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OSR Red Box, but like modern I guess?!?!?

zarionofarabel

Adventurer
Please don't start a flame war as the tone of this might seem hostile to people that love the new editions, and I am not trying to be hostile, I just need to explain what I am looking for!

Okay, so here goes...

Reading all the recent stuff on the new Tasha's book has reminded me that D&D ain't what it used to be. As with the later versions of 3.X I remember reading, classes have become so completely customizable that, IMHO, they are completely pointless. I miss the days when a character's class was important and making that choice had a serious impact cause that's what you were gonna play for the next X number of levels. I also miss the days when there was no race cause elf was a class, not a race. So...

Is there a modernized version of the Red Box D&D that includes the elf and dwarf and halfling classes. Hoomans get to be fighters, or mages, or thiefs, or clerics. There is no multiclasses, or, uh, cross-classes or whatever they were called. Plus, I always hated the THAC0, so I would love if it did the AC is a bonus and rolling higher is better and that kind of thing. Anyway I'm probably asking for the moon, just wondering cause I would love to play an old school campaign again one day, but really, THAC0 can suck it! 😋
 

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pming

Hero
Hiya!

Personally, if you don't want to go with "the original" (re: track down actual box sets of B/X or BECMI)... I can whole-heartedly recommend, with great vim and vigour, "Dark Dungeons".


Yes, it is a play-on-words (of sorts) in regards to Jack Chick. There are some nice little amusing nods throughout (for example: some character examples have...certain names, lets say...and are involved in situations that are....uh...'familiar' with the comic strip sharing the same name).

Anyway, it's free and based on BECMI; it is an AMAZING retro-clone... extremely tight and easy to read and find stuff. You can (maybe still?) get it as a PoD somewhere...Lulu I think?; in b/w soft, b/w hard, premium colour hard, book formats (iirc). I was so impressed I bought a half dozen copies for my players, plus an extra one for me (and a hardback premium colour too).

Oh, and yeah, no THAC0 and you don't have to use the Combat Matrix/Tables if you don't want to; simply roll your dice, add your stuff, add the AC of the target, and if your total is 20+, then you hit. (e.g., if you have a +3 total to hit, roll a 12, and are attacking someone with AC 5 or worse, you hit...if they have 4 or better, you miss). It is easy enough for a DM to not tell the AC and just add that himself. Dirt simple.

Hey, it's free. Worth a look, isn't it? :)

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 



Marc_C

Solo Role Playing
Is there a modernized version of the Red Box D&D that includes the elf and dwarf and halfling classes. Hoomans get to be fighters, or mages, or thiefs, or clerics. There is no multiclasses, or, uh, cross-classes or whatever they were called. Plus, I always hated the THAC0, so I would love if it did the AC is a bonus and rolling higher is better and that kind of thing. Anyway I'm probably asking for the moon, just wondering cause I would love to play an old school campaign again one day, but really, THAC0 can suck it! 😋
Old School Essentials is B/X (Basic+Expert) presented with a better graphic design (organization) and some clarifications (fixes omissions). It gives you the option of using ascending AC like modern games. There are other optional rules you can choose from to customize the game for your table.

I bought it and read it. It is well made. If you want to expand the number of classes you can look at Advanced OSE which takes AD&D classes and adjusts them to the power level of B/X classes.

 
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Mannahnin

Explorer
In addition to the excellent suggestion of OSE, bear in mind that 5th edition DOES have a Basic set.

It goes all the way to 20th level but doesn't contain the profusion of character options the main game does. It just includes "the big four" of Human, Dwarf, Elf and Halfling for races, and "the big four" of Fighter, Cleric, Wizard and Rogue for classes. Mind you, it still contains references to the other stuff; it's basically the PH just with that extra content chopped out.

 
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vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Old School Essential + Advanced OSE is probably the cleanest, most usable version you'll find for the moment.

My favorite take on OSR is Beyond the Wall and Other Adventures: it has a special feel and thematic to it that just speaks to me, I guess.

The Black Hack 2, while differing from basic D&D, is pretty darn good, quick to play and fun at the actual table.

O5R (5e adaption for retro-sensibility) are numerous and most of them are really well made. Some good examples: Five Torches Deep, Into the Unknown, and

one-other I cant seem to find that was just released (or Kickstarted?) that I think I saw here on Enworld, but I cant remember the name (help please!).
 


5atbu

Explorer
Please don't start a flame war as the tone of this might seem hostile to people that love the new editions, and I am not trying to be hostile, I just need to explain what I am looking for!

Okay, so here goes...

Reading all the recent stuff on the new Tasha's book has reminded me that D&D ain't what it used to be. As with the later versions of 3.X I remember reading, classes have become so completely customizable that, IMHO, they are completely pointless. I miss the days when a character's class was important and making that choice had a serious impact cause that's what you were gonna play for the next X number of levels. I also miss the days when there was no race cause elf was a class, not a race. So...

Is there a modernized version of the Red Box D&D that includes the elf and dwarf and halfling classes. Hoomans get to be fighters, or mages, or thiefs, or clerics. There is no multiclasses, or, uh, cross-classes or whatever they were called. Plus, I always hated the THAC0, so I would love if it did the AC is a bonus and rolling higher is better and that kind of thing. Anyway I'm probably asking for the moon, just wondering cause I would love to play an old school campaign again one day, but really, THAC0 can suck it!
Old School Essentials.
www.necroticgnome.com
Exactly what you want.
 


Democratus

Villager
I've seen my favorite two OSR game already mentioned here:
  • Into the Unknown (5e-based OSR game)
  • Old School Essentials (Red Box-based OSR game)
I'm currently running a West Marches game using OSE. We've got about 20 players so far and I'm hoping to hit 50 players (and a 2nd DM) by the end of 2021. Really enjoying it!
 

GreyLord

Hero
I'd say Castles and Crusades. I think it had the option to have an Elf and Dwarf Class in one of it's supplements (but I don't know which as I didn't use it but I think it may have been in the Codex Airde).

It's a rather simple system, but with modern tendencies (originally made to meld into one's choice of AD&D, BECMI, BX, or 3e) with Ascending to Hit and AC. It takes the ability scores of B/X and BECMI however, and has options on how to modify the game as you wish.

The full game has class and race though...

A free PDF for quickstart rules (which has full rules for the four main classes and the main races) is found

C&C QuickStart PDF
 


CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
My favorite "retro clone" RPGs that capture that old Red Box Rules flavor (in order of preference):
  1. Old School Essentials
  2. Castles and Crusades
  3. Dungeon Crawl Classics
  4. The actual red box rules, c.1986
I've never played Into the Unknown, but it comes highly recommended. I might have to remedy that.
 

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