Poll: Are you system-monogamous or a bit of a flirt?
In my responses to the Random Wizard’s questionnaire, I said (in answer to the “best edition” question): “I will use different rules for different campaigns, partly because particular rules might seem more or less appropriate depending on the campaign environment and the flavour I’m going for, and partly just because it’s fun to try new things.”
I wonder how common this is. Back in the day, I started playing Dungeons & Dragons with B/X, then (after nine months or so) we “graduated” to AD&D 1e. Those are the versions of the game we had access to, but I think if we’d seen OD&D or Holmes Basic, we would have been interested to try them out. Nowadays, I find myself fascinated by all the retro-clones and quasi-clones and post-retro-neo-clones and whatnot. To say nothing of all the house rules posted on blogs or available as PDFs, etc. There is a veritable multiverse of D&D out there.
Whilst I am avowedly a fan of B/X, and that’s what I run most often, I’m using the Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox Rules as the base of my Alien Orifice campaign. Alien Orifice was originally conceived as a megadungeon campaign for Stars Without Number but it has mutated and evolved as, for a number of reasons, I’ve become increasingly attracted to the OD&D vibe. The stripped-down rules and lower-powered characters and monsters seem to me to offer a more conducive canvas for some gritty, 2000AD-flavoured science fantasy. Regarding my comment that “it’s fun to try new things”, the old rule about player characters earning 100 XP per HD for monsters defeated is an example; I’d never realised that’s how it was done pre-Greyhawk. I’d like to try it out and see how it affects the game. Likewise, PCs in Alien Orifice will have LBB-style hit dice and re-roll their hit points every level. Just because. And I really like the single saving throw category in Swords & Wizardry, to the point where I might just shoehorn it into B/X one day, so that’s in. Ultimately, Alien Orifice is probably halfway between OD&D and S&W WhiteBox, with all the “standard” races and monsters thrown out and a bunch of crazy robots and reskinned Fiend Folio “aliens” added.
Meanwhile, I also harbour dangerous thoughts about wanting to run certain classic AD&D modules using Blood & Treasure.
So, anyway, here (top right) is Lost in Time’s first poll. Given that my daily readership rarely rises to the giddy heights of double figures, I don’t expect it’ll be a massively representative sample, but who knows?
The question is as follows:
Do you have one preferred system that you tend to stick with? It doesn’t matter whether it’s B/X, AD&D, 3e, 4e, Labyrinth Lord + AEC, the LBBs + the LotFP Specialist class, or your own home-brewed and house-ruled version. If you’re loyal and true to it, that’s what counts. (If you want to say what the system is, you can comment below.)
Or are you a brazen strumpet, flitting from one system to another, either because you think “AD&D 2e is just right for my psionic-dwarves-at-war-with-the-mind-flayers campaign but LotFP would really suit this Hammer horror adventure I’m writing” or just because you and your players get bored of the same old thing and fancy a change every so often?
Edit: OK, poll’s over. After a month, eleven voters have registered their preferences and I declare the results to be as follows: