Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Now That the Original PDFs are Coming Back - Original or Retro?

Now that WotC is releasing (in stages, apparently) it's TSR era material in PDF over at DnDClassics, the question of access to earlier editions will slowly be lifted.

The question will than become - play with the original rules or use the retroclones or both?

My current AD&D 1e campaign uses the core AD&D 1e books and OSRIC pretty interchangeably, with my own house rules on top.

I like the retroclones because they are much easier to read than the originals, which makes them an easier book to reference during play. But I like the originals because I grew up on them.

So, what about you? Originals or retros?


  1. Converted to Retroclone.. I already did it with B1 - In Search of the Unknown for exactly the same reasons.. much as I loved the old books, their organization could be left wanted.. although now that they are searchable...

  2. I am actually working on this. Back at Gen Con I started a 1st Ed game with my boys. I am using AD&D 1 as the base, but I am swapping in and out material from official books, my White Dwarf reviews and retro clones. So a big mix of "all the above".

    I am also having my boys play two characters each. One has to be a by the book, PB character, the other can be from any retro-clone we can find.

  3. Both and then some. Mix it up, mash it up, houserule, and roll.

  4. Both, I run both Swords & Wizardry and Castles & Crusades with TSR material mixed in for good measure. No matter what I'm running (fantasy wise) my 1E DMG is always at the table.

  5. Something beyond a clone - LotFP, Crypts and Things, or DCC RPG - all are compatible-ish, but do things that are more to my taste.

    But if not, then a clone over the originals, simply for the improved organization, and the fact that I can send a player a link to a free download of Labyrinth Lord (or whatever), or they can spend a bit of money on a physical product. Now, if the D&D classics start offering a PoD option...

  6. I'd much rather use OSRIC at the table than 1E; the 1E books are more inspirational for reading away.

    OTOH, I loathe the Labyrinth Lord layout and much prefer Moldvay BX at the table for classic D&D(although we gladly incorporate the AEC).

    Most of the time though, we're going for a flavor that extends beyond the original rules set, and use either LOTFP or ACKS.

  7. I already have access to most of the old rules, and I'm still in full on ACKS mode. But it's nice to have new access to older adventures, accessories, and settings.

  8. I already have access to most of the old rules, and I'm still in full on ACKS mode. But it's nice to have new access to older adventures, accessories, and settings.

  9. The past few years I've mostly played the clones, but it was fun running a 1e AD&D campaign last year. I think next time I go retro it might be Moldvay Basic. :)

  10. I run an original rules game using the RC, house ruled all to heck and injected with pieces of whatever suits my fancy. That said, if I ever get around to writing up my houserules and additions, it'll be converted over to LL for nice, legal publication under the OGL.

    So - Play? Original. Publish? Retro.

  11. Hmm, I have to say that of late I've been leaning toward using the original rules. This has motivated me to pick up some decently priced copies of the original rules (1E and 2E) from a FLGS that was selling them. Whether or not this feeling is just nostalgia remains to be seen.

    I have to agree with Beedo above: though I appreciate what LL has done for the movement, I find myself totally uninspired by its layout, appearance, etc. When I look at Moldvay/Cook, however, my inspiration level goes through the roof. Also, when it comes to Advanced D&D, I've been satisfied using C&C as a spiritual successor, but again, of late I've been looking at those copies of 1E (and even 2E) and wanting to use them. I like what C&C has done with its unified mechanic, and I even like what it's done with the classes, but sometimes it just, I don't know, rubs me the wrong way.

    Again, I might just be laboring under that "bad" nostalgia that makes one daydream and yearn for the old days rather than do any actual gaming!

    Tangent: I need to go back and read all the original books...I'm dying to do that.

  12. Both for me. Basic/Expert, 1e, LL, AEC, LotFP, and my own house rules.

  13. anything and everything for mining, currently DCC to play; but only because I don't have a large enough pool of gamers to run multiple campaigns (I tend to only run IRL).

  14. I know every inch of my copy of Moldvay basic and can find anything I need to reference in heartbeat, but I do like LL because it's freely available. I can send a player a link to give them a copy legally.

    Plus, the AEC does what I wish I had thought to do the first time around.

    DCC would probably be my preference to participate in as a player.

  15. For the most part, I'll probably be sticking with the clones (though I'll be taking advantage of the free quickstarts to take 4e for a spin) for rules, using them to run official WotC settings and adventures (I note with interest that Keep on the Borderlands was the #1 seller for a while - I've long wanted to check that out, too).

  16. I learned the hard way that I can't go back to 1st edition....it's no longer to my tastes....but I do still plan to jump back into 2nd edition. Meanwhile, I can pretty much use all of the older edition content without issue in Labyrinth Lord or Castles & Crusades. So....yeah. Retro core and classic settings/modules/expansions for me, it looks like.


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