Tuesday 27 July 2021

Forgotten Gems

This is gonna be a low-effort post: a discussion on Reddit reminded me of all the forgotten little games of the OSR. They aren't necessary revolutionary, but at the time of their release/annoucnement, they offered something cool and/or fresh, and it's weird that they are so rarely - if ever - mentioned nowadays.
  • Adventure Fantasy Game (a simple but robust d6-based D&D-variant by none other than Paolo Greco; most notable for the 5MORE and EXPERT systems)
  • Avatars & Annihilation (I don't think it's ever got released, but I always thought the bits and pieces found on the author's blog heralded something extraordinary)
  • Cascade Failure and Errant (beautiful full colour D&D variants for sci-fi and fantasy, respectively; you can still find Cascade Failure on DTRPG, although Errant I believe was succeeded by Novarium)
  • Champions of ZED (I believe it was plagued by a late Kickstarter; still, best to read the KS page for a good summary; available on DTRPG)
  • Chanbara (a complete Japanese-themed fantasy B/X variant; I'm especially fond of the social interaction rules; available on DTRPG)
  • Epées & Sorcellerie (a French D&D-variant; first edition available in English for free; it's nothing extraordinary, aside from using d6s only, but it's still good craftsmanship)
  • Faerie Tales & Folklore (a re-imagination of D&D based on myths and Chainmail; a preliminary version is freely available along with lots of notes from the author; the finished product would be Kickstarted and incorporate my extensive editorial notes; alas, I haven't heard from Morgan in a long time)
  • Five Ancient Kingdoms (already reviewed it here)
  • Humanspace Empires (an EPT-based sci-fi game; sadly incomplete; lots of stuff on the author's blog, though)
  • Mazes & Minotaurs (although there's lately been some chatter regarding M&M, it's still relatively rarely discussed, even though it's obviously the best and most hilarious old-school game that isn't a clone of D&D; and it's completely free)
  • Platemail (a re-imagination of D&D based on Chainmail)
  • Renegade and Corruption (probably the most complete S&W-variants; available on DTRPG)
  • The Big Brown Book (another d6-based re-imagination of OD&D)