What is it?
OSRIC is a retro clone of AD&D 1st edition. That means that the rules of AD&D are in this book, but none of the original art or artistic presentation. That's not to say there is no art, the book has a varied collection of art sprinkled liberally through its pages.
You can download this rules set for free as a very nicely laid out PDF, or order a hardcopy from the POD publisher LuLu. It's this Lulu copy that I'm reviewing.
The hardcopy I ordered is a softback, black and white inside with a colour cover. Its 380 odd pages with two column layout interspersed with single and double column art.
The cover is thin card and shiny, the paper inside seems to be about the same weight as standard printer-paper. The binding is solidly glued with no loose pages. I can not fault the print quality at all, the type and art are clear and crisp throughout. ( I had feared a lower quality because it was print-on-demand but it is actually better than some standard print products I've bought in the past.
The art is generally of the "hobbiest" quality with a few standout pieces, they seem to have come from a collection of different artists so there isn't a common look and feel throughout.
The major sections in the book are :
How to Play
Dungeons, Towns and Wildernesses
Each of these sections is stuffed with content and in the whole very well written. If you have a history of AD&D then you'll find all of the usual classes, races, spells you've seen before, although they may have slightly different names due to copyright restrictions.
I love what they've done with the "How to Play" section. This section is very very clear and suitably concise. They've managed to produce a text that describes how to play the game in a step by step manner that is clear and straight forward. I've introduced a couple of new players and they've found this an easy introduction to role playing.
This is a great book. Although it has a lot of pages, the actual rules are a limited to about only 60 pages with the rest being reference materials. This means that it's easy enough to get playing without a massive slog through an expanded rule system.
There is no hint of a background or environment in this book, so you'll have to add that yourself.
Value for Money?
Considering the cost, I've more than got my monies worth. I was pleasantly suprised by the price. I've been led to think that buying POD books is an expensive way to get your role playing games, but here I got very good VFM!