Sunday, November 25, 2012

In which I play OSRIC for 30 years

So. Gearing up for a new campaign. Definitely a 1e thing, but I think I'm going to run OSRIC again.

Partly because I anticipate again having players new to old school D&D and want them to be able to download a free copy of the rules.

Also, the last OSRIC campaign I ran made me realize something.

While many folks write about their early 1e experiences as being a mash-up of B/X & AD&D, this wasn't my experience at all. No one in my gaming group, or any of the groups I knew of, played B/X. Or, even owned the boxed sets. It was 1e all the way.

We played the game pretty much by the book. I've always used segments and casting times. Weapon damage vs. L opponents. MR based on the caster being 11th level.

We didn't use weapon vs. ac or weapon speed. I imagine that probably was due to the influence of elder gamers who had disappeared into the halls of Valhalla, long before I met my initial gaming buddies. Don't really know for sure

When I look back on it, aside from houeruled individual initiative and lifting limits on single-classed demi's, the game I've played for 30 years looks a hell of a lot like OSRIC!


  1. My experience lines up with yours; I started in '81, and by then everyone that I knew who was playing would have considered B/X a big step down. AD&D was where it was at.

    1. Yeah. I'm sure someone must have been playing, or at least buying "D&D" because the stores carried B/X and later Mentzer. But, it wasn't anyone I ever met.

      It wasn't until about 2 years ago that I ever owned a copy of Moldvay or Cook. I'd certainly play, or run B/X nowadays, except for the fact that I still prefer AD&D. Still, it might happen one day.

  2. we played AD&D exclusively after a brief fling with Holmes. Being kids we got the books as various presents and while B/X was out there, we never touched it.

    We did not however use all the rules or even most of them.

    Amusingly though I am a grog from about the same time frame y'all are, my best D&D gaming years were with early 2e, 1989-1990 were very productive and fun. That pretty much stopped after I think the Complete Wizards handbook (or whatever the 3rd splat was) and didn't restart for 7 years.

    I mostly collected GURPS books and gamed only a little.

    Right now is a mini boom though, great players and a healthy mix of games. I need a couple of more guys though.

  3. I am squarely in the 1E/OSRIC camp as well. I can understand why some people would like the streamlined nature of a sort of AEC-type game, but to me the fiddly bits of 1E provide meaningful tactical impacts, and I enjoy them.

    Perhaps if I were learning to play it would be different, but at this stage, it is more work not to think in that mindset than it is to game with it.

    1. Yes. 1e AD&D will always be D&D to me and what I first think of whenever anyone mentions the game.

      I really like Swords & Wizardry. Keep wanting to houserule it to the point of being AD&D. By the time I get around to swapping out the attack charts, I stop my madness and go back to where I really want to go.

      Labyrinth Lord/AEC is a great game. The attack charts are close enough, as well. I just need to houserule in the 1 minute round, segments, multiple attacks for Fighters, Magic Resistance, etc. :)

      It's not that I can't change my mind about those differences. In the final analysis, I just don't want to. Long live AD&D!

  4. My favorite part of OSRIC is the character class/race sections. Everything is right there and you can really level up (or create) a character very quickly here. I don't like the monster layout though and use the MM, FF, and MM2 with my OSRIC book to make a complete game.

  5. I was a Holmes ----> 1e gamer, which means I used all sorts of weirdness, but never B/X - that was the 'kiddie pool' end of the hobby, for no good reason.

  6. I have had a similar experience here recently. We started playing LL AEC because our GM used to run B/X but I never played it as a kid (or even heard of it until recently). We started off with Holmes Basic in 1979 or so and then switched to AD&D for most of the time I played D&D as a kid from the early to mid eighties. LL AEC is cool (its nice and simple) and race as class is pretty cool too, but its not the same thing as AD&D.

    Once WOTC re-released the 1E books and we all bought them, we pretty much switched over to AD&D again by common consensus since everyone has the books again now. While we can (and some do) use OSRIC at times, since we have the original books there is really no need for it unless you download it for free or happened to have bought it already or whatever. Now that we are playing 1E again I couldn't be happier - its the game I know and love and there is no reason to play anything else except for the occasional side adventure.

  7. I was a young kid who was in way over my head. I grew up with both BX & 1E books, and I didn't realize they were different games. I played what could best be described as a dumbed down BX.

    Btw, if I can get in a shameless plug, the OSRIC Player's Guide is now in print -