Blogging A to Z: O is for Old School Reference Index Compilation (OSRIC)

Of all the retro-clones, it seems that OSRIC tends to get the least amount of attention in terms of the system itself. I think a lot of that is how Swords and Wizardry and Labyrinth Lord were marketed as commercial enterprises whereas OSRIC was (until very recently) a primarily hobbyist affair. I've also noted a marked interest in the OSR in a rules lite approach towards D&D so I'm sure that has some play into it. For those that aren't familiar with OSRIC, it is perhaps the first true retro-clone and emulated 1st Edition Advance Dungeons and Dragons. AD&D is probably aesthetically the version of D&D that is the most commonly thought of when brought up to someone that was around then. It is edition that I played in my youth and is also when D&D entered the public consciousness. So it perhaps seems a bit strange that OSRIC, the rule set that emulates this game is the least well known of the AD&D clones. Black Blad Publishing has recently taken up publishing OSRIC as a commercial venture so perhaps this will change some. As far as myself, OSRIC is the system that I'm most closely aligned with artistically. I have quite a few illustrations in the 2.0 release of the game (which you can get a free PDF version of here if you don't want to spend the cash on a hard back). I've also done quite a bit of work for Expeditious Retreat Press and their Advanced Adventures line (oh, and they are quite fantastic adventures so if you are using OSRIC or even better, the original 1e AD&D, by all means go get some of these - you won't be disappointed). OSRIC has primarily been a hobbyist venture that was started off at the Knights and Knaves Alehouse which is still a great place to hang out if you are fond of 1e AD&D/OSRIC. There is a ton of useful information on the message boards there. Good stuff.


  1. My biggest complaint of OSRIC is that it is a rather antiseptic restatement of the original AD&D rules. I prefer the high-gygaxian cadence of AD&D.

    I'm also one of those who prefers rules-light. OSRIC is a little weighty for my tastes, and the single tome format undermines my goal to keep what is behind-the-curtain out of the hands of the players.

  2. Good point about keeping the behind the curtain aspect away from the players. I like the one tome version of OSRIC but Maybe a player's handbook might be the thing to do.


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