Jeremy had the chance to sit down and run a brief game of OSRIC this last weekend …
OSRIC, short for Old School Reference and Index Compilation, describes itself as “a compilation of rules for old school-style fantasy gaming…intended to reproduce underlying rules used in the late 1970s to early 1980s” . It is a role-playing game. Although OSRIC never refers to this directly for legal reasons, it is intended to reproduce the rules of the first edition of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, much like otherDungeons & Dragons simulacrums.
The legal basis of the project is that rules may not be copyrighted, only the “artistic presentation” of those rules. OSRIC uses the Open Gaming License and the System Reference Document to create a new artistic presentation of the underlying rules set.
The purpose of OSRIC is to provide publishers with a tool to legally produce gaming materials compatible with the non-copyrightable aspects of the underlying rules set. Gaming materials described as OSRIC-compatible alert potential users those materials may be compatible with the fantasy rules sets of the late 1970s and early 1980s (i.e. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons).
The initial version of OSRIC was released in 2006. The latest version, OSRIC v. 2.2, was released in 2011. The OSRIC rules are free to download from the game’s site in PDF form. In June 2009, hard copy versions of the rules became available from the Lulu Print-On-Demand service in 4 versions: hard bound in black and white, hard bound in color, paperback and paperback economy.
OSRIC is now available through Black Blade Publishing for $26 in a hardcover, black & white edition.