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Old School Renaissance Handbook
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Old School Renaissance Handbook
Publisher: Brent P. Newhall's Musaeum
by Michael P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/16/2019 06:52:39

It is a nice writeup/overview of world of OSR systems in 2012 upto maybe 2015 and a great read. Sadly quite a few changes have been made to existing systems, new ones came and went away and therfore an update would be very much appreciated. But I know that going back and reworking what you wrote 7 years ago is probably very unappealing.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Old School Renaissance Handbook
Publisher: Brent P. Newhall's Musaeum
by David D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/11/2019 10:48:59

Exactly what i was hoping for. Great breakdown of any common OSR products, what they do well, how they differ, and also some creator interviews. Well worth the cost of admission for any OSR fan

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Old School Renaissance Handbook
Publisher: Brent P. Newhall's Musaeum
by Ray S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/21/2018 23:57:57

This has some interesting information and provides a quick over-view of a number of different systems but the issue is that some of them are based on out-dated versions which is completely useless for someone who is interested in a particular system and would like to look into it further. Case in point - Castles & Crusades. It says it is based on the 2004 edition which has not been available for years so if someone was to pick up the currently available version it will be completely different and virtually unrecognizable to the version that is reviewed. Basic Fantasy Role-Play as well, is based on the 2nd edition which has been updated to 3rd edition years ago. It may have some use if you are interested in the history of these games but as it is marketed as a 'Handbook' I don't feel that it offers much information on the current state of the OSR due to the out-of-date information on some of the systems. If you are looking for current information on a certain game system or are wanting to research new systems to try the information will be hit and miss depending on the system. I feel this would be much more useful if information about the currently available edition(s) was included.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
Old School Renaissance Handbook
Publisher: Brent P. Newhall's Musaeum
by Michael R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/09/2017 16:50:40

Ho much use you get out of this guide depends on what you are looking for from it. It's a pretty generalized guide and comes in multiple formats in a zip file so you are sure to find a format that works for you.

It's pretty hard to get a strong feel for the games mentioned in the guide. But I would say that is perfect for telling you the kind of thing you don't want. I would use it as a jumping off point for research. You can eliminate some games outright and by comparing the sample characters get an idea of what system you want to explore. For example, if youa are looking for something that reminds you of AD&D or BECMI you can use teh guide to tell you write away what to skip and what to focus on.

The massive Big OSR Matriix Chart is not very useful if you read this on a eBook like Kindle. It worked much better for me as PDF on my widescreen monitor.

It would be a much better value if it included a more indepth review of the games themselves. In fact, it practically begs for it. The guide makes no qualitative judgements as far as I could see, leaving that up to the reader.

There is almost no discussion of the production values or what the OSR community in general is thinking about these games or which ones are being played or how they are played.

It's a nice beginning but needs a lot of fleshing out to be definitive.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Old School Renaissance Handbook
Publisher: Brent P. Newhall's Musaeum
by Sophia B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/30/2014 10:19:52

Original on my blog:

This is a review of the 1st iteration of the OSR Handbook. The new edition contains more systems but otherwise haven't changed much. This review will still be helpful!

OSR, was ist das überhaupt? OSR steht für Old School Renaissance und bezeichnet eine Richtung des Rollenspieldesigns, die wieder "back to the roots" geht, also auf den ersten Editionen von D&D beruht.

Als Gamer jüngerer Generation sind mir die ersten Rollenspielwerke fremd. Mein erster Kontakt mit D&D erfolgte mit der Edition 3.5. Daher ist die OSR-Bewegung auch bislang an mir vorbei gegangen. Ich weiß jedoch, dass es gerade in der Bloggerszene viele Anhänger dieses Genres gibt. Als ich auf Google+ über Brent Newhall's Werk gestoßen bin, war ich daher neugierig. Ich habe ihn daher gefragt, ob er mir ein Rezensionsexemplar zukommen lassen kann - und er kann!

Was ist also das OSR Handbook?

Das Old School Renaissance Handbook hat es sich zum Ziel gesetzt, einen Überblick über 16 Systeme des Genres zu bieten. Beginnend mit einer Tabelle folgt eine Anleitung zu jedem der Rpgs, welches einen Kurzabriss über das System, die Regelmechanik sowie die vorgestellten Ratschläge für Spielleiter und Spieler bietet. Anschließend wurden fünf Standardcharaktere für jedes der 16 Spiele erstellt.

In der Printversion wird es noch Bilder und Interviews mit einigen der Autoren geben. Grundlage dieser Rezension ist die PDF-Datei.


Das PDF findet auf 86 Seiten Platz. Es ist voll indiziert. Das Layout ist einfach gehalten. Man merkt, dass es in LibreOffice gestaltet wurde, es ist jedoch alles gut lesbar.

Nach einer kurzen Einleitung erklärt der Autor den Begriff OSR und die Kriterien für die Charaktererschaffung der Beispielcharaktere (1.-Level-Charaktere mit 0 XP, Archetypen: Zwergenkrieger, Elfischer Bogenschütze, Halbling-Dieb, menschlicher Priester und Magier).

Die Systeme

Folgende Systeme stellt Brent Newhall vor:

Adventurer Conqueror King System BareBones RPG Dungeon Crawl Classics Dungeon Raiders Dungeon Squad Dungeon World (Basic) Labyrinth Lord Lamentations of the Flame Princess Mazes & Minotaurs Microlite74 Old School Hack OSRIC Searchers of the Unknown Stars Without Number Swords and Wizardry Warrior, Rogue & Mage Näheres hier.

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

The Good

Das OSR Handbook schafft es, eine breite Palette von Systemen vorzustellen. Neben regelleichten Rollenspielen gibt es auch Werke mit über 400 Seiten. Man kann die Systeme vergleichen und durch die Beispielcharaktere gewinnt man einen guten Überblick.

The Bad

Eine kleinere Kritik: Dungeon World wurde in der Basic Edition vorgestellt, die m.W. gar nicht mehr erhältlich ist, da es sich um eine Vorab-Version während des Kickstarters handelte. Das fertiggestellte Dungeon World hat wesentlich mehr Klassen. Auch die Github-Version, die Brent hier herangezogen hat, besitzt schon mehr Klassen. Ich habe ihn darauf aufmerksam gemacht und habe es so verstanden, dass er das noch ändern wird.

The Ugly

Das Layout der PDF-Version ist graphisch nicht besonders ansprechend. Zur Verdeutlichung wären vielleicht Boxen anstatt Auflistungen sinnvoll gewesen.


Wenn man sich mit OSR beschäftigt, wird man feststellen, dass es massig Systeme gibt. Die Auswahl kann einen schier erschlagen. Umso schöner, dass sich jemand die Mühe gemacht hat, ein Handbuch zusammenzustellen. Das OSR Handbook gibt dem interessierten Neuling einen Einstieg in das Genre und dem Veteranen eine Möglichkeit, seine Lieblingssysteme anhand der praktischen Übersicht zu vergleichen. Gestandene OSR-Recken werden vielleicht wenig Neues finden, haben dafür aber einen Haufen von Informationen in einem handlichen Dokument. Streng genommen ist das OSR Handbook kein Muss-Kauf, aber für $2.99 (PDF) macht der Rollenspielfan m.E. nichts falsch!

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Old School Renaissance Handbook
Publisher: Brent P. Newhall's Musaeum
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/22/2013 21:00:18

I started "gaming" back around 1980. Stayed active until 1997 but remained as a collector and reader and wanna be gamer. It wasn't until 2007 or so that I actively returned to gaming. Even before I was "returned to active duty", I had found Castles & Crusades and my door to what would become the OSR had opened for me.

I am OSR through and through, and I'll be the first to admit that we have a huge variation of rulesets in our niche of the RPG hobby. When I saw that the Old School Renaissance Handbook had been released, I was psyched. Not because I thought I needed it, but figured it might remind me to take some second looks at rulesets I may have quickly passed over previously. Sometimes having a huge selection to choose from leads you to inadvertently limit your choices.

I'm happy to have been reminded about games like Dungeon Raiders and Dungeon Squad (this was not a reminder - somehow I had never previously heard of Dungeon Squad). It makes me want to take a second look at Microlite74. It does so with a nicely bookmarked PDF and a convenient listing of the games looked at, along with hand links to find them online (and their pricing). Very handy stuff.

Now "print friendly"! Huzzah!

It's a quick read, especially if you are like me and find stated out characters to be a bit boring after the first few.

Still, the information is good, especially if you want to show an non-OSR friend the different styles of rules available. It's like a "cheat book" of OSR cataloging info.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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