Friday, 11 July 2014

The Choice - 5E or B/X?

Although my blogging has not been as productive recently as it used to be when I first started, I still feel like keeping it going. Now that 5E has come out, I'm faced with a choice. Do I stick with B/X and it's OSR progeny, Labyrinth Lord, or do I change to 5E?

The thoughts that spring to mind include:
  • From what I've seen of 5E, it looks like quite a good system, not too far removed from previous editions. I feel I could work with it. 
  • Increased viewing figures for the blog. This is quite shallow, and I know it should not be important, but I cannot completely ignore it. 
  • There is the feeling of joining in with a whole lot of people in a common pastime. When a whole lot of people are enthusiastic about something, its easier to be enthusiastic about it oneself.  
  • In a previous post I mentioned having a simple core, with many options. I can treat 5E Basic Rules as the core, from which new options can spring. 
  • 5E Basic rules are free for download. I could easily stick to those and ignore the expensive hardbacks, as I suspect a few players and DMs will do. 


  • The B/X and Labyrinth Lord niche is quite small. As such I felt quite comfortable making suggestions and putting ideas out there. The rule of thumb is that the smaller the group, the less likely there will be some psycho who gets offended or gets mean about my efforts. 5E could involve thousands of players and DMs, and quite honestly putting ideas out there seems more intimidating. 
  • 5E is a new system which I am not familiar with. Yes there are some similarities and commonalities with other editions, but I'm still cautious and uncertain about some of the rules. I've had B/X for over 30 years. Maybe I should stick with what I know. Being told I've got the rules wrong can make me feel a fool, and put a dampener on any enthusiasm.
  • 5E is still in the process of being released, both in terms of the 5E Basic rules and the full rulebooks (PHB, DMG & MM). Should I be writing for something when my ideas could be rendered irrelevant or redundant because of official releases I am not yet aware of?
  • Although WotC is unlikely to get its legal knickers in a twist over blogs that do not make money, nonetheless, with Labyrinth Lord and 3.X I felt protected by the OGL. 5E does not seem to have that sort of license. 
  • There may be an ongoing interest in B/X and Labyrinth Lord regardless of 5E. I could carry on providing ideas for them. 
  • There are enough differences between 5E and B/X that I would feel the need to start a new world. Kaelaross is heavily dependent on the three alignment system, not nine, and assumes that the forces of Chaos are evil, and the forces of Law are good. 

Then again:

  • Maybe I am taking myself too seriously. This is a hobby, not a job. I am not getting paid for this, nor does anyone's lives or livelihoods depend on my blog. 
  • Starting a new world could be quite entertaining. 
  • The rules are not as important as having cool ideas. 
  • A lot of the rules between the editions are common enough that anything written for B/X can be converted (with a bit of thought) to 5E and vice versa. 
  • This is my blog. As I mentioned before, I am the primary audience. So what do I want to do? What do I think is fun?
  • With the emphasis away from strict rules and more towards optional rules, I may not need to stick to official 5E, and could do a sort of 5E/B/X mash-up.


  1. Dude, I found your blog the other day. Are you still interested in 1st Edition AD&D? I live in Bristol, and am try to find some people to geek out with about it, mostly for old times' sake...Drop me a note at if you're nearby and interested!

  2. I recommend you do what you want to do and to blazes with what other people think.

  3. Just curious what you ended up doing.
    : )


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