Monday, November 9, 2009

Tucson ComiCon & Classic D&D & Retro-Clones

IndieOnly Comics (my small press comic company) had a booth at the second annual Tucson ComiCon. Since I haven't put out much in terms of new comic stories, I decided to push more of the D&D / Retro Clone items that I've worked on.

Mind you, I always felt that comics and gaming are very close blood-brothers. The thing that I found interesting was that when certain people saw the "Outpost" module cover they excitedly recognized it as a D&D type of module and I took the opportunity to chat about classic style gaming and the Retro-clones.

What I found exceptional was that the people who were the most interested were some of the comic shop owners, convention organizers and other small publishers - none of which have ever heard of the reto-clones but were eager to set up a time to roll some dice and play a game. A number of these people fondly remember the good 'ol days of the game (less rules/rolling dice, more laid back fun at the table, etc.). People seemed turned-on by the rules-lite aspect of these games as opposed to the constant stat checking and dice rolling of modern games. But, again, none of the people I talked with have ever heard of the retro-clones. One book publisher, who has not heard a peep about the retro-clones, is very much into playing RPGs and is even creating a monster-based RPG.

All this tells me that this 'movement' / concept is still a very isolated (though perhaps growing) and unknown to a great many people outside of the circles, forums and blogs. Granted, word is spreading, but much more slowly than it would appear.

I think there is a potentially huge interest in classic style RPGs, whether for nostalgia or rule simplicity. The key is getting the word out there and that, of course, is the great mystery, and one in which TARGA has been working on. I really feel that, if by some miracle of the gods, WOTC was to re-released the original box sets of the games (OD&D, Holmes, or Modvay), it would be to a hungry group of players both new and old.


  1. It's great that you are spreading the word. Personally, I've had a hell of a time selling Labyrinth Lord to players, but my buddy has to beat AD&D 1e players away with a stick.

    I wish I could show them how the OSR games embody those old rules but - gasp! - the OSR games are still very much alive, in print and have writers creating material for them.


  2. Too true. The original games are still alive and well. I just see the Retro-clones as fresh blood to bring some excitement, accessibility and to bring back old/new players into gaming. It's gotten me excited, there's no doubt about that!

  3. Well I am having a blast playing a game that gets back to the Role Play and less about statistics and dice rolling.