Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Perfect "Retroclone"?

Jimm Johnson, propietor of the Contemptible Cube of Quazar, passed along a copy of his home campaign D&D rulebook to me:

This thing is beautiful. It's exactly what I wish I had the time to do for my own game. It is a lovely single-booklet distillation of classic D&D. It has everything players need to know, all tailored specifically for Jimm's Planet Eris campaign setting. I wish I had the same thing to hand out to players in my own games. It's a perfect way to summarize core rules, house rules, and lay out new campaign-specific classes, spells, items, etc. It's also great if, like me, most of your players aren't gamers who own their own rulebooks.

Best of all, the cover doesn't beat around the bush. It's DUNGEONS & DRAGONS dude!

I love the idea of personalized "retroclones" at every table. We all make our own houserules no matter what edition or clone we play, so why use a retroclone that is simply a collection of some other DM's houserules? DIY like Jimm. Each gaming group could have its own perfect "retroclone".

The art in Jimm's book is fantastic. It is reminiscent of OD&D and just oozes fear, whimsey, and pure dungeon mojo. Yes, I love the OD&D art style - it looks exactly like something you'd see scrawled in an explorer's notebook. It's as far away from Final Fantasy and Easley as you can get while still being representational.

You can download a PDF of Jimm's rules HERE.