What's a resource, blog post, or sourcebook that has helped run YOUR game?

With reddit’s OSR community down, it seems a lot of folks besides myself followed the link here. So let’s get some positive discussion going! What’s a resource, blog post, or sourcebook that’s helped with your own OSR game?

Admittedly, I’m not running mine yet… but in the interest of planning for the future, I’ll share something I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of! A while back I got my hands on the PHB, Monster Manual and DMG for AD&D 1e. Of these, I can’t recommend the 1e DMG enough! There’s a ton of wisdom in these pages, from how to run the game to why things like why the probability weights of dice work the way they do. Even if (like me) AD&D isn’t quite what you want to run, there’s so much here of value to any campaign, and it’s largely compatible with anything based off the Basic rules. (Which is, I understand, quite a bit of the OSR scene!)

Perhaps a bit of an obvious plug to start this thread off, but hey, I’m kind of an OSR noob and I gotta start somewhere! :sweat_smile:

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Navigating this thing is tricky. Not sure I’m going to put in the effort. Anyway, I like Delving Deeper. Ten U.S. dollars for a physical copy including shipping.

Not OSR but Dungeon World taught me how to frame choices for the players.

Moldvay Basic taught me how an old school exploration game works.

Knave taught me how inventory management can be fun.

Troika! taught me to embrace chaos.

Yoon-Suin taught me how to organize and prep an intricate (and interesting) setting.

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What’s the deal with DD besides the price? I’ve seen that name mentioned but it feels like only recently.

I’ve run three campaigns in three different systems and all of them were heavily influenced by 1) The Alexandrian’s essay series on running hexcrawls and 2) the original West Marches blog posts on Ars Ludi (links below). I can’t overstate their value to anyone who wants to run a hexcrawl or West Marches game (my games have been both in one way or another).

The Alexandrian’s posts discuss the mechanics of overland travel and exploration in a hexcrawl, GM preparation, world building, and more. They go in-depth, and even if you don’t end up incorporating everything they outline, I can virtually guarantee something will be helpful to you. It’s a great resource for mechanics and procedures (although I don’t use all of them! There are a lot!).

The West Marches posts explain what that game style is about, how to run those games, and how they differ from other campaign styles. I had followed D&D for years before I got to a table, and the general trend of a focus on story arcs and character-based plots didn’t appeal to me that much. I wanted adventures to dangerous places, for the purpose of treasure, preferably with dungeons and/or dragons. When I read these posts I immediately wanted to run this style of game. It is great advice, and I recommend it to everyone.

Links to first posts:
Alexandrian Hexcrawls: The Alexandrian » Hexcrawl

West Marches: ars ludi » Grand Experiments: West Marches

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Goodness, this site needs some work. I definitely did not intend to subscribe to comment feeds. Anyway, it is an excellent restatement, reorganization, or whatever RE you prefer of OD&D. Just like dozens (hundreds?) of others but this one hits multiple sweet spots for me.

i ended up caving and backing skerples’ Monster Overhaul. ever since i got ahold of it, it’s become my go-to when i’m stumped for inspiration. there’s so many tables!

like, the entry for mercenaries has this d50 quest table. they’re all just the right amount of creatively specific. and even just this one table would’ve been a useful resource, but the whole book is stuffed with things like this in between all the actual monsters. highly recommend.

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Cairn , Into The Odd, and a lot of blogs focused on Diceless and FKR games.

It helped me break out of the habit of calling for a dice roll on every single action, focusing so much on player abilities and combat details over the story, and helped me enjoy being a DM again.

Running Cairn has felt like a complete life change. Instead of sweating over CR and balancing encounters, I just throw a monster at the party and let them figure it out.

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I highly reccomend you read the KNOCK! zines if you’re new to the OSR blogosphere. Here are a few ideas that opened my eyes:

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I enjoy improvising a lot, so apart from many of the content people have posted above I also use Chris McDowall’s Ask The Stars.

It’s a solo-play oracle but I feel like it can absolutely handle spontaneous moments well and I probably use it 1-3 times per session. My players love the randomness but also enjoy how you can weave a narrative together with a bit of creativity.

What’s DD? Dungeon Degenerates?

Skerple’s whole entry on mercenaries on their blog is fantastic. They also really delve into medieval culture and how it can include RPGs and some crazy insights on how packed hex’s are in Renaissance Italy.

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A fantastic

Overloading the encounter die has felt like a nice advancement to the idea of encounter table and resource depletion. I have happily adapted it into my Five Torches Deep game.

Ten Foot Pole Blogspot made me happy and sad: happy to have insights into some of the great adventures out there and sad that there’s so much shovelware, as well.

“Landmark, Hidden Secret” is also great and has changed how i stock my hexes. The arguments for the use of smaller hexes has been influential to my campaign.

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I’ve stolen more stuff from Skerples’ blogposts than I can remember. Ideas, adventures, even the whole Pirate GLOG. I think it has become my go-to blog for gaming.

In general, while I feel the ruleset to be a little to crunch, I really like GLOG stuff. The creativity in the community is amazing.

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I think they were referring to Delving Deeper. I’m not sure what it is, but someone mentioned it earlier in the thread.

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Please. tell me this is a thing. I need to play it.

well, there is Dungeon Bitches. not sure how close that comes to what you were imagining, but here it is

Oh yeah, something like that but not exaclty.

Might end up doing it on my own at some point.

One link I find myself coming back to is > The Black Hack Resources | dieheart

And lastly I’ve got this one bookmarked, though some of them links are dead by now - it’s a great resource! Links to 300+ Free Modules/Adventures (DF and Others) - Dragonsfoot

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Sorry - new user, so I can only post 2 links at once. But these two are also bookmarked since long.

Donjon, helpful for generating stuff on the fly > https://donjon.bin.sh/

Inkarnate for creating nice looking maps > https://inkarnate.com/

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