Despite having already downloaded a free copy, I was quick to purchase Labyrinth Lord when I saw it on the shelf at my local game shop a couple weeks ago...along with a full set of cool, swirly purple dice that beautifully matched the cover. Note to Goblinoid Games: remember the days of boxed sets that included dice, a game book, and a module? Stuff a copy o LL in a box with an Erol Otis cover and sell the thing at Toys R' Us. Maybe you can even work out some type of deal with Brave Halfling Publishing for a compatible adventure module.
Anyway, I did feel slightly bad about removing the only copy from the shop...after all, Labyrinth Lord is "preaching to the choir" with me...my Moldvay/Cook rules have been riding constant shotgun the last month or so as I gear up to re-enter the world of D&D gaming (been in the middle of selling one residence and moving into another). Has my purchase deprived some young Turk of discovering the joys of Old School gaming?
Well, personally, I felt I had a stronger duty to support these retro-clone folks where I could. Hopefully the shop will re-order LL having sold the first so quickly (I know they did with both Trail of Cthulhu and Mutant City Blues, but Pelgrane Press is Pelgrane Press). Plus, I fully intend to pass it off to a pair of young Turks I know, as soon as I have a chance to demonstrate the game to them. They're practically the perfect age (pre-driving) and have the right temperament...they also dig fantasy of the "young adult" variety and have recently given up World Of Warcraft (so they say) as being too cheesy and repetitive. "Not gritty enough" said the older one. Hey, I couldn't agree more.
Meanwhile, I as an adult with a readily disposable income can always buy another copy of LL, on-line if necessary.
Tangentially speaking (sorry), it's funny how quickly this stuff can spread. I had a couple long conversations with a friend of mine living in Oregon (hi, Kris!) about Old School gaming, he having met his own disenchantment both with D20 and on-line gaming. He's been in the process of introducing his neighbor to D&D gaming, but needed something a bit simpler. I hipped him to Labyrinth Lord (the free version) and he's liking it a lot. Who knows what type of old school conflagration might be touched off in Prineville.
Anyway, regarding LL, I find it quite a worthy clone of its predecessor, though I still prefer the original. Not because of its art, or the author's writing, both of which I find to be excellent. I just likes me my 36th level cap and my incremental increase in armor costs. Sorry, that's just me. Otherwise, it's all good in the hood and I look forward to play-testing some of the new stuff, especially the higher level spells. I've got my own supplement/writing project in mind (as soon as I finish un-packing the new house!), and LL is going to be a fine resource.
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