Let’s face it. You dump a lot of money into this hobby. Books, minis, dice, various tchotchkes, and junk food. But there is just a plethora of fee stuff out there. Sure it’s PDF. You expecting a physical book? Naw. But these can you get started on the old-school path. Sure, many folks have already heard or know about these but on the off chance that someone doesn’t then it’s nice throw this out into ether every once in a while. So this is my free RPG PSA.
Let’s start with the granddaddy of the OSR: OSRIC
Swords & Wizardry (One of my personal favorites): There’s an online SRD, or grab the PDF here.
You want to keep it original then there’s White Box: Fantasy Adventure Game.
Want to keep it Basic. Well’s there Basic Fantasy Role Playing Game.
Oh you meant BASIC. Well there Labyrinth Lord.
Oh you meant the other. Old School Essentials And yep they got an online SRD too.
You want something a little grimmer? Then there’s Low Fantasy Gaming.
Not dark enough for you? Then of course there’s Lamentations of the Flame Princess. And don’t forget that old Ref Book. Grumble. I’m one of the suckers still waiting on the new one.
Are there more? Sure there are. I know I forgot something that’s I’ve got on my hard drive. But here’s the neatest part. All of these are largely compatible. Sure there are some major differences but those are easily dealt with and you can throw the stuff you like into your game and take out the stuff you don’t like. Make it unique for you and your players. Have fun out there.