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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

What is Your OSR Ruleset of Choice (if any?)

As it is apparent we can't decide on a definition on what is or even isn't OSR, at least beyond the same general definition of "pornography" - I know it when I see it, I've decided to go on a different track. (as an aside, the results of the previous post don't surprise me. Part of the strength of the OSR is it's diversity and the passion of the members of the gaming community that associate themselves as being part of the OSR. In this case, it isn't so much the path taken as it is the final destination)

Since the definition of the OSR is nebulous at best, and subjective in it's most simple terms, I've decided to take a different approach and ask the readers of The Tavern: "What is the OSR Ruleset of your choice or preference?" In other words, when you are looking to play some "old school gaming", what rulesets do you gravitate to?

There are no right or wrong answers, although I expect certain answers may lead to further questioning by other readers / commenters.

For me, the ruleset of choice would be Swords & Wizardry Complete, with bits borrowed from ACKS and the DCC RPG. I'd also so run AD&D1e, so long as the group in question were willing to play it as my groups played it in the 80s, not how it is actually written ;)

38 comments:

  1. I'm biased, of course, but Adventures Dark and Deep was specifically designed to be my favorite rule system. It's just like 1E, but with new classes and spells and monsters, and a combat system that uses initiative and weapon speed in a way that makes sense.

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  2. I'm not sure I can answer that any more than I could describe my RPG of choice right now. I'm torn in about twelve directions at once.

    But I think, given some of the narrow constraints that some put on the definition, I'd be safest with good old AD&D 1e. I grew up on a bastardized version of that one, so it would feel right at home. Though Mr. Bloch has me wondering of Adventures Dark and Deep isn't something I should look into...

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  3. First edition Top Secret is near the very to of my pile.

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    1. my set came with a one red and one green D10 and a black crayon. The dice quickly marbleized and chipped. yes, I played the shit out of that back in high school

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  4. My original inspiration in discovering all this OSR stuff was a desire to run B7 Rahasia once more. As a result, I ended up working with Labyrinth Lord as my base rule-set.


    I did look through a lot of other retroclones and variations before and after, and have started to pull in elements of DCC, 0e stylings, and other components, but my sense of game flavor is very 1980s D&D, as my personal imagination simply does not run to the high-mortality, high-grit feel that most OSR creations seem to favor.

    That said, I'd love to PLAY in a game styled that way with a gamemaster who can sustain it.

    Mechanically, I have trouble with d6 damage for all weapons, and I love the extremely simplified combat rounds of Basic for keeping things moving. If my group was more onboard with a shifting ruleset, I would probably do some coherency edits to make the various checks all roll low and so on. I don't have any trouble with the variations in the rolls, but it's a distraction for some of the players.

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  5. I generally only play 1e AD&D.

    But.....

    http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/500x/48097808.jpg

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  6. Mine is a mix of BFRPG and S&W. The two systems complement each other and feel like an updates and clarified OD&D more than anything.

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  7. At the moment, Stars Without Number.

    For fantasy, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, though I may hybridize it with Labyrinth Lord next time I run.

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  8. I wrote my own based on B/X with unit-based combat elements and a focus on exploration.

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  9. Tough one. I love Astonishing Swordsmen but i am not fond of the combat sequence. I love OSRIC but it lacks the Gygaxian flavor that makes 1e what it is. Similarly, most other OSR games have one or two things that i inevitably tweak. So, all things considered, if i had to pick one product that captures the feel and ruleset of the original with the least amount of superfluous material, it would probably be Labyrinth Lord. I cant really find anything wrong w it.

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    1. For the record, i DM my own 1e/2e hybrid ruleset, i was just answering in terms of the newer OSR products.

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    2. I use the B/X (aka Labyrinth Lord) combat round with Astonishing Swordsmen. It works perfectly, and speeds things up considerably.

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  10. Love me some Swords & Wizardry, LotFP and C&C. I do liberally "farm" ACKS and DCC, though. (Originals are good as well AD&D and AD&D 2E NOT AS WRITTEN) might win out every time.

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  11. If opportunity arises I will always default to AD&D 2nd edition, which will always be on my game shelf. I am very tempted to run a B/X D&D game though....but as much as I am into OSR none of my players are into it enough to give it a shot (yes, shockingly I game with guys in their 50's who are not OSR, or consider AD&D 2E to be the best version of the game, anyway).

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  13. Castles & Crusades or Basic (Mentzer) D&D.
    In French : Aventures Fantastiques by Nicolas Dessaux (Basic D&D clone).

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  14. Castles and Crusades. After one too many angry rules debates with 3.5, we went to C&C and never looked back.

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  15. So, I understand that OSRIC is more meant as a legal touchstone for people designing adventures compatible with AD&D 1e, but I've found that it's perfectly serviceable as an actual system to run as well.

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  16. Actual Old School rules: AD&D 1st edition and B/X.

    Retroclone: Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea.

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  17. BFRPG is my system of choice, especially for introducing new players to tabletop rpgs.

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  18. My "real" system of choice is B/X, so by default I lean towards Labyrinth Lord - mostly.

    I really want to like S&W, I do, but the way it's written just doesn't give me the right feels. I suppose I'd be inclined to say Labyrinth Lord, but using the S&W XP tables, BAB/ascending AC and single saving throw.

    I love the simplicity of S&W for the modern ascending AC mechanics and the single save which you can use for task resolution. As petty as it is, the screwed up XP tables in LL drive me absolutely bonkers. It's my biggest gripe. I DO like the LL turning table, but don't give the cleric his spells until 2nd level, the way it's meant to be.

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  19. I've been running AD&D for a few months now, having started as Dungeon Crawl Classics. In retrospect, were I starting from scratch, I'd probably go with Swords and Wizardry or Blood and Treasure.

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  20. Swords&Wizardry Complete for me too.
    Or Classic Traveller. :)

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  21. I always prefer the old Red Box edition of D&D as my old school game system of choice. Well the first three color coded boxes actually. Used those a lot over the years and still drag them out again and again.

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  22. Moldvay-Cook B/X with a side of Gamma World 2e. But is it OSR if it's just what I've played all along? If these games are home, it's a home where I've at least spent every major holiday, even if I can't have my old room back.

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  23. Original Rules: AD&D 1E, MegaTraveller, Top Secret, The Arcanum.

    Retro Rules: ACKS, Adventures Dark & Deep (which I mine for AD&D, anyway; Joseph, thank you so much for the Mountebank), Swords & Wizardry.

    Borderline Case: GURPS.

    If you're going to limit me to one: AD&D 1E (but you suck for limiting me).

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  24. Crypts and Things of course! :)

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  25. C&C is my 'go to' game. S&W Complete is also a favorite.
    I love DCC and have run many of the modules in my C&C games, but my players tend to shy away from it, mostly because of the spell casting. They do so love the 'funnel' though!

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  26. I run a modified version of Labyrinth Lord and the AEC with a re-worked PHB. It feels old school while still allowing a lot of newer school class options.

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  27. Always RuneQuest 2nd Ed for me, mate. Doesn't get better.

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  28. Swords & Wizardry Complete or LotFP. Honorable mention for BFRPG, and I definitely want to learn more about ACKS.

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  29. Currently OSRIC as GM; Labyrinth Lord when I want a simpler game. As player it's always been Labyrinth Lord.

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