Episode 38: The Grand 1E vs B/X Smackdown!

Zock-Bock-Radio Episode 38

A lingering theme in our english language episodes has been the puzzlement of host Settembrini over the B/X and OSE crazes, given his fondness for AD&D 1st Edition. The time of reckoning has arrived, OSE-Module-Writer, B/X afficcionado and RC-DM Prince of Nothing steps up to defend the Basic family. We go through minute and sweeping differences, alleged beginner friendliness, the myth of the complicated wargame, mischaracterizations of 1e and theories of why Basic D&D remains the go-to strain in the wider OSR.

With Settembrini and the Prince of Nothing.


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6 Kommentare

  1. Well done gentlemen, highly entertaining. And what stamina.
    The simplifications in B/X are sometimes unhelpful, and spells are a good example. As you both pointed out, there should be limits/costs on some of the most useful. Also in the descriptions, 1E seems a clear winner when you consider the progression of Phantasmal Force/Improved Phantasmal Force/Spectral Force as it moves from visual only, adding some auditory effects, and finally full noise plus thermal: now one has more tools to adjudicate how effective that illusionary fireball is. I like using these spells in combinations, e.g. fireball then spectral force, dig then phantasmal force (of no pit).

  2. Enjoyable episode.

    One niggle: Settembrini misrepresents how OSE handles action declaration in combat. One page 130 of the OSE rules tome, it says spells and movement in melee (i.e. retreats) should be declared. In Moldvay, on B24 (also X24), it says under Defensive Movement „A character who wants to use one of these forms must say so before the initiative roll for the round.“ On X11, under CASTING RESTRICTIONS, it says „The caster must inform the DM that a spell is being cast and which spell will be cast before the initiative dice are rolled.“ In other words, OSE does not add things that aren’t in Moldvay & Cook. In fact, I am pretty sure Norman’s intent was to offer a retroclone that is as close to the original text as possible. I have my own issues with the OSE phenomenon – mainly how it commodifies a hobby that I like most of all as a refuge from consumerist capitalism – but I think this particular jab was ill-informed.

    Finally, a request: I am intrigued by the club Settembrini keeps talking about. It would be great to maybe get an English-language episode some time that discusses how your club was set up, how it works, etc. for those of us who have ambitions to do similar things in other parts of the world.

    1. Thanks for the close listen and the feedback! My reading of the combat example in B28 reinforced my impression that you are supposed to decide on actions when they come up. Including spells, as the player in round two (upon warned by the DM) switches his action after losing initiative to drawing a weapon. I did not check X before making my statement.

  3. That was highly entertaining! Although the PoN could have defended B/X a little harder I think. 🙂

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