OD&D Request for Basic D&D forum tag (Holmes, Moldvay/Cook, BECMI, Rules Cyclopedia)

Hi, as we all know, OD&D is not the same product line or edition as Basic D&D: Holmes BD&D, Moldvay/Cook B/X, Mentzer BECMI, and Allston Rules Cyclopedia (RC D&D).
Could we have a forum tag devoted to that? "BD&D"?
I realize that the name could be confused with the 5E Basic Rules, but I don't think that's a tragedy. If someone wants to post threads about the 5E Basic Rules there too, more power to them!
 

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Jack Daniel

dice-universe.blogspot.com
Hi, as we all know, OD&D is not the same product line or edition as Basic D&D

That's a matter of convention. When I was growing up in the Midwest? Every gamer I knew used "OD&D" to refer to both the LBB/white box edition and the later BXCM/red box and RC/black box editions. I'm used to the older "lumping" rather than the newer "splitting" that occurred on Dragonsfoot post-200X where we now have to refer to every single little sub-printing by an author name or an alphabet soup acronym.

We know at least that TSR internally treated it all as one single game line, "the D&D game" (otherwise, notes like this one would make no sense); and that this general attitude is right there in the text of the booklets in places. I vote for keeping the broad OD&D tag we have now.
 
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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
That's a matter of convention. When I was growing up in the Midwest? Every gamer I knew used "OD&D" to refer to both the LBB/white box edition and the later BXCM/red box and RC/black box editions. I'm used to the older "lumping" rather than the newer "splitting" that occurred on Dragonsfoot post-200X where we now have to refer to every single little sub-printing by an author name or an alphabet soup acronym.

We know at least that TSR internally treated it all as one single game line, "the D&D game" (otherwise, notes like this one would make no sense); and that this general attitude is right there in the text of the booklets in places. I vote for keeping the broad OD&D tag we have now.

I my part of the midwest (central part of northern Illinois) we definitely didn't lump the OG white boxed books with the basic rules when referring to them in the early 80s (even if we played them both with AD&D at the same table at the same time on occasion).

None of my group used any of the basic ones besides B/X though, so I'm not sure how we would have referred to the BECMI ones.

Was Holmes closer to OD&D and B/X closer to BECMI? Or was B/X kind of in the middle?
 

Hriston

Dungeon Master of Middle-earth
I'd quibble about Holmes Basic -- it's basically <ahem> a re-presentation of the first three levels of OD&D -- but B/X and later editions are a whole new game, and none of the available labels under "D&D Older Editions" seem accurate when referring to those editions.
 

Jack Daniel

dice-universe.blogspot.com
Was Holmes closer to OD&D and B/X closer to BECMI? Or was B/X kind of in the middle?

Holmes is definitely closer to LBB in terms of raw mechanics, and it's very much written to serve as their introduction — you can even think of Holmes + the LBBs as paralleled by Moldvay Basic + Cook/Marsh Expert — but Holmes also lays the groundwork for a number of innovations in Moldvay (race–classes, buying up your prime requisite, the basic rulebook describing only the first three experience levels). So while I'd agree that Holmes is closer to LBB and B/X is closer to BECMI, it's also true that B/X* is so close to BECMI that Holmes is functionally the set that occupies the weird middle ground between the "original" OD&D and the "classic" game that evolved from it.

* (That said, there are still some quirks in B/X that are holdovers from earlier versions, the most noticeable being the cleric spell progression, which keeps its "3rd and 4th level spells kick in at the 6th experience level" from the LBB progression. But on the other hand, the cleric is the one class that keeps the exact same XP progression in every version from the LBBs all the way through the Rules Cyclopedia, so… ya know. It's a continuum full of overlap, not at all as clear-cut as the AD&D and d20 System editions.)
 
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That's a matter of convention. When I was growing up in the Midwest? Every gamer I knew used "OD&D" to refer to both the LBB/white box edition and the later BXCM/red box and RC/black box editions. I'm used to the older "lumping" rather than the newer "splitting" that occurred on Dragonsfoot post-200X where we now have to refer to every single little sub-printing by an author name or an alphabet soup acronym.
I was around on message boards at the turn of the millennium too, on the Mystara Message Board (at WotC) and the Mystara Mailing List. And you're right that we (in the BECMI/Mystara community) referred to BECMI as "OD&D". That usually stood for "Old D&D" rather than "Original D&D." There was also Richard Tongue's ODDities magazine, which was BECMI oriented. So I understand what you're saying.

At time (1998-1999), 3e hadn't come out, and my generation (who grew up 1980s) in the Mystara/BECMI community context, was not very aware of the 1970s Original D&D, and so we just used "OD&D" in contrast to AD&D (2e).

But with the advent of D&D history sites, we've all become aware of the difference between the manila OD&D booklets and the various iterations of Basic D&D, beginning with Holmes.

The naming convention has changed. We are no longer in the year 1999 on Dragonsfoot. And it is clearer to distinguish OD&D (Original) vs. BD&D. Even the editors of that time (e.g. Moldvay, see below) used this terminology, contrasting "Original" vs. "Basic."

Yes, ruleswise, the various editions of BD&D gradually blended from OD&D to RC D&D, but even Holmes BD&D was a clear shift, with a new moniker "Basic." The manila pamphlets were really from another era.
We know at least that TSR internally treated it all as one single game line, "the D&D game" (otherwise, notes like this one would make no sense);
Huh? It makes total sense. The image you shared affirms what I'm saying. The editor there distinguishes the "Original Set" from the "Basic Set" as two different editions. In other words, Original D&D vs. Basic D&D.

Yes, they were both branded "D&D". Yes, BD&D is a later edition of OD&D, both branded "D&D."

In contrast to "AD&D." Because "D&D" and "AD&D" were legally kept distinct due to Arneson royalty calculations.

Similarly, AD&D1e and AD&D2e were both branded "AD&D". They were both "internally treated as one single game line." But 1e and 2e have their own tags on ENWorld.

By your logic, D&D 3e, 4e, and 5e should be subsumed in "OD&D" since they're just branded "D&D" as well. Even from a legal perspective, 3e was only allowed to be branded as "D&D" (instead of "AD&D") because WotC successfully offered to buy out Arneson's stake in the "D&D" brand when WotC purchased TSR. Are they are all the same edition since they're all legally the same "D&D" brand / game / lineage?

and that this general attitude is right there in the text of the booklets in places. I vote for keeping the broad OD&D tag we have now.
What general attitude? That Original D&D and Basic D&D were both editions of the D&D brand? In contrast to the AD&D brand? True.

Yet Moldvay distinguishes "original" D&D from "Basic" D&D in the Foreword to Moldvay Basic: (boldface added)

"The original D&D rules are a classic. [...] When I revised the rules I tried to maintain the spirit of the earlier rules. [...] In the half-dozen years since the original rules were published, TSR staff has answered thousands of rules questions. [etc.]" --p.B2
That's a matter of convention. When I was growing up in the Midwest? Every gamer I knew used "OD&D" to refer to both the LBB/white box edition and the later BXCM/red box and RC/black box editions. I'm used to the older "lumping" rather than the newer "splitting" that occurred on Dragonsfoot post-200X where we now have to refer to every single little sub-printing by an author name or an alphabet soup acronym.
Um yeah, that may've been the convention in the late 1970s / early 1980s, in that place. (Once you reach the mid-1980s, hardly anyone had heard of the manila booklets.)

Like I said above, I agree that prior to the release of 3e in the year 2000, the main contrast was "Old D&D" vs. "AD&D." Conventions change.
 
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GreyLord

Legend
That's a matter of convention. When I was growing up in the Midwest? Every gamer I knew used "OD&D" to refer to both the LBB/white box edition and the later BXCM/red box and RC/black box editions. I'm used to the older "lumping" rather than the newer "splitting" that occurred on Dragonsfoot post-200X where we now have to refer to every single little sub-printing by an author name or an alphabet soup acronym.

We know at least that TSR internally treated it all as one single game line, "the D&D game" (otherwise, notes like this one would make no sense); and that this general attitude is right there in the text of the booklets in places. I vote for keeping the broad OD&D tag we have now.

I saw that start happening in the late 80s and early 90s and continuing onwards (and probably earlier in many places, perhaps as early as 81 even), but I didn't see that originally. You had the LBBs and then you had the Basic sets that came after. The old guard didn't get those confused.

I DID see many who never knew what was in the LBB's get confused though and think that BX and BECMI were the exact same thing. Invariably, a LOT of mistakes were made by that group on what OD&D was and contained.

That confusion seemed to stick around until at least 2010 when it STARTED to clear up (of which I was at the forefront trying to clear it up as some OSR game makers were trying to portray their rules based on BX or Holmes as based on the LBB's...which they were not, at least until they got it clarified that they needed to do more research on what OD&D really was).

I STILL see the mix up occur these days with some thinking that BX or BECMI is the same as OD&D. It was and still is quite common.

None of the old guys I played (or introduced me to the game) with would make that mistake though. It's was the new comers (hah...not anymore, but at the time they were new, as they had never played the LBB's, and in many instances didn't even know what was in them) that commonly made the mistake.

That said, I've conceded that point to them at times simply to smooth over relations and not cause argumentation or angry discourse over the matter. Sometimes I've used it to relate to things that we all have in common, especially when there was greater confusion over the issue with many and to try to separate them in certain topics served no purpose except to cause discord.

BUT, it's been obvious from the start that BX was very different than the LBB's, as well as the stuff that followed.
 

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