Labyrinth Lord Vs. OSRIC – What I didn’t know
Labyrinth Lord Advanced and OSRIC are just AD&D right? no…. not really… My assumptions will make an ass of me.
I openly admit I am ignorant to a lot of things in the various game systems. After all, there are more RPG systems on the market than you can shake a stick at these days. My casual reading has been strained lately as deadlines and college studies loom over my shoulder at every turn. Holidays are approaching and classes are resting so I started writing another adventure. I just finished up a fun Labyrinth Lord adventure Kickstarter and was diving in on a new 1E style piece. I haven’t put my nose in Labyrinth Lord Advanced in some time… ok hardly at all, and began writing the new adventure with the book closest to me. LL Advanced.
I took a little break to think about story elements while thumbing through the LL Advanced Companion book.
“Wait a minute! 17 STR (+2)?” I blurted aloud.
That’s right, it had never occurred to me that Labyrinth Lord Advanced was Labyrinth Lord (BECMI compatible) with advanced rules attached, like dividing race and class, adding optional non-weapons, and other things. At the core it’s still basic Labyrinth Lord.
My apologies go out to Dan Proctor at Goblinoid Games for all the times I looked at Advanced Edition Companion Labyrinth Lord rules on my shelf and thought it was another AD&D clone. I was very very wrong. They have taken the things that sat funny with me about BECMI (race as class for one) and said no… here’s a suggestion of play for Basic but with some advanced options! It’s still the core Labyrinth Lord in the center of the pie, but the toppings are much better. Classes expanded, spells added, monsters juiced. My holiday casual reading just got bumped here. My love for this advanced companion on top of the core grew three times this day! What a wonderful way to approach Basic and add in all the things I wanted to add in basic but never figured out how to play and test.
What about OSRIC?
Anyone who knows me, knows about my love affair with OSRIC and it’s AD&D roots. It makes Fail Squad Games possible! It leans so heavily on AD&D it can nearly be used interchangeably. OSRIC some might say, “Smoothed over the rough parts.” It fixes some wonky things like thief abilities and other bits to become, and yet not be AD&D. Yes, my 17 strength in OSRIC is +1 to hit, +1 damage. It remains at the forefront of books I reach for when writing a 1E adventure (Aside from the original TSR books). It is wonderfully organised with exceptional tables, random helpers, and design tips.
One Vs. the other?
I started this day trying to decide which system to write in. It’s not really possible for the two to compete since Labyrinth Lord Advanced and OSRIC are two different games. Do you want the BECMI simplicity with upgrades? or the head-first 1E feel with the roads repaired? Sitting here looking at both books, I am hard-pressed to make a decision on which system I want to pitch to my old group who are coming back together. The systems are far from the same thing. If you don’t have these books in your library, get them.
Budget tight? oh I’m sorry…. how about getting them for FREE? Both publishers offer their systems for FREE (in PDF).
~Lloyd M Fail Squad Games