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Author Topic: A good clone to copy/paste/modify (S&W, BFRPG, ...)  (Read 1174 times)

Eric Diaz

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A good clone to copy/paste/modify (S&W, BFRPG, ...)
« on: July 29, 2022, 09:20:59 PM »
In short, I'm looking for a game that I can copy, paste, and modify to my tasting, adding my own house rules and (maybe one day) publishing it. In theory, I could do that to every game in the SRD, but if I can find one to suit my tastes, it would be even cooler! Here are them:

- I'd prefer a game that encourages readers to do that, with no permissions or caveats. While I'd encourage anyone to copy my own clone as desired, I am not sure how other authors feel about this.

IIRC S&W only requires that you keep both ACs. OSE, AFACIT, has a set of rules (you have to send them a copy, write something in the back cover - something most of my books lack, etc.). Apparently OSE tries to keep some stuff copyrighted so I don't want to deal with that.

- If the game has a decent format for copy-pasting (e.g., a Word .doc is available), this is a huge plus. BFRPG is looking nice. S&W sued to have something similar but I can't seem to find it.

- I prefer B/X to AD&D. An RC clone would be awesome. The closer to the original, the better.

- Suggest games that you like, of course.

Thank you!
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bx corgi

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Re: A good clone to copy/paste/modify (S&W, BFRPG, ...)
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2022, 10:31:33 PM »
There are 2 candidates that jump to mind. 

The first would be for the BX realm with Labyrinth Lord and the Advanced Edition Companion.  A good link to get the content is:  https://snw.smolderingwizard.com/viewtopic.php?t=284
The second would be for the Rules Cyclopedia realm with Dark Dungeons and Dark Dungeons X.  I don't know about getting editiable format for the text.

If you would like to go the Swords & Wizardry route:  http://snw.smolderingwizard.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=4
« Last Edit: July 29, 2022, 10:40:28 PM by bx corgi »

Eric Diaz

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Re: A good clone to copy/paste/modify (S&W, BFRPG, ...)
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2022, 10:46:12 PM »
There are 2 candidates that jump to mind. 

The first would be for the BX realm with Labyrinth Lord and the Advanced Edition Companion.  A good link to get the content is:  https://snw.smolderingwizard.com/viewtopic.php?t=284
The second would be for the Rules Cyclopedia realm with Dark Dungeons and Dark Dungeons X.  I don't know about getting editiable format for the text.

If you would like to go the Swords & Wizardry route:  http://snw.smolderingwizard.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=4

I hadn't considered Labyrinth Lord, thank you! Might be a good idea.
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bx corgi

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Re: A good clone to copy/paste/modify (S&W, BFRPG, ...)
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2022, 10:47:26 AM »
Labyrinth Lord is a great foundation for this type of work. 

Even BX Essentials used the text in it's creation:
"This product is released under the terms of the Open Game License Version 1.0a, Copyright 2000,
Wizards of the Coast, Inc. Based on the OGC text of Labyrinth Lord by Dan Proctor and Lamentations of
the Flame Princess by James Raggi. Many thanks to both."

Jason Coplen

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Re: A good clone to copy/paste/modify (S&W, BFRPG, ...)
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2022, 12:16:51 PM »
There are 2 candidates that jump to mind. 

The first would be for the BX realm with Labyrinth Lord and the Advanced Edition Companion.  A good link to get the content is:  https://snw.smolderingwizard.com/viewtopic.php?t=284
The second would be for the Rules Cyclopedia realm with Dark Dungeons and Dark Dungeons X.  I don't know about getting editiable format for the text.

If you would like to go the Swords & Wizardry route:  http://snw.smolderingwizard.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=4

I'm in roughly the same boat as Eric is. After looking at these links I narrowed it down to LL or S&W whitebox.

Thanks a bunch for the links!
Running: B/X, and a Hack of my own creation. One I haven't shared because I ripped everyone off and can't remember where I "borrowed" some D&D spells.

estar

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Re: A good clone to copy/paste/modify (S&W, BFRPG, ...)
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2022, 10:54:32 PM »
I'd prefer a game that encourages readers to do that, with no permissions or caveats. While I'd encourage anyone to copy my own clone as desired, I am not sure how other authors feel about this.
If don't want to hire a IP lawyer to let you what can and can't be copied you will need to rely on the open content of the d20 SRD which means your material will have to be released under the conditions of the Open Game License.

All the old discussion about the advantages and disadvantage of using the OGL are still out there from the early 2000s. It is a well tread debate and the overwhelming consensus is that for hobby publishing the OGL is the safest way to go. Doesn't have any important restrictions as far as creativity goes. The most severe restriction is that you give your right to cite combability with a trademark unless you have a separate license to do so.

If your project isn't a close clone or not meant to support one of the classic editions 'as is'. Then you have the same choice as the other publishers of D&D like RPGs out there like Palladium Fantasy 1e. A more recent example are any of Kevin Crawford RPGs. All of which while inspired by D&D are definitely their own thing and go their own route in many important details.

IIRC S&W only requires that you keep both ACs. OSE, AFACIT, has a set of rules (you have to send them a copy, write something in the back cover - something most of my books lack, etc.). Apparently OSE tries to keep some stuff copyrighted so I don't want to deal with that.
Both the text of OSE and S&W are Open Content.

Old School Essentials
DESIGNATION OF PRODUCT IDENTITY
All artwork, logos, and presentation are product identity. The names “Necrotic Gnome” and “Old-School Essentials” are product identity. All text in the following sections is product identity: Introduction.
DESIGNATION OF OPEN GAME CONTENT
All text and tables not declared as product identity are Open Game Content.


Swords & Wizardry
Open Game Content
Open Game Content may only be Used under and in terms of the Open Game License Version 1.0a (OGL).
This entire work is designated as Open Game Content under the OGL, with the exception of the proper names used in the description of the Wine-Dark Sea map, the trademarks “Swords & Wizardry,” “S&W,” “Mythmere Games,” “FGG,” “Frog God Games,” and with the exception of all artwork.  These trademarks, and the Trade Dress of this work (font, layout, style of artwork, etc.) are reserved as Product Identity. 

The restrictions on the use of the Trademarks Swords & Wizardry and Old School Essentials. It is an important distinction. You can use all, most or some of the content of nearly all of the retro-clones including my Majestic Fantasy RPG. But to say that your stuff is compatible with them specifically then you need to follow the trademark license.

- If the game has a decent format for copy-pasting (e.g., a Word .doc is available), this is a huge plus. BFRPG is looking nice. S&W sued to have something similar but I can't seem to find it.
Swords & Wizardry has an RTF file here
https://www.dropbox.com/s/sp3hv368bky58og/SWcore4.rtf?dl=0

I used it as the foundation for my own Majestic Fantasy RPG.


Eric Diaz

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Re: A good clone to copy/paste/modify (S&W, BFRPG, ...)
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2022, 11:15:21 AM »
Nice, thanks!

Yeah, S&W and LL seem to be the way to go, OSE is good too.

Might be a lot of work but maybe I can finally create the perfect game from my group, and still use existing modules with little to no conversion.
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estar

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Re: A good clone to copy/paste/modify (S&W, BFRPG, ...)
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2022, 04:05:59 PM »
Nice, thanks!

Yeah, S&W and LL seem to be the way to go, OSE is good too.

Might be a lot of work but maybe I can finally create the perfect game from my group, and still use existing modules with little to no conversion.
It has been worth it for me even if I didn't decide to publish it. My main trick as far as the writing goes is to set aside at least a 1/2 hour to work on it. Especially when it comes to what I call the lists, monsters, spells, treasure, etc. At that pace, I can work on two or three entries a day and after a while, it starts to add up.

While I try to avoid wholesale changes I did have a handful that required me to touch every item (spell, monster, etc.)

This was with the S&W SRD

For monsters, I added an initiative bonus (generally 1/2 HD round down), and for most something that can be harvested after being killed (like fur, fangs, etc.). I felt the swords & Wizardry descriptions were inadequate as far as use as a referee. So I took any mentioned abilities and turned it into a bullet list in a stat block. Much easier to use afterwards. Any descriptive element I edited into the new description.
Examples
https://www.batintheattic.com/downloads/MW%20Monsters%20Sample.pdf

For spells, I added a new mechanic called art which magic user and opt to specialize which gives the spell a boost in power. Otherwise left the original alone except for converting percentages into a d20 high roll. Everyone was in 5% increments. Same odds different dice.

I did this not to fix S&W but to alter it in order to reflect my setting better or I felt it made for a better reference like the stat blocks.



Eric Diaz

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Re: A good clone to copy/paste/modify (S&W, BFRPG, ...)
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2022, 07:52:38 PM »
I like the idea of utilizing/selling monster parts!

My goal is somewhat different - but similar (trying to avoid wholesale changes).

I wrote my own clone, back in 2017. I still think it is pretty good, but it is not perfectly compatible with B/X etc. And, in the end, I want something to work with no conversion at all - and mostly no tables. But I'd say I like everything about OS D&D except characters -  I'm talking about thief skills and some cleric idiosyncrasies; fighters and MUs are fine.

Here is one example:

https://methodsetmadness.blogspot.com/2022/08/minimalist-bx-iii-dissecting-thief-again.html

Now, my clone is ONLY about characters and basic rules. I'd like to add monsters, domain management... but I feel I can't to this from scratch. And I'm mostly fine with monsters, I just want to change organization and add a few twists.

In any case, here is what I'm planning:

- Single saving throws.
- Streamlined XP tables, but adjusting classes accordingly (e.g., thieves and fighters get a boost when compared to MUs)
- Simplifying everything  can while keeping compatibility.
- Replace most GM tables for my own.
- Probably a Target 20 mechanic for everything.
- Add lots of classes and races because my players like them.
- Lot of customization and a few appendixes of my own.
- Add non-vancian magic of some sort.

I'm sure that is not everyone's cup of tea, but I'm thinking it will work for my group.

EDIT: and, TBH, I have a fetish for a big book with hardcover with my name on the shelf. I published one, and it looks great, but unfortunately too thin for hardcover. :)

EDIT: BTW , I want to do something about Multiple Fighter attacks. Your ruling on that is pretty good.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2022, 07:58:54 PM by Eric Diaz »
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Jason Coplen

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Re: A good clone to copy/paste/modify (S&W, BFRPG, ...)
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2022, 08:12:44 PM »
I like the idea of utilizing/selling monster parts!

My goal is somewhat different - but similar (trying to avoid wholesale changes).

I wrote my own clone, back in 2017. I still think it is pretty good, but it is not perfectly compatible with B/X etc. And, in the end, I want something to work with no conversion at all - and mostly no tables. But I'd say I like everything about OS D&D except characters -  I'm talking about thief skills and some cleric idiosyncrasies; fighters and MUs are fine.

Here is one example:

https://methodsetmadness.blogspot.com/2022/08/minimalist-bx-iii-dissecting-thief-again.html

Now, my clone is ONLY about characters and basic rules. I'd like to add monsters, domain management... but I feel I can't to this from scratch. And I'm mostly fine with monsters, I just want to change organization and add a few twists.

In any case, here is what I'm planning:

- Single saving throws.
- Streamlined XP tables, but adjusting classes accordingly (e.g., thieves and fighters get a boost when compared to MUs)
- Simplifying everything  can while keeping compatibility.
- Replace most GM tables for my own.
- Probably a Target 20 mechanic for everything.
- Add lots of classes and races because my players like them.
- Lot of customization and a few appendixes of my own.
- Add non-vancian magic of some sort.


I do all skills as saves. Saves being done the S&W way, of course.

Table making can be a pain. I've been doing that for the classes I'll use, and blech. I ended up with some goofy looking tables where some are center top for text and others are center center, and I'm not good at using pages for it.

Players are hard to satisfy at times. It's why I am very slowly adding classes to my file/version.

I'll read your link in an hour os so when I get back from my walk. My mind is so blah today that I am hoping this walk clears things up. I also need to burn the calories. :)
Running: B/X, and a Hack of my own creation. One I haven't shared because I ripped everyone off and can't remember where I "borrowed" some D&D spells.

Eric Diaz

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Re: A good clone to copy/paste/modify (S&W, BFRPG, ...)
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2022, 08:41:22 PM »
Yup, skills as saves work perfectly! Especially with a single save.
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estar

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Re: A good clone to copy/paste/modify (S&W, BFRPG, ...)
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2022, 09:29:15 PM »
- Streamlined XP tables, but adjusting classes accordingly (e.g., thieves and fighters get a boost when compared to MUs)
My friends and I rationalized the XP table that I got from Swords & Wizardry.  My classes still have different XP chart but there are no unique "bumps".

If you think it would useful, you can download it from here. Just decide what the XP for 2nd level ought to be and the rest follows the pattern.
https://www.batintheattic.com/downloads/Standard%20XP%20Charts.pdf




Eric Diaz

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Re: A good clone to copy/paste/modify (S&W, BFRPG, ...)
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2022, 01:01:36 PM »
Yes, this is useful, thanks! I might use the MU or elf progression for everyone, or I might just double XP every level until level 14, and let a fighter have 14d8 HP... which is a lot LESS HP than he would have with the same XP in the RC, I think.

(This is the biggest difficulty I'm finding... keeping things true to the original or adding my own preferences to the mix).
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estar

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Re: A good clone to copy/paste/modify (S&W, BFRPG, ...)
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2022, 01:10:15 PM »
(This is the biggest difficulty I'm finding... keeping things true to the original or adding my own preferences to the mix).
If you are going to take the time to polish your material to make it usable by others, to share (or publish for sale). Then my advice is that folks prize authenticity over dogmatic adherence to a standard. In this case a specific classic edition.

However the further you stray from any of the classic editions, the harder it is for folks to use it in their classic edition campaign. The more you will be in the same boat as anybody else writing an RPG resulting in having to grow your own audience. Given the current deluge of material when you limit it to the classic edition, you have to grow your own audience to a point. But sticking close to a classic edition does make that easier from my experience.

There is no right answer to where the right point is, only consequences. Ultimately it is about what you find fun to write about along with polishing it up enough to make it useful to others.

Eric Diaz

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Re: A good clone to copy/paste/modify (S&W, BFRPG, ...)
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2022, 01:16:55 PM »
Yeah, makes sense. If I'm going to spend my time doing that, I might as well enjoy it.

And I'd hate to keep the original typos and errors. As I've said elsewhere, sometimes, I feel using old school D&D as written is almost as full of meaningless crunch as modern D&D. And I am not even talking about AD&D initiative or the weapon versus armor table (which I've seem people suggest we should keep as written despite its arithmetical errors to be "true to the original") - I'm talking about being obsessed with 1% (or even 10%) minutiae that does nothing to make the game better. Or using tables full of numbers that were adopted to fit a limited space in print.

EDIT: you know what, I'll mention my changes and eventually share the doc here. Any feedback is appreciated.

-   Introduction partially removed, replace by my own.
-   Game Master shortened to “GM” everywhere.
-   Prime requisites excluded from the game, except as optional minimum requirements.
-   Wisdom doesn’t affect saving throws, except as an optional rule.
-   Languages proficiency changed, uses Intelligence and Wisdom, and allows illiterate polyglots.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2022, 01:21:04 PM by Eric Diaz »
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