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83 votes
Accepted

How do I get around players losing interest during mapping?

This answer is rooted deeply in the principles of the specific Old School playstyle that the question is about, and which loosely define the OSR movement. By making mapping a part of play, you can ...
SevenSidedDie's user avatar
39 votes

Remembering to add tracks and signs of wandering monsters

It's always easy to remember the flashiest effects of any roll. Everyone remembers rolling a 20 is a crit, right? Get into the habit of putting signs and tracks everywhere Since you mention your ...
eimyr's user avatar
  • 17.2k
23 votes

How do I get around players losing interest during mapping?

Drop formal mapping by the players from the game, if the process of mapping in details is getting in the way of fun. OSR games do not mean you have to sacrifice your fun, and though it is ...
Neil Slater's user avatar
  • 15.2k
22 votes
Accepted

Megadungeon: How often to restock?

The only system I've seen which directly addresses this question is ACKS, which is a B/X neoclone, so it should fall under the "osr" tag. This is covered in the SRD in Chapter 7: Campaigns under the ...
Dave Sherohman's user avatar
19 votes
Accepted

Remembering to add tracks and signs of wandering monsters

Change the order of evaluation. Currently it is determine "random encounter" or "signs and tracks", then roll on table. The payoff of rolling on the table for mere "signs and tracks" is low. ...
Yakk's user avatar
  • 15.5k
18 votes

How to randomly generate a village or town for old school D&D game?

Before you can place a town or city, you must first have a world to place it in. When building your world you will need to determine general aspects that apply to your entire world, such as gods and ...
Mark Ripley's user avatar
17 votes

Remembering to add tracks and signs of wandering monsters

Take a spare 6-sided die. If you don't have one, buy a cheap one at a dollar store. Print out two monster footprint icons like these and one monster icon like this. Cut out the icons into small ...
SPavel's user avatar
  • 15.7k
17 votes
Accepted

Who or what first said to "don't name monsters, describe them"?

Perhaps this exists in earlier games, but Dungeon Crawl Classics, first published in 2012, makes this explicit. Dungeon Crawl Classics, page 378 (4th printing) Never describe a monster using a ...
okeefe's user avatar
  • 37.9k
17 votes
Accepted

How do I learn to run games in the OSR/old school D&D “Way”, as an experienced 3e/5e DM?

I like the definition of OSR gaming presented by Matthew Finch in "A Primer For Old School Gaming," available in pdf for free from Lulu. In short, he refers to four major conceits ("Zen ...
mxyzplk's user avatar
  • 175k
16 votes

Help with motivations on Player driven games

Are you sure Sandbox is right for this group? Nothing against your players, but it doesn't sound like they're the kind of group that would thrive in a sandbox environment. If they're not taking the ...
ruffdove's user avatar
  • 6,184
14 votes

Megadungeon: How often to restock?

This is a decision that rests entirely with you as DM and the answer should be whatever provides the most fun with the least work and cognitive dissonance. You actually have the answer in your ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 212k
13 votes

Can a translation of a text declared as OGC be declared as Product Identity?

I am not a laywer, but I believe the Open Game License specifies that translations of Open Game Content must also be Open Game Content: "Open Game Content" means [...], and means any work ...
KRyan's user avatar
  • 353k
11 votes
Accepted

Where are the DCC acronyms (such as HD and CL) stated and explained?

Nowhere, at least not explictly. I suspected this was the case but I searched my digital copy of the current 10th printing of Dungeon Crawl Classics (DCC), and it does not contain a list of game ...
Guybrush McKenzie's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

What is the most reasonable conversion rate for a 5e "Gold for XP" house rule?

Based off of DDAL1 modules... The Table: \begin{array}{l c l} \text{Total GP Expended} & \text{Level} & \text{(Expenditure for next level)} \\ \hline 0 & 1 & (700) \\ 700 & 2 &...
nitsua60's user avatar
  • 102k
9 votes
Accepted

If OSR modules are unbalanced by design, why do they often have recommended level brackets?

OSR doesn't attempt any kind of rigorous balancing, such as WOTC has tried with CRs and ELs and so on, and it gleefully throws in an occasional fight which is much tougher or much easier than is ...
Dave Sherohman's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

How much should PCs weigh?

You don't need to carry alone The early editions of D&D were heavy on the resource management (see for example this answer to What's the point of long, empty hallways in dungeons?, in my ...
Nobody the Hobgoblin's user avatar
9 votes

How much should PCs weigh?

Just use real weights This is what we do in the Coup de Greyhawk -campaign. Real weights for people, real weights for items, to the accuracy anyone bothers to find out. How much can you carry? Just ...
Tommi's user avatar
  • 10.3k
8 votes

How do I get around players losing interest during mapping?

In nearly every game I've played, we've solved this problem by having the DM draw the map for the players. Sometimes the map is much larger than the battle mat. The solution we use is to have an ...
Dan B's user avatar
  • 90.2k
8 votes
Accepted

How many spells does the Magic-User have in their spellbook in S&W Core?

It depends on your Intelligence score (work with your GM) This answer is based on the 4th printing, Swords and Wizardry, Core Rules, 2011. On page 7, the chance to learn a given spell is laid out in a ...
KorvinStarmast's user avatar
8 votes

If OSR modules are unbalanced by design, why do they often have recommended level brackets?

"Balance" is a nebulous term, somewhat meaningless for OSR style adventures. Modern D&D (at least 3e and 4e, perhaps someone else can speak to 5e if it differs significantly) expects PCs ...
Magician's user avatar
  • 14.8k
7 votes

Remembering to add tracks and signs of wandering monsters

Your problem seems to be that you forgot the rules. This happens to many GMs. The most common technique is to have a summary of the rules you tend to forget behind your GM screen (where you can easily ...
Anne Aunyme's user avatar
  • 21.2k
7 votes

Can you use a Spelljammer ship to get to Krynn?

The answer depends on which time period your game is. While there are a lot of early materials describing Krynnspace and travel between that crystal sphere and many others was detailed, later AD&D ...
ZwiQ's user avatar
  • 22.2k
7 votes

Can a translation of a text declared as OGC be declared as Product Identity?

You don't gain the needed rights to declare something as Product identity by merely translating When translating something, you become the author of a derivate of a work, but not the sole author. As ...
Trish's user avatar
  • 44.3k
6 votes

Remembering to add tracks and signs of wandering monsters

Turn your random encounter table into a random encounter matrix This is not my idea, it comes from the Retired Adventurer. You roll (at least) two dice for random encounters - if using the same size ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 212k
6 votes

Is there a term for OSR games which are not retro clones?

Simulacrum has sometimes been used as a synonym for retro-clone and sometimes as a larger category. But the usage isn’t clear. e.g. In “OSR Resources” from his Howling Tower blog, Steve Winter writes:...
Robert Fisher's user avatar
6 votes

Firing a relativistic kill missile at a god in an otherwise medieval world: How to Adjudicate?

Expand the Range of Possible Outcomes, and have the final result depend on how many tests/rolls the players can pass. Currently the result of the attack as you described is binary: either the attack ...
JoshuaD's user avatar
  • 4,415
6 votes

How much should PCs weigh?

Since this is old-school inflected B/X I contend that referencing the real-world as a heuristic for making the rulings is appropriate. For carrying a downed character, I believe that referencing ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 2,871
5 votes

Can I copy verbatim text of a game declared as Open Game Content under the OGL License?

I am not a lawyer, I am certainly not your lawyer, and I have not examined the details of your specific case. This answer is meant to be educational, based on my understanding as someone who has ...
KRyan's user avatar
  • 353k
4 votes

How well are low level PCs able to defeat high level NPCs in B/X D&D?

A group 3rd- to 5th-level PCs in B/X and compatible games can defeat NPCs 2 to 3 levels higher than the PCs, and maybe even NPCs of higher levels than that if the PCs scout ahead, plan the engagement, ...
Ynas Midgard's user avatar

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