Ask The Readers: What is your favorite D&D retro-clone and why?

tsr2002 I have never played the original D&D from 1974 or any other version of D&D before AD&D 2nd Edition.

But then the release of several D&D retro-clones allowed me to explore what people call “old school” or “traditional adventure” (like in TARGA) roleplaying. I have to admit I still haven’t played a OD&D retro-clone, but I’ve run X-plorers which is a SF game heavily inspired by Swords & Wizardry and which is definitely old-school from its design.

I am currently pretty excited about running a Swords & Wizardry White Box game. So, why did I choose this game? There are mainly two reasons:

  • Michael Shorten’s S&W Quick Start
    Michael is my personal expert on all things old-school. When I have some questions regarding legacy D&D (especially OD&D) he’s the first person I ask. I also enjoy reading his blog, especially his solo game reports and everything about the Ultima sandbox game he’s working on.
    Some time ago he has published a quick start booklet for S&W that is supposed to help new players and DMs get into old-school gaming using the Swords & Wizardry rules. I enjoyed reading this very much, so that’s one of the reasons why I slant towards S&W.
  • David Bezio’s X-plorers
    Another game I had a lot of fun with was the aforementioned X-plorers. From David I learned that the game was heavily inspired by S&W and he also recommened me to give S&W White Box a try. In his opinion the Swords & Wizardry White Box stands out from all other retro-clones and is a game that pretty much can stand on its own. That definitely sounded interesting!

In the end my decision to use S&W is grounded on the fact that two people I hold in high regard have recommended the game to me. This doesn’t mean I am not open towards trying out the “competition” as well. 😉

So, what are your thought on that subject? What is your favorite D&D retro-clone and why should anyone pick that game over the others?