More Than Merely a Game . . .

The Arcane World of Swords & Sorcery

Games of Your Imagination

The Castle Oldskull game books are idea-filled treasuries which supplement the original Fantasy Role-Playing Game (FRPG), which celebrates the classic storytelling genre known as Swords & Sorcery. In this shared world of dragons, wizards, and the imagination, you and your friends will each take up the role of an adventurer – a hero, antihero, or villain of your creation. These adventurers bond with brave companions, lead troops of mercenaries, explore dungeons, slay monsters, embrace ancient powers, and gather fabulous treasures from the depths of the harrowing Underworld.

How do you play? You simply choose your favored path. There are Basic, Expert, and Advanced tiers of tabletop game systems which you can choose from. Basic games welcome and gradually introduce you to an ever-wider realm of Expert options, while the deluxe Advanced game is filled with a lifetime’s worth of ongoing adventures. The games featured below stand highly recommended as Castle Oldskull compliant systems. Collect any or all of them and embrace your favorite! Many systems have free versions available. More elaborate editions offer lavish artwork, special features, and Limited Edition collector series too. The FRPG hobby can be as quick-playing or elaborate as you like. Do as you will, set your imagination free. And welcome!

Please note that Castle Oldskull is fully supportive of, yet unaffiliated with, the game companies featured hereafter.

Artwork by Ekaterinya Vladinakova


I. Old-School Essentials

Old-School Essentials, designed by Gavin Norman and published by Necrotic Gnome, is an enthusiastically supported rules system. Old-School Essentials faithfully models the Basic / Expert (B/X) “blue and red book” version of the game, as edited by Tom Moldvay and Dave Cook, originally released in 1981.

The Necrotic Gnome Website

The Classic Fantasy Rules Tome

II. Labyrinth Lord

Labyrinth Lord, designed by Daniel Proctor and published by Goblinoid Games, is an inspired recreation of the 1981 game which expands into the 1985 Advanced game via a supplementary companion.

The Goblinoid Games Website

Official Free Download Site for Labyrinth Lord and the Advanced Edition Companion

Advanced Labyrinth Lord in Print

III. Blueholme

Blueholme, designed by Michael Thomas and published by Dreamscape Design, is a faithful rendition of the 1977 “blue book” version of the game, as edited by John Eric Holmes, originally released in 1977. The Prentice Rules provide the Basic system, while the Journeymanne Rules provide additional Expert-level options.

The Dreamscape Design Website

Blueholme Prentice Rules

IV. Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game

The Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game, designed by Chris Gonnerman and published via, offers one of the most affordable and accessible versions of the 1981 game. The author provides a wide selection of well-written supplements and adventure modules as well.

The Basic Fantasy Website

Official Free Download Site for Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game

Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game in Print

V. White Box Fantasy Adventure Game

The White Box Fantasy Medieval Adventure Game, designed by Charlie Mason and published by Seattle Hill Games, is a fine exemplar of Gygax and Arneson’s original 1974 FRPG. Games seeking an introduction for the earliest days of the Old School can begin their adventure here.

The Seattle Hill Games Website

White Box in Print

VI. Iron Falcon

Iron Falcon, designed by Chris Gonnerman and published via, is similar to White Box and Basic Fantasy. However, Iron Falcon is focused on the Original game (1974) as enhanced by Supplement I (1975). For those who wish to model their fantasy game worlds after the original Lake Geneva Medieval Fantasy Campaign, this is the rules set of choice.

The Basic Fantasy Website

Official Free Download Site for Iron Falcon

Iron Falcon in Print


VII. Adventures Dark & Deep

Adventures Dark & Deep, designed by Joseph Bloch and published by BRW Games, is a bold reimagining of E. Gary Gygax’s lost dream conceptualizing a Deluxe Advanced Second Edition of the world’s foremost Fantasy Role-Playing Game. The Adventures Dark & Deep system features oft-sought character classes such as the Jester, Mountebank, Mystic, and Savant.

The BRW Games Website

The Adventures Dark & Deep Players Manual


OSRIC – the Old School Reference and Index Compilation – is designed by Stewart Marshall and Matt Finch and published by Black Blade Publishing. This is one of the elder statesmen of the Old School Renaissance movement, exemplifying the shared creative spirit of the original game’s fandom. OSRIC is an excellent vehicle for those who wish to learn how to design and publish their own OSR-compatible gaming supplements.

The Black Blade Publishing Facebook Page

OSRIC in Print

Lost cities, hidden throughout the World of Oldskull, loom within the ageless mists. These ruined glories are filled with ageless wonder … and eldritch horrors.
Beyond Thor’s temple and the frigid shores of Midgard, even farther to the west than the Emerald Isle, mad tales tell of a New World guarded by the coils of Leviathan. Beyond there lie Seven Cities of Gold … an endless Wilderland, where wondrous creatures such as the bloodthirsty Hodag, the Skinwalkers, and the Wendigo prowl in search of foolhardy explorers. Surely, such fevered stories cannot be true?
Veiled amongst the clouds rises the fabled soaring city of Laputa, home of the vigilant gonneslingers and their draconian firebrands. Can the land of Tyrrhenia be saved from the Chaos Plague of the Yellow King by the revelation of the Heresiarch’s otherworldly arcana, fire, and steel?
The world of Swords & Sorcery begins as merely a blank and misty tapestry … the players’ wishes and fears fuel the Game Master’s unique designs, resulting in a shared world of infinite possibilities.
The wastelands of Oldskull hide the ifrit-ruled City of Brass, the Nameless City of the Serpent Folk, the soaring citadel of Laputa, the ruined Hanging Gardens in all their impossible grandeur, and the Cthulhu-beckoning grimoire of the doomed sage Abdul Alhazred, known as The Necronomicon. What grand treasure lies within the eye of the eternal sandstorm?
As the ships who dare the lost horizon — the emerald land beheld beyond the Basalt Pillars of the West — are swallowed one by one, the Eye of the Maelstrom whispers invocations … R’lyeh, Dagonai, Kadath, Carcosa. Sailors who pray for death, believing themselves to be merely drowning, find themselves soaring through frigid skies to cackling laughter of the Lord in Ebon, Nyarlathotep …

Journey Onward

There is always more to explore, more to unveil in the Unknown.

The Classic Dungeon Design Guide Trilogy

The Classic Dungeon Design Guide – Book I

Here There Be Monsters
The ultimate introduction to old school dungeon design
$4.99 fulfilled by DriveThruRPG

The Classic Dungeon Design Guide – Book II

Dungeon Design Mastery
A massive collection of random tables and idea generators
$4.99 fulfilled by DriveThruRPG

The Classic Dungeon Design Guide – Book III

The Labyrinth Lexicon
The world’s largest compendium of dungeon rooms
$4.99 fulfilled by DriveThruRPG

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