Old-School Essentials Player's Rules Tome [Coming 2020]

Gavin Norman oldschoolessentials

Some news about an upcoming addition to the Old-School Essentials product line!
Old-School Essentials currently exists in two forms: the Black Box (a boxed set of modular rule books) and the Rules Tome (an all-in-one compilation of the same content). Both these forms contain the core rules of the game plus the complete set of classes, equipment, spells, monsters, and treasures for running games in the Classic Fantasy genre.
Either of these two forms of the game is perfect for a referee wanting to create their own campaigns and run games. But what about all the players out there who just want to roll 3d6 in order, buy a sword, and get hacking? Two out of the five books in the Black Box and 152 of the Rules Tome's 296 pages aren't relevant to players as they contain the lists of monsters and magic items, which a player has no need to refer to during play. These many pages devoted to monsters and magic items are essentially wasted paper for someone who is purely a player (i.e. not also a referee running their own games).
Well, there is soon going to be a third form of the Old-School Essentials game: we are currently working on producing a book dedicated to players of Old-School Essentials: the Player's Rules Tome! This new book is essentially a cut down version of the current Rules Tome, with the referee-only sections removed. It clocks in at 144 pages, which is about half the length of the full Rules Tome. We're expecting it to be a nice chunky book still, about half an inch thick.
The table of contents gives a good overview of what's inside:
The really good news is that we're planning to produce this book at the same deluxe quality level as the standard Rules Tome, but the price will be significantly lower! The idea here is to for this book to be a perfect entry-point into old-school gaming, with an entry-level price point to match.
We don't have a concrete publication date for the book yet, but it won't be too far in the future. Look out for further announcements!
(And yes, it will have a different cover. It's not ready to be revealed yet though.)

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  • Gavin Norman on

    >Please consider doing a super cheap print softcover version of the Rules Tome, like Basic Fantasy RPG is $5.00 on amazon and White Box RPG is $4.29. These cheap prices open up those games to a much wider audience. I could then buy copies for all of the players at my table.

    What you have to bear in mind here is that Basic Fantasy and White Box are both not-for-profit games. The creators’ decisions to not make money from sales of their games makes it possible to sell those super cheap (i.e. zero profit) editions. As Necrotic Gnome is a business that’s supporting me and my family, it’s not conceivable to sell Old-School Essentials at zero profit.

  • Jeremy on

    Please consider doing a super cheap print softcover version of the Rules Tome, like Basic Fantasy RPG is $5.00 on amazon and White Box RPG is $4.29. These cheap prices open up those games to a much wider audience. I could then buy copies for all of the players at my table.

  • david NYC on

    Played my first ever RPG last night. It was B/X. I can tell you, the hook is in. Please sign me up to be notified when the Player’s Rules Tome is ready!

  • Gavin Norman on

    >PLEASE consider including the alternate stuff like barbarians and illusionist spells

    An Advanced Rules Tome is planned for the future, but for now we’re keeping the core game pure B/X with the advanced material as optional add-ons.

  • Ben on

    Sign me up!



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