Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Review & Commentary On B/X Essentials: Classes and Equipment From Necrotic Gnome Productions For Your Old School Campaigns

So Gavin Norman is at it again with the second in the B/X Essentials series, this time he's tackling PC classes & equipment in 'B/X Essentials Classes & Equipment'.
The pdf only clocks in at forty four pages but distills down the essence & spirit of B/X Dungeons & Dragons down to its components with style, grace, & some excellent artwork throughout. The layout is up to the standard that we saw in the first installment of the series, 'B/X Essentials: Core Rules. '

If you want to check out the rules for both titles there are no artwork versions of both
'B/X Essentials Classes & Equipment' &  
'B/X Essentials: Core Rules ' available. Everything here is boiled down into its full soul of the B/X rules whist retaining all of the good solid system that will please even the hardcore B/X Dungeons & Dragons addict such as myself. All of your favorite PC classes are here along with some nifty editing to round out & rarefy the system kinks. The whole is more then the sum of its parts allowing players to deal with the only the essentials of the Basic D&D system.

The layout is well done and everything seems very top draw with efforts on the author's part to keep the whole of its parts running in a smooth & sustained style for easy of play at the table. The author/designer has smoothed away some of the play ambiguities of earlier editions & clarified the whole for a quick & easy style of old school system. Mr.Norman let's the audience know where & when he's chosen his rulings with this book. The layout is well rounded enabling the reader to grasp the system easily and with a full flourish for old school play.
There is some solid artwork throughout the product but I really wish that one or two items featured in the artwork were available in the equipment but I have a feeling those will be in the monsters & treasures book. So what can be done with
'B/X Essentials Classes & Equipment'? Well a few things since there are clarifications, edits, etc. throughout the book old school system play is going to be quicker & easier at the table top.
Also the B/X Essential line is open game content enabling DM's to publish their own add ons for the system making this a true retroclone in every sense of the word. It also means that if someone doesn't have access to B/X Dungeons & Dragons these titles are going to be the next best thing.

This also means that all of the old favorites of old school play such as fighter, magic user, cleric, & thief are available for quick set up & play but with a campaign setting of the dungeon master's creation. The Essentials line is perfect for plug & play with other B/X style retroclone adventures that are already on the market. I can already hear the nay sayers on the fact that the OSR doesn't need another retroclone system & product line on the market. But this is a bit different with it being several cuts above the run of the mill material already on the OSR market. But is 'B/X Essentials Classes & Equipment' necessary? In a word I think its a vital product to bring to the OSR market because its a true retroclone in both spirit & content.
The content here is top drawer quality in my opinion and this is one not to pass up. The production quality, editing, and solid presentation is very well done. I'd give this a five stars and there are already others who agree with my assessment.

There's a lulu publishing version of the B/X Essentials core rules out now. 
If your a fan of Gavin Norman's Necrotic Gnome productions and creations then you owe it to yourself to grab a copy of   'B/X Essentials Classes & Equipment'.
Solidly done, easy to use, and a pleasure to have at the table,
'B/X Essentials Classes & Equipment' is a five out of five product to dive into & solve that B/X Dungeons & Dragons itch in a low cost, clearly defined, edited, and solidly presented way!

You Can Grab

'B/X Essentials Classes & Equipment'
Right Here!

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