OSR Experiments #11: Back to Old School

I'm not sure why, but I'm doing a series of conversions from my own RPG Dark Dungeon into Basic D&D. You might call it Old School Reincarnation. So far I found out that the two games differ, but are also similar. I might express the differences in a table.

Basic D&D (Moldvay)                  Dark Dungeon 2nd Ed.

Dungeon Delve                               Fantasy TV Series Episode
Dungeon Levels & Rooms             Acts & Scenes
Treasure is Experience Points        Treasure is just money
Slaying Monsters is XP                  Slaying Monsters is just bloody
Fight and Loot and gain levels       Avoid fighting and live another day

And then there are of course some more obvious differences

Classes                                            Skills
Memorize spells                              Dream up your own spells
Hit Points                                        Wound Boxes
Hit Dice                                           Combat Skill
Roll your stats                                 Choose your stats
More Combat & Tactics                 More Role Playing your Character

Yet both games are in a fantasy setting, use a similar mix of races and professions, and they both have a Sword & Sorcery feel. Different and similar. I prefer the Dark Dungeon game because it allows me to do things I like. I can design my heroes in more detail. I can devise stories that are closer to real life, or closer to movies and books. I can play my hero without being forced to slay monsters and collect experience points in the form of treasure. Those things are harder to do with Dungeons & Dragons.

But if you like exploring dungeons, and do some combat and tactics while you also play a simple persona, then maybe D&D is better. I guess it depends on your wishes. You can do both sorts of game with both sets. But each is most fit to its own style.

Still, I'm surprised how big the differences are. Are you?

PS Yes this is a repost - as all posts of the twelfth were unposted by Blogger in a rather large maintenance issue.

1 comment:

  1. Errr no I'm not surprised :-) DD has always been a bit evangelistic, that was the whole point of stopping with launching a homebrew game.
    I'm not calling the kettle black because I admit my own gaming 'verses are just as evangelistic...just with another flavor/ message.
    The way I read your diagram, it sums up the strengths AND weaknesses of BOTH games.
    For example: "fight & loot & gain levels" sounds to me just as vanilla boring as "avoid fighting and live another day."
    What would *I* prefer? On a lark I'd formulate it something like: "Triumph over your villainous enemies after overcoming seemingly impossible obstacles, in as cinematic a style as possible."