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Author Topic: Regarding the OSR goodness: Do you prefer the takes on OD&D, or B/X, or AD&D?  (Read 1611 times)

Hakdov

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Re: Regarding the OSR goodness: Do you prefer the takes on OD&D, or B/X, or AD&D?
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2020, 08:32:12 pm »
I think the correct answer for me is B/X mechanics with my own house rules and inspiration from AD&D.  With that in mind, I just backed the Old-School Essentials: Advanced Fantasy kickstarter. 

Zirunel

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Re: Regarding the OSR goodness: Do you prefer the takes on OD&D, or B/X, or AD&D?
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2020, 08:41:51 pm »

I guess that's my pattern: I don't really run "OSR" games, but I love being able to draw on OSR game supplements/adventures/etc. as resources for my 1e AD&D and original D&D games.


Yes! See, I thought that's all the "OSR" ever was:  imprimateurs that allow people to legally produce new material for old games. You can't write and sell an adventure and say it's for B/X or AD&D, that's verboten. But you can publish an adventure for OSRIC or Labyrinth Lord, and Bob's your uncle, done and done. Everybody knows it's *really* an adventure for B/X or AD&D,  but if you observe the niceties it's all legal and above board.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2020, 08:45:12 pm by Zirunel »

Dave R

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Re: Regarding the OSR goodness: Do you prefer the takes on OD&D, or B/X, or AD&D?
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2020, 09:12:08 pm »
I'm running a house-ruled version of ACKS, so that puts me in the B/X camp.


I've got a soft spot for AD&D too. I'm unlikely to revisit it now given my other options and commitments, but if I do I'm going straight to the source, not filtering it through OSRIC or any other clone. The baroque is part of the charm.

S'mon

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Re: Regarding the OSR goodness: Do you prefer the takes on OD&D, or B/X, or AD&D?
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2020, 09:22:38 pm »
You can't write and sell an adventure and say it's for B/X or AD&D, that's verboten.


Legally, you can.
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Zirunel

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Re: Regarding the OSR goodness: Do you prefer the takes on OD&D, or B/X, or AD&D?
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2020, 09:35:54 pm »
You can't write and sell an adventure and say it's for B/X or AD&D, that's verboten.


Legally, you can.


Really? Okay well if that's true, then perhaps I have misunderstood the whole raison d'etre for retroclones

Arkansan

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Re: Regarding the OSR goodness: Do you prefer the takes on OD&D, or B/X, or AD&D?
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2020, 10:02:28 pm »
Retroclones developed because for a long time the relevant rules systems were out of print with no legal way to acquire them other than an increasingly costly secondary market.

Pat

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Re: Regarding the OSR goodness: Do you prefer the takes on OD&D, or B/X, or AD&D?
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2020, 11:01:33 pm »
Retroclones developed because for a long time the relevant rules systems were out of print with no legal way to acquire them other than an increasingly costly secondary market.
That was later. Zirunel was correct, the first real clone (OSRIC) was explicitly developed to allow people to put "compatible with OSRIC" on a module and then winkwinknod people would know you were supposed to use it with AD&D 1st edition. OSRIC wasn't intended to supplant 1e, you were supposed to use your old PH and DMG, or buy them on the second hand market. That's why the 1st edition wasn't a complete game, it was just enough of a framework so module writers could reference it, instead of AD&D, and not run afoul of protected expressions within 1e. It's also why they consulted lawyers, why the copyright holder is British (because it's much harder to file a copyright suit), and why things like the XP progressions are changed (formulas aren't protected, but judges have ruled that tables are). They were very careful to dot all the i's and cross all the t's.

But people liked the idea of OSRIC being a game in itself, so they expanded the 2nd edition into a complete game. Later clones had different aims, and didn't worry about the legalities as much. Partly, that's because OSRIC was over-cautious. Which was reasonable, since they were the first (since Mayfair at least), and the first to deal with the OGL. (And the OGL did add some value, because it explicitly permits the use of things like spell names.) But it's a long-standing principle of copyright law that that you can copyright the expression of an idea, but not the idea itself. So copying text is verboten, but the mechanics are fair game (if you rewrite them sufficiently). The main reason nobody tested that earlier was because being legally right doesn't protect you from being sued, and copyright law can get tricky (cf. tables) so it's easy to fuck up. But clone after clone came along, and it became clear that WotC wasn't suing people left and right, so authors became less paranoid over time. Though WotC can always decide to sue them, and if so certain clones will be in trouble.

S'mon

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Re: Regarding the OSR goodness: Do you prefer the takes on OD&D, or B/X, or AD&D?
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2020, 02:44:29 am »
Really? Okay well if that's true, then perhaps I have misunderstood the whole raison d'etre for retroclones


Legally, under trademark law you can indicate compatibility - so you can publish material "Compatible with D&D, Trade marks used without permission", as eg Kenzer has done quite recently. But T$R in the '90s was extremely aggressive in trying to stop the publication of D&D compatible material, even fan works, and this had a chilling effect on the market.

Copyright law is a lot less clear cut, at least in the USA, though the main reasons OSRIC is published under UK law were the lack of punitive damages and the way fees work - Marshall's solicitor firm had agreed to represent him on a no-win no-fee basis, and he was in a good position to fight WoTC if they challenged him under the OGL. WoTC claim to own copyright in various expressive elements of D&D in a way that you can't use them in a third party product. Also there is stuff like their formatted monster stat blocks which you can use under the OGL licence but could not legally use under copyright law IMO.


The OGL is a licence which provides a safe harbour intended to allow the publication of D&D-based third party material in a way WoTC finds acceptable, without risk to their registered & claimed trade marks. It allows you to use some WoTC-copyrighted material, at the cost of not being able to use their trade marks even to indicate compatibility. The way the OGL and the SRD are structured do enable the creation of retro-clones like OSRIC.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2020, 02:48:18 am by S'mon »
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AceFortune

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Re: Regarding the OSR goodness: Do you prefer the takes on OD&D, or B/X, or AD&D?
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2020, 06:16:24 am »
I think it would have to be the B/X stuff which for me is my OSR ruleset, I never played the Original DnD and I didnt even realise until recently that Basic wasnt just the Moldvay version of Basic and Expert, and the more I read the Rules Compendium and all the Companion, Masters, and Immortals stuff Im glad I played the way I did, but Im loving all the new stuff especially Old School Essentials Im looking forward to my wife and daughter playing with this set.

Armchair Gamer

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Re: Regarding the OSR goodness: Do you prefer the takes on OD&D, or B/X, or AD&D?
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2020, 09:53:39 am »
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't OSRIC originate as a reaction to what people saw as the over-cautious and overly compromised approach of Castles & Crusades to using the OGL to go 'old school'?

JeffB

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Re: Regarding the OSR goodness: Do you prefer the takes on OD&D, or B/X, or AD&D?
« Reply #25 on: September 13, 2020, 12:17:18 pm »
It's complicated.

I started with OD&D in 1977, though Moldvay/Cook/Marsh was immediately adopted at the time it was released.

OSR-wise- I'm definitely more into the OD&D aspect, and I was all gung-ho from C&C original publication, through OSRIC & S&W (core) up until a year or so ago.

These days I have little use for the gazillions of  clones/retro styles, except White Box, nor much use for what I'm seeing for "adventure material".   Like the D20 era, for every great product, you have to sift through mounds of mediocre crap to find something worthwhile.  To catch my interest, you really need to knock it out of the park with thematic/fictional elements and clever use of mechanics- Games like Encounter Critical, Seven Voyages of Zylarthen, Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers. Modern OSR seems to be all about two questions-
 
"How edgey/old school punk" can I be?"
or
"How can I make 5E more old school?" 


I have zero interest in either. Instead, I've gone back to/rediscovered my original and early 3PP materials for inspiration.



hedgehobbit

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Re: Regarding the OSR goodness: Do you prefer the takes on OD&D, or B/X, or AD&D?
« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2020, 03:03:02 pm »
I used to be a B/X purist but switched to OD&D along with some rules cribbed from earlier editions and EPT. I will say, however, that race-as-class is mechanically superior to race+class so I use race-as-class in my OD&D game.

Pat

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Re: Regarding the OSR goodness: Do you prefer the takes on OD&D, or B/X, or AD&D?
« Reply #27 on: September 13, 2020, 06:47:13 pm »
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't OSRIC originate as a reaction to what people saw as the over-cautious and overly compromised approach of Castles & Crusades to using the OGL to go 'old school'?
C&C wasn't overly cautious, they essentially tried to create a game that was compatible with AD&D's raw stats, but using a more modern engine based on the d20 system (with some unique quirks). C&C's initial audience was people who were disaffected by 3e. Not the true old school gamers; the people who had never switched to 3e in the first place still played the games they always played, and hung out at places like DF. For some of the players who had gotten tired of 3e and wanted a more old school game, C&C scratched that itch. But for others, while C&C was better, it wasn't exactly what they were looking for. But the real split came because of interpersonal drama. People said shit, there was rage, and the community fractured. Some stayed with C&C, but others went on to create OSRIC and the concept of the retro-clone.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2020, 06:49:12 pm by Pat »

Armchair Gamer

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Re: Regarding the OSR goodness: Do you prefer the takes on OD&D, or B/X, or AD&D?
« Reply #28 on: September 13, 2020, 07:48:31 pm »
  Thanks for the clarification. I prefer C&C to 'pure' old school myself, but I knew others had differed.

mAcular Chaotic

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Re: Regarding the OSR goodness: Do you prefer the takes on OD&D, or B/X, or AD&D?
« Reply #29 on: September 13, 2020, 08:38:05 pm »
I used to be a B/X purist but switched to OD&D along with some rules cribbed from earlier editions and EPT. I will say, however, that race-as-class is mechanically superior to race+class so I use race-as-class in my OD&D game.
What's so great about race as class?
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