It’s that time again, friends! The annual day for appreciating your referees is finally upon us. For most of this blog’s audience, this probably means now is the time to treat yourself, but surely some amongst our number are players with some GMs to reward – and thankfully, it’s time to do so at a discount. Honestly, I don’t even really have to do this article this time – you could just click my previous GM’s Day Sale post from last year, or any of my posts about DriveThruRPG’s various OSR sales(1) last(2) year(3), and click the links there – most of them still work correctly and almost all of the sale products overlap! However, I refuse to take the lazy way out, so I’ll do it all again, my friends! I encourage you to check those articles if you want a deeper dive than this article gives, or to see if I missed something you love.
As the focus of this blog is largely OSR gaming (with some Traveller and D&D5E besides, naturally, and some various other stuff that interests me), I will link noteworthy old-school gaming products below. I always like to be clear: this list isn’t exhaustive, but it will be focused! Expect links to listings of notable content (great or popular supplements), full rulesets, and especially killer deals. There’s countless more items.
Where possible, these will be affiliate links, which do not in any way impact the payout to the creators (or else I wouldn’t do it!).
EDIT 04 MAR 2020 @ 2031CST: I have some corrections, additions, and reorganization underway this evening.
- DCC Quickstart Rules – Easymode entrypoint to the DCC RPG, for about a buck. It’s usually free around Free RPG Day time, but that’s like three months from now, and you’d have to go outside. Your choice.
- DCC RPG Full Rules – If you liked your coffee-money dip into DCC, you should grab the full book. Honestly, I think everyone should have this book, if only to mercilessly steal from it and drag those pillaged goods (and beautiful art) back to your own OSR cave.
- DCC Free RPG Day 2011 – The first DCC adventure(s), used as a broad beta test for the ruleset back in the day.
- DCC Free RPG Day 2012 – It annoys me that Free RPG Day stuff is not perpetually free, but this is two adventures for like $3.
- DCC RPG Annual – The 2019 splatbook from Goodman Games containing all new materials for DCC RPG including magic, rules, quests/areas, items, art, and monsters.
DCC Adventures – Official Goodman Games modules for DCC, convertible to your OSR system of choice if the desire grips you. Borrowing a list I produced previously in another sale post, here are some fan favorites; all of these are fun and cool, all of these are highly-rated by DCC RPG fans and considered “classics” in a line named for classics, all of these are on solid sale, and all of these have imagination and awesome art. Check out the rest of the line if these grab you, even if you just wanna cut and paste bits and pieces into your own game/system.
- 66.5: Doom of the Savage King
- 68: People of the Pit
- 70: Jewels of the Carnifex
- 74: Blades Against Death
- 75: The Sea Queen Escapes
- 76.5: Well of the Worm
- 78: Fate’s Fell Hand
- 81: The One Who Watches From Below
- 82: Bride of the Black Manse
- 83: The Chained Coffin
- 84: Peril on the Purple Planet
- Horror Funnel #5
- Hubris: A World of Visceral Adventure – Wild-ass, idea-dense, dystopic, messed up, violent, weird fantasy using the DCC RPG system. I often direct people to this for a look at doing this sorta thing right. PDF is downright cheap right now!
Major OSR Rule Sets & Expansions
OLD SCHOOL ESSENTIALS
- Old School Essentials Classic Fantasy Rules Tome – The complete fantasy role-playing game system. It’s a retroclone of B/X D&D from 1981, if you weren’t aware, and it’s absolutely terrific. Includes Core Rules, Classic Fantasy Genre Rules, Classic Fantasy Cleric and Magic-User Spells, Classic Fantasy Monsters, and Classic Fantasy Treasures.
- Old School Essentials Black Box Bundle – As above, but split into individual PDFs if that’s your bag.
- Old School Essentials Advanced Fantasy Genre Rules – Modular options for turning your OSE from B/X clone to AD&D1E clone. Equivalent to LL’s “Advanced Edition Companion,” if you’re familiar with that. AD&D1E bolt-on rules, classes, races, etc, basically.
- Old School Essentials Advanced Fantasy Druid & Illusionist Spells – You’ll need this if you grab the Advanced Fantasy Genre Rules, above.
- Old School Essentials (Core Rules) – The basic mechanics of B/X D&D, stripped of specific genre elements. Not a complete game on its own. Useful for homebrewing weird ideas.
- Old School Essentials Classic Fantasy Monsters – Useful if you just need a B/X compatible bestiary for your OSR gaming.
- Old School Essentials Classic Fantasy Referee’s Screen – Bar none the best pre-made OSR screen inserts out there right now, including wicked artwork. I ordered this awhile back and I loved the quality of the cards they printed and shipped to me. Note you can’t check out with books to save shipping; I think it comes from a different printer because it’s actually categorized as cards even if it’s gigantic 8.5×11″ cards.
LABYRINTH LORD/ADVANCED LABYRINTH LORD
- Advanced Labyrinth Lord (Orcus Cover) – The newest edition of Labyrinth Lord, ALL combines LL Revised Edition with the Advanced Edition Companion and then refactors experience values and some other stuff to ensure a consistent experience throughout the game.
- Advanced Labyrinth Lord (Dragon Cover) – Alternate cover version of the above.
- Labyrinth Lord (Revised) – If you prefer the pre-ALL version, here it is on steep discount!
- Labyrinth Lord Advanced Edition Companion – ALL combines this and LL Revised, and cleans up some numbers. If you don’t care for that, here’s the components so you can pick and choose!
- Labyrinth Lord Original Edition Characters – Play OD&D with your B/X clone of choice. Seriously.
- Labyrinth Lord Monster Listing – Truncated short-form statblock directory for LL monsters. Compatible broadly with just about anything OSR.
Gallant Knight Games Labyrinth Lord Supplements – Need more customized classes for your B/X game? Need to fill a folder with alternate classes to shut someone up about “character builds” or something? James M. Spahn has you covered, for pennies at the moment.
- Archer (LL Class)
- Automation (LL Class)
- Bandit (LL Class)
- Bard (LL Class)
- Berserker (LL Class)
- Burglar (LL Class)
- Commander (LL Class)
- Dark Elf (LL Class)
- Death Knight (LL Class)
- Dhampir (LL Class)
- Dragon Slayer (LL Class)
- Eidolon (LL Class)
- Explorer (LL Class)
- Fairy (LL Class)
- … and on and on and on and on (seriously, there’s an entire alphabet of them!)
- Articles of War (LL Rules) – Sundering, streamlined combat and weapon damage, fighting styles.
- Henchmen for Hire (LL NPCs) – Pre-gen hirelings for OSR games. Invaluable, about a buck.
- Buccaneers & Bilge Rats – Swords & Wizardry + Pirates by James M. Spahn. Under $2. Easy pick.
James Mishler Labyrinth Lord Supplements – Document/sheet improvements and highly-acclaimed classes for B/X borrowing from AD&D, UA, and the world of imagination.
- Swords & Wizardry Monstrosities – Matt Finch’s S&W bestiary, great for DMs of all OSR stripes, a huge $10 cheaper than normal!
- BLUEHOLME Journeymanne Rules – Holmes Basic from 1978, but expanded to be playable beyond third level without needing to reach for – and switch to – AD&D1E.
- BLUEHOLME Character Record Sheets – Half-off. Not even part of the sale, but good to know.
- BLUEHOLME Referee Repository – Additional rules and clarifications of interest to DMs of Holmes Basic and its clones.
ASSORTED OSR SUPPLEMENTS
Expeditious Retreat Press Advanced Adventures Bundles – Big content bundles for the Advanced Adventures series of AD&D1E/OSRIC adventures, many of which are bestsellers on DriveThruRPG and many of which have been individually reviewed elsewhere on the internet. Classic AD&D/OSRIC fare that helped launch the OSR into the hearts and minds of many gamers and reinvigorate the old-school creators of the world. These bundles are half-off, meaning you can grab ten at a time for cheap if you want to collect the set (or, select individually if you just wanna grab a few favorites!)
- Bundle #1 – 1-10 – Standout: #1 Pod-Caverns of the Sinister Shroom! Grab it solo if nothing else, it’s great!
- Bundle #2 – 11-20 – Standout: #15 Stonesky Delve
- Bundle #3 – 21-30 – Standout: #28 Redtooth Ridge
Hydra Cooperative (and their Hill Cantons Quartet) – Hydra Cooperative’s premier line of books, written mostly by Chris Kutalik with plenty of help from Robert Parker and Luka Rejec (also on art), ably assisted by the other Hydras. Absolutely AWESOME modules, some of the best the OSR has ever produced, on sale!
- Fever-Dreaming Marlinko
- Misty Isles of the Eld
- Slumbering Ursine Dunes
- What Ho, Frog Demons
- Lorn Song of the Bachelor – Hydra Cooperative published a Zedeck Siew book with Karl Stjernberg maps and why are you still reading this instead of buying it RIGHT NOW?!
- Witchburner – Luka Rejec’s claustrophobic, tense, ominous module. Find a witch in a small town before the curse ruins everything.
- Operation Unfathomable – One of the best underdark/underworld modules in the world.
- Operation Unfathomable Player’s Guide – A companion intro for your players. A fun way to get them invested and feel involved.
Hot Springs Island – Jacob and his homies Donnie and Gabe have produced a super beautiful, super dense, super living hexcrawl. Expect a full complement of incredibly vibrant, living hexes with tons to experience time and again.
- The Dark of Hot Springs Island
- A Field Guide to Hot Springs Island – The in-universe, player-facing guide to the above. This really completes the experience.
- The Lapis Observatory – A dungeon found on Hot Springs Island.
Goblinoid Games Official LL Adventures – Official Labyrinth Lord adventures from the company that brought new life to B/X gaming.
- Shadowbrook Manor – A classic Labyrinth Lord introductory adventure.
- Realms of Crawling Chaos – Another favorite for LL.
Small Niche Games LL Adventures – Mr. Spahn’s popular settings and adventures for Labyrinth Lord. Obviously useful for any form of OSR, more or less.
- COA04: Guidebook to the Duchy of Valnwall (PDF/ART) – An expansion to the popular City of Dolmvay book by Small Niche Games/Peter C Spahn. You can get this PDF for $0.89, how can you lose?
- COA04SE: Guidebook to the Duchy of Valnwall Special Edition – As above, but with 10 mini-adventures set in the area. This may be the one to get, and it’s the only version available as a print/PDF combo on sale.
- LLA001: Blood Moon Rising
- LLA004: Atarin’s Delve
- LLA007: Oak Grove Whispers
Assorted Settings and Adventures – Many great journeys by many great creators from many great publishers.
- Fever Swamp – Luke Gearing’s trip through filth and sweat and disease. Y’know, if you wanna be nice to your PCs for a change.
- Gardens of Ynn – An amazing module by Emmy Allen aka Cavegirl. You should already own this. Buy it on sale, by all means.
- The Stygian Library – Another by Emmy. Also terrific. Also worth every penny.
- Bone Marshes – Very cool dude David Schirduan’s outstanding hexcrawl. Haven’t formally reviewed it here on the blog yet because my backlog is endless, but this is terrific. You can get the PDF and print option for 33% off, which is a killer deal.
- Winter’s Daughter – An utterly fantastic storybook fae adventure for OSR by Gavin Norman of Necrotic Gnome (Old School Essentials). Absolutely awesome adventure. One of the best, and a great way to dip your toe into the water of the Dolmenwood setting.
- City of Brass – Al Qadim via Swords & Wizardry, $10 off.
- Woodfall – Lazy Litch brings you a dark fairytale swamp hexcrawl with plenty of faction play afoot. Very interesting stuff, and has a vaguely-related(?) followup recently completed during ZQ2020. Very role-play intensive, which makes it very table-dependent, but extremely popular!
Barrowmaze/Archaia Stuff – One of the classic megadungeons, in a few parts.
- Barrowmaze Complete – Another massive megadungeon beloved by much of the OSR scene and featuring art by Erol Otus and Stefan Poag and Jason Sholtis. Huge discount in PDF, Hardcover, and Combo formats!
- Barrowmaze Complete GM Inserts – Running Barrowmaze? Put these in your DM screen.
- The Forbidden Caverns of Archaia – Been waiting for a sale to take a chance on the other megadungeon from Greg Gillespie? Looks to be about 33% off, give or take.
- The Forbidden Caverns of Archaia GM Inserts – Here’s the matching DM screen stuff.
Rappan Athuk Stuff – Immense megadungeon which is considered one of the pre-eminent examples of the genre.
- Rappan Athuk S&W – The old-school version of one of the heavy hitters of the megadungeon world. Currently nearly half-price – $16USD off!
- Rappan Athuk Bestiary S&W – Steeply discounted.
- Rappan Athuk Expansions S&W – More biggerer.
- Rappan Athuk/Lost City of Barakus Map
- Rappan Athuk Battle Maps
Midderlands Stuff – Glynn Seal’s Midderlands setting for OSR is a grimy, gritty, green world of trees and treachery.
- Midderlands – Setting and Bestiary
- Midderlands Expanded
OTHER OSR-TYPE STUFF
- Esoteric Enterprises – A slight discount on the current hit of the OSR arena by Emmy Allen aka Cavegirl. It’s OSR meets X-Files meets oWoD? Made a huge splash; keeps selling out print runs.
- Wolf-Packs & Winter Snow – Emmy Allen’s weird neolithic B/X-derived game.
- Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells – Diogo Nogueira strikes again. Sword and planet OSR-derived gaming in the vein of pulpy sci-fantasy stuff.
- Troika! Numinous Edition – I still haven’t dug deeply into this because the backlog of stuff from before I went on hiatus and the backlog of stuff that piled up during the hiatus is too damn deep still, but I’ll get around to it. In the meantime, it looks like half the OSR is hype as hell for this game. Give it a shot; it’s by some of the coolest people in the industry.
- Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea (Compleat Second Edition) – I refuse to type that title again for awhile. Anyway, ask yourself this: Do you like Conan and Robert E Howard? Do you like OSR gameplay? Do you like saving like a third off cover price? If yes, proceed with haste.
- Low Fantasy Gaming – Never played it, but at least over on Twitter there’s a few adherents among the old-school crowd. Seems quite popular in its niche, and it’s definitely on sale for like 25% off!
Best Left Buried Stuff –
- Best Left Buried Rules Bundle – Best Left Buried is a horror RPG and a distant cousin to OSR D&D. It is like two steps removed, and can be converted back with ease. The playstyle remains very OSR and exceedingly lethal.
Best Left Buried Zines – The A Doom To Speak collection are mini-zines (aka “zini”) of fantasy role-playing content designed for the horror-bent BLB but convertible to any OSR system with little effort. Locations, adventures, encounters. Good stuff to pirate wholesale for your own game even if you’re not playing BLB. Diogo Nogueira, Michael T Lombardi, Mabel Harper, and others appear as guest authors in this collection.
- BLB – A Doom to Speak: The Heretic’s Laboratory
- BLB – A Doom to Speak: Lair of the Scorpion Masters
- BLB – A Doom to Speak: Like Family
- BLB – A Doom to Speak: Maw Isle
- BLB – A Doom to Speak: Prophet’s Valley
- BLB – A Doom to Speak: The Almagast Caverns
- BLB – A Doom to Speak: Transmuter’s Tower
- The Monster Alphabet – Just plain good fun and inspirational material for OSR players.
- The Dungeon Alphabet – See above.
- The Dungeon Dozen – Jason Sholtis’ amazing D12 tables for OSR games, basically half-price.
That’s gonna do it, I think! There’s tons of stuff out there – dozens of pages of countless small, indie publisher products ranging from OSR adventures to B/X classes and more. I encourage you to dig deep and find hidden gems – and then tell me about them. In fact, if you find any big, important OSR deals I missed here, please let me know over on Twitter @DungeonsPossums.
And, again: for a second glance at stuff I forgot or neglected, check out prior OSR/GM’s Day sale posts here, here, here, and here. It’s possible one of those links will take you to a great discount I missed this time around!