Old-School Gaming

I know that a number of MO regulars are or were tabletop role-playing gamers. Is anyone up on or into the recent “retro-clone” movement of old-school gaming like Labyrinth Lord (1981 Moldvay edition clone) or Swords & Wizardry (Original edition clone)?


  1. My gaming group started looking at some of these retro-clones when 4E D&D came out (a lot of people in our group didn’t want to make the switch from 3.5, and some even wanted to go back to AD&Dfor old times sake). I’m pretty familiar with “old” D&D and its quirks (you get more XP for having high ability scores, dwarves and elves are separate classes, etc.), and it is a throwback to a simpler time.

    You do sacrifice many years of combat balancing. For me, fights in old versions of D&D (Basic and its progeny) are tedious and boring (though they happen much faster without individual initiative sequencing). There are parts of old D&D that are more flavorful than new age D&D (I still kinda miss the thief tables instead of a one-size-fits-all Thievery skill check, for instance), but overall, we decided to stick with the relatively new stuff (4E and Pathfinder).

  2. It may not be your cup of tea if you are looking for wizards and such, but Advanced Squad Leader, the old Avalon Hill WWII tactical level game (now Habro-MMP) is alive and well.

  3. Dave: I’ve been into “wizards and such” a bit more lately, but I admit that my “old-school gaming” bug extends beyond fantasy RPGs. In fact, my son and I have been playing a little PanzerBlitz recently.

    Of all, things, I’ve never played ASL. I’ve always sort of wanted to, and used to look the box over in the hobby store.

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