Saturday, July 13, 2013

OSR: More B/X than AD&D?

I don't want to stir up "yet another race as class" discussion, but it seems most of the "next gen" OSR games take their basic structure of B/X (and a bit of CM) rather than AD&D.  I'm speaking generally of ACKS, DCC, LotFP, and their ilk.  Even the Labyrinth Lord Advanced Edition Companion and Swords & Wizardry stick with d4/d6/d8 hit dice, though for good reasons.  Few use AD&D (or perhaps more properly OSRIC) as their starting point.

This is purely a descriptive statement - the conventions of AD&D (hit dice, 9 alignments, races and classes, etc) are 'naturally' to me since I starting my roleplaying experience with AD&D, as I'm sure if similar to those who began with the Moldvay set or whatever.

I'm a tweaker.  I can't help myself from tweaking with the rules of anything, even if they're house rules that never get used, so I give almost every retro-clone and OSR game I can find at least a cursory glance for inspiration if nothing else. Am I missing interesting games that follow more of the AD&D conventions?  Are the B/X "styled" offerings overwhelming because there's less material to cut out?

I can't help but think of AD&D derivations, and I've come up with a half-dozen more concepts since I made that post.  Looking at some of the great material in DCC or ACKS, makes me want to adapt their subsystems to my version of AD&D, and not the reverse.  Am I missing something or did trying to understand the DMG as an 8-year-old warp my brain that much?

[Comment - wow, that's a lot of acronyms]


  1. I don't really think of AD&D as OSR. To me that's where they first broke with the original D&D and began developing it into something noticeably different. My first look at D&D was the boxed original and I hated it. I didn't look again until I played in an AD&D campaign and I liked it a lot better. After a hiatus where I pretty much skipped AD&D 2E except for a few games, I came back in at 3E and liked that even better--but it too was a noticeably different level than AD&D before it.

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