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chuckster
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Old School D&D RPGs: Where to Start?

by chuckster Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:02 pm

As a huge fan of tabletop RPGs and DnD in particular, Dungeons and Dragons licensed games have been some of my favorites. Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, the Capcom Beat-em-ups, Dark Alliance, you name it. Sword Coast Legends was even okay in my opinion.

Recently I've been itching to get into the old-school DnD RPG PC games (say pre-Baldur's Gate), and it's a little daunting. There seem to be so many, and only a few are ever mentioned.

Pool of Radiance seems to be the top recommendation, and most of the SSI games look to be pretty similar. Do you guys agree on that as a good place to start? Do you know of any DnD games from the mid nineties and back that don't get enough love? Are the GOG versions of these games the best way to go for a modern system?
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Sarge
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Re: Old School D&D RPGs: Where to Start?

by Sarge Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:23 pm

I've done a lot of poking around in this regard, and apparently Pool of Radiance and Curse of the Azure Bonds are two of the ones most fondly remembered. I found this guy's blog an immensely entertaining and informative read.

http://crpgaddict.blogspot.com/

In the process of poking at the GOG copies I bought, I came across Gold Box Companion, which, when run in conjunction with the GOG install, gives niceties like an automap, visible party status, and the like. It's cool stuff, and if I ever get around to playing them, I'll be using it.

http://personal.inet.fi/koti/jhirvonen/gbc/
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MrPopo
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Re: Old School D&D RPGs: Where to Start?

by MrPopo Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:47 pm

Definitely go with the SSI D&D games. The ones prior to them tended to just lift the D&D combat rules with threadbare plots consisting of little more than "there's a dungeon with a meanyface at the end".
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marurun
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Re: Old School D&D RPGs: Where to Start?

by marurun Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:14 pm

Champions of Krynn is a tad shorter and more advanced than Pool of Radiance (at the cost of feeling less expansive in some ways). If you find Pool to be too tough a place to start, try Champions.
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Tanooki
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Re: Old School D&D RPGs: Where to Start?

by Tanooki Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:29 pm

Wow Sarge, mega find on that wicked freebie Gold Box Companion. That alone makes the games not easier but far more approachable if you don't want to really get lost not in, but by the interface among other useful perks. None jack up the game but helps with the experience which is a nice limitation they set in and it appears still getting updates into this year.

I've wanted to try that SSI stuff, never could get my head around it trying the stripped NES level things, but they had the same if not worse shortcomings. Might have to watch for a GoG sale and grab one and slap that on it and see how it shakes out.
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Re: Old School D&D RPGs: Where to Start?

by BogusMeatFactory Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:23 am

My biggest recommendation would be for you to play a late ssi d&d game, Dark sun: Wake of the Ravager. The game take a place in the amazing Dark Sun campaign setting and the gameplay is easy to grasp, fun to play and offers a huge assortment of quests and areas to explore. It is a semi-open world top down 2d game and is one of the most addicting and fulfilling combat systems in the traditional style.

If you want an ssi game that is on consoles, the Buck Rogers port on the genesis is actually really good. You lose a class or two, but the dungeons are much better. Sure it isn't D&D per se, but it plays like the traditional pc rpgs and it is from the makers of the classics we know and love.

What more D&D stuff, try out the likes of Ravenloft, or menzoberanzen. They are a first person party based style game. They have great worlds, offer a lot of unique interactivity and offer a style that may or may not be up your alley.

Everyone has mentioned the gold box games and they are all spectacular, and they do offer a unique experience all their own. If those don't click with you, try these guys on for size.
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nightrnr
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Re: Old School D&D RPGs: Where to Start?

by nightrnr Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:39 am

Well, for me it was all about the Eye of the Beholder games (mostly the 1st one, as I really haven't delved into the sequels too much, despite owning them thrice over in PC collections).
Eob is responsible for my mild fascination with 1st person dungeon crawls. I think the real time battles really kept the exploration interesting (and not having to worry about ran do battles helped).

I sampled a couple gold box games but didn't stay with them. It didn't help that I couldn't get dosbox for DS to cooperate with Pool of Radiance when I had the mind to play it (plays Eob fine).
Maybe I'll set up an old PC to a TV to play the older ones sometime.
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Nemoide
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Re: Old School D&D RPGs: Where to Start?

by Nemoide Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:15 am

D&D: Warriors of the Eternal Sun for Sega Genesis is one that doesn't get enough love. It's not a PC game but it FEELS like a PC game.

It's not exactly the kind of game that'll knock your socks off: the graphics are on the bland side, the story is simple, and most of the the dungeons are fairly small & simple. But I had fun with it. It's based on rules/settings of REGULAR (not Advanced) D&D and it really captures that feel. If you have any nostalgia or interest in that type of D&D game, I'd recommend giving it a shot!

The only caveat is that most carts have dead save batteries and you'll need to get it changed before playing, unless you want to leave your Genesis on for a week.
Last edited by Nemoide on Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Tanooki
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Re: Old School D&D RPGs: Where to Start?

by Tanooki Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:01 am

Might just have to look into that bogus.

Those aren't gold box though, but maybe they have what that GBC enhancement does already so that would put it in that realm. I'm finally being serious about reducing my load of systems/games as I just photographed another setup last night. Going to keep chopping until I'm happy and happy means more time for stuff like this.

Dug a bit and it lead back to GoG:
https://www.gog.com/game/forgotten_real ... ection_two

That has on that GBC page all the gold box games except Krynn series https://www.gog.com/game/dungeons_dragons_krynn_series which they have, and Dark Sun is up there too https://www.gog.com/game/dungeons_drago ... sun_series

Not bad at all, and the other 2 collections have more stuff too.
Last edited by Tanooki on Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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BogusMeatFactory
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Re: Old School D&D RPGs: Where to Start?

by BogusMeatFactory Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:08 am

Tanooki wrote:Might just have to look into that bogus.

Those aren't gold box though, but maybe they have what that GBC enhancement does already so that would put it in that realm. I'm finally being serious about reducing my load of systems/games as I just photographed another setup last night. Going to keep chopping until I'm happy and happy means more time for stuff like this.


Absolutely! Why I love dark sun a lot is because it has the feel of the old gold box, but modern graphics, sped up and tons more emphasis on world exploration and side quests. I encourage everyone to give those games a shot. Lots of variety!
Ack wrote:I don't know, chief, the haunting feeling of lust I feel whenever I look at your avatar makes me think it's real.

-I am the idiot that likes to have fun and be happy.
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