I’m not doing this any particular order but I think Labyrinth Lord is the next best place to go on these rants. So what can I say about Labyrinth Lord? Like most of the retroclones, it’s so similar that adventures, monsters and characters really need no or very little conversion. I’ve had the PDF’s (which you can get at Goblinoid Games for free.)for a very long time. I did back the Kickstarter that gave us Advanced Labyrinth Lord with is the “basic” and Advanced Companion combined into one book. And like I said it’s damned good game and it follows closely to what classic D&D is like. I do have one major complaint about the book and that’s the organization of the spell section. It’s alphabetical but by class. So you turn to a page in the spell section and unless you have the spell lists memorized pretty much then you might not know if you’re in the Druid or the Cleric section. I know it’s a relatively minor complaint but it still annoyed me. And if you want a little more detail about its legacy check out the Wikipedia article.
Now I have ran a campaign using Labyrinth Lord. I called it my classics campaign. The party started with Keep on the Borderlands and went thru several classic TSR Modules (including Curse of Xanathon, The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun, and The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth) and ending with the Tomb of Horrors (which the party gave up on). Overall the players loved it. Yes, there were a few complaints about how it wasn’t like more modern editions but folks got over it and enjoyed the game.
And here’s Part 1
Roll Dice. Kill Monsters. Take Their Stuff. And Have Fun!
It’s a perfect time to sit back and do a little reflection considering all the crap that is going on. So for me, I want to go back and look at some of the old OSR stuff that’s been influential with me and throw in some extra notes and thoughts since so much time has passed. It seems so long ago and so much has changed.
I know I’ve told this story before but it’s the best place to start. How exactly did I catch the OSR bug? At the time, the gaming group was playing 3.5 and along came the train wreck of 4th Edition and we switched to Pathfinder. And we played Pathfinder a lot. As time progressed, I got more frustrated with it. We’d spend so much time plotting out movement, spell effects, and figuring all sorts of rules minutia rather than actually playing the game. It really hit home with me when I literally was using a spread sheet to keep up with all the various bonuses for my character. It was just too much and started searching the Internet and that’s when came across all those wonderful retroclones and other goodies. I was amazed at just how much was out there and while so much of it was different, it was largely still cross compatible.
IMHO, you can’t really talk about the OSR without looking back OSRIC. OSRIC really opened the doors for all of the games that followed. While it was intended as sort of an old-school SRD, it’s still playable. Sure I’ve got the PDF but it’s something that I rarely if ever use in a game. It’s handy for reference or even a little research. Remember, I did say that it was playable and there’s folks out there who still play it and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. And to put bluntly, even if you’re playing something with a different label, chances are it still might be pretty close to OSRIC.
With all that being said, OSRIC does deserve a very special place. It really was the game that started a renewed interest in old-school gaming.