In February 2020 we presented the Necrotic Gnome Bundle featuring the Old-School Essentials FRPG and its Dolmenwood campaign setting from Necrotic Gnome. The colorfully named publisher has made a rep in Old School Revival circles — first with the attractive and useful Wormskin magazine, then with the B/X Essentials retro-clone, perhaps the best re-presentation of TSR’s 1981 Basic/Expert rules set. Renamed Old-School Essentials and funded in an April 2019 Kickstarter campaign, the game emphasizes clarity, layout, and ease of use at your table. And Dolmenwood is a flavorful and delightfully creepy weird-fantasy forest steeped in occult energies, riddled with fungus, and haunted by fairies both wicked and kind.
So what’s the big deal about another B/X retro-clone? James Spahn reviewed Old-School Essentials on Halfling’s Luck: “Gavin Norman has constructed a game that is designed specifically toward active playability. Old-School Essentials‘ genius lies in its layout and formatting. It is designed to keep play at the table fast and easy. Rules are clearly expressed and easy to understand. Moreover, page-flipping is all but a thing of the past. At no point in the text do you need to start dancing across the book to find relevant information. […] In its presentation, in its layout and formatting, Old-School Essentials is sheer genius.”
This all-new offer presented this highly regarded OSR game and most of its support line for a bargain price. There were six titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $56.50) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the comprehensive Old-School Essentials Classic Fantasy: Rules Tome, the introductory module The Hole in the Oak, and the Referee’s Screen, plus the first three issues of the popular OSR magazine Wormskin.
Those who paid more than the threshold (average) price also got our entire Bonus Collection with nine more titles worth an additional $65.50, including two Advanced Fantasy expansions (Genre Rules and Druid and Illusionist Spells), the key Dolmenwood titles The Weird That Befell Drigbolton and Winter’s Daughter (plus the free Welcome to Dolmenwood, the Calendar, and the Referee’s Map), and five more issues of Wormskin.
Ten percent of each payment (after gateway fees) went to this offer’s designated charity, Wildlife Conservation Society.