OSR? Start Here!

Just about everything has their own twist on things, and it can be a hassle to figure out what somebody means the first time that you come across an unfamiliar term, so I’m going to use this page to help you figure out where you need to go.

I use a version of Arnold K.’s GLOG homebrew, with many additions/refinements from Skerples, and bits and bobs from many other people. The biggest difference you’re likely to notice is that, following Arnold’s Stat Squish post, I don’t use ability scores per se, only ability score bonuses. The average score is +5, and the full range at character creation goes from +1 to +9. If you want to reconvert to traditional ability scores then the best way for you to do that is probably going to be to double the bonus (i.e. +4 turns into 8, +5 turns into 10, +6 turns into 12, etc.).

I try to write the player-facing rules with an eye toward making it as easy as possible to just jump in and start playing. Besides the usual “condense two rolls into one, and one roll into no rolls” stuff, this also means breaking up the rules into multiple PDFs, because there is a certain kind of person who would rather have four 5-page PDFs than one 15-page PDF. Right now, the relevant links are Character Creation, Doing Stuff, Magic & Wizardry, and Leveling & Other Post-Session 1 Stuff. Classes are in heavy draft form at the moment. A link to the GM-Facing Rules will come at some point, after it’s been prettied up for outside eyes.

I’m going back and forth between the “dis/advantage” and “bane/boon” systems, as well as plain +/- bonuses, but just so you have an easier time than I did figuring out what each of these meant:

  • Dis/advantage means that you roll two dice and take the worse/better result.
  • Boon means that you roll a d6 along with your other die and add the result (i.e. rolling 1d20+1d6). Bane means that you subtract the result. If you want to convert boons/banes to a flat bonus/penalty then go with +/-3 or +/-4 (I tend to go with +/- 3 for one bane/boon, and +/- 7 for two banes/boons).

My homebrew setting is the land of Upper Thaumerica, i.e. Highly Anachronistic Fantasyland America. The 2-page overview that I give to my players can be found here, and if I’ve done my job right then you don’t need to know anything else, but god knows I can’t shut up so this blog is probably going to be two-thirds Thaumerica posts by the time I’m done here.