OSR Interested in dipping my toe into OSR but don’t know where to start. Any recommendations?

Retreater

Legend
The race as class doesnt really bother me at all unless you are limited by stat rolls to play one. I figure old school play is quirky like that and dont expect race and class complexity to be the standard. YMMV.
What I dislike about it is the assumption about the cultures of non-humans. Like ... if you visit a dwarven citadel, there aren't dwarf clerics? Or if there are, why couldn't they adventure?
I realize DM fiat can change the rules on NPCs, but it seems an odd rule, coming from my background in AD&D. It's not as strange in a game like HeroQuest where the world outside the dungeon doesn't matter. But now that we have options for other styles of RPG play, why not use those?
 

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payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
What I dislike about it is the assumption about the cultures of non-humans. Like ... if you visit a dwarven citadel, there aren't dwarf clerics? Or if there are, why couldn't they adventure?
I realize DM fiat can change the rules on NPCs, but it seems an odd rule, coming from my background in AD&D. It's not as strange in a game like HeroQuest where the world outside the dungeon doesn't matter. But now that we have options for other styles of RPG play, why not use those?
I guess its a matter of perspective. If I want a cultural setting that is nuanced, I'll play a modern RPG. If I just want a simple black and white game world to run skill play, I dont need that level of detail. I get that some people want both in old school play, but for me that is crossing the streams. YMMV.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
The race as class doesnt really bother me at all unless you are limited by stat rolls to play one. I figure old school play is quirky like that and dont expect race and class complexity to be the standard. YMMV.
It makes sense to me for that to have been one of the first design approaches. But it also feels inevitable that someone would say “what if I want to play an elf who’s a thief?” or whatever. And for me, race as class is just not one of the features of old-school D&D that interests me. There’s a lot that I find intriguing about old-school, most especially the different style of play from what has come to be the standard. But there are also things that I don’t think need to be there to produce that kind of experience, and I think race as class is one of them.
 

Yora

Legend
Dwarves, elves, and halflings as a class really only make some amount of sense in the context of an introductory beginners game. It's easier to get new people actually playing quickly.
When BECMI became its own game line, continuing with that really did get weird.

But I think the race as class is actually really neat for making custom playable monsters.
 

Voadam

Legend
The race as class doesnt really bother me at all unless you are limited by stat rolls to play one. I figure old school play is quirky like that and dont expect race and class complexity to be the standard. YMMV.
In B/X only demihumans have stat requirements, and those are only 9s. 9 con for dwarves, 9 int for elves, and 9 dex and con for halflings.

So you will never be forced to play a demihuman because of your stats, though you might be forced to play a human if you have an 8 or less in con, dex, and int.

A 3 int wizard by the rules is feasible, they just won't get the 10% bonus xp for having a 13+ int.
 

payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
In B/X only demihumans have stat requirements, and those are only 9s. 9 con for dwarves, 9 int for elves, and 9 dex and con for halflings.

So you will never be forced to play a demihuman because of your stats, though you might be forced to play a human if you have an 8 or less in con, dex, and int.

A 3 int wizard by the rules is feasible, they just won't get the 10% bonus xp for having a 13+ int.
Yeah thats exactly the stuff im talking about. I dont want stat limitations. If it makes things seem more balanced I would even be fine if human became a class. Not far off from HeroQuest.
 


payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
It makes sense to me for that to have been one of the first design approaches. But it also feels inevitable that someone would say “what if I want to play an elf who’s a thief?” or whatever. And for me, race as class is just not one of the features of old-school D&D that interests me. There’s a lot that I find intriguing about old-school, most especially the different style of play from what has come to be the standard. But there are also things that I don’t think need to be there to produce that kind of experience, and I think race as class is one of them.
That makes sense. I wouldnt write off games completely because of it. DCC is a blast to play. I dont think it promotes long term campaign style that modern D&D does though. So, if its important for you to have that long term campaign style play, it makes a lot of sense to care about being an elf thief option.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
What I dislike about it is the assumption about the cultures of non-humans. Like ... if you visit a dwarven citadel, there aren't dwarf clerics? Or if there are, why couldn't they adventure?
I realize DM fiat can change the rules on NPCs, but it seems an odd rule, coming from my background in AD&D. It's not as strange in a game like HeroQuest where the world outside the dungeon doesn't matter. But now that we have options for other styles of RPG play, why not use those?
I assume it stemmed from the intended milieu. The assumed setting was one focused primarily on humans, living in human lands, interacting with other humans. Most people would never meet a demihuman, but maybe you’d have a cousin who swears he saw an elf in the woods once, or a grandpa who everyone loves to hear tell the story of the time a company of dwarves passed through the village when he was a young boy. In that context, the demihumans a PC is likely to encounter are disproportionately likely to be adventurers, and there’s not a whole lot of need to model much variety in their culture.

Of course, naturally this isn’t going to be the sort of milieu every group wants to play in (and with the benefit of hindsight we can see that more cosmopolitan milieus tend to be more popular), so it seems only natural that demand for a race/class divide would emerge before long.
 

Voadam

Legend
Demihumans in pre-2nd Edition D&D always stuck me as a passive agressive way of saying "we give you this option because you're whining, but you're stupid for taking it and really should play human".
If you are doing one shot low level D&D or a low level campaign then they are fairly fantastic from a power perspective. An elven fighter magic-user or a BX elf is pretty much mechanically superior in every way to a level 1 magic user for a one shot adventure.

If you are doing a high level one shot game or a game that expects to get to high levels beyond the level caps they become poor choices in a power sense. a 4th or 6th level cap puts you really far behind the expected power curve in a 15th level module with your fellow PCs at 15th level and monsters tuned for that level of challenge and threat.
 

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