I don't often purchase a persons house rules for my games. I prefer to make them up myself. I made an exception with Rick Stump's book, and am I a happy camper.
I got turned on to his blog first. Reading it and how he described his long running campaign using my favorite addition, 1st edition AD&D, had me digging out my books and looking at them with new eyes. His take on items I had just passed over in my games really got my creative juices going.
To be completely honest I feel I should mention these two items. First I have a great dislike of Unearthed Arcana. It started a change in AD&D that I did not like. Second I helped Rick as a proofreader on one version of this text. I took it as an opportunity to "break" his book.
With these two statements out of the way, I live this book. It is, what I feel, UA should have been. The Barbarian and Nobelman classes are worth the price alone. They are very playable and not the campaign breakers that UA presents. His take on weapon specialization are very well thought out and helps shape Fighters, not make them into a Ginsu slicing, dicing machine. His reworking of the Bard is well dine. A playable class drone 1st level. Something that was desperately needed. The Scout, a wilderness thief type, was something I didn't even realize I needed. Very handy to have in any wilderness campaign.
The initiative system was interesting, but I have mine. If your still trying to figure out how EGG didn't, stop. Use Ricks. It makes sense and is easy to implement. The disease section is well thought. The maintence and upkeep is a good way to separate a PC from his money.
The crown jewel here is the NPC only Classes section is wort the price of admission alone. Wonder how a patheon could train ebough full on Clerics to staff every small parish in the world? Wonder no more, use the Religious Brother/Sister. There is now a difference between an adventuring Cleric and his stay at home Brother. The Brother is the one who stays home and tends the flock. Brilliant. Do want to stay at home at gaurd that town. Use the Man at Arms. Not quite a full on Fighter, but not the 0 level nug that is the peasant levy. Want a small town Wizard, one who maybe self taught? Hedge Mage is for you. Low powered Wizards who fill in the gaps for local magic use for the small town. Thrives are not left out. Scoundrels are the thrives who would make up the bulk of most Thieves Guilds. Those Thieves who have no great ambition to climb the Guild power structure. Your everyday, common thief. With these classes and some notes on Hirelings, you have a well rounded campaign.
The spell section is very well done. I won't go into a lot of details here, though. I'll leave that for you to explore in your own. I'll just say Cantrips for all. And your newly minted Religious Brother/Sister has a very important job. Ceremony is the bread and butter of this class. Its how they tend to the flock. It can also form the basis of a monotheistic view on AD&D which opens a new vista for your campaign.
Final section, after the new spells for the new classes, is integrating the new NPC classes into expanded Follower lists for those that get them. At those lofty levels of Name level.
Overall this is a very well done and well thought out product. It it can be used in parts or in whole. It makes a very nice addition to any OSR campaign. It will expand your campaign and add a depth which may be missing. I know mine will be greatly expanded.
[5 of 5 Stars!]