Sunday, February 26, 2017

Commentary On The Free OSR Resource - Companion Expansion From Barrataria Games For B/X D&D & Retroclone Systems

Ask any OSR blogger or publisher & they'll tell you that they publish for the sheer love the of old school rpg hobby. Today there are literally hundreds of good, solid publishers out there but there are lots that have fallen through the cracks. Which is a shame.

Case in point with  Barrataria Games which produced one of the best damn B/X D&D & retroclone companions out there going all the way back to 2009.
Like I said I'm digging deep here folks but what's in it? Well according to The Companion Expansion presents additional classes, spells, weapons and equipment, creatures and magical items for fantasy roleplaying games for basic- and expert-level players and gamemasters. It includes 8 additional character classes (bard, druid, wildwood elf, gnome, half-elf/half-orc, half-ogre, illusionist, scout), expanded experience, combat, and saving throw tables, two additional types of magic (druid and illusion) and additional magic-user and cleric spells (90 in all), over 130 new or additional creatures (with a comprehensive index and suggested experience point awards), dozens of new or additional magic items, and extended treasure generation tables. There are also expanded spell tables for use with Labyrinth Lord, Basic Fantasy, and Swords & Wizardry.

These rules will be the basis for the WORLD OF STRONGHOLD gazetteer(s) as that setting is further developed. There will be additional or variant monsters and classes presented, and other information including stronghold establishment and management and additional information on maritime adventuring and combat, but I felt that a "world neutral" version could be immediately useful to GMs running basic- and expert- level games."

So what happened to Barrataria Games? 
I don't know but hope that Barrataia is doing well. What happened?  I have no idea at this point but the OSR market isn't an easy place to make a living in.  One thing I've learned about being in this hobby since 1977 is that there are no winners or losers in a zero sum game only to be the last man standing. The idea is to have fun at the table & for this hobby to create new friends and continue gaming with those friends. This needs to happen or the hobby of table top rpging will die a slow death.
Surely some free OSR download from 2009 can't be relevant to today's OSR games? Well actually I would say its even more so. The The Companion Expansion is a tool kit for B/X D&D that can also be used with Labyrinth Lord, Basic Fantasy, and Swords & Wizardry. Which means that it can also be used with Adventurer,Conqueror, King,  Stars Without Number & other retroclone systems with some adjustments. This basically means that your range of material for everything is expanded by three fold. This means you can take your home campaigns up the level  ladder without spending a huge fortune & the quality of material is there.

This companion expands the products of the imagination with new races, classes, kits, etc. all done with NEW thief skills, new spells, monsters and magic items etc. But I've got  the Rules Cyclopedia or the free  Dark Dungeons retroclone system From  Gurbintroll Games. 

That's perfectly fine & this companion actually complements those fine products but the focus here is narrower. This companion focuses on PC expansion with lots of interesting little twists.
Here's my advice if you own B/X D&D or Dark Dungeons, Or any of the retroclone systems  then grab this one too.
Alright So You Can Grab The Companion Expansion From Barrataria Games For Free  Here

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