OSR Which retroclone/OSR game is closest to AD&D 2E?

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I think that’s the edition I have most nostalgia for. I was wondering what careers design work is being done in that area? (I’m fairly unfamiliar with most OSR stuff).
 

Ralif Redhammer

Adventurer
For Gold & Glory is the only one that really springs to mind, though I can't vouch for it.

2e doesn't seem to spark as much nostalgia as other editions, it would seem. Despite starting prior, I played a ton of 2e. Still have fond feelings for it.
 

epithet

Explorer
You might also give Adventures Dark & Deep a try. It is sort of an "alternate universe" version of D&D 2e.

Adventures Dark and Deep™ explores the question, what if the designer of the world’s most popular role-playing game had not left TSR in 1985, and had been allowed to continue developing it? Unfortunately, Gary never got the opportunity to publish his next version of the game, but he did leave various hints as to his intentions over the years. Using the 1st Edition rules as a foundation, we’ve taken those hints and built an entire game around them. There are new character classes like the bard, jester, mystic, savant, and mountebank; streamlined combat; new spells and magic items; consolidated and re-worked monsters; and much more besides. All of these publicly-published bits of information about the intended revision to 1st Edition have been taken as inspiration for Adventures Dark and Deep™. And it’s all compatible with most other old-school games, so all your favorite adventures can be run using Adventures Dark and Deep™.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
Myth and Magic but the Kickstarter tanked and I think the sites took the PDFs down.

2E is more about settings and rulebooks on levers etc to make the game you want.

Castles and Crusades is more of a 1E clone but it's kind of an AD&D 3E which is where late 2E was heading and is well supported.

Otherwise Gold and Glory is your best bet. Personally I use 2E as is but have a page of houserules. Buffed humans, no level limits, BAB over THACO, ascending ACs. Helped that my 2E stuff came out of storage in 2012 so we played it again. It kind of has as lower power level than 1E and even 5E spells.

2E is the best D&D if you like tinkering with rule/settings/genres etc. It can do 1E type games, gritty GoT type games. Or high fantasy and things like Planescape.
 
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lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
You might also give Adventures Dark & Deep a try. It is sort of an "alternate universe" version of D&D 2e.
Eh .... I'm thinking Morrus wouldn't like it if he's looking for a 2e clone (as opposed to a 1e clone).

If he's looking for a clone of 2e, he definitely won't like AD&D (get it?).

Personally, I think AD&D is a truly amazing retroclone. BUT ... it's more for the type of person who thinks ...

"I really like 1e. Loved it. And I hated 2e. But my favorite part of 1e was after UA was released, and running 1e WITH UA and a lot of Dragon Magazine content."

Basically, AD&D is a total rejection of 2e.
 
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Inchoroi

Explorer
My favorite OSR is Swords & Wizardry, or just use straight B/X if I'm going to do that. I don't get to play those anymore, as my players would revolt if I tried to get them to run a campaign using either of those. They like having a chance to survive to the end of the campaign. S&W, though, is definitely not like 2e.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
Eh .... I'm thinking Morrus wouldn't like it if he's looking for a 2e clone (as opposed to a 1e clone).

If he's looking for a clone of 2e, he definitely won't like AD&D (get it?).

Personally, I think AD&D is a truly amazing retroclone. BUT ... it's more for the type of person who thinks ...

"I really like 1e. Loved it. And I hated 2e. But my favorite part of 1e was after UA was released, and running 1e WITH UA and a lot of Dragon Magazine content."

Basically, AD&D is a total rejection of 2e.
Not really you can run 1E type games in 2E. Adventure design changed, 2E adventures tend to be more narrative. 2E had weak adventures though hence not many make best of adventures type things.

The difference s between 1E and 2E are less than 1E and clones if 1E generally. There's not much point in cloning 2E as you can use a 1E clone and can't touch the parts of 2E that made it distinct from 1E. That being the settings and levers type books. 2E kits can work with clones and 1E.

Other clones like Castles and Crusades have a lot of optional rules in the castle keeper guide so they kind of duplicate the 2E dmg and you can plug in 3.0 type "feats" if you want to as they are in the CKG.

B/X clones tend to be close to the old B/X rules maybe with ascending ACs and a lower power level on the classes.

We mixed and matched heavily circa 2012-14 and kind of settled on houseruled 2E and C&C if you want to keep elements of modern D&D or if you wanted a genre. 2E would be the best D&D for a Game of Thrones type game due to things like Birthright and critical hits from Combat and Tactics for the grittiness.
 
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Saelorn

Adventurer
I second the notion that the difference between AD&D 1E and AD&D 2E is more in the presentation than in the substance - you could play a game, with the DM telling you what to roll, and you wouldn't know whether you were playing 1E or 2E unless you were extremely well-versed in minutiae. That being the case, any game labelled as a 1E clone should function equally well as a 2E clone.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
Not really you can run 1E type games in 2E. Adventure design changed, 2E adventures tend to be more narrative. 2E had weak adventures though hence not many make best of adventures type things.

The difference s between 1E and 2E are less than 1E and clones if 1E generally. There's not much point in cloning 2E as you can use a 1E clone and can't touch the parts of 2E that made it distinct from 1E. That being the settings and levers type books. 2E kits can work with clones and 1E.

Other clones like Castles and Crusades have a lot of optional rules in the castle keeper guide so they kind of duplicate the 2E dmg and you can plug in 3.0 type "feats" if you want to as they are in the CKG.

B/X clones tend to be close to the old B/X rules maybe with ascending ACs and a lower power level on the classes.

We mixed and matched heavily circa 2012-14 and kind of settled on houseruled 2E and C&C if you want to keep elements of modern D&D or if you wanted a genre. 2E would be the best D&D for a Game of Thrones type game due to things like Birthright and critical hits from Combat and Tactics for the grittiness.
Regardless of whether or not I agree with your assertion, you don’t understand my point.

This is a retroclone for people who didn’t like 2e and thought it was an abomination- in other words, an attempt to channel Gygax (WWGD). This is, for all practical purposes, anti-2e, and is probably most enjoyable to those grognards who still cringe when they see a 2e PHB.

Iow, probably not the best choice for someone seeking a 2e clone.
 
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Zardnaar

Hero
Regardless of whether or not I agree with your assertion, you don’t understand my point.

This is a retroclone for people who didn’t like 2e and thought it was an abomination- in other words, an attempt to channel Gygax (WWGD). This is, for all practical purposes, anti-2e, and is probably most enjoyable to those grognards who still cringe when they see a 2e PHB.

Iow, probably not the best choice for someone seeking a 2e clone.
C&C is a clone of 1E but there are a lot of 2E and 3E elements in it. For example it uses a unifed ability score table, gold=xp is optional, you can plug in modern d20 ability score mids etc. As I said it's full of optional rules including neo feats and Morrus likes his crunch so thought it might appeal. It has the best claim out if the clones to be AD&D 3E.

Gold and Glory is really the only clone of 2E as such. Mostly because of presentation.
 
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JeffB

Adventurer
2E rulebooks are cheap and easy to score on the used market, and these days all the PDFs are there for purchase too, from WOTC. No real reason to seek out a clone, and as mentioned. there is basically only one: FG&G. I'd just grab the real deal in whichever format you prefer.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
2E rulebooks are cheap and easy to score on the used market, and these days all the PDFs are there for purchase too, from WOTC. No real reason to seek out a clone, and as mentioned. there is basically only one: FG&G. I'd just grab the real deal in whichever format you prefer.
I have a large 2E collection (and other editions). I was curious what third parties had done to evolve or improve the core rules.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
C&C is a clone of 1E but there are a lot of 2E and 3E elements in it. For example it uses a unifed ability score table, gold=xp is optional, you can plug in modern d20 ability score mids etc. As I said it's full of optional rules including neo feats and Morrus likes his crunch so thought it might appeal. It has the best flaim out if the clones to be AD&D 3E.

Gold and Glory is really the only clone of 2E as such. Mostly because of presentation.
Um ... whatever. That wasn’t my comment, and that wasn’t the retroclone under discussion.

I provided the list of retroclones on the first page. Knock yourself out.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
I have a large 2E collection (and other editions). I was curious what third parties had done to evolve or improve the core rules.
There's not alot. 2E was alot smaller and a lot of it is not OGL. Gold and Glory evokes 2E well but it's a bit pointless if you have a 2E phb.
 

Voadam

Adventurer
Hackmaster 4e and Gold and Glory are the big ones but there are publishers with some individual products. Point of Insanity Games came out with their Modern Monks line to retroclone 2e rules tailored to do Martial Arts heroes in a modern world.
 

trancejeremy

Villager
For Gold & Glory (not just Gold & Glory) is the only 2e retroclone. People saying Hackmaster and Adventures Dark and Deep are flat out wrong.

FG&G is not the most popular retroclone out there, but does have some excellent quality adventure support from the Merciless Merchants. It also is nice because unlike say OSRIC (the only 1e AD&D retroclone), it's all open content, so you could use it as the basis for other games

Though AFAIK, no one has. But basically AD&D is probably the least popular part of the OSR. It's probably 70% OD&D (via S&W), 25% B/X (mostly Labyrinth Lord but also B/X essentials) and 5% the rest

And if you are talking about house ruled systems published as new ones, it's 90% Sword & Wizardry (there are dozens of these), 10% other, with only Adventures Dark & Deep being AD&D based (sort of AD&D 1.75)
 
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Zardnaar

Hero
For Gold & Glory (not just Gold & Glory) is the only 2e retroclone. People saying Hackmaster and Adventures Dark and Deep are flat out wrong.

FG&G is not the most popular retroclone out there, but does have some excellent quality adventure support from the Merciless Merchants. It also is nice because unlike say OSRIC (the only 1e AD&D retroclone), it's all open content, so you could use it as the basis for other games

Though AFAIK, no one has. But basically AD&D is probably the least popular part of the OSR. It's probably 70% OD&D (via S&W), 25% B/X (mostly Labyrinth Lord but also B/X essentials) and 5% the rest

And if you are talking about house ruled systems published as new ones, it's 90% Sword & Wizardry (there are dozens of these), 10% other, with only Adventures Dark & Deep being AD&D based (sort of AD&D 1.75)
Online it's 1E, S&W and a bit of C&C IIRC.
 

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