OSR stands for "Old School Renaissance." It is an umbrella term encompassing pre-D&D 3.0 versions of Dungeons & Dragons. The various older editions are closely related enough that an answer for one is often applicable to other editions.

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Overview of D&D retro-clones

I'm getting more and more interested in the D&D retro-clones. I keep seeing various names thrown around, like Labyrinth Lords, Swords and Wizardry, Lycanthropes &… something else starting with ...
21
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10answers
2k views

What defines the “old school renaissance”?

I'm aware that the old school renaissance (OSR) is all about hearkening back to old versions of D&D and the play styles of the 70's and 80's, but what characteristics really define this movement? ...
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5answers
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Rules for increasing ability scores in Basic D&D?

Are there any rules (house or otherwise) for increasing ability scores after character creation in Basic D&D or any of its retro clones? (Other than magic items or wishes.) When we generated ...
16
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4answers
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How can players learn the nature of magic items?

I'm running a sandbox campaign with Adventurer Conqueror King System (essentially Moldvay-Cook Basic/Expert D&D). My players are starting to find probably-magic items during their expeditions and ...
37
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5answers
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What is the purpose of old-school D&D class level limitations?

When I played 1E and 2E, racial level limits was one of the first rules we decided to ignore. We decided that it would prevent us from playing (say) an Elven fighter for as long as the party might ...
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17answers
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How to handle character death in adventures with save-or-dies

I am currently running an LotFP adventure using D&D Next, the amazing Better than any man. In SevenSidedDie' s great answer to a previous post of mine he touched upon philosophical differences ...
13
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2answers
702 views

Why can't a Cleric use a sling?

So by the book 1st Edition AD&D, clerics can't use a sling. Other than game balance (it essentially means that other than the odd thrown hammer clerics have no ranged weapon ability which further ...
12
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9answers
5k views

How do you optimize in 1st Edition AD&D?

1st Edition Dungeons and Dragons gives its players a few strategic options during character creation, many of which are restricted by randomly generated attributes. With this in mind, what are some ...
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3answers
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What are the advantages and disadvantages of oldschool D&D combat initiative?

Old D&D and D&D3E/4E treat initiative and combat order differently like so: D&D 3.5 / 4E: All participants roll individual initiative, once only at the start of combat. Each player takes ...
4
votes
1answer
554 views

Conversion of LotFP (OSR) monsters to D&D Next Final Playtest rules

I am running an LotFP adventure for my group; we play using the Final Playtest ruleset of D&D Next. LotFP is part of the old school renaissance, and James Raggi (the creator) writes that it ...
12
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6answers
2k views

In early D&D, why would chainmail ever be preferred over plate armor?

In early D&D, both chainmail and plate armor were considered metal armor, and to slow the wearer to 60' per turn. Chainmail cost 40gp, and plate armor 60gp. Their encumbrance was 400 or 500 coins ...
9
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4answers
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Pitfalls of using the optional 'XP for Gold' rule in a Basic D&D Retro Clone game?

Basic Fantasy (a Basic D&D Retro Clone) has the XP for Gold optional rule: 1 GP of coin or treasure returned to a safe place rewards the party with 1 XP. This is in addition to normal XP rewards. ...
6
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2answers
517 views

How can the GM go diceless in classic D&D?

For those unfamiliar with the concept semi-diceless gaming is only having the players roll the dice. It's used in Cinematic Unisystem and the old (and now free) game Legendary Lives. I'd like to ...