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B/X Essentials: Core Rules
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B/X Essentials: Core Rules

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The B/X Essentials line is a restatement of the classic Basic/Expert fantasy adventure gaming rule set, given a fresh, new presentation focused on usability:

  • Basic and Expert rules seamlessly combined.
  • Streamlined presentation optimised for ease of reference during play.
  • Meticulously researched; a guaranteed 100% accurate rendition of the classic rules of yesteryear.
  • Carefully clarified, ironing out ambiguities in the original rules.

This first book lays out the core rules of the game, including: encounters, combat, dungeon and wilderness exploration, seafaring, spell casting, and magical research.

Click here for further books in the series.

About the print editions: There are two different print editions, both 6" x 9":

1. The premium edition. This is staple bound, so it lays flat at the table, and is produced with the premium printing process, which gives crisper text and images.

2. The standard, perfect bound edition.

A plain text edition of this book is available here. This is provided as an aid to others who wish to create their own house rules documents or retro-clones (please read the Open Game License, at the end of the document, carefully!).

 Customers who bought this title also purchased
Reviews (4)
Discussions (4)
Customer avatar
Wind L March 18, 2018 12:15 am UTC
Finally! After years of searching for the perfect OSR retro-clone, I have finally found it! Gavin Norman's awesome little set of books condenses all of the rules from the original basic and advanced boxed set into pure, usable, bliss without adding the usual house-rules and personalized gaming ideology that mar so many other OSR products.
The writing is crisp, clean, and efficient, the formatting and layout are elegant and beautiful, and the artwork is top-notch, featuring work from some of the best OSR artists out there--including insanely awesome cover art.
But the best thing about Gavin Noman's little masterpiece is just how stripped-down and usable it is. Each book is about 40 pages and only presents the information that you need to play the game. I can't overstate how awesome this is--finally an OSR book that actually does what the basic sets were supposed to (LotFP came close, but B/X is still much easier to use at the table)! Wow! Way to go! And the use of three books to chunk out the elements...See more
Customer avatar
Kelly D September 13, 2017 7:23 pm UTC
I am unhappy with the decision to separate character classes from the rest of the tome. This forces me to still have two books at the table. I am still waiting for ONE BOOK that encompasses B and X together, in an organized manner.
Customer avatar
Gavin N September 13, 2017 7:41 pm UTC
The decision to split the rules into separate booklets is born out of my own desire for such a thing -- I dislike the typical RPG mega-tome and have always wanted a game formed of a set of smaller booklets. Of course everyone has different tastes in this matter.

I do plan to do a combined edition, once everything is written. (There will likely be four booklets in the initial series: core rules, classes and equipment, spells, monsters and treasures.)
Customer avatar
Kelly D September 14, 2017 5:22 pm UTC
Count me as sold on that mega-tome! :)
Customer avatar
Gavin N September 14, 2017 5:35 pm UTC
Cool! Should be some time next year, I guess.
Customer avatar
Shawn B September 15, 2017 4:18 am UTC
Ditto on the mega-tome, also. :)
Customer avatar
Wind L March 18, 2018 12:16 am UTC
Thank you for doing this. It is perfect.
Customer avatar
Michael H September 08, 2017 7:18 am UTC
Brilliant stuff. More please!
Customer avatar
Gavin N September 08, 2017 7:22 am UTC
Thanks Michael! Glad you enjoyed it. The next book in the series -- Classes and Equipment -- is being proofread at the moment. Should be out in the latter months of this year. I've also started work on the third book -- Spells.
Customer avatar
Tony M September 04, 2017 7:16 am UTC
Looking forward to seeing it in print.
Customer avatar
Daniel W September 09, 2017 4:32 pm UTC
Same here.
Customer avatar
Gavin N September 09, 2017 4:43 pm UTC
I'm just awaiting the arrival of the print proofs. All going well, it should be available in the next 5-10 days.
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These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

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File Last Updated:
November 19, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on September 03, 2017.