So, I finally settled on a system for Swords of the Red Sun, the classic D&D game I’m trying to get going.
I choose Basic Fantasy Roleplaying after seriously considering Rules Cyclopedia. The list of pluses and minus is interesting but BFRP had two things that made the choice.
One was players can order a new hard copy for the same price as a used copy of the Rules Cyclopedia. Actually, BFRP is $20 and RC runs $30 on eBay.
However, the other thing is BFRP is actually closer to the D&D I played than any printed version under the D&D label or the other two major simulacrum games. It is essentially BD&D without character races as discrete classes.
Which probably describes my AD&D1 games from 1979-1985 (junior high and high school) more than anything else. We used the PHB and the charts in the DMG but the actual rules were out of Holmes and B/X. No concept of segments, D6 initiative, and so on.
Looking back I’d have to say I’ve never played AD&D, just BD&D and, for lack of a better term, a hybrid I’ll call Intermediate Dungeons & Dragons.