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Exemplars & Eidolons


Tales of Thundering Heroism

Welcome to Exemplars & Eidolons. Within these few pages you’ll find a game of titanic heroes and glorious paragons, living legends of every stripe banding together to accomplish deeds of deathless fame. Using the basic framework of classic old-school gaming you’ll fashion fresh exemplars of daring to battle foes far beyond the compass of ordinary adventurers!

Though actually...

Exemplars & Eidolons is a fully-playable OSR mini-game of high-powered legendary adventurers. But what I really wrote it to be is a simple layout template for other people who'd like to echo the old "Little Brown Books" style of old-school game pamphlets. As the principles of page design are a lot easier to explain with actual game text, I wrote the game so I could have something to lay out for you.

In this download, you'll get the game itself in two versions- one with no Commentary layer for the convenience of people using certain tablet readers, and one with a layer you can turn on via Adobe Reader to see the page design tricks and principles I used to put the pamphlet together. I've also included InDesign source files for the game, and an .IDML InDesign markup language file that should be readable by Scribus. You are encouraged to loot the styles and page objects for your own creations, whether free or commercial.

The art used in the game is also included, and was drawn from the Spears of the Dawn Art Pack and the Scarlet Heroes Art Pack, both of which are free for commercial use and available here on DTRPG.

Those who'd like to see how their own final product might look can order the print version of the pamphlet as well. While it's listed as being a premium color product, it's largely black and white- I prepared it that way so you could see what the paper and color quality was like for your own project before you got too far into the design.

So go forth and make awesome things to share with other people.

(If you like this, go ahead and grab The Smoking Pillar of Lan Yu while you're at it- it's a free module template for building 1980-style adventure modules.)

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Reviews (3)
Discussions (3)
Customer avatar
Terrance G June 07, 2016 6:37 am UTC
Which D&D edition would this be best for?
Customer avatar
Kyle S July 16, 2016 3:24 am UTC
It isn't for DnD, it's its own game, albeit inspired by some of the earlier editions of the old standby. Thoroughly tweaked too, and not in a bad way.
Customer avatar
Scott P May 26, 2015 5:21 pm UTC
This might be the best OSR adaptation to come down the pipeline yet! Author Kevin Crawford gives away this jewel of an RPG for free, but had I paid $10 for it I would have considered it a bargain! This is the sort of heroic fantasy RPG I would want to run or play in.

I can see using this to run a Planescape Campaign, and the ability to port in 2E stats without much alteration will make it a dream to use all of those old resources.

Bravo, Mr. Crawford! My only complaint? Make it a full-fledged Sine Nomine production with all of the bells and whistles!

Thanks for this amazing little game!

Customer avatar
Jeremy H March 01, 2015 3:27 pm UTC
I hesitate to write a review on this one yet, but so far I really like what I've seen. If you are interested in this one, definitely don't wait to download it. The price is right and there are some neat innovations on the usual OSR type stuff you see so often.
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Product Information
Silver seller
Rule System(s)
File Size:
97.24 MB
Original electronic Click for more information
Scanned image
These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

For PDF download editions, each page has been run through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to attempt to decipher the printed text. The result of this OCR process is placed invisibly behind the picture of each scanned page, to allow for text searching. However, any text in a given book set on a graphical background or in handwritten fonts would most likely not be picked up by the OCR software, and is therefore not searchable. Also, a few larger books may be resampled to fit into the system, and may not have this searchable text background.

For printed books, we have performed high-resolution scans of an original hardcopy of the book. We essentially digitally re-master the book. Unfortunately, the resulting quality of these books is not as high. It's the problem of making a copy of a copy. The text is fine for reading, but illustration work starts to run dark, pixellating and/or losing shades of grey. Moiré patterns may develop in photos. We mark clearly which print titles come from scanned image books so that you can make an informed purchase decision about the quality of what you will receive.
Original electronic format
These ebooks were created from the original electronic layout files, and therefore are fully text searchable. Also, their file size tends to be smaller than scanned image books. Most newer books are in the original electronic format. Both download and print editions of such books should be high quality.
File Last Updated:
February 27, 2015
This title was added to our catalog on February 27, 2015.