Wednesday, September 7, 2022

100 Days of Halloween: OSR Alternative Classes

OSR Alternative Classes
Getting into some more OSR today with a book of classes, the witch is just one 13.

As always I will be following my rules for these reviews.

OSR Alternative Classes

PDF. 48 pages. 1 table of contents page, 3 pages of OGL (which could have be brought down to 2 with better formatting), rest content.

Ok the PWYW suggestion is 50 cents. That puts this book at 1 cent per page practically. Easily the best page-to-cost ratio here.  

The layout is basic to point of non-existence really.  Not to be to judgemental but it looks like a PDF save of an MS Word document. There is very little art. 

The 13 classes are Cleric, Fighter, Magic-User, Thief, Assassin, Scout, Dervish, Berserker, Cerves Brave, Witch, Ironskin (Siderenos), Sorcerer, and Bard.  All the classes are presented in B/X style; levels to 14th limited spells.  The classes have some connection to an existing campaign setting that is not explained well here. Moreover they are also compared to other people's IP/Copyrights that really you can't do with the OGL.   Each class also has a set of alternate rules that are interesting and would likely work well in Old-School Essentials or B/X game. The company behind this document has gone on to do other OSE-compatible products.

All of the new classes have quite a bit of detail which is good. A few notes. The Assassin and Scout get arcane dabbling which I like.  The Cerves are Deer-folk and has one of the few examples of art. Though I would not use the word "Brave" to describe a warrior type. The Ironskin is a neat idea.  The Sorcerer here follows the 3.x mold and that is a good thing in my mind. The Bard looks like it would play well, to be honest, but there are so many out now you can usually find one that does exactly what you want. 

The Witch

Let's get why I bought this. These witches are divine casters, so wisdom is a prime along with Charisma. XP values are similar to clerics as is spell progression, though they do get spells at 1st level.  This witch has various powers.  They can use animals to see at 2nd level, brew potions at 3rd, craft fetishes at 5th level, dominate animals at 7th, scribe scrolls at 9th level, and at 11th create magic items.  They form covens at 9th level and can curse or bless others. 

This witch has a spell list, drawn from Labyrinth Lord, but no new spells. There are also a fair number of optional powers.

Ok. So there are a lot of good ideas here that are almost lost due to the sub-par layout and formatting.  I am betting that newer books from the same publisher/author are much better.  This one could go for an upgrade to be honest.  There is a designation of Open Content, but it also seems to be from another book. So I am not sure whether or not it is for this book or not. 

For the price though it is good. Even if you only ever use one class here, or even just the additional ideas for the basic 4 classes it is totally worth it. 

The Other Side - 100 Days of Halloween