Recently I've gotten into the Old School Renaissance RPG's, In particular Swords & Wizardry and Scarlet Heroes, I also managed to hope I managed to snag a copy of the D&D Premium reprint before Amazon stopped selling it. Though that particular bird is not in my hand just yet, though Amazon tells me it will be in early March.
One problem I perpetually have is that only one of my sons is interested in RPGs, the other finds them boring. Which has historically made getting much of a campaign going kind of difficult. This is where Scarlet Heroes come in, as its a set of rules that has been designed to allow old modules designed for 4 to 5 players work with a single hero. So far my older son is finding Old School Play with its focuse on exploration to be far more enjoyable that more modern my character has umpteen ways to hit things play, that seems to characterise newer games.
What we have ended up playing is at present a real Frankenstein's, or perhaps Zielinski's Monster of a system, which includes elements from the above two systems along with a home brewed roll under dice rolling mechanic. And it all started with the shear number of things that Swords and Wizardry defines as having an X in 6 chance of success, from opening doors, to searching and the thieves Hear sound ability.
I started trying to fit everything into a D6 system, and found this post about how to make the system scale. And then I had an Idea. What if we use dice size to represent difficulty. So 1d4 for trivial tasks, 1d8 for average, up to 1d12 for extreme difficulty and 1d20 representing the stress of combat. And yes using skills in combat will require a 1d20 roll, which I fee nicely reflects the fact that whatever it is your trying you only have 10 seconds to do it. The other change I made is to get rid of the arithmetic. So if you roll the highest number on the dice its generally a failure, unless your skill is at least that high. If it is then roll again using the next higher die type, and if you still fail then you really fail.
I've made attack rolls and saving throws work this way too. Incidentally when your target is to roll low, descending AC scores actually make a whole lot more sense.
It would be nice to get a hold of some d16 to even out the difficulty curve a little. Heck I'd be tempted to use 4, 6, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24 as my dice set, But finding odd sized dice in Australia is a little hard, and shipped in from the US or the UK ends up working out to more than $5 per dice. Edit. I've decided to run with it anyway, simulating the 16 and 24, with the odd / even trick that was used to get results of 11-20 on d20 rolls back in the day.
I also devanced the magic system, replacing one shot spell slots with a magic point pool that increases as magic users and Clerics go up in level. Now that My son has multi classed his thief into a magic-user/thief, we shall see how that one works out.
So things are looking up on the Role Playing front for the moment, and I'm looking forward to doing more of it.