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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Old School Essentials ?

    I recently found this on You Tube . Old School Essentials by Necrotic gnome . Normally i am a 3rd edition purist but this seems to have sparked quite a bit of interest in me . I really would like to try this out .
    I have lost faith in companies buying up DND ip only to milk it for everything they can .

    What do you guys think about this product and OSR in general ?
    Last edited by Pugwampy; 2024-06-20 at 05:21 AM.

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    Default Re: Old School Essentials ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pugwampy View Post
    I recently found this on You Tube . Old School Essentials by Necrotic gnome . Normally i am a 3rd edition purist but this seems to have sparked quite a bit of interest in me . I really would like to try this out .
    I have lost faith in companies buying up DND ip only to milked it for everything they can .

    What do you guys think about this product and OSR in general ?
    I DM my kids on it and I have played it on Roll20. The Basic Set takes the Moldvay B/X rules and cleans them up a bit. The Advanced set adds some AD&D 1e Classes and concepts to it. Because it's essentially the B/X rules it is compatible with an unbelievable amount of content including everything BECMI and lots of OSR stuff. There is an active fan base. I also really like the A5 format books and they are really well organized. with useful tables under the cover.

    But realize that it is very different than 3e. OSE and OSR games in general rely on DM rulings instead of printed rules. There are clunky things that people tend to ignore and has a lot of concepts like Random Encounters and XP for gold that seem to be unpopular now.

    Since you are coming from 3e, I would suggest also looking into Dungeon Crawl Classics. I believe DCC started out as a Gonzo homebrew version of 3e. I have had a lot of fun playing DCC.

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    Default Re: Old School Essentials ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trafalgar View Post
    I DM my kids on it and I have played it on Roll20. The Basic Set takes the Moldvay B/X rules and cleans them up a bit. The Advanced set adds some AD&D 1e Classes and concepts to it. Because it's essentially the B/X rules it is compatible with an unbelievable amount of content including everything BECMI and lots of OSR stuff. There is an active fan base. I also really like the A5 format books and they are really well organized. with useful tables under the cover.

    But realize that it is very different than 3e. OSE and OSR games in general rely on DM rulings instead of printed rules. There are clunky things that people tend to ignore and has a lot of concepts like Random Encounters and XP for gold that seem to be unpopular now.

    Since you are coming from 3e, I would suggest also looking into Dungeon Crawl Classics. I believe DCC started out as a Gonzo homebrew version of 3e. I have had a lot of fun playing DCC.
    I beg to differ. OSE is/was intended to be a clone of B/X, and it inherited all of B/X's limitations. It is better-organized definitely; but it is Not organically compatible with BECMI, any more than B/X is. The Advanced rules do claim to adapt AD&D 1e classes and such; but the adaptations also have the BX/OSE limitations (14 levels) and some really odd deviations from 1e (rangers have no "favored enemy"/"giant-class" bonuses).

    My biggest issues with OSE had to do with their publishing/marketing model. Originally one had to buy different volumes for different classes, spells, etc. It seemed to take material that had already been developed, repackage and sell in smaller-sized (but still required) chunks as a blatant cash grab.

    My personal preference for a B/X "simulacrum" is/was Labyrinth Lord, especially with the Advanced edition. It takes the 1e classes and race+class options and makes them work alongside B/X classes seemlessly. It was the first and, IMO, the best such attempt.

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    Default Re: Old School Essentials ?

    Quote Originally Posted by paladinn View Post
    I beg to differ. OSE is/was intended to be a clone of B/X, and it inherited all of B/X's limitations. It is better-organized definitely; but it is Not organically compatible with BECMI, any more than B/X is. The Advanced rules do claim to adapt AD&D 1e classes and such; but the adaptations also have the BX/OSE limitations (14 levels) and some really odd deviations from 1e (rangers have no "favored enemy"/"giant-class" bonuses).

    My biggest issues with OSE had to do with their publishing/marketing model. Originally one had to buy different volumes for different classes, spells, etc. It seemed to take material that had already been developed, repackage and sell in smaller-sized (but still required) chunks as a blatant cash grab.

    My personal preference for a B/X "simulacrum" is/was Labyrinth Lord, especially with the Advanced edition. It takes the 1e classes and race+class options and makes them work alongside B/X classes seemlessly. It was the first and, IMO, the best such attempt.
    B/X (or OSE) not being compatible with BECMI is news to me.

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    Default Re: Old School Essentials ?

    There are some very minor differences between B/X and BECMI/RC, but if you're running an adventure made for one of them, there are no modifications needed to run it in the other. The only real exception I can see is that the RuleCyclopedia introduced the Mystic class (martial arts fighter), and it doesn't exist in B/X.

    One difference is that thieves get better at the thieves' skills more quickly in B/X. Another is that in B/X the ring of regeneration restores 1 hp per melee round (10 seconds?) where in BECMI it is 1 hp per turn (10 minutes).
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    Default Re: Old School Essentials ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    There are some very minor differences between B/X and BECMI/RC, but if you're running an adventure made for one of them, there are no modifications needed to run it in the other. The only real exception I can see is that the RuleCyclopedia introduced the Mystic class (martial arts fighter), and it doesn't exist in B/X.

    One difference is that thieves get better at the thieves' skills more quickly in B/X. Another is that in B/X the ring of regeneration restores 1 hp per melee round (10 seconds?) where in BECMI it is 1 hp per turn (10 minutes).
    There are quite a lot of subtle differences between B/X and BECM(I) and the Rules Cyclopaedia (and there are some between BECMI and the RC) but they are, in my experience, the sort of thing that just causes a minor hiccough in play ("oh, we're doing it that way!") rather than anything that affects compatibility.

    For example, for thieves "Hear Noise" changes from a d6 to a percentage chance and opening doors changes from rolling low on a d6 to rolling high.
    Oh, and mystics were introduced in the Master D&D set not the RC, the RC provided a 36-level version to replace the original 16-level class.

    I've not seen any of the retro-clones so I cannot comment on them, but I would expect them to be relatively compatible, or what's the point?

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    Default Re: Old School Essentials ?

    Huh. I could have sworn the RC had the 16 level version of the Mystic. I've never seen a 36 level version. Oh well. Really not that important.

    The point remains that B/X is very compatible with BECMI/RC.
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    Default Re: Old School Essentials ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    There are some very minor differences between B/X and BECMI/RC, but if you're running an adventure made for one of them, there are no modifications needed to run it in the other. The only real exception I can see is that the RuleCyclopedia introduced the Mystic class (martial arts fighter), and it doesn't exist in B/X.

    One difference is that thieves get better at the thieves' skills more quickly in B/X. Another is that in B/X the ring of regeneration restores 1 hp per melee round (10 seconds?) where in BECMI it is 1 hp per turn (10 minutes).
    The Mentzer Red Box (Basic set) and Blue box (Expert set) came out only 2 or 3 years set the Moldvay B/X rules. Mentzer added a single player tutorial, change the way things were organized but the rules are virtually identical other than some clarifications. This makes sense as TSR had a bunch of adventures and other products that they didn't want to remake.

    The Companion set or Green Box came out a year or two later. It added the Druid class, some weapons, mass combat rules, and a whole bunch of other options for levels 15-25. This was when the Thief skills changed so that the skill improvement was spread out over 1-25 instead 1-14. As I recall, most people did not notice this at the time. Most campaigns don't get past level 7, much less 14 so I think everyone stayed mostly in the blue box and just used the additional rules in the green box that they thought were fun.

    New printings of the Red and Blue box had the new skill values. This was all done pretty quietly because they were nerfing a class that was already pretty hard to play at low levels.

    For OSE, I use the d6 Thieves skill rules that was published in Crawler's Companion. It makes the Thief much more playable and allows customization for a specific skill.

    The thing to remember about BECMI (or 5e for that matter) is that it wasn't a block of rules that all dropped at once. Rules Cyclopedia didn't come out until the nineties. You can look at the Companion Rules as an expansion of B/X as much as you can look at, say, Tasha's as an expansion of the PHB.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Old School Essentials ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trafalgar View Post
    I DM my kids on it and I have played it on Roll20. The Basic Set takes the Moldvay B/X rules and cleans them up a bit.

    But realize that it is very different than 3e. OSE and OSR games in general rely on DM rulings instead of printed rules. There are clunky things that people tend to ignore and has a lot of concepts like Random Encounters and XP for gold that seem to be unpopular now.

    Since you are coming from 3e, I would suggest also looking into Dungeon Crawl Classics. I believe DCC started out as a Gonzo homebrew version of 3e. I have had a lot of fun playing DCC.
    I am quite aware of most differences and thats the attraction for me . The xp milked from gold and treasure is very intriguing and possibly my only surprise.

    I am not impressed with 5e so my only other option is OG rules . My biggest mountain is actually trying to sell average 5e player this concept .

    I owned a sega dungeons and dragons game that was pretty much original dnd rules. I played 4 magic users with probably low int and high con . My 2nd playthrough with 1 cleric , dwarf , halfling and elf was much easier . XD

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Old School Essentials ?

    My biggest issues with OSE had to do with their publishing/marketing model. Originally one had to buy different volumes for different classes, spells, etc. It seemed to take material that had already been developed, repackage and sell in smaller-sized (but still required) chunks as a blatant cash grab.
    There is free PDF downloads and wiki stuff . You dont need to buy anything . I live in the middle of nowhere land on this planet , trying to order any books will be a very pricey venture . I would like to do that of course and i will try in the future .

    Regarding their book selling tricks , I dont think its any worse than what TSR and WOTC did .

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    Default Re: Old School Essentials ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pugwampy View Post
    There is free PDF downloads and wiki stuff . You dont need to buy anything . I live in the middle of nowhere land on this planet , trying to order any books will be a very pricey venture . I would like to do that of course and i will try in the future .

    Regarding their book selling tricks , I dont think its any worse than what TSR and WOTC did .
    The Basic Set is online in the SRD here. It's an adaption of the Moldvay B/X rules which you can find online in a pdf. You do have to pay for the Advanced Rules which has the additional classes, rules, spells, etc which are all things written by OSE. That costs $40 each for the DM and PHB rules tomes or $70 for the A5 Boxed set. I personally prefer the boxed set as I find the smaller books easier to use.

    I am not sure what Paladinn was getting at. OSE's prices seem reasonable for a small company in the RPG publishing business. I think while they were developing the rules they had a Patreon or Kickstarter going where, if you contributed a certain amount of money, you got a prerelease .pdf of a few classes. If that's what he is referring to, that's how Patreon/Kickstarter typically works. A small time developer has to raise money to get the product out the door. You also don't have to contribute money if you don't want to.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Old School Essentials ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trafalgar View Post
    The Basic Set is online in the SRD here. It's an adaption of the Moldvay B/X rules which you can find online in a pdf. You do have to pay for the Advanced Rules which has the additional classes, rules, spells, etc which are all things written by OSE. That costs $40 each for the DM and PHB rules tomes or $70 for the A5 Boxed set. I personally prefer the boxed set as I find the smaller books easier to use.

    I am not sure what Paladinn was getting at. OSE's prices seem reasonable for a small company in the RPG publishing business. I think while they were developing the rules they had a Patreon or Kickstarter going where, if you contributed a certain amount of money, you got a prerelease .pdf of a few classes. If that's what he is referring to, that's how Patreon/Kickstarter typically works. A small time developer has to raise money to get the product out the door. You also don't have to contribute money if you don't want to.
    The earliest renditions of OSE that I saw required separate purchase of volumes for spells (two volumes for spells, I think) as well as for advanced classes It was a lot to shell out for material that one can get mostly for free via B/X or A/LL pdf's. Maybe they've rejigged some things and prices. But you still get nothing that's not available otherwise; and with LL you don't have the 14-level limits. And I still don't get rangers without a favored enemy.

    OSE may be the "new, shiny" object in the OSR realm; but little is new and it's not very shiny. I.e. cash grab.

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    Default Re: Old School Essentials ?

    Quote Originally Posted by paladinn View Post
    The earliest renditions of OSE that I saw required separate purchase of volumes for spells (two volumes for spells, I think) as well as for advanced classes It was a lot to shell out for material that one can get mostly for free via B/X or A/LL pdf's. Maybe they've rejigged some things and prices. But you still get nothing that's not available otherwise; and with LL you don't have the 14-level limits. And I still don't get rangers without a favored enemy.

    OSE may be the "new, shiny" object in the OSR realm; but little is new and it's not very shiny. I.e. cash grab.
    I think you need to look into this a bit closer into this because what you are saying is false. There is the OSE Classic Set. It is a reformatted and reworked B/X. It is 100% free online. Optionally, you can buy it either as a large tome or an A5 boxed set but you don't have to.

    Then there is the OSE Advanced set. This material is 100% written by OSE and includes new classes, spells, features, monsters, etc. Its not copied out of B/X, BECMI, Rules Cyclopedia, etc. And OSE charges a reasonable price for this as they should.

    You might be getting confused because of the A5 box sets which break each tome. into smaller books. So there is a book of spells, a book of treasures, a book of monsters etc. This means if you own both the Advanced and the Classic A5 Rule sets, you will have 2 books for each. But, again, you don't have to buy the classic set because its free online.

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    biggrin Re: Old School Essentials ?

    The Basic Set is online in the SRD here.
    Thanks you so much. i was looking for something like that online . I pulled off a pdf but its bare bones compared to this .

    I am soaking up all these OSR DND videos on YouTube .

    Gary Gygax did not care much for 3rd edition rules , I am starting to understand why . There is some good stuff here no better or worse than any other edition.

    I myself had quite a few players complaining over their Rogue characters . Thats always bothered me .

    It seems they were playing the wrong edition . If gold is XP your most valuable player is a Thief and Fighter is least valuable . Add to that a monster might be friendly . But a level 1 thief might as well act like a fighter till he can use any skills confidently .

    Why are they climbing walls like spiderman ? Sounds exploitable .
    Last edited by Pugwampy; 2024-06-20 at 05:11 AM.

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    Default Re: Old School Essentials ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pugwampy View Post
    Thanks you so much. i was looking for something like that online . I pulled off a pdf but its bare bones compared to this .

    I am soaking up all these OSR DND videos on YouTube .

    Gary Gygax did not care much for 3rd edition rules , I am starting to understand why . There is some good stuff here no better or worse than any other edition.

    I myself had quite a few players complaining over their Rogue characters . Thats always bothered me .

    It seems they were playing the wrong edition . If gold is XP your most valuable player is a Thief and Fighter is least valuable . Add to that a monster might be friendly . But a level 1 thief might as well act like a fighter till he can use any skills confidently .

    Why are they climbing walls like spiderman ? Sounds exploitable .
    One thing that can redeem a low level thief in B/X is the DM's interpretation of "Backstab". B/X does not specifically restrict it to melee weapons. So a thief fires a bow at an enemy from behind can get +4 to hit and double damage... if the DM allows it.

    Thieves also gain levels about twice as fast as most other characters.

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    Default Re: Old School Essentials ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trafalgar View Post
    I think you need to look into this a bit closer into this because what you are saying is false. There is the OSE Classic Set. It is a reformatted and reworked B/X. It is 100% free online. Optionally, you can buy it either as a large tome or an A5 boxed set but you don't have to.

    Then there is the OSE Advanced set. This material is 100% written by OSE and includes new classes, spells, features, monsters, etc. Its not copied out of B/X, BECMI, Rules Cyclopedia, etc. And OSE charges a reasonable price for this as they should.

    You might be getting confused because of the A5 box sets which break each tome. into smaller books. So there is a book of spells, a book of treasures, a book of monsters etc. This means if you own both the Advanced and the Classic A5 Rule sets, you will have 2 books for each. But, again, you don't have to buy the classic set because its free online.
    They may have changed things up in more recent years, but the first releases were exactly as I specified.

    And even now, you're still limited to L14, even for "advanced" classes. And why would anyone want to play a ranger without the favored enemy feature? That's always been the ranger's "main thing."

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    Default Re: Old School Essentials ?

    Quote Originally Posted by paladinn View Post
    They may have changed things up in more recent years, but the first releases were exactly as I specified.

    And even now, you're still limited to L14, even for "advanced" classes. And why would anyone want to play a ranger without the favored enemy feature? That's always been the ranger's "main thing."
    Are you trolling? You are making some outlandish claims that you really need to back up with a source. The releases weren't that long ago and what you are saying contradicts everything online and everything I remember. Even during the initial kickstarter, you could get a .pdf copy of the rules for free.

    Both OSE and B/X have guidelines for play above level 14. But it really doesn't matter because, with all editions of D&D, the vast majority of play happens below level 10.

    And if your only problem is one trait on one class out of a dozen, you don't seem to have a real problem with the game.

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    Default Re: Old School Essentials ?

    Quote Originally Posted by paladinn View Post
    And why would anyone want to play a ranger without the favored enemy feature? That's always been the ranger's "main thing."
    Citation needed. Rangers initially had a lot more going for them than just a 'favored enemy', and you didn't get to choose your 'favored enemy' - it was automatically giants and giantkin.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trafalgar View Post
    Thieves also gain levels about twice as fast as most other characters.
    Well...

    Thieves require about half the xp of the other classes, but since each level costs roughly double the xp of the previous one (up through about 9th level), this means the thief is roughly 1 level ahead of everyone else.
    Last edited by Lord Torath; 2024-06-21 at 07:24 AM.
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    Default Re: Old School Essentials ?

    And even now, you're still limited to L14, even for "advanced" classes. And why would anyone want to play a ranger without the favored enemy feature? That's always been the ranger's "main thing."

    That sounds like 5th Edition .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    Citation needed. Rangers initially had a lot more going for them than just a 'favored enemy', and you didn't get to choose your 'favored enemy' - it was automatically giants and giantkin..
    Every rendition of the ranger, from the intro in Strategic Review on, has had some type of "favored enemy" as a feature. The original "giant-class"/humanoid version is my personal favorite. But every rendition has had this, even for "spell-less" variants. And if a ranger does happen to be spell-less, if there's no favored enemy, there's not a lot of point to the class. Every other feature can be gotten through skill selections, if skills are used.

    And no, I'm not trolling. I realize there are a lot of OSE-evangelists out there. On a different forum, I've read posts that state, "If you want to play B/X, you Have to play OSE!" Other than the formatting, I don't see much advantage in playing it if actual B/X is an option. And I question some of the choices made by Necrotic Gnome in tailoring "advanced" classes for play with "basic" classes. And everything I said about the early marketing was true. I didn't care for needing to purchase separate volumes just to get illusionist or druid spells. Again, it may not be the case now. If it scratches your OSR itch, fine. But the OP was asking questions about the game, and I thought I should bring a little balance to the Force. OSE isn't everyone's cup of ale; I think there are better options.

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    Default Re: Old School Essentials ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pugwampy View Post
    That sounds like 5th Edition .
    The 5e ranger does have a favored enemy feature. But the PHB version sucks. That's why there have been at least 3 alternatives presented in Unearthed Arcana articles. The version in Tasha's Cauldron is better, but I like one of the UA's even more. We'll see what the D&D2024 version is like.

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    Default Re: Old School Essentials ?

    Quote Originally Posted by paladinn View Post
    And no, I'm not trolling. I realize there are a lot of OSE-evangelists out there. On a different forum, I've read posts that state, "If you want to play B/X, you Have to play OSE!" Other than the formatting, I don't see much advantage in playing it if actual B/X is an option. And I question some of the choices made by Necrotic Gnome in tailoring "advanced" classes for play with "basic" classes. And everything I said about the early marketing was true. I didn't care for needing to purchase separate volumes just to get illusionist or druid spells. Again, it may not be the case now. If it scratches your OSR itch, fine. But the OP was asking questions about the game, and I thought I should bring a little balance to the Force. OSE isn't everyone's cup of ale; I think there are better options.
    Everything you said about the marketing was false.

    From this review written in 2017: "There is a no artwork version available for free here"

    From this review written in 2018: "There is a plain text version that is free."

    You have been always been able to get the basic or classic version for free. This is the stuff based on B/X.

    OSE Advanced you have to pay for. This is stuff they have written so they get to charge for it. Which is something every TTRPG rightly does. Unless you think we shouldn't pay for other peoples work.

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    Default Re: Old School Essentials ?

    Quote Originally Posted by paladinn View Post
    The 5e ranger does have a favored enemy feature. But the PHB version sucks. That's why there have been at least 3 alternatives presented in Unearthed Arcana articles. The version in Tasha's Cauldron is better, but I like one of the UA's even more. We'll see what the D&D2024 version is like.
    Thats an understatement . Attack and damage bonus on favoured enemy literally the heart of a ranger was torn out .

    How did barbarian keep his rage ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pugwampy View Post
    How did barbarian keep his rage ?
    He pondered what had been done to his buddy, the Ranger! Kept him nice and steamed.
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    Thri-Kreen Ranger/Psionicist by me, based off of Rich's A Monster for Every Season

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2018

    Default Re: Old School Essentials ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pugwampy View Post
    Thats an understatement . Attack and damage bonus on favoured enemy literally the heart of a ranger was torn out .
    One of my issues with OSE as well.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    The forest of my dreams
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    Default Re: Old School Essentials ?

    Quote Originally Posted by paladinn View Post
    One of my issues with OSE as well.
    What is OSE missing and what are you comparing it to ?

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2018

    Default Re: Old School Essentials ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pugwampy View Post
    What is OSE missing and what are you comparing it to ?
    As the last few posts said. OSE rangers have no favored enemy feature.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    JNAProductions's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Avatar By Astral Seal!

    Default Re: Old School Essentials ?

    Good riddance to it, too.
    I'd rather have a feature that I can rely on using than something where it's entirely dependent on what's being fought, with no real recourse if it's not the right type of enemy.
    I have a LOT of Homebrew!

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  29. - Top - End - #29
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2018

    Default Re: Old School Essentials ?

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Good riddance to it, too.
    I'd rather have a feature that I can rely on using than something where it's entirely dependent on what's being fought, with no real recourse if it's not the right type of enemy.
    And what would you put in its place?

    Regardless, OSE hasn't.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    The forest of my dreams
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    Default Re: Old School Essentials ?

    Quote Originally Posted by paladinn View Post
    As the last few posts said. OSE rangers have no favored enemy feature.
    I cannot comment on that . I am actually focused on the OSE basic .

    Sooo does Adnd rules have rangers with favoured enemy ?

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