Sunday, April 10, 2016

Meditations On The OSRIC 2.0 rpg System By Usherwood Publishing For Your Old School Campaigns

OSRIC 2.0 was a bit of a departure for me and got released back in 2008 and it's one of those books that comes out along with my AD&D 1st Edition Player's Handbook,DMG, and Monster Manual. Yet I haven't said anything about it for years now. Let's change that fact shall we? There was an updated and expanded version of the retroclone system three years ago What I'm about to say I don't say lightly, OSRIC is the single most important retroclone to come down the pike since it came out 2006 and that's not a boast its a fact. Much of the DNA of theretroclone game has been peppering the OSR ever since. In fact that's OSRIC's real purpose to allow modules, supplements and more to be published legally for the OSR crowd and fans of products of our imagination.
"The purpose of OSRIC is to provide publishers with a tool to legally produce gaming materials compatible with Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.[3] More than 20 different publishers have produced more than 100 products branded as OSRIC-compatible"
The pdf of the game is still free which is huge plus and that means it gets used a lot at the table top.

Oh I've heard all of the criticisms and arguments about OSRIC and so forth.  I really still love the game hands down. The update from 2013 is a bit of a God sent;"
This release includes all errata through January 2013, as well as all edits included in the second printing of Black Blade Publishing’s large format hardcover of the OSRIC SRD."

OSRIC 2.0 is a bit different then the other editions I've seen, first the contents are a wee bit better organized and things seem to be very well laid out in contrast to previous editions that I've seen and own. This is a very welcome piece of OSR retroclone slight of hand and they did a bang up job with it. This is from the PDF and not the hardback which I don't own (yet) but here are ten reasons why I continue to gravitate toward OSRIC 2.0.

  1. This is a great pdf to use as a reference and not have to go hunting and pecking around through the AD&D 1st edition Player's Guide and the DMG or Monster Manual its all laid out right there. 
  2. The editing and spell lists are very well done and easily can be used quickly & without fuss. That means that I can concentrate on the adventure and the player can concentrate on playing the wizard from his Ipad or book. 
  3. The monsters are well statted up and easily accessible with some very well thought out substitutions for Wizard's IPcentric monsters. There are some solid variants from the traditional Monster Manual 1st edition that will cause players to stop and think if their facing an old favorite or something much weirder and more dangerous. The monster list is huge and well thought out.
  4. Tons and tons of random tables! Anyone who reads or subscribes to this blog knows I love random tables and there are tons of them. 
  5. Even if you don't play OSRIC its worth it to use as an OSR source book for your favorite retroclone. There is so much potential for reference and at the table use that it makes the download alone worth it. 
  6. The Black Blade Blade version of the book is worth getting for the quality and printing of the book. I speak from experience, I've borrowed, held, and read through a copy of this book in 2014 but its one of those books like Dark Albion that seems to slip through my fingers ( the reason of course is that bills come up and so forth). But I can tell you that product & printing is worth it. 
  7. No huge over arching  author or designer voices echoing in the product telling you how to do things this or that way. Its simply here are the well organized  rules, charts, classes, tables,etc. go play and create a campaign yourself.
  8. Lots and lots of support for OSRIC from the internet, authors, etc. its that support that has enabled the OSR to continue its juggernaut roll for old school gaming and will continue to.
  9. A great index and access to the OSRIC 2.0 rpg System through out the pdf that makes looking up things during play a snap. 
  10. OSRIC 2.0 is something that I can live with along side my other retroclone systems and the quality is in my humble opinion very much up to my standards for execution and publishing. OSRIC remains a backbone retroclone of the OSR and is still just as important as when it hit the pavement in 2006 and will continue to be.
Reading through the OSRIC 2.0 pdf was fun and very informative for me, there are certain design conceits and ways that the rules were thought out that makes sense to me after rereading some of the 1981 versions of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 1st edition. This book does a wonderful job of bring to the surface the feeling of wanting to sling some dice and get my friends together. As always your mileage may vary at the table top until next time.

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