Labyrinth Lord..Sometimes Simple is Better

May 16, 2011

Does anyone remember when pen and paper role playing games weren’t lame games about “touchy feely” vampires ? Does anyone remember when one could generate a character without having to agonize over hundreds of different feats and mathematical equations?

I miss the good old days of using my brain in a dungeon instead of just making a search or perception check.   When I actually had to tell the DM where I was looking.  I also miss the feeling that insidious painful death could be around any corner. No healing surges or negative HP I could fall back on.  Zero meant dead.   Well thankfully goblinoid games have given me what I have been searching for. A game called Labyrinth Lord.

Labyrinth Lord is what is called by gamers a “retro clone”. Meaning that its rules and stats are heavily based off of the original Dungeons and Dragons of the 80s. Labyrinth Lord is the basic Dungeons and Dragons of the 80s reborn.   The book is laid out beautifully and it captures the simplicity that is missing from virtually every modern RPG.  I made 3 characters the other night in an hour. Compare that to the one character I can make for Pathfinder or 4e in an hour to two hours.  The class options are simple you can play a Magic User, Dwarf, Elf, Halfling, Fighter or Cleric.  You don’t have to agonize for hours or over what feats or powers to buff up your character with. You can roll him up and then plunge into the adventure. This game is great for super busy adults that don’t have a lot of time to write up adventures or generate characters. Sometimes it is nice to just get together and have fun.

The combat system is straightforward and easy to understand. Yes you read that right. I would much rather have THAC0 then the overly complex system that Pathfinder and 4e have.  The DM doesn’t have to know all the modifiers for different situations he can just run combat without letting it get bogged down in number crunching.  I have seen that happen WAY to often for my liking. Also there isn’t much to rules lawyer here. So the endless rules debates won’t bog down a campaign.

Perhaps I am just an old geek bastard that prefers having fun over equations or working out my emotional issues through a self proclaimed world of Dorkness I mean err darkness.  I’ll work out my issues when my dwarf buries his axe into the face of an approaching orc.

You can find out more about Labyrinth Lord and the products that are associated with it at I am going to post a link to their site under the “link” section of this blog.

Another good thing about this game is that it is affordable. You don’t have to shell out a hill giant arm and an ogre leg for 3 to 7 core books. One book has all you need to play.   Wow..simple and affordable. Who would have thought that such a game would be out there?