Into The Unknown

Into the Unknown is an Old School Renaissance (OSR) RPG that is (in the game’s words): “…a simpler. easier, non-‘advanced’ rendition of the 5th Edition of the world’s most popular RPG, inspired by the 80s ‘Basic’ and ‘Expert’ rules.” It’s spread out over 5 books and is available at the oft mentioned Drivethru RPG. As of 4/25/24, books 1, 3, and 5 are showing $4.99 for the pdf, $6.99 for the softcover, and $6.99/$11.98 for the combo. Book 2 is $2.99 for the pdf, $4.99 for the softcover, and $4.99/$7.98 for both. Book 4 is $5.99 for the pdf, $7.99 for the softcover, and $7.99/$13.98 for the combo. There’s a pdf bundle of all 5 books $28.88/$31.14
Book 1 is character creation. They discuss ability generation first. You have the option to play as a fighter, rogue, priest, and magic-user, each obviously with different abilities. You can also play non-humans a classes, each with separate abilities (so, yes, dwarf, elf, and halfling). There are also 9 backgrounds, including: Acolyte, Highborn, and Urbanite. Then in true OS fashion, pick your alignment, equipment, etc.
Book 2 is how to play the game. So how to use your ability scores and take actions and all that good stuff. It breaks down adventurizing into 4 segments: Combat Rounds, Journeys, Exploration, and Downtime. It breaks them down further and elaborates on what one typically does during each segment. One mechanic I’ve not come across in a long time (as in, seen it in other games) is gold for XP, and it only applies to gold and jewels (anything that can be offered as payment for all types of “services”).
Book 3 is Magic. There are 3 types of spell lists: magic-user, elf, and priest. There are cantrips available for each, as well as levels 1 to 5. A nice broad spectrum of spells is available to make adventurizing interesting.
Book 4 is essentially the GM section: Running the Game. It gives one table after another of info to use to set up your world and populate it, and otherwise run sessions and campaigns, as one would expect from the obligatory GM section.
Lastly is book 5: Monsters. As with spells, there is a nice variety of monsters, beasts, and men to challenge players. I don’t feel like the monster stat blocks have changed too drastically over the years (too lazy to grab my 5E MM to verify), but they give off the B/X box vibes, which was the intention.
I’ve had this for a while, and had been debating whether or not to review it because honestly I wasn’t sure how well I could present it. So, maybe not one of the better reviews, but here it is.