Tips, tables, and toolkits for OSR and other fantasy RPGs

While each of my lists of RPG publications can be overwhelming in its own right, none of them make me feel as dizzy as this one. This is because, in addition to displaying a wide range of products on the market, it hints at the vast array of possibilities that can be explored during the actual games.

The items on the list fall under the broad umbrella of “GM aids and tools”. Some are intended to help with adventure preparation, others are a reference for at-the-table use, and still others contain general advice for running successful games. Some of the most prominent categories represented here include:

  • comprehensive books of random tables and lists for every possible topic that may arise during play;
  • more specific toolkits that provide inspiration and detail for the creation of locations, creatures, and items;
  • procedures for particular areas of play, such as wilderness exploration, domain play, and downtime;
  • guides for worldbuilding, adventure design, and sandbox style of play;
  • essays on gamemastering techniques and approaches.

Although the majority of the products are aimed at the general RPG audience, many of them should appeal to solo roleplaying enthusiasts. And conversely, most solo-oriented products contain useful tools for every “traditional” GM!

Some of the titles on the list are not supplements in the conventional sense, but rather complete rulebooks, adventure modules, or campaign settings. They are included, however, due to their more universal usefulness; while they are not always strictly system- or setting-neutral, they contain information that can be applied in a great variety of contexts (even if their branding would make you think otherwise!).

While I consider this list to be a companion piece to my lists of OSR systems and OSR modules, I should warn the more orthodox referees that my sources included not only OSR-centric communities and websites, but also general RPG forums. As a result, not every item listed will be immediately relevant for games based on old-school D&D principles; at the same time, I doubt any of them will be completely useless. Nonetheless, the vast majority of the titles on the list can boast an impeccable OSR pedigree!

I should also mention that, while my initial data set included some RPG products for science fiction and modern settings, I omitted them in the interest of thematic cohesion. Only fantasy-based or truly generic supplements made the final cut.

Because the current format of this website is suitable for lists of various media items but would make a poor link catalog, the list is limited to resources that can be considered “publications” (either electronic or in print). Many amazing GM tools similar to the ones listed here are available in the form of blog posts, online generators, or software; unfortunately, I was unable to include them here.

The list