Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Commentary On The Free 'The Basic Fantasy Rpg' Open Gaming Philosophy For OSR Campaigns

So I got a bunch of emails asking me about the Basic Fantasy Role Playing Game & why it was included in yesterday's blog entry. The fact is that I consider Basic Fantasy a totally separate retroclone/emulator rpg system. What I mean by that is that it is a retroclone but its a totally self contained rpg system right from the beginning. "Basic Fantasy RPG is a retro-clone written by Chris Gonnerman that emulates, and is largely compatible with, the 1981 Basic and Expert sets. Its differences from B/X D&D include d20-style ascending armor class and separation of character race and class."  Everything in the book echoes B/X in its graphic, layout, and artwork. This isn't a retroclone of the D&D Rules Cyclopedia instead its a game that addresses the three 'c''s its a system that is complete, clever, and comfortable. This is a bare bones D&D B/X  emulator from the the ground up.

This is a game that has a few twists such as experience based on killing monsters & not treasure. So that's a bit different then what a B/X dungeon master might be expecting. This is a system with lots of great systems including optional rules, a meat & carrots magic section, some excellent monsters with nice artwork & this is a fantastic game system with tons of on line support. This is a very user friendly B/X clone, and this is a game that can easily teach the old school Dungeons & Dragons experience.
 My perspective that this a complete old school package in my opinion, all you have to do is download the free system, email the pdf to your players, grab some dice  & get your players together then go!

There is also rule books of Basic Fantasy available on Amazon for five dollars here.


This leads right into one of my favorite Monster Manuals from the OSR, The Basic Field Guide of Creatures Malevolent & Benign. This is support book for the Basic Fantasy Rpg that has inside of it over two hundred monsters! So why I'm praising this book another cheap monster book so what? Well monsters are the flavors of adventure, they set the tone of adventures, add color to the setting, and offer some of the most lethal challenges in an old school game.
 How this book works is simple its packed with back to back old school monsters from the silly to the horrid. They're all here in this book and they can easily be adapted to your favorite old school retroclone system. That's one of the beautiful parts of the OSR, that its easy to convert & adapt your favorite bits & pieces as needed. And that's one of the great things about this book the ability to go from the normal to weird in one simple creature. Are your players way too used to orcs? You've got a ton of humanoid options or other weird monsters to add into your games.

Basic Fantasy Field Guide of Creatures Malevolent and Benign HERE

 This is another system that comes under the purview of gaming for the sheer enjoyment of it because of the fact that the entire catalog of The Basic Fantasy Rpg is available through the Internet Archive. That tells me volumes about the intentions of the creators of Basic Fantasy from the ground up. They want  you the DM & the players to download and continue the tradition of old school gaming. It also takes the support material straight into the players and DM's hands to use as they see fit. This is attitude of use and open gaming ethos is a central pillar of the OSR. Because of the minimalist nature of The Basic Fantasy Rpg, these two books are all you really need to get your creative adventure & campaign construction groove on. The Basic Fantasy game doesn't get nearly enough air play or blog play  and its a perfect introduction into the world of OSR gaming for kids, teens, and adults. This open spirit of the Basic Fantasy rpg is its core and bare back bone of this retroclone. The idea that old school play should be enjoyed and available to all is at the roots and heart of the retroclone movement or at least it is for me. Friends getting together to chuck some dice, drink some soda or favorite beverages, and having a blast. So why does The Basic Fantasy  gets own blog entry because its a self contained product & system with lots of old school goodness between the pages. Plus a ton of support and an on line organic community that supports the Basic Fantasy gaming system itself.

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