I had a number of blog post titles going through my head on this one. "You Can't Go Home Again", "The Times, They Are a Changin' ", but I think this one works best.
As I read and review Frank Mentzer's Lich Dungeon, I've come to see that the OSR is not so much merely a cloning of the original D&D rule sets, but an updating of the original rulesets and creating new accessories to the expectations of a modern audience while remaining true to original rules.
Lich Dungeon is a piece of gaming pretty much frozen in the time of it's conception and design. For that time, it may have been one of the better adventures of it's type. I'm not sure how well it translates to this time, our time.
Sure, we are using the same rules (even if Eldritch Elm. felt a need to scratch the serial numbers off of it) for the most part, but the expectations are different. Maybe we've matured as a hobby. Maybe it's an evolution, even if we never saw it or expected to apply it to the original rules we are so fond of. I'm not sure.
If I wanted to pull T1-4, ToEE, I could do so, and because I ran it last 20 plus years ago, my expectations of it seem to have changed with me. My mind has already worked out the changes I'd need to make it for it to work with an older rule set but with today's expectations.
Lich Dungeon is seeing the light of day for the first time now, but it is very much a product of "then". It's a snapshot of the past.
When I hit the last part of Lich Dungeon's multi-part review, I suspect I'll be giving it two overall ratings. How it compares to similar products of the time it was conceived, and how it compares to similar products in the time it was birthed.
I'm not so sure how close that range will be at this point. Guess I won't know until I write it.