Monday, 22 August 2016

Comprehensive List of OSR Games

I present to you a comprehensive list of OSR/D&D-esque games. Only those games qualified that are either (1) retroclones (presenting an older system with or without modification; e.g. Kazamaták és Kompániák and AS&SH), (2) belong to the OSR by consensus (games building off of D&D's mechanics in innovative ways; e.g. Mazes & Minotaurs and Ghastly Affair), or (3) old-school in gameplay (having the same or very, very similar gameplay to D&D but with a different system; e.g. Torchbearer and Dragon Age).

Mind you the list includes games that had to do with 3E and 4E as well, so it is not strictly pre-3E D&D, and even some edge cases are on the list, such as Zweihänder and OpenQuest, which are clones of WFRP and Runequest, respectively (but the gameplay patterns are notably still D&D-esque, and they fit the spirit of the DIY OSR community). I fancy the term broad OSR (because some people would argue Wayfarers or Radiance disqualifies), but that might as well be as inaccurate as narrow D&D-esque (but then where's Infernum and Warcraft d20, one might ask).

The list includes different editions where applicable, but that shouldn't significantly inflate the number of games. I noted the year they were published and the publisher at that time. I also provided download links, as well as places where PDF or print copies can be purchased (chiefly links to RPGNow and Lulu). Mind you, all of the RPGNow links have an affiliate tag (not that would gain me much, but I figured I might be able to purchase a game or two off of that in the long run). I also added a column for theme/genre and noted it where it was explicitly stated or trivial to infer (except if it was some form of general D&D fantasy).

What's next? I'll definitely try to keep this document updated, if nothing else, for my own sake (I like making lists). Also, I'll slowly but surely add more notes to the games already on the list; I've been experimenting with formats to provide concise summaries (some of it still remains in the document), but I have not decided upon anything.

Finally, some numbers, because they are fun:
  • 281 games in total, including 2nd, revised, and expanded editions (plus 9 whose release date I could not find)
  • 14 games released between 2004 and 2006
  • 9 games released in 2007, then 12 in 2008
  • 22 games released in 2009, then 25 in 2010 and 2011 each
  • 40 games released in 2012 and 41 in 2013 (only 5 of which were revised editions)
  • 21 games released in 2014, then 26 in 2015
  • so far 45 games released in 2016 (13 of which are variants of The Black Hack)
  • 15 games in the works that I know of, 3 of which will definitely see release this year
  • 127 games are available for free, plus 15 more are PWYW
  • 19 explicit sci-fi variants, and 2 that advertise themselves as planetary romance
  • 13 explicitly sword & sorcery games
  • 9 western games
  • 5 games whose implied setting is inspired by Asian cultures

8 comments:

  1. Torch & Swords is a LBB (74) minimalist clone. (http://quicklyquietlycarefully.blogspot.fr/2011/07/torch-sword-beta-1.html)

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  2. Replies
    1. Added 5.5, 7.5, and the Deluxe version.

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  3. I don't see the Knights of the All Mind Ruleset - which isn't surprising though.

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  4. You could add Dungeonesque though it's only out for backers. http://roguecomet.com/news/dungeonesque-red-box-rpg-pdfs-available-for-preview/

    Interesting because it's D&D 5th.

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