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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 1447 times)

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 #30 on: September 13, 2020, 11:16:53 PM »
What's so great about race as class?
Race + Class has several limitation, mostly the fact that you have to make every race balanced with every other race as well as make every class balance with every other class. Similarly, it also means that every elf has the same racial abilities as every other elf and that every fighter has the same class abilities as every other fighter.


If you roll race and class into one thing, then the DM has much more flexibility in creating this "racial class" to vary the powers and abilities this specific class gets. So a dwarven fighter might have a completely different set of racial abilities than a dwarven runesmith given the two character's different background. It also allows you to much more easily add exotic character types, such as giants, as you can control things like XP per level, hit points, ability score modifiers, and to-hit numbers.


It's also easier on the players as they don't have to worry if a specific race+class combo is under or over powered.

Snowman0147

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Re: Regarding the OSR goodness: Do you prefer the takes on OD&D, or B/X, or AD&D?
« Reply #31 on: September 13, 2020, 11:32:06 PM »
My only complaint is that the races have limited level caps. 

Brad

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Re: Regarding the OSR goodness: Do you prefer the takes on OD&D, or B/X, or AD&D?
« Reply #32 on: September 14, 2020, 11:16:09 AM »
[What's so great about race as class?
Forces an anthropocentric game, which tend to be less whimsical/Forgotten Realms and more S&S/Tolkien-esque. You can run a very good LotR game using straight B/X, just assume that Legolas didn't bring his spell-book and Gandalf is a DM character. For a Conan game, only allow fighters and thieves as PCs.


Also, it greatly simplifies character creation, which is a boon when you have players who are uninterested in anything besides the game itself, i.e., don't really care to create the most mechanically powerful character.

Steven Mitchell

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Re: Regarding the OSR goodness: Do you prefer the takes on OD&D, or B/X, or AD&D?
« Reply #33 on: September 14, 2020, 11:48:25 AM »
I really only have one problem with race as class:  It moves design work from the game author to the GM in a particular place that in theory I would enjoy but in practice I don't.  That is, I get the idea and even approve of it conceptually.  But as soon as I'm the GM needing to make up new classes in such a system, the first thing I want to do is put on my game designer hat and build from the ground up something that doesn't involve me at that step.

Partly it is because I'm just wired that way, and partly it is because the kind of classes I typically want don't necessarily have all the advantages listed for race as class.  Heck, I don't even like "race" as race + culture in AD&D, never mind having the class in there too.  It's probably the main thing I don't like about Rules Compendium D&D, even though it is otherwise in my top 2 favorite editions.

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 #34 on: September 14, 2020, 01:09:10 PM »
What exactly did a race like "elf" get, that makes them different from just a race/class combo?
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PencilBoy99

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Re: Regarding the OSR goodness: Do you prefer the takes on OD&D, or B/X, or AD&D?
« Reply #35 on: September 14, 2020, 04:12:41 PM »
I own a bunch of these things.


I like LOTFP which is a B/X version.
I've always thought Castles and Crusades looked cool. I played it once and it was fun.
LL / Advanced always seemed like a very clean but still traditional version.
I own L&D but have never run it. I was afraid one person would roll a noble of some type and everyone else would be a drone.

PencilBoy99

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Re: Regarding the OSR goodness: Do you prefer the takes on OD&D, or B/X, or AD&D?
« Reply #36 on: September 14, 2020, 04:14:15 PM »
Also agree that Race as Class is great. Getting rid of it was part of the long slide to D&D games being a circus carnival (which is fine but I don't want to play or run that). LL and ACKS both have subclasses for the race as class that still give variety.

Crusader X

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Re: Regarding the OSR goodness: Do you prefer the takes on OD&D, or B/X, or AD&D?
« Reply #37 on: September 14, 2020, 05:14:22 PM »
Also agree that Race as Class is great. Getting rid of it was part of the long slide to D&D games being a circus carnival (which is fine but I don't want to play or run that). LL and ACKS both have subclasses for the race as class that still give variety.
Dyson Logos also created some very nice d12 Labyrinth Lord subclasses, for both regular and Advanced LL.  These really do a fine job of giving a little more variety to the seven standard B/X classes.

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 #38 on: September 14, 2020, 08:25:25 PM »
What exactly did a race like "elf" get, that makes them different from just a race/class combo?
That's a valid criticism. Race-as-class is seriously underutilized in Basic D&D. The combos should be unique, not just class X + class Y + a teeny bit of universal generic raciness, or slightly tweawed class X. The classes should be tweaked, for each race. The spell lists and even methods of casting might be unique. The race abilities would also vary, based on class.

The standard elf class seems to represent a high or noble elf, equally adept with sword and glamourie, the type to become a lord or lady of an elfhill. But they should have a custom spell list, more ghosts and shadows than magic-user mach 2. The halfling is basically the proto-sheriff class, but there should also be room for a burglar. The dwarf is simply a vertically impaired fighter, but might get tweaks like being less impaired in heavy armor. And so and so forth, with at least 2-3 options for each race.

Creating new classes in Basic is trivial, so it shouldn't be a real barrier. The greatest difficulty would be interesting ideas that reflect strong archetypes, and custom spell lists.

Philotomy Jurament

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Re: Regarding the OSR goodness: Do you prefer the takes on OD&D, or B/X, or AD&D?
« Reply #39 on: September 15, 2020, 08:05:37 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'?


I'd say OSRIC came about because a segment of the "old school" crowd was expecting one thing (i.e., a true clone, or as close to that as is legally possible), and C&C turned out to not be that thing. I think it was disappointment with the direction C&C took with its design choices, more than anything else.
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Spinachcat

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Re: Regarding the OSR goodness: Do you prefer the takes on OD&D, or B/X, or AD&D?
« Reply #40 on: September 15, 2020, 09:57:31 PM »
I view Castles & Crusades as an excellent 3rd edition of AD&D. Maybe I'm unfamiliar with the originally design goals and early discussions, but it seems to me that Troll Lords were trying to create their RPG (ala Palladium Fantasy), but compatible with TSR settings/adventures, etc.

As for the "best OSR takes", I prefer OD&D as the base because its getting back to the rawness of the primary text. Then, the authors can go in whatever direction they imagine versus being limited by what is expected by BX or AD&D.

However, my best advice to any OSR author is to ignore all the previous editions (as written) and just capture the spirit of YOUR game using whatever elements of previous editions speak most to you.

I reject the idea that every OSR book has to be "TSR compatible". It does if you are selling a retroclone, but if you're just doing an Old School-Inspired retro-whatever, then fly and be free.

 

EOTB

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Re: Regarding the OSR goodness: Do you prefer the takes on OD&D, or B/X, or AD&D?
« Reply #41 on: September 15, 2020, 11:11:11 PM »
Always AD&D for me.  The simplicity of B/X bores me.  That's not a value statement.  I get why many people want more straightforward math that allows them to concentrate on the fantasy part.  But I'm more of the wargamer/fantasy cross, so all of Gygax's tweaks and rules idiosyncrasies are on my wavelength.
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Johndesmarais

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Re: Regarding the OSR goodness: Do you prefer the takes on OD&D, or B/X, or AD&D?
« Reply #42 on: September 17, 2020, 07:05:59 PM »
The retro clones that I gravitate towards are all based on B/X.

PencilBoy99

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Re: Regarding the OSR goodness: Do you prefer the takes on OD&D, or B/X, or AD&D?
« Reply #43 on: September 18, 2020, 10:45:57 AM »
I view Castles & Crusades as an excellent 3rd edition of AD&D. Maybe I'm unfamiliar with the originally design goals and early discussions, but it seems to me that Troll Lords were trying to create their RPG (ala Palladium Fantasy), but compatible with TSR settings/adventures, etc.


I always thought C&C looked awesome. How does it play?

Dimitrios

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Re: Regarding the OSR goodness: Do you prefer the takes on OD&D, or B/X, or AD&D?
« Reply #44 on: September 18, 2020, 11:19:46 AM »
I'd say OSRIC came about because a segment of the "old school" crowd was expecting one thing (i.e., a true clone, or as close to that as is legally possible), and C&C turned out to not be that thing. I think it was disappointment with the direction C&C took with its design choices, more than anything else.


That pretty much describes me. I was excited by C&C when it came out, and after playing it for a bit felt like it was almost my ideal version of D&D. And then I realized that my ideal version was AD&D1e. 8)