Monday, April 8, 2013

Basic Fantasy and Labyrinth Lord read-throughs

I read through the Basic Fantasy and Labyrinth Lord RPGs this weekend. I read the 2nd Edition BFRPG and Sept. 2009 Revised Release of Labyrinth Lord.

Labyrinth Lord
LL is a B/X D&D retro-clone. It provides all the things you expect from a Moldvay-influenced game: -3-to-+3 attribute bonuses, race as class, a good spell list, a great bestiary, and a nice combat system. LL is the bedrock upon which many other games are built.

I hate Race-as-Class. This is the biggest drawback to LL for me.

Basic Fantasy
BF is not specifically a retro-clone of anything, though it is very close to LL, with the very welcome exception of Race-as-Class. Most everything else is similar. There are a few more rules to handle things like falling, etc. The Magical Research and Strongholds sections are very good, much expanded from LL's similar sections. I find the book to be much easier to read and find things.

If I was going to build a supplement for a game, I'd pick Basic Fantasy at this point, but that will likely change as I read more OSR systems.


  1. If you don't like race-as-class, the Labyrinth Lord Advanced Edition Companion (AEC) gives you the class/race options of AD&D 1e and a host of additional spells. It doesn't make the system more AD&D, it just takes bits of that and bolts them on to the b/x frame.

    Basic Fantasy RPG sort of splits the difference between 1e and b/x - the spell list is b/x, and as written, not all of the class options are present but it's one rule book instead of two.

    I say "as written" above because the fan base has gone and taken care of the remaining conversions.

    Here's a post i did not long ago:

    There's a link in there to a file on dropbox that presents some comparisons in a chart form.


    1. Thanks, I'm looking forward to your chart, once I get home. Work blocks dropbox.