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Retro-cloning: Warts and all, or make it better?

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Author Topic: Retro-cloning: Warts and all, or make it better?  (Read 1139 times)
Chris Goodwin
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« on: July 07, 2008, 11:06:57 am »

What's the conventional wisdom here?  Part of me says, someone should be able to take my book, their old character sheets, and run with it.  Part of me says, I can see a whole lot of ways to make the skill and spell systems better; while a lot of the subsystems stand up to 30 years worth of advancement in the state of the art, some of them don't. 
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DrBadLogic
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2008, 11:38:10 am »




If there's room for improvement, I don't see why one shouldn't make it better.  If the original rules are good, but *different*, one could perhaps include those as options.
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randalls
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2008, 05:41:51 pm »

What's the conventional wisdom here?  Part of me says, someone should be able to take my book, their old character sheets, and run with it.  Part of me says, I can see a whole lot of ways to make the skill and spell systems better; while a lot of the subsystems stand up to 30 years worth of advancement in the state of the art, some of them don't. 

If you are trying to CLONE an older game, it really needs to just duplicate the original with just enough changes to make it legal. Otherwise, it's not a clone. It might be a great game, but it's not a clone. Microlite74 is an example. It tries to be true to the spirit and play style of that 1974 fantasy rpg, but it is not a clone.
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Philotomy
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2008, 07:16:49 pm »

I agree that if it's a clone, it should be as close as possible (warts and all).

If it's more "inspired by," then you have more room for changes and differences.  Keep in mind that changes you introduce might not be universally hailed as improvements, though.
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Chris Goodwin
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2008, 07:37:07 pm »

True.

That helps.  Thanks for your input!
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Hywaywolf
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« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2008, 07:30:42 am »

I played D&D back in the early eighties, but after a 20 some year haitus I was pretty much back to being a RPG neophyte.  I came back to D&D after playing Runescape with my daughters for a year or so. I say this to underscore that I am not a D&D expert, just someone that loved playing Moldvay Basic/Expert rules.  I've never played 3.5 but I skimmed the rules and watched a few games being played.  I have played a 2 hour 4.0 demo game on the day it was released.  I imagine that since I can't say that I have been playing D&D for the last 20-30 years like many old schoolers that I am in the small minority of old school players, but who knows, maybe there is a renaissance of geezers returning to the fold.  I offer this information so you can decide the value of my opinion as it pertains to marketing old school (or should I say retro role playing) products.

I am a fan of BFRPG so obviously I am going to say "make it better", but what I consider making it better may be much different than what someone else thinks.  I love B/X rules but the THACO tables were horrible so the addition of increasing Armor Class and Attack Bonuses are great as well as the inclusion of Ability Bonuses.  Some other minimal improvements help as well, but in my opinion it is the warts of the B/X, OD&D and 1E that give them the old school feel.  Just like in the real world nothing should work the same way every time.  If the DM makes a call during encounter #3 then in encounter #9 he calls it slightly different, hey, life is unpredictable like that. 

But back to your original question, check out the threads in the workshop for supplements for BFRPG to see what different things people think would make retro games better.  Chris' position is that he has put into BFRPG everything that the majority of people agree are needed improvements, and the rest of the improvements that aren't universally accepted but do garner some support, he includes in supplements to the game for those who want them.
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