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Old School Stylish

Classless, Discovery-Based Advancement · By Heavy Pepper Games

Old School Stylish comments

A topic by Heavy Pepper Games created Oct 25, 2021 Views: 136 Replies: 13
Viewing posts 1 to 6
(+5)

This is a great supplement, and I am thoroughly in love with it's style, presentation, and mechanics; my only complaints would be that I want more of it, and that not all styles are equal in the slightest, and some don't exactly seem worth pursuing.

That said! Love this book, and I absolutely want more of it. Would love to see further supplements along this style, expanding upon the concept. $10 well spent.

Developer(+2)

Wow thanks for the comments! And yeah I think some of these styles are definitely going to be less of a big deal to find than others. If I were to do it again, I’d probably further split the Advanced ones into two rarity tiers, or perhaps move some Advanced ones to Secret (e.g. Telepathy is much cooler than Survivalism). For now, I left it to the GM to decide how hard any of them should be to find with the Secret category being a vague suggestion. 

I would love to make another one of these! Especially now that most of the basic OSE abilities are already represented here. One thing I would recommend if you like this idea, by the way, is to consider converting some GLOG classes to styles. One or two templates (depending on the class) could probably work as a style. 

(+4)

The best 10 US dollars I've spent on a zine. Amazing job!

(+3)

I need to do a deeper dive on this, but from what I've read so far this is really well done and exactly what I've been looking for. I definitely wouldn't mind seeing more stuff like this in the future if you're interested in making additional material. Great work!

Developer(+5)

Would anyone be interested in converting this comments section to a discussion board? If we did, I could post some more content and everyone could share their own styles, house rules, etc. Unfortunately I think it might delete this comments section.

Please let me know if that's a thing you'd like!

(+1)

Oh I am 100% in support of that!

Developer

It is done!

(+1)

Hi! Hope someone gets a chance to read this, I'm just looking for some advice. I plan on incorporating Old School Stylish for my OSE homebrew rules cause I love it so much and how it encourages players to engage with the actual world rather than their character sheet. One question I have is how would you say this would work along with the OSE Advance Fantasy races? Before finding Old School Stylish and I had the Race/Class separation and I'm worried Race + Old School Stylish might produce stronger characters than I intend to have in my OSR campaign. Sorry for long comment!

Developer

Hey Luke! I have not tested Old School Stylish with the OSE Advanced Fantasy races, but I will note that the race/class divide will tend to make slightly stronger characters overall. As the OSE base classes don't get weaker if you add in the extra features from the Advance Fantasy races, all characters basically get a few extra features.

Personally, I don't think this is going to substantially diminish the challenge of an old school game. A dwarf's (possible) bonus to resisting poison probably won't encourage a player to drink suspicious liquids left and right, and an elf's ability to detect hidden doors doesn't happen often enough to preclude players prodding around dungeon rooms just to be sure. And on top of it all, none of the Advanced Fantasy races do much to mitigate the fact that your characters probably have little enough HP at levels 1-3 that they could be killed by a bad round in combat at pretty much any time. These abilities will give your players a little bit of a cushion, but I don't think they will qualitatively change play. Overall, if your concern is about power scale, I don't think you will be unhappy using the Advanced Fantasy races. Just be sure to use the rule that gives humans abilities too, as the racial class limitations are obviously not going to apply when using this supplement. 

My recommendation: if you want to keep things simple, let players say their character is whatever they want and pick a single racial ability from any of the OSE Advanced Fantasy races to describe their choice (with the onus being on the player to justify it). So one player with a human character may take sleep immunity and say they're an insomniac, and a player with an elf may take leadership to reflect their natural talents. But that's just me -- I like to keep fantasy species stuff as simple as possible. 

That said, this is just my prediction. The only way to really find out is to give it a shot! Please let me know if you have any feedback after going in whatever direction you choose, and thanks for your comment! 

(+1)

Thanks for getting back to me! I took your advice and changed it a little, I essentially nerfed the races so they only have one unique ability, and we played a one shot like that. Just wanted to say my players loved it and they really liked styles as a mechanic. One of my players told me it reminded him of playing a rogue-like video game, where you really discover your character as you play rather than knowing exactly what powers they'll have at the end right during character creation.  We plan on doing a longer OSE campaign later this year using Old School Stylish and I can't wait!

My only other question is how transparent should I be in letting my players know doing something will grant them a style? Some of the suggested learning methods seem like tasks a player wouldn't normally do if they didn't know it would net them a style (such as observing a bunch of direwolves for the Hungry Wolf style). Thanks again!

Developer (1 edit)

That's awesome! I appreciate the feedback. 

What I was trying to convey in the seeding advice was to have a rumor that basically says "you could learn a style by observing direwolves going to war" or whatever and have players craft an adventure for themselves out of that, so I suppose I would say the book leans toward  transparency on that end. I think players generally don't want to know exactly what rewards await them at the end of an adventure, but I think a good rule of thumb is that if players are concocting plans and doing a bunch of elaborate stuff to learn a style, they should probably know in advance if learning a style is on the table. 

Of course, I've only tested this stuff with my own table. I would love to hear the results of your own further experiments! 

(+1)

Gotcha, thanks for explaining that! I actually really like that, perfect for the sandbox campaign I'm planning. Once I start my full campaign later in the year I'll drop some information about how it went, for now though I really adore Old School Stylish so thanks for putting it out!

this looks like a super cool concept. The big problem is I have yet to play OSE because I'll admit it I'm a little nervous about the level of complexity. To use this would I only need the free basic rules? Or would I need the advanced rules?

The free rules (from their online SRD) have everything you need. The "Advanced Fantasy" rules simply add new classes, race+class options, and more monsters and treasure. But there's already a lot in the "Basic" form of the game.