Author Topic: The joy of the retroclone  (Read 2441 times)

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Offline smug

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The joy of the retroclone
« on: November 10, 2011, 12:33:58 PM »
There are some really good retroclones out, to the point where I'm not really interested in buying any of the new games at present (other than Dresden Files RPG last year, not because of FATE being my favourite thing, but because it's Dresden Files. In an RPG!).

What retroclones have you got/read/played?

I've got:

OSRIC (1e D&D)
Dark Dungeons (BECMI/RC D&D)

in bizarrely cheap hardcopy from lulu and both are awesomesauce. I prefer them to the rulebooks of the editions they are cloning, particularly OSRIC. They're both free as pdfs or apparently at-cost from lulu.

There's also a 2e retroclone from here, but I never played 2e myself so haven't bothered.

I do play Pathfinder, but I guess that doesn't count as a retroclone.

I also play Castles and Crusades, which isn't a retroclone (although it plays like 1e, only in my opinion better); it's pretty cheap (particularly the basic rules and the standard monster book) and they (Troll Lord Games) deliver very fast. The supporting modules are decent, too.

Now, non-D&D retroclones are harder, because of the lack of the SRD to take all the familiar names from. However, there are two (both from abandoned licensed systems):

4C, which is a retroclone of TSR's old Marvel SuperHeroes. However, interest in that seemed to die given that classicmarvelforever has been offering scans of the original MSH game for years and apparently no one's complained. 4C is available at rpgnow as a free download.

Doublezero is a retroclone of the Victory Games 007 RPG. Can be found via wayback machine here.

I can't think of many retroclones of currently available games (GORE, from Goblinoid Games via rpgnow, is a CoC retroclone, I believe, however; much of the Lovecraft mythos is in public domain, but I assume you're also getting Runequest/BRP at the same time, as they're basically the same system, but without any Glorantha), so I assume none would appear for Rolemaster while it's still alive. I would think that it's a huge hassle to find new names and presentation for everything, anyhow, without an SRD, although a fair amount of RM is algorithmic/rules (so not copyrightable, we are told, although I'd be scared of the possible outcomes anyhow if it were me). The fact that some Retroclones seem to die off, anyhow, rather suggests that it's a hell of a lot of work.

What retroclones do you play? What would you like to see?

Offline vroomfogle

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Re: The joy of the retroclone
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2011, 01:33:39 PM »
Why doesn't C&C classify as a Retroclone?   I assume a retroclone tries to be exactly like the old system, where C&C captures the feel, but changed the mechanics?

That's the one we've been playing recently.   I wanted to play through a bunch of old classic D&D modules, but didn't want to use D&D.   Castles & Crusades has fit the bill rather nicely.   So far we've done The Lost City, Castle Amber, Master of the Desert Nomands and up next...The Temple of Death.

We've been enjoying the old school gaming, but don't see a need to try out a bunch of other systems when C&C works great for what we need.

Offline smug

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Re: The joy of the retroclone
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2011, 01:44:28 PM »
Why doesn't C&C classify as a Retroclone?   I assume a retroclone tries to be exactly like the old system, where C&C captures the feel, but changed the mechanics?

Yeah, I think that's it. Some people do call C&C a retroclone, but for me it has too many differences, particularly the (cool) SIEGE Engine.

Quote
That's the one we've been playing recently.   I wanted to play through a bunch of old classic D&D modules, but didn't want to use D&D.   Castles & Crusades has fit the bill rather nicely.   So far we've done The Lost City, Castle Amber, Master of the Desert Nomands and up next...The Temple of Death.

We've been enjoying the old school gaming, but don't see a need to try out a bunch of other systems when C&C works great for what we need.

The main reason I might use OSRIC is that the rules are free to all the players via the .pdf. I think that C&C is OGL and there was a move that fans would make an SRD for it, but TLG weren't so keen and it died out. I could be wrong, though.

Using 1e modules with C&C seems pretty easy, in any case, however. There's a new book on the horizon, too, containing, FF and MM2 creatures. There was a kickstarter call and it got funded really quickly (they were only after four grand for it).

Offline Witchking20k

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Re: The joy of the retroclone
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2011, 05:17:01 AM »
Tombs & Terrors is pretty cool.
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Offline arcadayn

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Re: The joy of the retroclone
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2011, 12:10:45 AM »
I like Labyrinth Lord with the Advanced Edition Companion.
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Offline frnchqrtr

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Re: The joy of the retroclone
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2011, 09:27:52 PM »
in bizarrely cheap hardcopy from lulu and both are awesomesauce. I prefer them to the rulebooks of the editions they are cloning, particularly OSRIC. They're both free as pdfs or apparently at-cost from lulu.

There's also a higher-quality OSRIC hardback available from Black Blade Publishing.  It's more than the Lulu version, but at $26. it's still less than most full games.  OSRIC is a fully contained game, in that, it's got the rules, spells and monsters all in one book.  And, forever and ever (as far as I know) the pdf will be free.
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