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RPG Item: Oldskull Game Expansions: Adventurer's Arsenal
Publisher: Wonderland Imprints
Year: 2020
Electronic (PDF, DOC, eBook, HTML, etc.)
Product Code: OGE3
182 pages
Size: Letter
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From publisher blurb:

Wonderland Imprints is proud to present the third volume of the Oldskull Game Expansion series, providing exciting and inspirational materials for players and Game Masters who prefer to play the Original (OSR), First Edition (1E), and Second Edition (2E) versions of the world’s greatest role-playing game. If you’re looking for universal and directly compatible old school materials to bridge the original game editions created by Arneson and Gygax (1974-1985), Holmes (1977), Moldvay and Cook (1981), Mentzer (1983-1986), and other luminaries of TSR (1974-1989), you’ve come to the right place. Players of Fifth Edition will also discover much of resourceful interest here, because these historically-informed systems are rules-light and concept-heavy, ready for quick conversion to the ruleset of your choice.

This book features over 170 different and detailed weapon types for characters and humanoid monsters to employ. I have worked here to bridge several dozen Basic and Advanced systems, ending 40+ years of frustration concerning the conflicting weapons lore between the various classic editions.

Through collation, redesign, and play testing in the Oldskull campaign I’ve addressed such issues as ranged rate of fire (how many bow shots in a round, and can you aim, and why are the rules different?); inconsistent data (how much damage does a mace inflict?); situational special abilities (which weapons can dismount a foe?); pole arms (how many are there, what is a type, what is a subtype?); damage dice ranges and averages; weapons vs. armor class; overall accuracy; encumbrance as opposed to weight; cost and availability; weapon-relevant print errors (why is a footman’s flail cheaper than a horseman’s flail?); the lack of descriptions (is a Lucerne hammer blunt?); weapon size and heft (does a battle axe require one hand or two, and where did Gygax say so?); hundreds of unclassified weapon subtypes by culture or nation (the arming sword, francisca, sarissa, etc.); resolutions to unfinished systems (what is the cost of an underwater crossbow, or a bow built for strength?); and thousands of other nettlesome details.

I felt that the Basic weapon selection was far too narrow, while the Advanced systems were too conflicting and too complex, making conversion and cohesion between editions far more difficult than it should be. And I also wanted to factor in lore gaps and newer historical research, including such things as the cestrosphendone (dart sling), hurled maces, whistling Roman sling bullets, and more.

Some of the unusual weapons you will find herein include: new arrow and quarrel types, barbed impaling weapons, the cestus, the dwarven hammer, great maces and morning stars, mauls, hatchets, medium crossbows, sickles, scythes, and much more. All weapons have been codified in a simple format (just check the preview), with a full by-weapon index along with a full set of quick reference summary tables at the back. Optional rules in this volume cover simple and complex special effects (GM philosophies of rulings vs. rules), damage suffered by weapons, weapons of low and high quality, extended arrays of silver weapons, heroic weapons use, and so forth.

Best of all, everything is presented in itemized and modular format, so you can strip away the details you don’t need, focus on what you do want, and arrive at your perfect level of complexity for your own game. Whether you just want to add 150 simple weapons to the Basic game (using just the normal damage amounts and little else), or whether you want a fully cohesive system featuring all 170+ weapon classifications, you’ll find the perfect fit to enhance your game world’s combat options here. And all the many hundreds of rulings and data elements make sense and coincide with one another, too. At last!

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