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OSR OSR Gripes

Or, the also not-uncommon "start at 3rd level".
Yeah, I've encountered that with one group as well.

Note that "a half-dozen people before you suggested X" does not actually mean that those half-dozen are representative. Using posts here for that is like using self-selected poll data - it does not represent what portion of people actually feel that way, as much as how strongly this small number of people feel about the point.
For the purposes of my claim, I don't require a representative sample, since the claim I'm refuting - "Any DM (OSR or not) can see the logic in that request" - is refuted by showing at least one OSR DM that doesn't see the logic of that request.
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
So while your answer makes some sense, I don't think it's grounded in reality.
Well, or the alternative wasn't. More likely, it was another thing that varied a lot.
Further, if your answer does make sense, then it becomes a table rule of some sort the simplest and least time wasting version of which will be something like "max hit points at first level".
I recall Max 1st HD (because Rangers) being a very common variant.

One group even figured that, at 0 level, everyone, even mere peasants, got 1-6 hps, so your first level HD should add to those.

Or, the also not-uncommon "start at 3rd level".
The version of that I encountered was the "brevet" - start at 2nd, but 0 exp...
 
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Well, or the alternative wasn't. More likely, it was another thing that varied a lot.
The one true statement you can make about old school play is, "It varied a lot."

One group even figured that, at 0 level, everyone, even mere peasants, got 1-6 hps, so your first level HD should add to those.
Now that's one I haven't encountered before, but that's a very advanced concept we really wouldn't see in an official capacity till like 4e. It does solve a potential ton of problems, but I suspect that I would have hated it on first sight back in the day by pure reflex - "A 10 h.p. 1st level M-U, inconceivable?!?!"
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
For the purposes of my claim, I don't require a representative sample, since the claim I'm refuting - "Any DM (OSR or not) can see the logic in that request" - is refuted by showing at least one OSR DM that doesn't see the logic of that request.
Yeah, but I think you're treating the discussion as if folks are choosing their wordign along strict logical lines, when that behavior is not terribly common.

"Any DM (OSR or not)..." may not be strictly true. Though, it may be - they may *see* the logic, but reject it. But whatever the case, in spending your time refuting the strict statement, you miss the actual point that perhaps lots and lots of DMs *will* see the logic, which is probably still a major point for the discussion.

Don't allow strict adherence to logic get in the way of understanding the practicalities.
 

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
I was more than half expecting I'd made some dumb math or table lookup error. ::shrug::

CR: 1/2.

.
Which makes the 5e orc twice as powerful compared to a level 1 5e PC than a 1e orc is to a 1e PC. As I said, apples to oranges.

But what's the point. You're arguing that AD&D rest and recovery is comparable to 5e's, and that's just laughable. Not sure why you continue to argue that because everyone knows that's not true or even remotely close. I suspect you know it's not true. I suspect you knew it was not true even before I did the math for you to show just how different the two editions are. So shine on, I'm not going to continue to argue with someone who doesn't seem to be arguing honestly.
 

DMZ2112

Chaotic Looseleaf
I started a BECMI game for my D&D5 group at the beginning of 2018, with the intention of running the Basic canon as a palate cleanser. I started with the Great Escape scenario from Castle Caldwell and Beyond as a funnel, with everyone running three unequipped 1st-level characters generated in the traditional way (3d6 in order). I ran as by-the-book as I could, although the stilted wargame initiative system was a very early casualty. No one ended up with the character they wanted. We got through two incredibly tense and lethal adventures before the resounding response from the group was, "This was fun; we can stop now." No one made 2nd level.

The relevant takeaway, though, is that everyone in the group recalls those months fondly, and still frequently express gratitude for what the campaign taught them about roleplaying and how it has impacted their D&D5 play since. It was a worthwhile experience, and I recommend it to any group that wasn't playing in the '80s. You don't have to do it for long for it to teach you valuable lessons that have become less pronounced in contemporary D&D.
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
Now that's one I haven't encountered before, but that's a very advanced concept we really wouldn't see in an official capacity till like 4e. It does solve a potential ton of problems, but I suspect that I would have hated it on first sight back in the day by pure reflex - "A 10 h.p. 1st level M-U, inconceivable?!?!"
The logic seemed irrefutable to my 15yo self. ;) "So, hey, Tony, it says here that peasants have 1-6 hps and or '0th' level." "Well, yeah, they're not as good as characters with classes, they don't have levels, but they do have some hps." "Right, but before you have a class you don't have a class, right?" "I guess." "So my magic-user, before he became a magic user, he had 1-6 hps." "That follows, sure." "But, if he rolled a '6,' why would his hit points go /down/ for going from 0 to 1st level?" "Oh, I hadn't thought of that." "Yeah, see, so 6 hps + max d4 = 10!"


".... wait, wasn't that '6' hypothetical...?" ;)
 
The logic seemed irrefutable to my 15yo self. ;) "So, hey, Tony, it says here that peasants have 1-6 hps and or '0th' level."...
I see where that comes from, but by my logic (at the time and since) is a 1st level M-U had never been before a 0th level peasant but had in fact been before a 0th level apprentice M-U. And before that they had been a child, and children did not have 6 h.p. Furthermore, it was never clear to me that 0th level peasants actually rolled hit points, but rather those hit points represented a range of being 'buff' based on the peasants age and profession and so were either assigned (in the case of profession first) or implied profession (in the case of hit points first). Thus, a 0th level peasant child never had 6 hit points in the first place as having 6 h.p. would have proved this peasant wasn't a child, but rather a middle aged blacksmith or stevedore.

Still, in retrospect with me being a little open minded, it's a very reasonable solution to the problem of 1st level play and if it can be justified so much the better.

I actually do something similar in my house rules with a slightly different justification: you get bonus hit points based on your size class.
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
Which makes the 5e orc twice as powerful compared to a level 1 5e PC than a 1e orc is to a 1e PC. As I said, apples to oranges.
There was no CR in 1e. You could totally face orcs (or heck, gnolls, zombies, an ogre, etc) at 1st level. ('Face' not necessarily to be taken literally.) Part of the appeal, I should think. (Of course, CR /guidelines/ don't prevent you from facing an Ogre - or disinterested dragon - at first level, they just wave a red flag at the idea.)

So it's an Orcs to Orcs comparison. Orcs just have bigger hp/damage numbers in 5e, like most every monster, just like 5e PCs have more healing to patch themselves up after fighting 'em.

But, hey, whatever, Kobolds (CR 1/8 lowly enough for you?):
1e: 1/2 HD, 1-4 hps, AC 7, hit the frontliner on 18 for 1-4(2.5) damage (0.375 DPR, no crits, officially)
5e: 5hps, AC 12 (yeesh), +4 to hit, so tag the frontliner on a 14, for 4(1d4+2) damage (1.4 DPR, 1.6 including crits).


But what's the point. You're arguing that AD&D rest and recovery is comparable to 5e's, and that's just laughable.
I get that it /seems/ that way, when you look at overnight recovery vs 1hp/day + CON mod/week or whatever you used back in the day. But that's not a meaningful comparison, because the latter just didn't happen if you had any renewable daily healing resources. Instead, you healed using those. The difference on that end is thus largely bookkeeping. In 5e, you just recharge everything in 32-48 hrs (depending on exactly how you rule the 24 hr hard limit, getting back all your HD adds at least 24 hrs). A low level party in 1e could go through a number of re-memorization cycles in that time, and also be at full hps with all their spells ready. It's just not a major difference in the way the system dictates pacing to the campaign.

And, the 'solution,' if you do want to go even slower - as if you were running an apocryphal/non-viable healing-less party that needed a week+ of rest - is not to re-write tons of rules, it's a simple variant that changes the length of short & long rests.
 
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lowkey13

Exterminate all rational thought
I get that it /seems/ that way, when you look at overnight recovery vs 1hp/day + CON mod/week or whatever you used back in the day. But that's not a meaningful comparison, because the latter just didn't happen if you had any renewable daily healing resources. Instead, you healed using those. The difference on that end is thus largely bookkeeping. In 5e, you just recharge everything in 32-48 hrs (depending on exactly how you rule the 24 hr hard limit, getting back all your HD adds at least 24 hrs). A low level party in 1e could go through a number of re-memorization cycles in that time, and also be at full hps with all their spells ready. It's just not a major difference in the way the system dictates pacing to the campaign.

And, the 'solution,' if you do want to go even slower - as if you were running an apocryphal/non-viable healing-less party that needed a week+ of rest - is not to re-write tons of rules, it's a simple variant that changes the length of short & long rests.
No. And it doesn't just seem that way, it is that way.

Once you move past the difficulty of generalizing about B/X and AD&D, you are still left with the fairly mundane observation that:

1. Hit points are more scarce; and

2. Healing is more scarce; and

3. Death, including perma-death is more likely. (No whack-a-mole, more ways to die other than hit points, system shock, etc.)

Now, while various arguments can be made about house rules, etc. it helps to examine each of these.

1. Hit points are more scarce. 5e uses the "big bag of hit points model" for both monsters AND PCs; this means that, for any given level, a PC will have more hit points in 5e. We see this in numerous ways-

a. The actual hit points. Whether it's through increasing the hd (d4 > d6 for MUs, for example), or the constantly increasing retroactive bonus you get for increasing your CON score with ASIs, or the fact that 1e tops at hit points early at name level, while HPs continue in 5e through 20th level, it's a plethora of hit points. Bib bags of (abstracted) meat.

b. There are numerous effects, abilities, and items that allow players to have various temporary hit points, or "shields" of hit points in 5e, further increasing the number of hit points. In addition ...

c. There are numerous ways in 5e for players to take half-damage; this is something that you didn't really do in 1e, which further underscores the actuarial nature of the hit point model being used.


2. This is what prompted me to write; it simply is not the case that I would think anyone would credibly compare (base) OSR to (base) 5e when it came to healing; in fact, I have a strong memory that one complaint you had about OSR is the requirement of a "healbot" (Cleric) in the party. But let's look at all the ways you could typically heal in older editions:

a. Spells. Great! But .... MUs and Illusionists didn't have healing spells. The main healing spells were Cure Light Wounds (1-8hp), Cure Serious Wounds (3-17), Cure Critical Wounds (6-27), and Heal (everything but 1-4 hp). But here's the levels!
Cleric: Light (1), Serious (4), Critical (5), Heal (6)
Druid: Light (2), Serious (4), Critical (6) (NO HEAL)

Note, however, that a Cleric might not have selected them- for example, remembering Cure Critical for the day meant no Raise Dead. '

So, let's take the standard seventh level (!!!!) Cleric with a party. By that time, using the standard tables, they would have the ability to Cure, per day, 3 x (1d8) + (3-17). Not bad! At 7th level. And there was likely no other healing available (yes, the Paladin could lay on hands, if you had one, but didn't get spells until 9th level, etc.).

So clerics were necessary, but they didn't give that much healing- it was necessary because there wasn't much natural healing, but it wasn't that much.

b. Rest. Healing restores 1hp per day, after 30 days, 5hp per day. PHB 105. ...OR
1hp per day, constitution modifiers after a week, full hit points after 28 days. DMG 82.

c. Magic Items. Yes, there were come, and they were valuable! But unlike later editions, there was no presumption that you could just buy a potion of healing or a wand or whatever to heal you up.

In short, the issues of healing and adventuring were one of the biggest constraints in the game.


3. Death- while the vagueness of the death rules (also DMG 82) were notorious (-10? not -10?, -3?) and house rules on this issue common (do you follow system shock? lose con? roll percentages?) I don't know of any houserules that were as easy and lax as the whack-a-mole abilities of 5e PCs where you can have PCs drop in combats and keep going.

And that's before the shift from save or die to save or suck.


TLDR; I don't agree, and I'm not sure what the purpose of the comparisons you are making are? Yes, at low levels (say, level 1 and 2) combat in 5e can still be a little swingy, especially with monster crits, but the differences between the two systems are so vast that saying that 5e is a little swingy at first level therefore it is similar to 1e doesn't seem quite right.
 

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
I know I shouldn't reply again and against my better judgement, but now you're just flat out lying. I find it even more disingenuous because what your'e lying about was already address upthread, so I have to assume you're either not reading anything I'm writing, or you're intentionally lying.

So it's an Orcs to Orcs comparison. Orcs just have bigger hp/damage numbers in 5e, like most every monster, just like 5e PCs have more healing to patch themselves up after fighting 'em.
No it's not an orcs to orcs comparison. Once again you're totally ignoring how level 1 PCs in AD&D routinely faced orcs in combat on a roughly 1 to 1 basis. An orc was the equivalent to a level 1 PC. In 5e, the design team decided to improve the orcs, making them the equivalent to a 2nd level PC. In AD&D modules, orcs were were a routine opponent of level 1 PCs. In 5e adventures, they almost never are. I can't think of one example where level 1 PCs in a 5e published adventure are meant to fight an equal # of orcs. Comparing them as if they were equal is simply a dishonest comparison.

I get that it /seems/ that way, when you look at overnight recovery vs 1hp/day + CON mod/week or whatever you used back in the day. But that's not a meaningful comparison, because the latter just didn't happen if you had any renewable daily healing resources. Instead, you healed using those. The difference on that end is thus largely bookkeeping. In 5e, you just recharge everything in 32-48 hrs (depending on exactly how you rule the 24 hr hard limit, getting back all your HD adds at least 24 hrs). A low level party in 1e could go through a number of re-memorization cycles in that time, and also be at full hps with all their spells ready. It's just not a major difference in the way the system dictates pacing to the campaign.
.
This is a flat out lie, as has already been pointed out to you before you even made this claim. Look at my posts above. In 5e you recover everything after one long rest (8 hours). Not 32-48 hours. Not only do you recover everything, you also get a whole bucket load of healing available before said long rest (and I didn't even factor in class recover abilities or healing kits that don't exist in AD&D). In that example I used above of a typical 5th level party, it takes the AD&D party 7 days to has as much healing available as the 5e party has in 8 hours, with the cleric spamming healing/rememorize/cast. That is a major difference. The entire campaign changes dramatically in that time frame. That's just on a macro level. ON a micro level it's even more of major difference, because in AD&D you can run out of those 5 cure light wounds spells in one battle and still have to either continue on due to need, fight your way out, or otherwise find a place where you can spend anther day to get 5 more spells. Contrast to 5e, and in the adventuring day, you have all slots available to cure spells (many are empowered at higher level), as well as all of those hit die recoveries. And when you do find a place to spend a day, you get back everything. Not just 5 cure light wounds spells.
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
TLDR; Yes, at low levels (say, level 1 and 2) combat in 5e can still be a little swingy, especially with monster crits, but the differences between the two systems are so vast that saying that 5e is a little swingy at first level therefore it is similar to 1e doesn't seem quite right.
And, at high level, in 5e, they get a lot safer, which is /also/ similar to 1e, as you accumulate hps and get better saves and more protective items and more spells to negate/reverse bad things happening to you.

While the details of the systems are quite different - 5e has bigger hp/damage/healing numbers, 1e has much more significant scaling on d20 targets (which it used moreso than bonuses, though those were to be expected) - the cadence, the 'dynamics of play,' and the 0-to-hero story arc (and thus feel) they provide are quite similar.

It's actually a little hard to suss out /why/ they feel so similar... I just noticed that they did, in how it felt to run them, so I spare it a little thought now and then.



(I guess I'm off topic, because I'm not really griping about OSR, more just boosting 5e as a sort of OSR game in its own right.)
 
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lowkey13

Exterminate all rational thought
And, at high level, in 5e, they get a lot safer, which is /also/ similar to 1e, as you accumulate hps and get better saves and more protective items and more spells to negate/reverse bad things happening to you.

While the details of the systems are quite different - 5e has bigger hp/damage/healing numbers, 1e has much more significant scaling on d20 targets (which it used moreso than bonuses, though those were to be expected) - the cadence, the 'dynamics of play,' and the 0-to-hero story arc (and thus feel) they provide are quite similar.

It's actually a little hard to suss out /why/ they feel so similar... I just noticed that they did, in how it felt to run them, so I spare it a little thought now and then.
Yes, but no. I think it depends on your frame of reference?

It feels more similar than, perhaps, 3e or 4e.

But if you make the jump from OSR to 5e, the differences are stark.

The magic alone, not to mention the whack-a-mole combat, is incredibly noticeable. And there is a huge difference between "Zero to Kinda Hero" and "Hero to Hero-er" which is closer to the distinction.

Again, to the extent that they share common DNA (leveling, for example, and the system of carrots in terms of abilities and items for playing longer) they will have many similarities.

Maybe a more interesting question is what OSR and 5e share that, say, 3e and 4e don't, but I don't want to veer into disreputable territory that will bring out the trolls.
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
Yes, but no. I think it depends on your frame of reference?

It feels more similar than, perhaps, 3e or 4e.
Definitely. I played 3e & 4e each for their full runs. 5e was like coming back to AD&D, in contrast. If I'd never left, it'd seem radically different, because I'd be noticing all the little (and huge) technical differences, rather than the broader similarities, the ways in which the game had changed, rather than ways it changed back.

Maybe a more interesting question is what OSR and 5e share that, say, 3e and 4e don't
/The/ major thing, IMHO, is the privilege of the DM relative to the other players. 3e works so well for PvP, because PCs, monsters, & NPCs all follow the same creation rules. By the same token the DM can engage the players on a more equal footing, following the RaW rather than interpreting it, sticking to a set of CR/EL guidelines to keep it 'fair,' and 'play to win.' 4e was easier on the DM to run because it off-loaded responsibility, the rules ran well (arguably best) with complete transparency, it didn't matter - might've helped - if the players could look right at the monster's stat block, for instance.

In the classic game, the DM /needed/ to make a lot of rulings, pick or author variants, keep a lot of info behind the screen, and so forth, it was just the way those eds had turned out, in part because they grew out of wargames, in part because they were being developed in uncharted territory. In 3e RaW & 4e Balance, not s'much, so players were more accustomed to questioning the DM, and less accustomed to depending on DM judgement. 5e - by design rather than by wargame-hobby habbit or early-game-development accident - put the DM back in the driver's seat, and made the players /need/ the DM, and need to trust his judgement, for the game to run properly. In so doing, it brought back the feel of the classic game.
 

lowkey13

Exterminate all rational thought
Definitely. I played 3e & 4e each for their full runs. 5e was like coming back to AD&D, in contrast. If I'd never left, it'd seem radically different, because I'd be noticing all the little (and huge) technical differences, rather than the broader similarities, the ways in which the game had changed, rather than ways it changed back.
So, as someone who went from 1e to 5e, I can tell you that there are more than just technical differences! The similarities (such as classes, races, ability scores, etc.) mask a deeper structural difference which becomes more obvious (to me at least) over time.

I posted this in the other thread, but the prevalence of magic, alone, is such a huge factor, and the difference between innate abilities and magic items creates a massive difference in play and expectations.

/The/ major thing, IMHO, is the privilege of the DM relative to the other players. 3e works so well for PvP, because PCs, monsters, & NPCs all follow the same creation rules. By the same token the DM can engage the players on a more equal footing, following the RaW rather than interpreting it, sticking to a set of CR/EL guidelines to keep it 'fair,' and 'play to win.' 4e was easier on the DM to run because it off-loaded responsibility, the rules ran well (arguably best) with complete transparency, it didn't matter - might've helped - if the players could look right at the monster's stat block, for instance.

In the classic game, the DM /needed/ to make a lot of rulings, pick or author variants, keep a lot of info behind the screen, and so forth, it was just the way those eds had turned out, in part because they grew out of wargames, in part because they were being developed in uncharted territory. In 3e RaW & 4e Balance, not s'much, so players were more accustomed to questioning the DM, and less accustomed to depending on DM judgement. 5e - by design rather than by wargame-hobby habbit or early-game-development accident - put the DM back in the driver's seat, and made the players /need/ the DM, and need to trust his judgement, for the game to run properly. In so doing, it brought back the feel of the classic game.
Mmm.... maybe? I'm not sure I'd use the phrase privilege, "privilege of the DM" because that might carry some baggage today, but I do understand your point.

To my mind, this gets into a lot of other issues, specifically the primacy of RAW (ugh!) and DIY (yay!) and divergent play styles and player trust etc.

I would say that 5e allows you to emulate certain aspects of OSR, while having more modern underpinnings.
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
So, as someone who went from 1e to 5e, I can tell you that there are more than just technical differences! The similarities (such as classes, races, ability scores, etc.) mask a deeper structural difference which becomes more obvious (to me at least) over time.
Ok...

I posted this in the other thread, but the prevalence of magic, alone, is such a huge factor, and the difference between innate abilities and magic items creates a massive difference in play and expectations.
Magic has always been /so/ pervasive in D&D. It's an infinitely-renewable, daily (or 4hr-nap) resource. You kill a few monsters, one of them'll eventually drop a magic item. There's /fewer/ items, in theory, in 5e, and not really a lot more spells/day (and fewer spells overall)…

… and then there's cantrips, which seem to freak people out, but if you've played with Warlocks and at-wills for a decade, you've gotten used to the idea of at-will magic that just isn't that impactful, not, well, making much of an impact.

Mmm.... maybe? I'm not sure I'd use the phrase privilege, "privilege of the DM" because that might carry some baggage today, but I do understand your point.
Empowerment, responsibility, force, illusionism, POWER! Mwuahahahahahah! Take your pick. ;)

They're all often used for good, and often made to sound bad.

To my mind, this gets into a lot of other issues, specifically the primacy of RAW (ugh!) and DIY (yay!) and divergent play styles and player trust etc.

I would say that 5e allows you to emulate certain aspects of OSR, while having more modern underpinnings.
Not entirely unfair. I feel like 5e just natural falls into the groove of /feeling/ like a return to the classic game (from the WotC era, as you rightly point out), prettymuch without trying (but then, that's with me, an old-timer, running).
And, yeah, I suppose that classic-game feel is just /an/ aspect of OSR.

(Though, if I'm being honest - and, apparently, I'm not ;) - I'm not so sure I grok what those other aspects are, at least, what they are that I can't as (or more) easily recapture by just actually playing 1e, itself. I guess OSR falls between the two? A little bit /less/ exactly 1e than 1e, a good deal more exactly 1e than 5e...? ...and, yes, I can only really consider 1e-emulating OSR, having no meaningful experience of B/X (not my c1979 Blue Basic book, it turns out) and little of 0D&D.)
 

lowkey13

Exterminate all rational thought
Ok...

Magic has always been /so/ pervasive in D&D. It's an infinitely-renewable, daily (or 4hr-nap) resource. You kill a few monsters, one of them'll eventually drop a magic item. There's /fewer/ items, in theory, in 5e, and not really a lot more spells/day (and fewer spells overall)…

… and then there's cantrips, which seem to freak people out, but if you've played with Warlocks and at-wills for a decade, you've gotten used to the idea of at-will magic that just isn't that impactful, not, well, making much of an impact.
I'm guessing you have a little Stockholm Syndrome? ;)

Look, OSR is "high magic" in comparison to, say, WFRPG. But the difference between limited Vancian spellcasting, as you had in OSR, and today's spellcasting, is VAST.

And the difference between very few characters having the ability to cast spells, and every .... single ... character ... being able to cast spells (if not as a base class, then as an archetype, or at a minimum, they can take a feat) is also vast.

Yes, OSR had magic items that (roughly) approximated the character class abilities we now have. But just because you've gotten used to them doesn't mean it isn't really noticeable to us frogs that haven't been in the water ...



Not entirely unfair. I feel like 5e just natural falls into the groove of /feeling/ like a return to the classic game (from the WotC era, as you rightly point out), prettymuch without trying (but then, that's with me, an old-timer, running).
And, yeah, I suppose that classic-game feel is just /an/ aspect of OSR.

(Though, if I'm being honest - and, apparently, I'm not ;) - I'm not so sure I grok what those other aspects are, at least, what they are that I can't as (or more) easily recapture by just actually playing 1e, itself. I guess OSR falls between the two? A little bit /less/ exactly 1e than 1e, a good deal more exactly 1e than 5e...? ...and, yes, I can only really consider 1e-emulating OSR, having no meaningful experience of B/X (not my c1979 Blue Basic book, it turns out) and little of 0D&D.)
I tend to use "OSR" as generic term for OD&D, B/X, and pre-UA 1e, in addition to the retroclones that model those rules. In my opinion, those rulesets are all part of a continuum that is easily distinguishable from "OSR 2.0" (1e post UA, 2e) which has a different feel.

One of the interesting things about 5e, IMO, is that it manages to have just enough of other editions that people always say that it's like their favored edition, if you just do X.

"House rule some grittiness and slow healing, and you get 1e!"

"Give it some magic shoppes and you get 3e!"

"It's really all the 4e mechnics, but with fluff for the grognards!"

Etc.
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
The difference between limited Vancian spellcasting, as you had in OSR, and today's spellcasting, is VAST.
The difference in ease of use is certainly there, that's been the game's direction the whole time, it's one thing the WotC era hasn't deviated from.
Maybe it was just 'pervasive' that threw me.

Because, yeah, neo-Vancian is way more versatile than old-school Vanican, and way less limited in in-combat used. OTOH, the breadths of spells isn't as great, and some of them are, well, 'less broken' in some ways... ;|

And the difference between very few characters having the ability to cast spells, and every .... single ... character ... being able to cast spells (if not as a base class, then as an archetype, or at a minimum, they can take a feat) is also vast.
You could absolutely have a 1e party who could all cast spells. The option to have a non-caster isn't gone, in 5e, either, it's just isolated to a few sub-class choices. So you can still have a population in which casters are just as rare as you like. Doesn't speak to pervasive, in the setting.

Yes, OSR had magic items that (roughly) approximated the character class abilities we now have.
Old-school magic items are a little bit of a difference from 5e. Again, it's one of those things where if you see them /returning/ from their relative absence of the prior decade or so, it's a different impression if you see them getting tweaked from 'what they'd always been' (from '74 or 79 through 1999). One of the stand-outs, for instance, is that items that replace stats, Gauntlets of Ogre Power &c. They were changed to stat boosts in 3e, basically erased in 4e, and, now, boom, they're back. But 18/00 and 19 aren't the same thing, and they're "not assumed" anymore...

...then again, that can be little more than a polite fiction. Ultimately the DM places magic items in all eds, anyway.


I tend to use "OSR" as generic term for OD&D, B/X, and pre-UA 1e, in addition to the retroclones that model those rules. In my opinion, those rulesets are all part of a continuum that is easily distinguishable from "OSR 2.0" (1e post UA, 2e) which has a different feel.
OK that's an interesting take. I thought of OSR as /distinct/ from the games they were cloning or evoking, which was one of the things that always made me wonder about it. Like, I can just dust off the old books... right?

One of the interesting things about 5e, IMO, is that it manages to have just enough of other editions that people always say that it's like their favored edition, if you just do X.
That's certainly one of the things it was going for.

It starts out AD&D-like … OK, 2e-AD&D-ish. Kit's are called Backgrounds, MCing doesn't work right, but you can kinda fake a fighter/magic-user with an EK, and any whatever/Thief with the Criminal background, and how much other MCing was there, really? ;)

Turn on Feats & MCing and it's more 3e-like, but you really have to re-invent make/buy, and the lack of PrCs is sad.

Flip on the 'gritty' rest settings if you really need them to get a slower pacing.

It might be tempting to think you have to trash the skill "system," but, really, the DM can straight-up ignore it where it doesn't map to things that feel right. Because of the "play loop" - y'know, DM describes the sitch, player declares an action, DM /determines how to resolve it/ and narrates results. You just never punt to the un-D&D-feeling skills like Diplomacy or whatever (and players figure that out and never take said skills).
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I know I shouldn't reply again and against my better judgement...

Yes, well, then you really should have paid attention to your better judgement. Let me help you: Don't post again in this thread.

Everyone else - treat each other with respect. If you can't, it is time to take a break.
 

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