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Author Topic: What is the point of Retro-Clones?  (Read 2329 times)

Pat

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Re: What is the point of Retro-Clones?
« Reply #45 on: June 17, 2021, 08:13:28 PM »

It didn’t feel like a competitive sport or anything, but we played by and referenced the rules all the time. This idea that things were loosie goosie is something I have only heard about for the last decade or so, but it does not match what I experienced growing up and playing throughout the 80’s and into the 90’s.
Probably a generational thing. The original gamers were fully mature adults and experienced wargamers, of course they tweaked everything. When they started, you had to make everything from scratch, so of course they had no problem just coming up with their own stuff. But when D&D became a fad, the new wave of players were mostly kids, who tended to take the rules a lot more seriously, and were more beholden to authority. This was also the time when Gygax started to become more authoritative and one true wayist.

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Re: What is the point of Retro-Clones?
« Reply #46 on: June 17, 2021, 11:06:40 PM »
I'm not an OSR guy myself, but from the outside looking in it appears that they're trying to make games with the feel of original D&D, but better rules.  There's wild disagreement on what makes rules better, but with decades of experience we ought to be able to improve on those original rules.  Doing that and keeping the D&D feel seems like a challenge though.

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Re: What is the point of Retro-Clones?
« Reply #47 on: June 18, 2021, 12:37:45 AM »
That era was a GOLDEN AGE for chart-based RPGs. Both FASERIP and James Bond 007 were glorious, along with Conan/ZEFRS and MEGs. I know there were a few others from that era but I can't remember them now. One of the things I wanted to do in Ascendant was remind people how great chart-based RPGs could be. Not every game needs to be based on weird dice tricks; you can do amazing things using charts by building the math behind the scenes.

Bond also was the first RPG I know that introduced Hero Points, bidding, and it was ahead of its time with its perks, drawbacks, etc. And the seduction rules! Chase rules! Masterful.

Am I alone in my love for 007 and other games that use One Table To Rule Them All?

Not at all. I never could get a 007 game off the ground, but I thought it read incredible. It has one of my favorite examples of play with the side-by-side session vs. fictional narrative of the car chase/interrogation scene from Goldfinger.
I never had a problem with chart games. They were a simple look up. YMMV and all that. I know the Gamma World 3 folks weren't happy with them, and Zebulon's Guide is still hated by many folks in the Star Frontiers scene.
 

TJS

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Re: What is the point of Retro-Clones?
« Reply #48 on: June 18, 2021, 01:16:28 AM »
To understand why B/X it's necessary to understand what has happened with the OSR and how it has developed.

For various reasons, the OSR is not just a recreation of old school play, it's very much a selective recreation of old school play.  It's also in some sense about the road not travelled - ie. going back in order to go forward in a different direction to what was taken in the past.

B/X is convenient for the OSR, because what it does have leaves out a lot of stuff, many parts of the OSR have found extraneous.  1e with it's races and classes implies much more 'world' than the basic game which doesn't have Rangers and Paladins and Druids etc, which eventually evolved into the D&D as supposedly it's own genre mess that we get today (and also notably a lot of AD&D intellectual property stuff is not covered by the SRD anyway).  For this reason B/X tends to be preferred over the more complete BECMI because that completeness is not what is wanted.  The Rules Cyclopedia again brings in a lot more world and a lot more cosmology.

In terms of publishing adventures B/X is good also, as people can always add in Rangers and Paladins and the like if they want to (it's mostly player stuff anyway).  The higher levels of BECMI are unnecessary because writing adventures for those levels requires a high degree of masochism for little reward - they're hard to do well and people aren't likely to buy them anway.

Pat

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Re: What is the point of Retro-Clones?
« Reply #49 on: June 18, 2021, 07:44:54 AM »
That era was a GOLDEN AGE for chart-based RPGs. Both FASERIP and James Bond 007 were glorious, along with Conan/ZEFRS and MEGs. I know there were a few others from that era but I can't remember them now. One of the things I wanted to do in Ascendant was remind people how great chart-based RPGs could be. Not every game needs to be based on weird dice tricks; you can do amazing things using charts by building the math behind the scenes.

Bond also was the first RPG I know that introduced Hero Points, bidding, and it was ahead of its time with its perks, drawbacks, etc. And the seduction rules! Chase rules! Masterful.

Am I alone in my love for 007 and other games that use One Table To Rule Them All?

Not at all. I never could get a 007 game off the ground, but I thought it read incredible. It has one of my favorite examples of play with the side-by-side session vs. fictional narrative of the car chase/interrogation scene from Goldfinger.
I never had a problem with chart games. They were a simple look up. YMMV and all that. I know the Gamma World 3 folks weren't happy with them, and Zebulon's Guide is still hated by many folks in the Star Frontiers scene.
Gamma World 3 is a weird hybrid, the chart was way too complex, and it was so badly edited they literally forgot the equipment list. Zeb's Guide took the core rules of Star Frontiers, and for no good reason, just replaced them. The negative reactions to both were understandable, and had little to do with the charts.

On the other hand, the charts in Marvel Superheroes and the Conan RPG were very well received, and in fact inspired the charts in the previous two games. Do it well, and people were fine with it.

sureshot

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Re: What is the point of Retro-Clones?
« Reply #50 on: June 18, 2021, 08:38:26 AM »
While I understand the appeal and enjoyment of the OSR versions of D&D. I remain with the originals versions which for myself do the job well enough.

Steven Mitchell

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Re: What is the point of Retro-Clones?
« Reply #51 on: June 18, 2021, 09:04:45 AM »
Am I alone in my love for 007 and other games that use One Table To Rule Them All?

For me it was Dragon Quest (same author and practically the same system as 007, albeit an earlier, more esoteric version of that system). 

I didn't exactly dislike charts from the beginning.  Even my first exposure to D&D was of the variety where the character sheet was a sheet of notebook paper and you copied the relevant slice of the attack matrix to the sheet.  And of course, so many war games of that period were chart central.  But strangely enough, I like such games more now than I did then--because now it is a lot easier to just print out a copy of the chart for a player, maybe even highlighting the relevant sections or even cutting it down to only what they need.

There's one really great thing about charts when the math isn't too complicated.  You get broadly three kinds of players:  The players that freak about about numbers in general.  The players that are much more comfortable with comparisons than repeated math (no matter how simple).  They can do simple math but they don't like it and it is relatively slow.  And then the players that really don't mind how the math works or even enjoy it.

The first group isn't happy with the chart.  They'd rather you just did all the mechanics for them.  But the chart is something they can grudgingly accept and learn to use.  The second group eats up the chart (or a dice mechanic based on comparisons).  The third group finds the chart a little off-putting at first.  However, very quickly they will derive the math from the chart and just do that in their heads instead of using the chart.  Of course, that doesn't work if the math of the chart is complicated. 

Jaeger

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Re: What is the point of Retro-Clones?
« Reply #52 on: June 18, 2021, 03:28:03 PM »
I'm a simple man... I want to play a game that is actually called D&D right there on the cover

Then 5e is the game for you.


I have to admit: I don't get the OSR. There seem to be two kinds of D&D retro-clones: the first is one that hews as close as possible to a TSR edition of D&D and the second is one that only treats a TSR edition of D&D as a point of departure and goes far afield to something that is ultimately barely recognizable as D&D.

I’ll answer these at face value.

What the OSR brings to the hobby:

First: “…close as possible to a TSR edition of D&D…”

WOTC's embrace of current year critical theory is turning some people off to that point that they don’t want to give WOTC their money.

The OSR serves a vital function in allowing people to play the version of D&D that they like, and also support people who don’t hate them.

This is a good thing.


Second: “…only treats a TSR edition of D&D as a point of departure…”

You say that like it is a bad thing!

The fact is that even within the OSR design box there is room for innovation in the game that people have yet to fully explore.

From the way levels and advancement work to how spellcasting is done, much of the OSR is still very much in a rut of: “Clone D&D system x”

I think there is room for innovation on both fronts while still having a d20 game that is both recognizable and accessible to D&D players.

Lion and Dragon is one example of this. And I think that there is room for more.



My principal disagreement (and it's not even a huge one) is I dislike the 'race as class' bit ported from BECMI. I don't think that's an unreasonable complaint, but it applies to 'the good old stuff' as well as the new stuff.

“Race as Class” is a point where D&D dropped the ball.

By not going far enough!

Demi-humans Elves, Dwarves, Halflings, etc., should not have the same classes as humans because their cultures should be different.

Giving them access to the same classes is what watered them down and has just made them humans with cosmetics.

If anything, each demi-human race should have 2-3 additional classes reflecting their culture.



Thanks for the kind words on ACKS. We're working on a second edition, woot woot.
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I would be very interested in a 2nd edition.

Please, I beg, Ditch the attack throw value, and have it use conventional Ascending AC like everything else.

That would make it more compatible with other OSR stuff and more accessible to people used to the ascending AC standard like me as well.
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tenbones

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Re: What is the point of Retro-Clones?
« Reply #53 on: June 19, 2021, 03:41:10 AM »
I've been funning MSH (FASERIP) since it dropped, and it's my current weekly even today. And the weird thing is this... on this forum which has a lot of fans of the OSR, some call MSH an OSR game...

when in reality it has a TON of mechanics that are purely meta (Hello Karma) that are really integral to the system. It gets a pass. I'm not trying to shit on my own favorite game or anything, I'm using it to illustrate my own general ignorance of what the OSR *really* means other than games not bogged down by shit we don't like.

And by this standard I'm not an OSR guy, I should be, by dint of my age. I started with Holmes then went to AD&D from the first drop and never looked back. Yet, while I'm a huge fan of the content of OSR games, I'm not a big fan of the systems. I don't hate them or anything, but anything going back to Basic-era rules loses me. I'm somewhere in the middle. As a movement in the gaming industry - I have nothing but respect for the OSR folks.


GeekyBugle

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Re: What is the point of Retro-Clones?
« Reply #54 on: June 19, 2021, 12:00:02 PM »
I've been funning MSH (FASERIP) since it dropped, and it's my current weekly even today. And the weird thing is this... on this forum which has a lot of fans of the OSR, some call MSH an OSR game...

when in reality it has a TON of mechanics that are purely meta (Hello Karma) that are really integral to the system. It gets a pass. I'm not trying to shit on my own favorite game or anything, I'm using it to illustrate my own general ignorance of what the OSR *really* means other than games not bogged down by shit we don't like.

And by this standard I'm not an OSR guy, I should be, by dint of my age. I started with Holmes then went to AD&D from the first drop and never looked back. Yet, while I'm a huge fan of the content of OSR games, I'm not a big fan of the systems. I don't hate them or anything, but anything going back to Basic-era rules loses me. I'm somewhere in the middle. As a movement in the gaming industry - I have nothing but respect for the OSR folks.

Well, I have heard (read really) many OSR guys say all games from the 80'ish and back fall into it. So Cepheus Engine (Traveller), Star Frontiers, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay,  Advanced Fighting Fantasy, WEG Star Wars, Gamma World among others. But I have also read many say only certain D&D editions count.

It certainly started with the OGL.
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tenbones

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Re: What is the point of Retro-Clones?
« Reply #55 on: June 19, 2021, 03:57:09 PM »
I've been funning MSH (FASERIP) since it dropped, and it's my current weekly even today. And the weird thing is this... on this forum which has a lot of fans of the OSR, some call MSH an OSR game...

when in reality it has a TON of mechanics that are purely meta (Hello Karma) that are really integral to the system. It gets a pass. I'm not trying to shit on my own favorite game or anything, I'm using it to illustrate my own general ignorance of what the OSR *really* means other than games not bogged down by shit we don't like.

And by this standard I'm not an OSR guy, I should be, by dint of my age. I started with Holmes then went to AD&D from the first drop and never looked back. Yet, while I'm a huge fan of the content of OSR games, I'm not a big fan of the systems. I don't hate them or anything, but anything going back to Basic-era rules loses me. I'm somewhere in the middle. As a movement in the gaming industry - I have nothing but respect for the OSR folks.

Well, I have heard (read really) many OSR guys say all games from the 80'ish and back fall into it. So Cepheus Engine (Traveller), Star Frontiers, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay,  Advanced Fighting Fantasy, WEG Star Wars, Gamma World among others. But I have also read many say only certain D&D editions count.

It certainly started with the OGL.

So here's an honest question I don't see a lot of OSR folks talk about - or maybe it's never been asked? Is the OSR more of an ideological thing than a design-conceit? Because it's *strange* to me to categorically put a stake in the sand based on a date, and then go to war on design concepts that are prevalent beyond that date... when they existed before that date.

This is not to say that people that enjoy those pre-date demarcations are all SJW's. No one in their right mind would call me an SJW but as I've casually watched the OSR movement from the outside, their general definitions of Narrative Games and the transitive properties of Evil inherent to those games cast upon their players, at first in the early days had me going "YEAH!!!! So Evul!" then I looked back at my MSH game and... I had those Black Adder flashbacks.

I'm still not sure how these things quite square. Or are we just saying the proclivity of SJW to play "narrative" systems are what define OSR? Because it suddenly feels weird for me to be an MSH super-fan, and be part of a group I know very little about and don't consider myself a member since my conception of it seems to be quite different from the multiple examples I'm presented with.

To me OSR was pretty much Basic D&D and its Retroclones AND the style in which content for those systems were made. The moment I started hearing the OSR Umbrella started to cover 1e, and 2e, then other game systems from that era... things got weird for me.

« Last Edit: June 19, 2021, 03:59:35 PM by tenbones »

GeekyBugle

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Re: What is the point of Retro-Clones?
« Reply #56 on: June 19, 2021, 04:09:05 PM »
I've been funning MSH (FASERIP) since it dropped, and it's my current weekly even today. And the weird thing is this... on this forum which has a lot of fans of the OSR, some call MSH an OSR game...

when in reality it has a TON of mechanics that are purely meta (Hello Karma) that are really integral to the system. It gets a pass. I'm not trying to shit on my own favorite game or anything, I'm using it to illustrate my own general ignorance of what the OSR *really* means other than games not bogged down by shit we don't like.

And by this standard I'm not an OSR guy, I should be, by dint of my age. I started with Holmes then went to AD&D from the first drop and never looked back. Yet, while I'm a huge fan of the content of OSR games, I'm not a big fan of the systems. I don't hate them or anything, but anything going back to Basic-era rules loses me. I'm somewhere in the middle. As a movement in the gaming industry - I have nothing but respect for the OSR folks.

Well, I have heard (read really) many OSR guys say all games from the 80'ish and back fall into it. So Cepheus Engine (Traveller), Star Frontiers, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay,  Advanced Fighting Fantasy, WEG Star Wars, Gamma World among others. But I have also read many say only certain D&D editions count.

It certainly started with the OGL.

So here's an honest question I don't see a lot of OSR folks talk about - or maybe it's never been asked? Is the OSR more of an ideological thing than a design-conceit? Because it's *strange* to me to categorically put a stake in the sand based on a date, and then go to war on design concepts that are prevalent beyond that date... when they existed before that date.

This is not to say that people that enjoy those pre-date demarcations are all SJW's. No one in their right mind would call me an SJW but as I've casually watched the OSR movement from the outside, their general definitions of Narrative Games and the transitive properties of Evil inherent to those games cast upon their players, at first in the early days had me going "YEAH!!!! So Evul!" then I looked back at my MSH game and... I had those Black Adder flashbacks.

I'm still not sure how these things quite square. Or are we just saying the proclivity of SJW to play "narrative" systems are what define OSR? Because it suddenly feels weird for me to be an MSH super-fan, and be part of a group I know very little about and don't consider myself a member since my conception of it seems to be quite different from the multiple examples I'm presented with.

To me OSR was pretty much Basic D&D and its Retroclones AND the style in which content for those systems were made. The moment I started hearing the OSR Umbrella started to cover 1e, and 2e, then other game systems from that era... things got weird for me.

I'm not the one you should be asking that. But IMHO the OSR isn't defined by oppossition to the SJWs.

An SJW is someone who holds extreme views and wants to destroy you for not agreeing 100% on everything their ever changing ideology says you should believe. So, you can have ppl Like Grim Jim who is a fucking socialist and isn't an SJW.

I've never played MSH so I can't say if it's a narrative game or not.

White Box is regarded by everybody as OSR, and yet it includes ascending AC, one single ST number per class.

All I was saying is that I have seen ppl argue both points. Only "Basic D&D and its Retroclones AND the style in which content for those systems were made" and it also includes "newer" D&D editions and even other games not related.

DCC is also regarded as OSR, and yet it's sooo different from D&D.

So, if someone would want to draw a line in the sand that someone needs a very objective definition that includes DCC among other games.

IMHO it's a useless discusion.
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Ghostmaker

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Re: What is the point of Retro-Clones?
« Reply #57 on: June 19, 2021, 08:42:46 PM »
The problem has never been 'progressive tards make their own games'.

There are a bazillion game systems out there. You don't have to play them.

The problem starts when the wokeists demand you change YOUR game to suit them.

And the proper answer should be, 'No.'

Jam The MF

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Re: What is the point of Retro-Clones?
« Reply #58 on: June 19, 2021, 10:42:19 PM »
I've been funning MSH (FASERIP) since it dropped, and it's my current weekly even today. And the weird thing is this... on this forum which has a lot of fans of the OSR, some call MSH an OSR game...

when in reality it has a TON of mechanics that are purely meta (Hello Karma) that are really integral to the system. It gets a pass. I'm not trying to shit on my own favorite game or anything, I'm using it to illustrate my own general ignorance of what the OSR *really* means other than games not bogged down by shit we don't like.

And by this standard I'm not an OSR guy, I should be, by dint of my age. I started with Holmes then went to AD&D from the first drop and never looked back. Yet, while I'm a huge fan of the content of OSR games, I'm not a big fan of the systems. I don't hate them or anything, but anything going back to Basic-era rules loses me. I'm somewhere in the middle. As a movement in the gaming industry - I have nothing but respect for the OSR folks.

Well, I have heard (read really) many OSR guys say all games from the 80'ish and back fall into it. So Cepheus Engine (Traveller), Star Frontiers, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay,  Advanced Fighting Fantasy, WEG Star Wars, Gamma World among others. But I have also read many say only certain D&D editions count.

It certainly started with the OGL.

So here's an honest question I don't see a lot of OSR folks talk about - or maybe it's never been asked? Is the OSR more of an ideological thing than a design-conceit? Because it's *strange* to me to categorically put a stake in the sand based on a date, and then go to war on design concepts that are prevalent beyond that date... when they existed before that date.

This is not to say that people that enjoy those pre-date demarcations are all SJW's. No one in their right mind would call me an SJW but as I've casually watched the OSR movement from the outside, their general definitions of Narrative Games and the transitive properties of Evil inherent to those games cast upon their players, at first in the early days had me going "YEAH!!!! So Evul!" then I looked back at my MSH game and... I had those Black Adder flashbacks.

I'm still not sure how these things quite square. Or are we just saying the proclivity of SJW to play "narrative" systems are what define OSR? Because it suddenly feels weird for me to be an MSH super-fan, and be part of a group I know very little about and don't consider myself a member since my conception of it seems to be quite different from the multiple examples I'm presented with.

To me OSR was pretty much Basic D&D and its Retroclones AND the style in which content for those systems were made. The moment I started hearing the OSR Umbrella started to cover 1e, and 2e, then other game systems from that era... things got weird for me.

I'm not the one you should be asking that. But IMHO the OSR isn't defined by oppossition to the SJWs.

An SJW is someone who holds extreme views and wants to destroy you for not agreeing 100% on everything their ever changing ideology says you should believe. So, you can have ppl Like Grim Jim who is a fucking socialist and isn't an SJW.

I've never played MSH so I can't say if it's a narrative game or not.

White Box is regarded by everybody as OSR, and yet it includes ascending AC, one single ST number per class.

All I was saying is that I have seen ppl argue both points. Only "Basic D&D and its Retroclones AND the style in which content for those systems were made" and it also includes "newer" D&D editions and even other games not related.

DCC is also regarded as OSR, and yet it's sooo different from D&D.

So, if someone would want to draw a line in the sand that someone needs a very objective definition that includes DCC among other games.

IMHO it's a useless discusion.


The OSR is a many splendored thing.  Near reprints of old games, fun riffing on old games, and wild takes on the general experience found in old games.  The OSR is a big tent.
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Re: What is the point of Retro-Clones?
« Reply #59 on: June 20, 2021, 07:20:18 AM »
So here's an honest question I don't see a lot of OSR folks talk about - or maybe it's never been asked? Is the OSR more of an ideological thing than a design-conceit? Because it's *strange* to me to categorically put a stake in the sand based on a date, and then go to war on design concepts that are prevalent beyond that date... when they existed before that date.

This is not to say that people that enjoy those pre-date demarcations are all SJW's. No one in their right mind would call me an SJW but as I've casually watched the OSR movement from the outside, their general definitions of Narrative Games and the transitive properties of Evil inherent to those games cast upon their players, at first in the early days had me going "YEAH!!!! So Evul!" then I looked back at my MSH game and... I had those Black Adder flashbacks.

I'm still not sure how these things quite square. Or are we just saying the proclivity of SJW to play "narrative" systems are what define OSR? Because it suddenly feels weird for me to be an MSH super-fan, and be part of a group I know very little about and don't consider myself a member since my conception of it seems to be quite different from the multiple examples I'm presented with.

To me OSR was pretty much Basic D&D and its Retroclones AND the style in which content for those systems were made. The moment I started hearing the OSR Umbrella started to cover 1e, and 2e, then other game systems from that era... things got weird for me.

When the OSR came into being, it did not define itself in relation (or, if you prefer, opposition) to Narrative/GNS/Forge games. It defined itself in opposition to new-school D&D, more specifically the WotC editions. It was "there are the new versions of D&D with their set of sensibilities, and here are the other versions, with a different set of sensibilities, that we play". Whatever the OSR "thinks" about narrative games is incidential. If the OSR hates those games, it's merely because the OSR already had a working self-definition, and then it looked at narrative games and saw that they represented something incompatible with that. The OSR did not, however create its self-definition based on what it saw and hated in narrative games.

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