A site dedicated to retro-clone, pen & paper, role-playing games.
- OSRIC similar to AD&D
- GORE similar to BRP/Call of Cthulhu/Runequest
- Labyrinth Lord similar to Basic/Expert D&D c. 1981
- Four Colors similar to the Marvel Super Heroes FASERIP system
- Double Zero similar to 007
- Legends of the Ancient World similar to The Fantasy Trip
- ZeFRS similar to the TSR Conan RPG
- Swords & Wizardry similar to the original Dungeons & Dragons
- Warrior and Wizard—TFT—design blog
Not quite retro-clones (which is quite subjective)
- Mutant Future similar to Gamma World
What are “retro-clone” games
First, keep in mind that—like any category—a single definition won’t fit every game in the category perfectly.
A retro-clone game reproduces the mechanics (which are not covered by copyright) of an old role-playing game. The primary purpose of such games is to give authors and publishers who wish to publish material compatible with the older game a common, open base and brand. This makes things easier on the authors and less confusing for the players.
Note that, by this writer’s way of thinking, it isn’t enough for a game to strive to capture the spirit of an older game to be “retro-clone”. To qualify for the “clone” part, the mechanics must attempt to be as close to the original game as legally possible. (Approximately.)
Hackmaster is similar to a retro-clone game, but was produced under license. It could legally reproduce elements of AD&D and AD&D2e that OSRIC could not. It also isn’t open, which (IMHO) is a vital element of the concept, even if it isn’t captured in the name.
The term “retro-clone” was coined (to my knowledge) by Goblinoid Games. The first(?) retro-clone game was OSRIC.