Sunday, August 26, 2018

OSR Commentary: Beer & B/X Dungeons & Dragons Chatter with B/X Essentials & Dark Dungeons By Gurbintroll Games

"You are way too hung up on your your retroclones!", came the squeaky voice from DM Xvart whom I've known since grade school. He quickly pulled back on the draft of beer as if it was going to get away from him.So last night I was rescauced from a quiet night of dinosaur movies from friends. It was the fellow dungeon master's night that our local group of 5th edition & OSR dungeon masters have every couple of months. "Uh Huh & Fifth edition blows B/X Dungeons & Dragons out of the water for your groups?!" 'Well kinda of but its not like there's a clone that does everything!?'
"Actually there are two such clones was my response, there's the B/X Essentials line from Necrotic Gnome which has everything you need to get started & keep a game running for years."
You can get a no cost version of the B/X Essentials books with no artwork in them for free from the link above through Drivethrurpg. The system is streamlined, very well laid out, & runs like a Swiss Clock. The feel is all there & everything is perfectly timed out with the D&D B/X aesthetic. That's fine & its fantastic at what it does! Personally I'd get print copies of the books & solid resources. Now we're working our way through the second pitcher of beer. Xvart starts in on his usual B/X Dungeons & Dragons rants. Xvart is a sawed off five foot bespectacled little engineer whom I've played with since grammar school. The usual B/X rants about 'race as class', the limits of the system, nostalgia clouding my judgement, in other words the usual beer fueled b.s. I've heard a million times. 'But its not complete', & that's when I knew I had him. But we've played in a long running Mentzer campaign back in the Nineties together. Yes but you know the differences between Dungeons & Dragons Basic  editions plus the difference between Basic, B/X and BECMI 
make all of the nuance.

'You mean that there's already a clone of BECMI collected?' 'Yes there has been one for years running now!'

"This system can support a Dungeons & Dragons game for years to come plus it includes the immortal rules, the planes, & sky ships!" "Its a pay what title on Drivethrurpg." " But there's a print hardback that up on  Lulu right now but wait till the latest coupons come out."

The other DM's shook their collected heads & we got into the ins & outs of our respective campaigns over the pizza that arrived. They'd heard all of this talk before between DM Xvart & myself. We talked about the usual OSR buzz or the lack there of. Bitched about certain D&D themes & fashions. The usual Grognard talk that comes with a Saturday night round table at the local nerd watering holes. For further information on Dark Dungeons go here.
There are ten things I took away from last night's round table;

Ten things I took away from Beer & B/X Dungeons & Dragons Chatter with
B/X Essentials & Dark Dungeons
  1. Dark Dungeons is meant for the experienced players & dungeon masters whist the B/X Essentials is more for the middle ground group of players. Or as an introductory pick up & go game. Sure Essentials can & will sustain a group for years to come but they come in at two different places. 
  2. The time factor - B/X Essentials is a perfect pick up & go style game. Dark Dungeons is perfectly suited for more elaborate dungeon & adventure design. 
  3. Campaign & play styles are going to determine the right game for the right group. 
  4. Dark Dungeons is an all in one package with your mileage varying depending upon the needs of the players. 
  5. The parts is parts approach of B/X Essentials is the retroclone's strength allowing the DM & players to cherry pick elements that they want. 
  6. B/X Essentials is the perfect Dolmewood system able to effortlessly pick upon the setting with built in adventure elements 
  7. Tastes in Dungeons & Dragons vary with the players & this is a key factor for choosing the right retroclone for them & you as the DM. 
  8. 'The play is the thing' there's going to be a very high point with players. 
  9. OSR retroclones offer a safe & solid alternative to the costly collector's market. They can & will bring players to the table. 
  10. Dark Dungeons has everything you need to run adventures for years to come. The design is well done & provides everything both the players & the DM needs. 
Hang overs suck folks & so for now keep em rolling! 

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