Elthos RPG Core Essentials Rules Book and Elthos RPG Core Rules Book. The Essentials is a slimdown, speedy set while the Core Rules are the full Monty of Elthos.
What is even better is the Mythos Machine. VB Wyrde has written a whole website to allow users to tag up the Elthos ruleset against a crazy detailed world and character builder. Oh, that is so wrong. It does so much more. I just signed up for the Beta myself and can't wait to start digging. The depth is incredible. It is like nothing I have ever seen.
I am a 100%, A#1 D&D type guy, but these alternate rulesets really call to me. There is this interplay of what D&D does and the core concepts which could be reinterpreted. Elthos and Mythos Machine do both amazingly well.
I talk about the wonderful world created by Simutronics in their Gemstone IV game. This is basically a reskinned and heavily customized version of RoleMaster. It is beautiful, but not D&D. However, like Elthos and Mythos Machine, it totally captures that sense of wonder I had when picking up that original Basic and Expert set. I wish I was older so I could say I started with something more "original", but the beauty of role playing games is that your first is your best.
Elthos gives you a chance to capture that "first set" feeling. It is unlike anything I have have ever seen, but still hearkens back to other games so I feel that sense of connection. I can't wait to dig in.
The feeling is invigorating and I have had it twice this year. Go back and check out my only 5 Gold Star review of the first product that gave me that feeling this year. I feel pretty strongly about those classic D&D games and modules, but I can only offer my thanks to the OSR community for making new products that bring back that magical feeling I had in my youth.
When I get around to reviewing Elthos and Mythos Machine, I think I will have a trifecta of 5 gold star reviews this year.
I wish I could toot my own horn like this, but the OSR community is working overtime and I'm going to have to kick it up 11 notches to be in the same league as some of the more "basic" producers.