One Game To Rule Them All?

Labyrinth Lord comb-bound full-size and digest

Labyrinth Lord comb-bound full-size and digest

For some time now, my plan has been a two-pronged approach to fantasy gaming. Labyrinth Lord by the book with only a few house rules would be one side of the coin while a totally customized Swords & Wizardry White Box system would provide an outlet for for all sorts of ideas in a game with a simpler foundation and a lower power curve.

However, I’ve been struggling to find any time to spend on the White Box side of things. Heck, I’ve been struggling to find time to spend on any gaming lately. I made the decision some time back to put my Forbidden Jungle sandbox campaign into White Box, but as my work on that has languished Forbidden Jungle has ground to a halt. Looking into my immediate future, I don’t see much realistic chance to spend any amount of time on S&W in the coming two or three months. Considering that I had wanted to have kicked off Forbidden Jungle already, this is not acceptable.

Of late, I’ve been pondering the switch to All Labyrinth Lord All The Time. Despite a lot of coolness in the S&W White Box system and an awesome S&W community online, I’m having trouble justifying splitting my time and effort between two systems, particularly when one of them is going to require a significant amount of work before it’s what I want it to be, and the other is already up, running, and going great.

Since I’m pretty limited for time these days, there’s no real rush to make a final decision on anything immediately.

I’m also wondering how many people actually play multiple systems. Is it uncommon? With so many retro-clones, spin-offs of retro-clones, and new games out there now, not to mention the originals, do many players utilize several of them? Or do most pick a single system and stick with it?

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13 Responses to One Game To Rule Them All?

  1. bat says:

    I have made the switch to Labyrinth Lord all the time myself. More guidelines and a more cohesive rules set clinched it for me. I don’t see any problems with S&W at all and I still support that system, but I will be running Labyrinth Lord and Savage Worlds when it comes to gaming.

  2. LL is my game of choice, definitely. Earlier iterations of D&D had too little info for my taste and later ones (even Mentzer, nevermind AD&D or some WotC mess) have too much.

    Plus, it’s even better written and organized than the original B/X rulebooks and supports character of levels higher than 14.

    It’s really so close to my ideal D&D that I’m happy to call it close enough and mess with it very little, if at all.

  3. Greyharp says:

    I pick a rule set and stick to it. I want a rulebook that has set rules, so everyone in the group knows where we stand. I don’t want a book full of head-spinning, debate-starting options. We’re currently play 1e, but will switch to LL next campaign.

    • Kilgore says:

      I don’t want a book full of head-spinning, debate-starting options.

      My S&W WB plan was to use the Word doc to make my own rule book, so it would have been self-contained and complete. But it still would have been different than anything else, and though I would have liked trying things, players may not have felt the same.

      That’s exactly why I’m sticking pretty close to LL as written.

  4. bulette says:

    funny, i was thinking of switching from LL to S&W myself lately. the systems are so close it’s really almost a moot point when you throw house rules into it. originally the whole this/that nature of the Elf really bugged me about S&W, but i like the single save and prevalence of the d6. then again, i’ve started playing in a osric/1e campaign, and the number of races and classes has me really looking forward to the Advanced Edition Characters book for LL, because like Will said above, at the end of the day combining it with LL “seems so close to my ideal D&D that I’m happy to call it close enough and mess with it very little, if at all”! 🙂

    • Kilgore says:

      I also like single save and the d6. I very nearly went with S&W instead of LL when I started back up, and I think it’s really a toss-up. Stuff for one is pretty easily compatible with the other, which is nice.

    • Kilgore says:

      Oh, and AAC. As for the White Box flavor (which is what I was going to play) I also like the common character HD and the d6 weapon damage.

  5. Timeshadows says:

    If I were to run any of the Retro/Simulacra I’d run BFRPG, as it seems to be the best fit for my sensibilities; runs up to umpteenth level; and is complete in and of itself.

    LL seemed too …dunno
    S&W has two versions, which, for the life of me, I cannot fathom why.

    Sometimes a lateral move is the best way to go forward.

    I wish you all good gaming, regardless. 😀

  6. sean wills says:

    I’m playing B/X and DMing Holmes. My two gaming groups have got some Runequest, Tunnels & Trolls and Traveller one-off sessions planned, mostly out of nostalgia. One of the groups started with the intention of trying out different games (Redbox Hack, FtA!, Risus, Instant Game) but now we want some continuity. B/X is gonna be the likely winner.

    My friends groups have played only Maelstrom or Dragon Warriors for 20 years.

    • Kilgore says:

      Holy smokes. Though I must admit that I do want to play some Traveller, Mutant Future, and a super hero game in addition to whatever I end up doing fantasy-wise.

      Actually, a vote for Mutant Future is practically another vote for LL…

  7. sean wills says:

    I wonder how Original Edition Characters for LL compares to Whitebox S&W ?

    • Kilgore says:

      I haven’t checked out OEC, but just last night when talking with my son about the probably shift to AEC when it’s published I wondered if I should.

  8. bat says:

    I really like the Original Edition Characters booklet. It is very well written and concise.

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