games / News

Old-School Essentials Is Bringing Classic D&D Rules to the Modern Era

April 21, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Old-School Essentials

With the rise of D&D, retro role-playing games are finding a new life within the the industry. Old-School Essentials is here to help bring those rules to life. Necrotic Gnome has launched a Kickstarter that aims to bring about a new set of books that fans of the 1981 Basic/Expert D&D game will be sure to appreciate in a “a highly polished, 100% accurate restatement” of the beloved red and blue books that immediately preceded the slightly more iconic “Red Box” through “Gold Box” sets from 1983.

The Kickstarter campaign refers to Old-School Essentials as “an adventure role-playing game of exploration, danger, monsters, and magic. The game is intentionally rules-light, putting the focus of play on imagination, improvisation, and fun. The rules are optimised for ease of use at the table, with meticulous attention to wording and layout clarity. What’s more, Old-School Essentials is 100% compatible with the classic Basic/Expert game from 1981, meaning that decades of adventure are at your fingertips!”

It’s not simply a reprinting of the rules, of course. Necrotic Gnome notes that they have refined “areas of confusion and contradiction” in the original books, and that “All known omissions, contradictions, and areas of confusion have been carefully ironed out.” The set will come in two forms, both with identical content. The first is a “rules tome” which contains the complete rules of the classic in one book. The second is a game box with five hardbound books in a black box, for those who want the more prestigious look. The former runs €25 (about $28), while the latter is 45 (about $51).

The set expects to ship in October and is already funded well beyond the original goal, with $81,650 as of this writing out of the original $16,686 goal with twenty days to go. You can see more details about the set and contribute (with rewards, of course) here.