail price $42.50)!
Free downloads. Get your character sheets, spell trackers, etc here.
Online rules reference. The complete Old-School Essentials Classic Fantasy game, online for free! Perfect for introducing new players to the game.
Online generator tools. A set of tools to quickly roll encounters, treasure hoards, magic items, NPCs, etc.
Third-party products. Check out the other companies who are publishing material for Old-School Essentials!
Third-party license. A simple, free-to-use license enabling anyone to publish content for Old-School Essentials!
Facebook Old-School Essentials Fan Group. A thriving, fan-run discussion community.
Facebook Dolmenwood Fan Group. A thriving, fan-run discussion community for Necrotic Gnome's Dolmenwood campaign setting.
Discord Necrotic Gnome Fan Server. A thriving, fan-run Discord chat community.
Old-School Essentials errata. Listed by book.
Old-School Essentials logos. For use in VTT games, blog posts, videos, etc.
Looking for news on products that are coming soon / in the works? Check out our "coming soon" page!