Monday, September 6, 2010

(Question) Hey Old-Schoolers...

It's Labor Day, not a lot going on, but I have a question for you. Going a bit tangentially off of Raggi's post here, what makes you pick one retro-clone, classical RPG, or old school "cousin" vs. another? For example, what made you choose Swords & Wizardry vs. Labyrinth Lord vs. Dark Dungeons? For your table, what gives the edge to OSRIC, Castles & Crusades, Basic Fantasy, LotFP RPG, Hackmaster 4e, or any one of countless other games in the nebulous "old-school" crowd? Is it just the version or edition they're closest to, or does something more factor in? We certainly have enough to pick from now!

Comment below!

20 comments:

Jeff Rients said...

I pick Labyrinth Lord because it emulates the edition I love most, '81 Basic/Expert. Though if my players asked me to try another retro-clone I certainly would.

bighara said...

+1 for Jeff R's reason. I'm a Molvday/Cook fan, so I like Labyrinth Lord. I own OSRIC and S&W (and others), but I don't usually play them.

Cyric said...

I bought them all but played none sofar. What I think most are lacking is a simple but working skill system. Does not sound oldschool to yeah? Well, maybe... but I do favor a slender skill system to none anytime.

I'm a huge fan of Hackmaster 4e but this system is not compareable to the systems currently running as retro clones. Hackmaster a great system in itself - but neither is it a fast nor a light one.

N. Wright said...

@Cyric: Labyrinth Lord has a simple skill system, in that you can roll under attributes. Alternately, you can extrapolate from the theif's abilities, if you prefer.

@The Topic At Hand: I picked Labyrinth Lord because it was the closest to my beloved BECMI version and now I'm invested in it, so to speak. I like the community, I like the writer, the way it looks, everything, so it's definately for me.

That said, if somebody asked me to run OSRIC or Sword and Wizardry or LotFP or, especially, OpenQuest I'd run any of them in a heart-beat.

revshafer said...

LotFP RPG...I haven't been this excited to play a game since whenever. Its fast without being simplistic, and the adventures that are written for it are first rate.

austrodavicus said...

Just as you can take a Basic D&D module and play it using the Advanced rules, all the clones and their extras are easily compatible and interchangeable. But I chose LL after years of playing 1e initially because I wanted to play a more simple game of D&D, and LL was a "pure" clone in my book - it didn't make unnecessary changes.

And now it's even better because not only can I play Basic D&D with LL, but if my players want to play a 1e game I simply add the AEC, or if we want to play an "Original" D&D game, I simply add LL's OEC. And it's easy for my players all to have copies of the same rule books.

Tim Shorts said...

I think I like OSRIC the best because I prefer it over the older additions where race is a class. Can never get around that. But I do like the purity of Swords & Wizardry. And since we've been playing S&W mostly it wins by a smidge.

Dr Rotwang! said...

I chose C&C for these reasons:

1) It's enough like (A)D&D that it's almost instantly compatible with any and all published (A)D&D materials

2) It implements the only thing I really like about d20 any more, which is ascending AC

3) The SIEGE Engine satisfies my needs for an ad-hoc task resolution system

4) I had fun playing it

Rob Conley said...

I picked Swords & Wizardry as to me is seems to be the most ur-D&D of all the retro-clones which made it easy to use as a base to implement D&D for the Majestic Wilderlands.

trollsmyth said...

Ditto what Jeff said. I wanted that race-as-class, dozen spells per level simplicity, and Labyrinth Lord delivered that while making it possible for me to use my old Moldvay/Cook books for reference while the players could just download free .pdfs. The simplicity made it easy to graft on house rules, and I knew it really, really well, since I'd never really stopped playing it; I'd just used 1e and 2e books as reference while really playing B/X's rules.

All of that said, Raggi's "specialist" class and the d6 skills system, his spell descriptions, and simple encumbrance system tempt me to just play his game outright rather than just stealing the bits I like. I'm waiting to see how Oddysey's game goes, but it's very likely my next campaign will be LotFP.

Rick said...

although i started briefly with Holmes back in the day, I had almost no experience with the basic games. In returning to old school gaming it would have to be AD&D, but since I was also interested in hooking some younger 3e-era players, C&C seemed to offer the best chance of bridging those distances. I might have been okay with some form of Oe, but my AD&D roots prevent me from giving it the love it deserves. So C&C works well for me - I will echo Dr Rotwang's comments there.

Zachary Houghton said...

Thanks for all the responses thus far!

Andreas Davour said...

I actually don't play any retro clones. Tunnels & Trolls is retro enough for me.

That being said, I like Swords & Wizardry most since it clones an edition of D&D that I probably never can own as an original. I have copies of AD&D, B/X and Mentzer and none are that hard to find for cheap. OD&D is another thing entirely.

nitessine said...

My choice would be Lamentations of the Flame Princess, partly because I've had a hand in creating the final product and partly because I think it handles best at the table, with the small separate booklets. Pretty, too. Also, it is close to BECMI, which is the only old version of D&D I have direct experience with.

Chris said...

I run S&W and play LL, but I'm open to any variant which emulates anything Pre-2e AD&D.

diceciper said...

C&C was our choice. It felt like AD&D without the baggage. It runs simple and clean for me

Aaron said...

When I want retro, I just haul out my copy of "The Fantasy Trip" and go all the way retro. There was a clone of that system made a couple of years back, but it didn't last, so I'm glad I still have my copy of the real thing.

I've been thinking about finally trying out High Fantasy, but haven't put a group together for it.

Icarus said...

I picked up LL&AEC because it presented the best emulation of the mixed up ruleset that I played with, the Basic/Expert/Companion Mentzer sets with the AD&D DMG/PHB books. I just couldn't see myself paying for a good copy of the Cyclopedia back when I got LL&AEC and now with the B/X Companion, I have less reason to pick up the Cyclopedia.

I picked up S&W because I needed a simplified ruleset to play with my son. I picked up LotFP because I wanted to read Raggi's take on the OD&D rules and see if I can nick some rules for my son's S&W game.

Didn't really care much about OSRIC because I already have my old AD&D books, Dark Dungeons seemed sort of redundant since I already had LL&AEC and Basic Fantasy seems to cut too close to the WotC 3e cloth.

Vincent Diakuw said...

I'm Moldvay/Cook since 5th grade, but by watching used book stores I managed to snag several extra copies of the rulebooks and B1-4, so while I regard all the retro-clones with equal affection, I continue to game using the original rules.

Buckaroopopcorn said...

I've played just about everything over the years and my favorite games were from Molvday/Cook. Today I play the microlite20 rules with my daughter. I have tons of old books and can use all of them because this system is so simple and for that reason IMO it's the best.