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Author Topic: Old-school Rocks, Retro-clones Suck  (Read 13063 times)

RPGPundit

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Old-school Rocks, Retro-clones Suck
« on: January 30, 2009, 09:59:48 AM »
Ok, I'm going to come out and say it. I love old-school, and old-school gaming, but basically, I think retro-clone games suck ass. OSRIC; Labyrinth Lord, etc., they're all pointlessly stupid.

If you want something classic, why the fuck would you go with this? The originals are all still out there ( you can get the RC pdf for $5), and there's NOTHING in any of these "clones" that make them more worthwhile than the original.

If, on the other hand, you want something with "old school" sentiment, but not actually old-school rules, then again why the fuck would these be any good to you? Why not just go for a game (like, say, "Forward... to Adventure!") that manages to capture the old-school feel without having to just be a cheapass ripoff of an actual old-school game, and presents new elements and a modern rules-design sensibility without being hassled with trying to balance that with trying to look and stay close enough to "AD&D 1e with Unearth Arcana rules but without Cavaliers" or some shit like that?!

Ok, there's my ranting for the day. Discuss.

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Sacrificial Lamb

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Old-school Rocks, Retro-clones Suck
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2009, 10:06:05 AM »
Quote from: RPGPundit;281177
Ok, I'm going to come out and say it. I love old-school, and old-school gaming, but basically, I think retro-clone games suck ass. OSRIC; Labyrinth Lord, etc., they're all pointlessly stupid.

If you want something classic, why the fuck would you go with this? The originals are all still out there ( you can get the RC pdf for $5), and there's NOTHING in any of these "clones" that make them more worthwhile than the original.

If, on the other hand, you want something with "old school" sentiment, but not actually old-school rules, then again why the fuck would these be any good to you? Why not just go for a game (like, say, "Forward... to Adventure!") that manages to capture the old-school feel without having to just be a cheapass ripoff of an actual old-school game, and presents new elements and a modern rules-design sensibility without being hassled with trying to balance that with trying to look and stay close enough to "AD&D 1e with Unearth Arcana rules but without Cavaliers" or some shit like that?!

Ok, there's my ranting for the day. Discuss.

RPGPundit

I don't think this is the best way to advertise your game, Pundit. :)

People design the "retro-clones" so that they can legally publish adventure modules for the old games they know and love. If they enjoy it, how can it be pointless and stupid?

Nicephorus

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Old-school Rocks, Retro-clones Suck
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2009, 10:33:19 AM »
The retroclones have also done some minor tweaking with the rules and clarified some of the writing. This gets into tastes but one could argue that some of the clones are better than the originals.
 
It seems like a lot of work just so you can legall publish adventures - when you can publish compatible products or just post for free without any apparent harrassment. But if someone wants to do it, it doesn't hurt me in any way.
 
edit:  I have more personal interest in the neo-old school or neo-clones such a Mazes & Minotaurs or Mutant Future.  But I'm considering using Basic Fantasy for a campaign as it's basic with a few nice changes.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2009, 10:40:26 AM by Nicephorus »

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Old-school Rocks, Retro-clones Suck
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2009, 10:50:21 AM »
"Old school" goes beyond RC D&D, you know. Not all old games are easily available.

A closer look will also show that for the various retro-clones, just like a real animal clone they're not a perfect copy, but a twin, with their own individual style and personality. There are usually a few tweaks, a streamlining which is often an improvement.
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Old-school Rocks, Retro-clones Suck
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2009, 10:54:18 AM »
Quote from: Sacrificial Lamb;281179
I don't think this is the best way to advertise your game, Pundit. :)

People design the "retro-clones" so that they can legally publish adventure modules for the old games they know and love. If they enjoy it, how can it be pointless and stupid?


See, if that was their motive, then why add bullshit "extra rules" or change fundamental rules in certain areas, why not just be a copyright-free reprint?

RPGPundit
LION & DRAGON: Medieval-Authentic OSR Roleplaying is available now! You only THINK you've played 'medieval fantasy' until you play L&D.


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Also, now with the CULTS OF CHAOS cult-generation sourcebook

ARROWS OF INDRA
Arrows of Indra: The Old-School Epic Indian RPG!
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LORDS OF OLYMPUS
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Old-school Rocks, Retro-clones Suck
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2009, 10:55:55 AM »
I've never found any of their tweaks to be an "improvement" or to make for a "better game" than the original. In fact, it tends to create a game with Personality Disorder. The game doesn't know what its supposed to be, whether its supposed to be made with modern design principles, or to be "Just like" some old game.

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LION & DRAGON: Medieval-Authentic OSR Roleplaying is available now! You only THINK you've played 'medieval fantasy' until you play L&D.


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The most famous uruguayan gaming blog on the planet!

NEW!
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Dark Albion: The Rose War! The OSR fantasy setting of the history that inspired Shakespeare and Martin alike.
Also available in Variant Cover form!
Also, now with the CULTS OF CHAOS cult-generation sourcebook

ARROWS OF INDRA
Arrows of Indra: The Old-School Epic Indian RPG!
NOW AVAILABLE: AoI in print form

LORDS OF OLYMPUS
The new Diceless RPG of multiversal power, adventure and intrigue, now available.

DeadUematsu

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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2009, 11:15:31 AM »
I agree to an extent. With the exception of Mutant Future (because it is not precisely a retro-clone), Basic Fantasy (which is more of a AD&D/D&D hybrid), and OSRIC (a better rules reference than the AD&D hardbacks - could have been better w/o all of the nagging changes though), I cannot say I'm all too impressed with the retro-clones that have been profilerating. Personally, I would have prefered that these authors go and make new games with old-school sensibilities.
 

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Old-school Rocks, Retro-clones Suck
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2009, 11:24:06 AM »
Hey, do you "old-timers" have a bone to pick with Troll Lords Castles and Crusades? I've heard that it has very straightforward rules and a whole lot of the old school feeling.
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Nicephorus

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« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2009, 11:27:44 AM »
Quote from: vomitbrown;281204
Hey, do you "old-timers" have a bone to pick with Troll Lords Castles and Crusades? I've heard that it has very straightforward rules and a whole lot of the old school feeling.

I've gotten the impression that Troll Lord managed to woo a large number of grognards.  Having Gary work with them probably helped with that.  It has quite a few differences from AD&D but is closer to it than D20 is.

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« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2009, 11:36:37 AM »
Maybe because the PDF of RC is $5, and the PDF of simulacra are free?
The rules are in-print (in most cases).  You can get shiny, new copies from primary sources.

Also, I don't see how a ruleset, being so nearly identical to some other set which is "good", can suck.  They're pretty much the same thing.

It's also been said many a time what the intentions of most of the simulacra are.  They are to enable designers to create new adventures for classic systems, and by signaling compatibility with the simulacrum, they signal such with the original game.  Their intent was NEVER to be "more worthwhile than the original" as far as I can tell.  I won't rehash all of the defenses of the games here, there's another active thread around these boards that does that.
 
My question is this:
Let's say a simulacrum had been published by WotC instead with the EXACT SAME CONTENT, except using the phrase "Classic Dungeons and Dragons" or "AD&D" instead of the simulacrum's name.  Would this thread even exist?  Guess what, D&D isn't just what has its logos printed on the books anymore... the game is bigger than it's brand.  I can sympathize with brand-loyalty, but only to a point.

Answer:
Yes, but it would probably be complaining about how "WotC CHANGED CLASSIC DND" rather than "THIS GAME HAS A DIFFERENT NAME".
« Last Edit: January 30, 2009, 11:49:15 AM by wiseman207 »
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« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2009, 11:54:05 AM »
btw, what's a grognard? Where does the term come from? What does one have to do to be a "grognard"? I've seen that term in a shitload of blogs.
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boulet

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Old-school Rocks, Retro-clones Suck
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2009, 12:00:09 PM »
Quote from: vomitbrown;281209
btw, what's a grognard? Where does the term come from? What does one have to do to be a "grognard"? I've seen that term in a shitload of blogs.


It's like the second item of a Google search... Wow I feel tired after searching sooo hard

Nicephorus

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« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2009, 12:02:57 PM »
Grognard originally referred to Napoleon's Old Guard, then was applied to old veterans.  In the last few decades, it has come to mean an old crusty gamer, first a wargamer but now any old gamer.
 
When I start bitching about the nerve of Warhammer punks calling themselves wargamers instead of players of a low class minis game, I'm displaying a grognard attitude.

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Old-school Rocks, Retro-clones Suck
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2009, 12:09:13 PM »
I don't see the point in the rules themseles, but they've inspired good products like Carcosa (the non-baby-raping version), Mutant Future and Eldritch Weirdness...so if that's what it takes to get people creating, yay.
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Old-school Rocks, Retro-clones Suck
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2009, 12:13:48 PM »
Quote from: wiseman207;281206
My question is this:
Let's say a simulacrum had been published by WotC instead with the EXACT SAME CONTENT, except using the phrase "Classic Dungeons and Dragons" or "AD&D" instead of the simulacrum's name.  Would this thread even exist?


Yes, except it'd be complaining about the art.
free resources:
Teleleli The people, places, gods and monsters of the great city of Teleleli and the islands around.
Age of Fable 'Online gamebook', in the style of Fighting Fantasy, Lone Wolf and Fabled Lands.
Tables for Fables Random charts for any fantasy RPG rules.
Fantasy Adventure Ideas Generator
Cyberpunk/fantasy/pulp/space opera/superhero/western Plot Generator.
Cute Board Heroes Paper 'miniatures'.
Map Generator
Dungeon generator for Basic D&D or Tunnels & Trolls.