Tuesday, June 5, 2018

For a Love Of Goblinoid Games Labyrinth Lord An OSR Commentary

So if you were online then you know about the shake up over at the Labyrinth Lord. G+ community. There's new blood that's been infused into the back court of the game & perhaps on a positive side we'll see more action on the Labyrinth Lord front. 
With Antonio Bravo now taking over the reigns we'll probably see more new life blood pumped into the OSR beast that is Labyrinth Lord.

Way back at the beginning of my time lurking on the fringes of the OSR about '07 or so I stumbled upon Labyrinth Lord.  Literally back then I thought I had died & gone to Heaven, the dark days of the fourth edition were almost but not quite behind me. Labyrinth Lord gave me reasons to dust off & use some of my classic TSR modules & adventures Daniel Proctor & Goblinoid Games give me a B/X Dungeons & Dragons retroclone. "LL is based on the 1981 D&D Basic Set edited by Tom Moldvay, and its accompanying Expert Set by David "Zeb" Cook."

"Any adventure written to be played with classic D&D can be run using LL with little or no adjustment. However, there are a few differences between the two games. It extends the rules so characters can advance to 20th level (the 1981 Expert set only included levels up to 14). In addition, the cleric class in LL can cast spells at first level, unlike in the 1981 rules."
I joined up with the Labyrinth Lord Society online & mostly lurked, kept to myself whist getting back into the back bone online of the OSR, Dragon Foot, Dungeons & Dragons table top gaming, & watching the rest of the table top hobby pass me by.

With fifth edition & the OSR having seemingly moved on from the world that LL was born into is Labyrinth Lord still a viable retroclone system?  Yes I think so, there are some exceptional Labyrinth Lord resources out in the market not to mention Mutant Future. 

Additions like  Realms of Crawling Chaos (Labyrinth Lord) & tons more of OSR material makes this an exceptional platform to run games from.
Then there's great fanzines like Black Pudding which has been going strong for five or six issues now.

J.V. West does an exceptional job with the mag.

While Swords & Wizardry & fifth edition gets all of the press,
Daniel Proctor's baby is still getting lots of shelf & table time at my place. There's lots of exceptional reasons for this:

  1. Labyrinth Lord & the revised book are perfect references for OSR games with tons of the original monsters & more allowed under the OGL 
  2. True B/X Dungeons & Dragons styles of play along with killer OSR campaigns setting such as Slumbering Ursine Dunes   & Red Tide: Campaign Sourcebook and Sandbox Toolkit
  3.  Deadly old school combat & lots of expansions of the core classic Dungeons & Dragons PC classes. 
  4.  Rules not rollings on the paper topping 
  5. There are some of the best monster books on the market such as the
    CC1 Creature Compendium
  6.  Dungeons can be designed to the dungeon master's specifications as they like.
  7. Veterans of the B/X series of dungeons & Dragons are going to transition right over
  8.  TSR classic adventure modules have the option of simply adding to the campaign mix for LL
  9.  Other OSR retroclone platforms can easily adapt to LL and vice versa with little expectations
  10.  LL is still a dangerous clone for PC's & you need to be aware of the level of carnage involved 
  11. Snapping over mythological elements is on par with dungeons & adventures from other games
  12.  OSR campaigns take a certain amount dangerous mystique with retroclones such as Lamentations of the Flame Princess adventures being easily adapted giving even more campaign setting options to the DM
  13.  Adventurer, Conqueror, King uses LL as the basis for everything in that system & really takes the game in a totally different direction with the focus on domain play.

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