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Labyrinth Lord vs B/X

Tywyll

Sundered Empires
Validated User
Ok, so, what does Labyrinth Lord do that B/X doesn't do already? Are there any rules/tweaks that are different significantly from B/X? Or is it pure clone?
 

Welshman

Retired User
It has some minor clarifications, and some modified stuff that looks like a legal get around. Like, they gave experience levels an extra point, the treasure types are Roman numerals instead of letter designations, the levels go up to 20 for base classes, like that. Otherwise not any significant difference. The AEC takes it to another level, however, making it (as others have pointed out already) 'AD&D 1st ed. as many people actually played it'. It's worth getting if you like the retroclones.
 

Welshman

Retired User
Yes. The AEC adds spells, monsters, classes and other optional stuff but the basic rules are all in LL proper.

That said, I don't see why you couldn't use AEC with one of the other retroclones or B/X itself, right off the bat, either.
 
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inaki.lind

Registered User
Validated User
Yes. The AEC adds spells, monsters, classes and other optional stuff but the basic rules are all in LL proper.

That said, I don't see why you couldn't use AEC with one of the other retroclones or B/X itself, right off the bat, either.
LL changes one important thing for no clear reason. It gives 1st level clerics access to spells, which was a major design point of B/X, BECMI, and the Rules Cyclopedia. Why this was done, I have no idea, but it is annoying, and means LL isn't really a strict clone. It also changes the advancement structure of the classes to match 20 levels. Both of these seem like AD&Disms that have no place in a true B/X clone.

If you really want the B/X experience, don't give clerics access to spells at 1st level. Make them earn them - they have enough advantages already.
 

RedFox

Valerie Vixen
Validated User
LL changes one important thing for no clear reason. It gives 1st level clerics access to spells, which was a major design point of B/X, BECMI, and the Rules Cyclopedia. Why this was done, I have no idea, but it is annoying, and means LL isn't really a strict clone. It also changes the advancement structure of the classes to match 20 levels. Both of these seem like AD&Disms that have no place in a true B/X clone.

If you really want the B/X experience, don't give clerics access to spells at 1st level. Make them earn them - they have enough advantages already.
Yeah those are the biggest differences, and they're kind of wtf-ery. It's why I use my B/X books instead of LL. It's "close enough" but not quite enough for the cigar. Also the experience point tables are slightly more different than just an added point, as noted because the levels go to 20.

However, if you don't have B/X? Labyrinth Lord is a great clone.
 

Sleeper

Red-eyed dust bunny
Validated User
Labyrinth Lord uses a slightly faster variation on AD&D's spellcasting progression (high level casters get new spell levels one level earlier), instead of being based on B/X. For instance, a cleric doesn't have to wait until 2nd level to get a 1st level spell, the weird 6th–7th level jump (where OD&D and B/X clerics get 3 new spell levels in 2 class levels) is flattened out, post-name level acquisition of spells is vastly accelerated, and 5 new spell levels are added (6th and 7th for clerics, 7th to 9th for magic-users).

The equipment list looks like a truncated version of the one in AD&D's PH (probably via the SRD), not the one from B/X. Armors, especially plate, get a lot more expensive, and there are almost twice as many weapons. The new high levels spells also draw many specifics from the SRD (e.g. a lot of ranges vary by caster level, while B/X generally favors fixed numbers, and overall they're more fiddly).

Most rules just rephrase text from B/X, which results in the occasional awkward sentence. LL also makes heavy use of the passive voice, (makes extended reading difficult, though it's fine as a reference work), and there's the occasional poorly-done table (e.g. Mercenaries, p. 38), instance of scattered rules (rolling up ability scores), or case of slightly inferior organization (e.g. racial abilities aren't called out, like in the B/X). The random numbers tacked onto the XP progressions are another ugly but harmless edit, apparently made for legal reasons.

Ability checks are more prominent than in B/X, with their own (optional) section in the middle of the book and an occasional reference elsewhere in the text. (Compared to B/X, where the rule was a throw-away line hidden in the back of the book between the sample adventure and the index.) The magic item and monster lists are very similar, and so are most of the secondary rules (ships, strongholds, magical research, specialists, etc.), though there's an occasional addition or house rule stolen from other editions (e.g. the apparatus of the crab or method 2 under magic item saves). Combat includes an explicit declaration phase. Otherwise, seems to be uncannily similar.
 

Sleeper

Red-eyed dust bunny
Validated User
Did they give the poor thief a break in LL or does it still hurt to play?
Not really. Same basic table, and the scores are generally within 3 percentage points of the original. Though the not-quite-a-BX-clone Basic Fantasy went further, and gave the thief percentages a noticeable bump.
 

Peregrin

Bwahaha!
B/X also makes note of doors: Monsters can open any stuck door easily, while PCs must make checks. Also, doors will close automatically if left open without securing it (spikes or something).

I don't believe LL makes note of this procedure, but I could be wrong.
 
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