On Black Boxes and Advanced Fantasy Supplements

Gavin Norman oldschoolessentials

Following the recent announcement about the upcoming Old-School Essentials Advanced Fantasy Kickstarter, one of the most common questions people are asking relates to the new modular supplements and whether they'll fit inside the Black Box.

The Kickstarter pre-launch page is live now—sign up to be notified on launch!

A Quick Summary of the Question

  • We published the Black Box following the OSE Kickstarter in April 2019.
  • The box contains a set of five books: the OSE Core Rules plus the four Classic Fantasy supplements. Together, these books form a complete clone of the 1981 Basic/Expert rules.
  • The box has some extra space at the top, in case people want to store extra stuff inside: character sheets, notes, dice, additional books, etc.
  • The first two Advanced Fantasy supplements (also published last year) fit comfortably inside the box, along with the other five books (and a little room to spare).
  • As part of the upcoming Kickstarter, we'll be producing two more Advanced Fantasy books — Advanced Fantasy: Monsters and Advanced Fantasy: Treasures — completing the set of four.
  • The question on the minds of Black Box owners is whether these two new books will also fit inside the box, along with the other seven (Core Rules, four Classic Fantasy books, two existing Advanced Fantasy books).

The Answer

Yes, they will fit inside the box very comfortably! A caveat: the lid will be raised very slightly.

These statements are based on experimental evidence. I obviously don't have copies of the two new books (they've not been produced yet!), but I know how big they'll be so was able to fill out my Black Box with other books of an appropriate size. Here's what it looks like:

See that the lid is very slightly raised? (It's about 5mm.) The advantage of a really deep lid like that, though, is that even when the box is slightly over-full, as in this scenario, everything is still kept in place really firmly. It all feels solid and secure. (And heavy!)

The Black Box with those nine books inside it will be a truly weighty mass of fantasy gaming goodness!

An Alternative Answer

EDIT: A final financial sanity check of our plans for the new Kickstarter revealed that doing a new print run of Black Boxes right now just isn't financially feasible. They're so expensive to produce that a second print run will basically require a Kickstarter of its own. Planning commencing... (No concrete dates for that yet.)

For those of you who don't already own a Black Box, there's another possibility: we're going to be doing a second printing of the box this summer (the first printing is almost sold out!). We plan to make the new box slightly taller (5mm?), so as to accommodate the four Advanced Fantasy supplements.

Here's a mockup of the Black Box second printing, with new cover art by Peter Mullen.


Older Post Newer Post


  • Gavin Norman on

    >I just got my OSE Black Box + the Advanced Fantasy Genre Rules and the Druid and Illusionist Spells books. They are AMAZING! Clear, crisp, top-notch quality.

    Glad you’re enjoying the game!

    >As an “experiment” I tried something: I had the OSE Classic Fantasy Rules Tome already and it fits perfectly into the Black Box (this means not putting the Advanced Fantasy supplements into it).

    Right, the Black Box was specifically designed to be able to fit the 5 modular books + the Rules Tome.

  • Gavin Norman on

    >Will we be able to get just the expanded box. I already have or will have all your books. so I would prefer not to purchase books I already possess.

    If you’re asking whether it will be possible to buy an empty box (without any books in it), the answer is no I’m afraid.

  • Scott Aldrich on

    Will we be able to get just the expanded box. I already have or will have all your books. so I would prefer not to purchase books I already possess.

  • VikingTomi on

    I just got my OSE Black Box + the Advanced Fantasy Genre Rules and the Druid and Illusionist Spells books.
    They are AMAZING! Clear, crisp, top-notch quality.
    As an “experiment” I tried something: I had the OSE Classic Fantasy Rules Tome already and it fits perfectly into the Black Box (this means not putting the Advanced Fantasy supplements into it).
    I will keep the modular book(lets) in the box of course, but I was curious about this.
    Again, high quality work in appearance, content and layout.
    Keep up the great work!
    Greetings from Hungary!

  • Gavin Norman on

    >Fantastic! So there will be a kickstarter tier that gets the physical box, 5 original books, and 4 advanced books?

    Yes. That’s on the the two main “I want the complete game” options. (The other being the Advanced Fantasy Player’s + Referee’s Tomes.)

    I don’t want to discuss more intricate details on other pledges before the Kickstarter launches, in case plans change slightly between now and then.

    >Will there also be an option to pick up the original Rules Tome + 2 new Advanced Tomes?

    Yep, you’ll be able to select any older Necrotic Gnome products (e.g. the Rules Tome) that are still in stock as add-ons.



Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published