I’ve been playing a lot of Labyrinth Lord online lately, and have been spending some time going through the rules for all three of the Goblinoid Games rule sets – Original Edition Characters (OEC), Labyrinth Lord (LL), and Advanced Edition Companion (AEC) (links are to free, no-art versions). The OEC is based on the original, 1974 OD&D, the core LL is based on the 1981 B/X Basic D&D, and the AEC is based on Advanced D&D, 1e.
I’ve had all three sets of rules in printed form for a while, but until I started playing LL regularly, I had not read them in detail. I have come to appreciate the completeness and clarity of the LL ecosystem. Keeping the core mechanics the same across all three LL variants allows DM’s to pick and choose bits and pieces for their campaigns – maybe some AEC magic items and monsters, with OEC character classes, for example – without having to worry about introducing incompatibilities or un-balancing the game. What’s more, the online community that has built itself around these games is very welcoming and helpful, and there are loads of supplements and modules available (many of them free). So if you are a DM looking to get your gaming group into a more old-school style of gaming, give Labyrinth Lord a try. If you are a player, head over to the Goblinoid Games Forums and get yourself into a play-by-post game.