The chart below compares select features of the various fantasy roleplaying game systems inspired by Gary Gygax's 1974 rules. These systems are commonly referred to as retro-clones or old-school renaissance games. I haven't played all these systems, and I welcome factual corrections.
|Feature||OD&D (LBB)||Swords & Wizardry: Whitebox Edition||Swords & Wizardry Core Rules||Labyrinth Lord||Labyrinth Lord: Original Edition Characters|
|Saving Throws||Death Ray or Poison, All Wands - Including Polymorph or Paralization, Stone, Dragon Breath, Staves & Spells||Single, unified saving throw||Single, unified saving throw||Breath Attacks, Poison or Death, Petrify or Paralyze, Wands, Spells or Spell-like Devices||Breath Attacks, Poison or Death, Petrify or Paralyze, Wands, Spells or Spell-like Devices|
|Cleric spells at 1st level||None||None||None||One 1st level||None|
|Weapon damage||1d6||1d6 (some +/-1)||Variable||Variable||1d6, optional variable weapon damage|
|Classes||Fighting-Men, Magic-Users, Clerics, Dwarves, Elves, Halflings||Cleric, Fighter, Magic-usera||Cleric, Fighting-man, Magic-userb||Clerics, Dwarves, Elves, Fighting Men, Halflings, Magic-Users, Thief||Clerics, Dwarves, Elves, Fighting Men, Halflings, Magic-Users|
|Bonus for 18 ability score||Variable (for example: 18 prime class requisite = 10% XP bonus, Dex +1 missile fire, Con +1 per hit die)||+1 (except Charisma gives +2 hireling loyalty)||+1 (except Charisma gives all classes 5% XP bonusc)||Variable (but mostly +3)||Variable (mostly follows OD&D)|
|Maximum hirelings (w/ 18 charisma)||12||7||7||7||12|
|Monster hit dice||d6||d6||d8||d8||d8|
|Character class hit dice||d6d||d6||d6 (+/- 1-2 per level depending on class)||Variable||Variable|
|Alignments||Law, Neutrality, Chaos||No official alignments; suggests Law, Chaos, or Neutrality as unofficial defaults||No official alignments; suggests Law, Chaos, or Neutrality as unofficial defaults||Law, Neutrality, Chaos||Law, Neutrality, Chaos|
|Demi-human level limits||Elf fighting-man 4, magic-user 8; dwarf fighting-man 6, halfling fighting-man 4||Elf fighting-man 4, magic-user 8; dwarf fighting-man 6, halfling fighting-man 4||Elf 9 (unclear; optional Elven adventurer class can advance beyond 9); dwarf fighting-man 6 (but higher for optional Dwarven Warrior class), halfling fighting-man 4||Elf 10; dwarf 12, halfling 8||Elf fighting-man 4, magic-user 8; dwarf fighting-man 6, halfling fighting-man 4|
|Sleep saving throw?||Yese||No save||No save||Doesn't say (but other spells do specify no save, so yes?)||Doesn't say (but other spells do specify no save, so yes?)|
a The S&W Whitebox elf chooses each day whether to play as a fighter or to play as a magic-user. A variant elf allows the character to act as both at the same time, and presents an alternate, more demanding advancement table.
b Two optional classes are presented: Dwarven Warrior and Elven Adventurer. These are effectively races as classes. Halflings are left out in the cold, advancing up to 4th level as fighters.
c Which seems strange, and I'd appreciate it if someone could explain the design choice to me.
d Although not every class gets a new, full hit die at every level. Second level magic-users get only 1 hit die +1 hit point, for example. Greyhawk amends this, so that every class gets a new HD at each level.
e Men & Magic seems to imply that the targets of all spells can try to save. Although Greyhawk explicitly says
"there is no saving throw against this spell."
This table and its contents are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License. Please credit Paul Gorman (http://quicklyquietlycarefully.blogspot.com).