General Rules

Definitions:
ADD: Adventures Dark and Deep (Reference )
OSR: Old School Renaissance (Reference )
ToEE: Temple of Elemental Evil (Reference )

General Background & Conduct
1. Have fun – We are looking for open minded players interested in meeting other open minded players that want to learn about D&D, how it was played 20 years ago, and learn to use their imagination in probably one of the most fun and immersive games ever developed.

This means that the environment we would like to have will be open for beginners and advanced players alike, and that there will be less emphasis for the players on learning rules and systems, and more emphasis on roleplaying and using your imagination!

It really goes without saying that we don’t tolerate any behavior that would make other players uncomfortable; we intend to have a balanced and active group that will hopefully become one of the highlights of your week.

2. Respect your fellow players and their time — We all are time limited to some extent; if you can’t make it on time or at all please let the DM know in advance.

This also means that when you’ve joined in with the group please be prepared to start the game. If you are goofing around before the game starts we are taking time away from the group’s session.

3. Take the game seriously – We are not looking for meta-humor, such as pink-haired lesbian bards who are chaotic neutral/insane, and like to prod each other with wondrous staves just to see what happens. We are not interested in a Minotaur alchemist, trained by immortal ninjas, riding a clockwork snail, who’s the reincarnation of an ancient god destined to reunite the faerie world with ours and rule a small country, etc. you get the point.

We want you to create a character you can role play and enjoy role playing with other players that can take you as seriously as they take themselves.

4. Understand some differences about OSR gaming –

a. Modern games like D&D 4.0 and Pathfinder are driven by rules; OSR is driven by rulings. This makes your interaction in the game environment more dependent on your ability to role play and interact with the environment than on your ability to navigate sessions being bound by a set of strict rules.

Therefore you are only limited by your imagination as to what you can try – The DM will often decide whether it works on the fly – not by consulting a rulebook.

While you do indeed gain skills and powers as you level up and gain experience, at any time you can attempt to do anything you can imagine may be useful in any situation and the DM will rule on it. An example of this would be if you were facing two goblins and you’re wielding a scimitar, you may attempt to cleave even if your character does not have this skill; it will be up to do the DM to decide if you are successful or not, and/or provide instructions on how to calculate your success. This adds to the level of immersion in almost all situations and allow for problem solving more complex problems, and finding out what happens!

c. OSR may appear more limited at first and this is apparent when you see less races, less classes and less options. Part of this is because this edition is not rule driven, and part of it is because D&D at this point in its development was designed around players using their imagination and intuition to the extent a DM would allow and permit. This is also apparent when you notice that ‘builds’ are missing from an OSR game. This is an idea that developed later within the stricter bounds and rules of more recent revisions of D&D and does not exist in OSR. Ultimately, you will not be waiting for your character to be awesome as soon as you get “feat a” – the idea here is that your character is already awesome and develops skills as experience is gained through their travels and adventures.

d. Understanding all of the above, your character will NOT survive without henchmen, hirelings, and/or mercenaries – these are separate and complete characters you will control in addition to your own – but whom the DM will also in part control. This should add an interesting and fun aspect to the campaign that is often under-utilized in later revisions of D&D and Pathfinder.

e. If you are interested in a more in-depth explanation of these differences between OSR and Pathfinder please refer to this fantastic discussion:

Reference

“OSR games are about adventuring. About going strange places, taking contracts, delving dungeons, fighting enemies or avoiding them, all as the players decide. Not nearly as focused on combat as on living an alternate life in a dangerous fantasy world. Sneaking past enemies, talking past enemies, or just running are all valid options during combat, and the interplay of the characters is more important than the mechanics, as the mechanics are simple enough to learn in an hour.

Pathfinder, instead, is a hero game, or rather a story game. It is much easier to incorporate backstories into a Pathfinder game, because you are virtually guaranteed the character will be around long enough to ‘fulfill his destiny,’ etc. This is a game designed to recreate an Epic Fantasy, where a group of rag-tag friends complete grand story-arcs in their pursuit of an ultimate objective. Long combats with little actual chance of death, designed to tell the GM’s grand novel, with the players cast in the roles of the leads.”

5. At the start of the campaign we’ll be doing the old school narrative style combat. Honoring the ways of the 2nd edition pen and paper D&D gamers, this revision of the game lasted for many years where they chose not to play with minis and maps. This allows for you as a player to build the scene in your own mind and forces you to use your imagination, the perceived limitations of your character as defined by you and the DM, and your ability to solve problems to progress through combat and really all situations. Therefore not only combat but all aspects of the game will be more fluid, dynamic, interesting, and in most cases faster than that found in later revisions of D&D and Pathfinder.

By changing this key dynamic scenarios are less oppositional. With less concrete rules in this revision, the DM could in theory kill everyone off, however the point of the game is to work together, have fun, and adventure through an increasingly interesting story that is shared and enjoyed by the group!

It is important to note here that once we get going that when we do begin to use maps for combat or otherwise that we will be using ROLL20 for our encounters, and this is why we have chosen to post this here.

General Rules

Lamashtu's ADD OSR Campaign jigsawed