See... I get the retro-clone phenom. I'm into it myself in a fairly big way just now. But although I was an 80's gamer and was there for most of that area of D&D goodness I was to be honest more a fan of Traveller and Star Trek and even Mercenaries Spies and Private Eyes.
Traveller was for years were my roll playing fetish existed. So the retro-clone is teaching me to really like D&D fantasy, which is a lot of fun.
But my bias is, I'm not a fan of levels (I dont mind the class concept) and while I don't need a huge skill list (in fact would prefer on with 20 or less entries) I really do like some skills in some situations. I also like emotion/morality emulation in my games as well. What I love are all the guys out there home-brewing with the OSR its cool.
BUT I wonder what if it wasnt just "retro-clone" but "make your own", I read this and it hit the nail on the head for me. Particularly when you see the direction Goodman games is taking too. Goodmans games is forging new ground old school feel but new mechanics.
That is the key for me. I don't actually like levels and plain hit points, all the odd foibles of OD&D's mechanics. I actually think they have been, at their core improved upon over the years in both editions of D&D and in many other games.
I've previously come out and stated my opinion of D&D 4th ed. Its a miniatures rule set. A very complicated one for a skirmish game in which you have only really one figure but there you have it. Sure you role play while you do the combats an in between but its a minis game. Because of this its all about the rules in the books.
That is not what old rpg-ing was and there is room for another type of game the type of role playing we grew up with ...
I think that it doesn't have to just mean D&D or just mean fantasy. Thankfully we are starting to see this departure now. Stars Without Number - over which I'm still in deep fan-gasm - is a Scifi game in this ilk and we have also had Star Frontiers as an old school free on the web option. People are doing great stuff with the rules that are out there like Mystery Men Beta by John M Stater.
Its exciting to see these home-brews and I hope they can break from the feeling they need to base themselves upon OD&D for legitimacy.
We return you now to you regularly scheduled sandbox update.