I backed the Kickstarter on these but I’ve been waiting until they are publicly available before I posted this.
These are both supplements for Adventures Dark and Deep (AD&D, get it?) But hey I throw all sorts of things together and supplements are always handy for any old-school game.
The Book of Lost Lore is all about options and optional rules. We’ve got new races (Half-Drow, Centaur, and Forest Gnome) and a bunch of new classes plus many optional rules. For classes there’s the old favorites of Bard, Jester, Skald, Mountebank, Mystic, and Black Guard. If you’ve been around for a while then you’ve seen these before. If my memory serves correctly these emulate those classes from the old days. There’s also the good old secondary skills rules and more advanced combat rules that once again go back to some of the concepts of the early days.
My favorite part of Lost Lore is the GM Section (maybe that’s because I’m usually the GM). There’s some great random tables for generating special items for treasure (rather than just coming up a bunch of coins). And of course more magic items. All in all, the Book of Lost Lore is really great for reference and seeing how a lot of things roughly worked in the old days. Now, if you’re into tweaking your favorite old-school game it gives you lots of ideas and inspiration on how to approach things in a manner closer to those old games.
The Book of Lost Beasts is pretty much what it sounds like. It’s a monster book. Much like dice, any GM needs more monster books. There’s a few more optional rules at the beginning but the meat is really more monsters. There’s a ton of monsters so I won’t go through the list. There’s variations on old favorites plus some new ones to through at your players and keep them guessing. And for me that is worth the price of admission. As I mentioned before this is designed for Adventures Dark & Deep but that shouldn’t slow down because that stat blocks can be pretty much used for whatever old-school game you are running with little or no conversion.