Its a valid question now that the AD&D 1e rules are available via POD
- why play retroclones when you can play the originals?
I'm sure everyone has their own answer to this question but I'll give mine for what little it is worth:
Twice a month, on Thursday Night's, I play in a very wacky, drop in - drop out, AD&D 1e
campaign. The group consists of grogs that have their original rulebooks right through to Pathfinder
players who have grabbed copies of the rules from eBay.
is so ingrained in my brain's synapses that if there is a rules question, our DM Tim often just calls out to me for the answer, which I usually know off the top of my head. I played it from 1980 to 1989, when 2e
released (being a new edition, 2e
HAD to be better, right?). I never memorized the 2e
rules like I did the 1e
rules. I guess you first love when it comes to RPGs makes a real impression in your mind.
Anyway, a few years ago, I ran my first AD&D 1e / OSRIC
game in 25 some odd years. I found I didn't enjoy running 1e
as much as I used to.
See, I had found Swords & Wizardry
, a ruleset that ran almost exactly as we ran our AD&D 1e
games back in the day (fudging "segments" and interrupted spell-casting, ignoring weapon vs armor type adjustments, ignoring reaction rolls, total confusion about weapon speed and so much more). So, S&W
ran like we houseruled our 1e
rules (we didnt call it houseruling back then) without all the extras that we literally didn't need and never used.
These days, I can run a S&W
session without opening a book. My players? Pretty much the same. Its better written, better organized and simply easier to learn than the source material. 468 pages for the AD&D 1e
core trio of rulebooks vs 144 pages for the Swords & Wizardry Complete 3rd Printing.
Could I have tweaked 1e
down to a playable 4 pages? I highly doubt it.
Are retroclones for everyone who has played the originals? Hell no! Nostalgia is a strong force to recon with. Retroclones are a viable alternative to the originals for many of us, and there is no rule that says you can't enjoy both the originals and the clones they inspired.