Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Point of Clarification

I received a number of emails and other correspondence asking about the system under which the Dwimmermount megadungeon product is being written. Though this is spelled out in the FAQ over on the Autarch blog, I thought it worth stating even more emphatically: Dwimmermount uses Labyrinth Lord as its ruleset. I am doing this for a couple of reasons, chief among them being that Labyrinth Lord is the system I use in my home campaign and have used for several years. Like all referees, I've made some modifications and additions to the basic Labyrinth Lord rules (which will be published separately in the forthcoming Dwimmermount Codex series), but, fundamentally, the rules remain those presented by Dan Proctor in Labyrinth Lord, Original Edition Characters, and the Advanced Edition Companion, all of which I've used to varying degrees in kit-bashing my own Holmes Blue Book-like house rules.

I'm also doing this because, in my opinion, Labyrinth Lord most closely emulates the old school fantasy rules I prefer. Labyrinth Lord has all the delightfully quirky elements -- descending armor elements, multiple saving throws, three alignments, etc. -- and includes them unapologetically, which is how I like it. It's also worth noting that Adventurer, Conqueror, King, itself a very fine game, makes good use of the Open Game Content from Labyrinth Lord, meaning that, while there will be some differences, Dwimmermount will be usable with ACKS without much difficulty. The same, of course, goes for Swords & Wizardry, OSRIC, Basic Fantasy, Delving Deeper, and Lamentations of the Flame Princess. That's one of the many great things about old school D&D: differences aside, it's all quite compatible.

I'll have more details on Dwimmermount in the days and weeks to come, both here and elsewhere, but I wanted to make this particular point clear, since there seems to have been some confusion about it.

23 comments:

  1. It is D&Dish and that good enough. :-) Looking forward to the release.

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  2. It would be awesome, given the relationship, if part of the Dwimmermount project would be a few short pages entitled "So, You Want To Use This Book With ACKS?"...

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  3. Glad to hear your megadungeon is finally going to see the light of day. I'm probably going to pick it up even though I don't game anymore!
    My gaming years started in 1977 and ended way back in the mid-Ninties but I love this blog for the nostalgia value. Since I ducked out of the hobby way before the Old School Renaissance, I have a question: why play these new games that imitate the old-school feel of D&D and AD&D when you could just play the originals? I'm sure you all have the original books!
    Not knocking your choice of games, this retired Grognard is simply curious.

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  4. why play these new games that imitate the old-school feel of D&D and AD&D when you could just play the originals? I'm sure you all have the original books!

    Mostly because, while I have all my old books, my players do not. So, it's easier to tell them to go online and grab Labyrinth Lord than it is to have them hunt down long out of print books. Also, if one's goal is publication, then the clones are the only way to do that legally.

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    1. Also, if one's goal is publication, then the clones are the only way to do that legally

      I'd quibble with this; an entire "clone" isn't necessary to publish a generic module 100% compatible with D&D. Judges Guild continued to publish modules after they lost the TSR license, Rob Kuntz published D&D modules through Creations Unlimited in the 80s, etc. They just used terms like "Hits to Kill" instead of "Hit Points", etc.

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  5. Why do your players need copies of the rulebooks? Thats just asking for trouble :)

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  6. I think the product should have conversion notes for ACKS or else it's just misleading.

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  7. I think the number of people familiar with ACKS who can't convert from Labyrinth Lord in their heads could probably be counted on a blind sawyer's fingers. The differences are very easily glossed.

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    1. I agree, but it's still misleading to a casual buyer in a game shop.

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    2. Sean, can you clarify as to what you would find confusing about it, and how that confusion could be mitigated?

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    3. - not confusing, just misleading. I'm happy with Tavis' proposition (below).

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  8. The Retroclones like LL and S&W and OSRIC are also great for those of us old grognards who got out of the hobby way back in the early 80s and lost track of/sold/trashed all those wonderful old books never imagining we'd ever have a need for them again in a million years only to discover we DO have a need for them only 20 or 25 years later... :)

    Also its worth noting that the retroclones are actually imho presented in a more concise, better-organized manner than many of the original books were and feature some great original artwork that I find very enjoyable.

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    1. Plus the 'clones' are less expensive, more easily understood by RPG newcomers, and as a major plus for those who like to support small businesses, are sold by hobbyists!

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  9. "The same, of course, goes for Swords & Wizardry, OSRIC, Basic Fantasy, Delving Deeper, and Lamentations of the Flame Princess. That's one of the many great things about old school D&D: differences aside, it's all quite compatible"

    Meaning differences aside, all these games just reprint the same spell lists and rules with some house rules.

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  10. Sorry to be late to the party, and thanks for the clarification! As I wrote in reply to Sean's comment at the Autarch blog:
    "There will definitely be conversion material for ACKS, the only question is what aspect of the product those will be featured in. James feels that books that present dual sets of stats are ungainly, and that’d be true even if the alternate stats are as little different as between Labyrinth Lord and ACKS. It would be straightforward to make both an ACKS and LL version available in PDF, and even if both versions aren’t in hardback you could then use either one to do a print-on-demand softcover of from the PDF."

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  11. But... but... but... they are releasing AD&D again!

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. My deleted comment was meant for Don, above. I accidentally posted it here! Whoops!

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  12. The project sounds exciting. I take it that the Kickstarter thingee hasn't actually been set up yet?

    One other question. Apparently you have to be a US-based company to directly use Kickstarter, but am I correct in assuming that Canadians can donate and receive the funded products/premiums?

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    1. In order to set up a Kickstarter account you currently need a US Bank account. This limitation is imposed by Amazon Payments, by the way (aren't international banking laws fun). But that is only for the project being funded. Anyone can actually contribute to a Kickstarter, regardless of where they are (provided they have a credit card). Most projects shipping physical goods ask for a bit extra from Canadian and International contributers to cover the extra costs of shipping.*

      [* What's annoying is someone gave a seminar at a boardgame design conference about how international shipping artificially inflates the total of usable money in an essentially unknowable manner (since postal addresses are only collected if the project is funded), so now some people have started charging a surcharge over the actual USPS shipping costs to "correct" for this. And given that the USPS postal calculator is overpriced anyway when you compare it to the flat-rate international boxes (to encourage people to use them because they are more convenient for shipping), it's getting quite unaffordable (especially since they must err on the side of being cautious anyway, since postage costs can rise and if the Kickstarter is more successful additional product (weight) might be included. <sigh> Fortunately most RPG projects are actually quite reasonable when it comes to international shipping.]

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  13. LL! Perfect, adding it to my "buy" list and looking forward to it.

    Crose87420

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  14. I don't get why you prefer "old school fantasy rules" emulators and not using D&D 1st edition rules. just wondering °__°

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  15. Labyrinth Lord is a fine choice.

    I look forward to seeing the finished product.

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