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"Retro Dungeons and Dragons" Topic

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Dedthom Inactive Member30 Jul 2017 3:15 p.m. PST

I was wondering if anyone knew of a retro set of DND style rules based on 5th edition DND.
Maybe a paired down version of 5th edition like Basic Fantasy Role-Playing was a quicker version of 3rd edition.

Random Die Roll Supporting Member of TMP30 Jul 2017 3:42 p.m. PST

A paired down version of 5th edition would be the Red or Blue version from way back.
A non D&D version is Castles and Crusades.

wolvermonkey30 Jul 2017 5:44 p.m. PST

There's also Labyrinth Lord.


Parzival30 Jul 2017 8:19 p.m. PST

He wants a pared down 5e, not the actual old school editions (which are available in PDF from

Their are two simplified 5e sets I know of. One is the free Intro PDF from Wizards of the Coast. It greatly distills the game, offering only basic classes (cleric, fighter, wizard, rogue) and classic races (dwarf, elf, halfling, human) and a limited spell list. Almost no advice is offered for DMs, and only basic monster stats are included.

The other is the D&D boxed Starter Set, which includes an adventure, pregenerated PCs, and dice. $20 USD from almost any retail source.

It's not perfect, but having used 5e now for D&D programs for teens at the local library where I work, I've found it to be a decent update of the game, with some additions I like (including "finesse" weapons which allow Dexterity to be the bonus stat for combat rather than Strength), and virtually chart-free combat.
I'm less enamored of the constant adding of "special abilities" at nearly every level increase-- being better in combat was reward enough back in the day-- but the kids love that aspect, so what do I know? grin

Personal logo optional field Supporting Member of TMP31 Jul 2017 6:56 a.m. PST

I second Parzival's statements.

Chgowiz31 Jul 2017 7:14 a.m. PST

I'm also running a 5E game at my local library for kids, using Basic rules. Only 1 game in, but kids from 7 to 35 seemed to pick it up pretty well.

I'd also add that playing "retro" means also your mindset to the game. Role playing (intimidate the guard with what you say) versus roll playing (roll for intimidation check). Emphasizing getting loot for XP, versus killing monsters. Focusing on the game as a "flow" versus programmed encounters that are "balanced." That sort of thing. It looks like you can do this easily in 5E.

Mutant Q31 Jul 2017 7:31 a.m. PST

While you may want to strip down 5th Ed., you can't go wrong with one of the OSR-inspired retro-clones. If you're looking for simplicity, try Swords & Wizardry: White Box. It even gives you the option of using "Ascending AC" instead of THAC0 if you find the former system more intuitive.

dddd9931 Jul 2017 7:31 p.m. PST

Just want to add to this thread:

Maybe you already saw this before, but in case not it has many links to lots of content. Pretty much every edition except for 5. It says coming soon -- whenever they are made perhaps.

roving bandit01 Aug 2017 7:39 a.m. PST


This might be what your looking for.
Sort of Basic D&D for 5th edition.

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