Guide to retro-clone roleplaying games

It’s probably pretty obvious that I recently discovered the world of old-school gaming for me. In a way this new passion started with Dungeonslayers (which is actually not old-school at all) and later I stumbled upon X-plorers. Since I love SF and it seemed easy to run, I gave it a try and this paved the road for me having a look at the real retro-clones like Swords & Wizardry.

One thing that bugged me for quite a while was the question what the differences between the various retro-clones are. The most well known are obviously Swords & Wizardry (which itself is available in two distinct versions), Microlite74, OSRIC, Labyrinth Lord and Basic Fantasy RPG.

All of those games are inspired by early editions of D&D and make use of the d20 Fantasy SRD under the terms of the OGL and they are all available for free as PDF. But what versions of D&D do they try to emulate and what version is the right one for me?

Retro clones

I initially wanted to write a big post about all this, but when I started doing research I stumbled upon the perfect article about retro-clone roleplaying games at the “To The Blogmobile!” blog. The post not only describes the various games in detail it also links a few interesting reviews.

If you are interested in playing any retro-clone, you should probably read “Old is new again: a guide to ‘retro-clone’ roleplaying games" before doing so.