Old School Gaming ?


Gamer Life General Discussion

401 to 450 of 528 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | next > last >>
Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The people at Jack Chick probably did more to make D&D a huge fad in the '80s than anyone, to be honest. ;+)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Not to mention that tract is pretty well drawn... Her smirk when she told her friend that she had used the mind bondage spell on her father to get her more D&D stuff has NEVER been matched.


houstonderek wrote:

Old school, the way a lot of us played in the Seventies and early eighties, was a game with some story trappings. There was a lot more "eh, guess I need to roll a new character" than "BLACKLEAF!!!! NO!!!!!".

New school, the way most tables I've been on since, say, the late Eighties, are more story with some game trappings. Random death is frowned upon, and "balanced" encounters are more important than sandbox, sometimes you just have to run away and come back later in your career, or die, type games.

Old school, the game was the thing.

New school, the story is the thing.

Different styles for different purposes. The only difference is old school games can handle new school styles better than new school games handle old school styles, if only because character creation is way more involved now.

Right. Unless the definition of Old School means games with simple character generation systems and the definition of New School means games with complex character generation systems (which brings up the question, why call them Old and New if that's the case), then this isn't a defining characteristic.

houstonderek wrote:
Some version of the term probably existed ten minutes after Clausewitz invented the game all this stuff is ultimately based on, actually. And they've always had a word, in every language, for "person that ruins everything and all fun because their narcissistic butts always have to be right", most likely.

Von Reiswitz, not Clausewitz, was the inventor of Kriegspiel.


Bluenose wrote:
Unless the definition of Old School means games with simple character generation systems and the definition of New School means games with complex character generation systems (which brings up the question, why call them Old and New if that's the case), then this isn't a defining characteristic.

Broadly, character generation was quick and simple in D&D 1st and 2nd edition, and complicated in D&D 3.X. For a lot of people, that's the dividing line between old school and new school. Obviously, people who played different games will have a different experience. Looking at this thread has taught me there's no universal definition of 'old school'.

Anyway, this transition shifted power into the hands of the players (and away from the GM and the dice), and made the character more important than... whatever was important in early D&D games. Ten-foot poles, I think.

Obviously, greater mechanical focus on character generation will lead to far more, or far less, role-playing, depending on your Stormwind coefficient.


Matthew Downie wrote:
Bluenose wrote:
Unless the definition of Old School means games with simple character generation systems and the definition of New School means games with complex character generation systems (which brings up the question, why call them Old and New if that's the case), then this isn't a defining characteristic.

Broadly, character generation was quick and simple in D&D 1st and 2nd edition, and complicated in D&D 3.X. For a lot of people, that's the dividing line between old school and new school. Obviously, people who played different games will have a different experience. Looking at this thread has taught me there's no universal definition of 'old school'.

Anyway, this transition shifted power into the hands of the players (and away from the GM and the dice), and made the character more important than... whatever was important in early D&D games. Ten-foot poles, I think.

Obviously, greater mechanical focus on character generation will lead to far more, or far less, role-playing, depending on your Stormwind coefficient.

Since I'm more than fifty years old and played D&D before AD&D came out, you don't need to remind me. But it's an interesting side-note to just how much D&D players don't think about anything outside D&D, and how much 'Old School' RPGs are a definition entirely rooted in the D&D edition wars, that someone would write about Old School and New School in just those terms. Arguably worrying for the future, since the tropes that D&D exemplifies are very much alien to the fantasy of today and aren't one that potential new players are likely to find appealing.


If you can find really old issues of Dragon, you can find out what was called old-school in the days of 1st and 2nd edition. Random encounter tables with most of the entries having dozens of creatures (5-50 nixies, for example), simple maps, frequent deaths (-10 was an optional rule...), rules for having a representative of the party decide on actions of the other characters, etc etc etc.

Old school existed before Gary put pen to paper.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

By the time The Dragon existed, Gary had already put pen to paper. It was always a TSR publication focused primarily on Gygax penned games.

The Metamorphosis Alpha stuff in issue #1 was pretty weird/cool.

But, you're right, the style existed before Gygax took Arneson's ball and ran with it. All of the "old school" guys that taught us about gaming in '79 were long time war gamers, and a lot of old school conventions came out of that table top scene. They liked games, played RPGs like they were war games (Chainmail and OD&D were just rules for war gaming in a fantasy setting with a mini representing one person rather than a unit, after all).

"New School" started when non-war gamers got into the hobby, but it didn't really explode, probably, until the early '90s and the OWoD material became popular and more story, and less game, driven. Just an observation, ymmv, etc.

Liberty's Edge

For the record, I consider myself "middle school", since I started with AD&D in '79, but was never a war gamer.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Sissyl wrote:
Not to mention that tract is pretty well drawn... Her smirk when she told her friend that she had used the mind bondage spell on her father to get her more D&D stuff has NEVER been matched.

I always wanted to meet the DM mom lady. Yum. ;-)


Matthew Downie wrote:
Bluenose wrote:
Unless the definition of Old School means games with simple character generation systems and the definition of New School means games with complex character generation systems (which brings up the question, why call them Old and New if that's the case), then this isn't a defining characteristic.

Broadly, character generation was quick and simple in D&D 1st and 2nd edition, and complicated in D&D 3.X. For a lot of people, that's the dividing line between old school and new school. Obviously, people who played different games will have a different experience. Looking at this thread has taught me there's no universal definition of 'old school'.

Anyway, this transition shifted power into the hands of the players (and away from the GM and the dice), and made the character more important than... whatever was important in early D&D games. Ten-foot poles, I think.

Obviously, greater mechanical focus on character generation will lead to far more, or far less, role-playing, depending on your Stormwind coefficient.

While I think that there's more to the difference between "old-school" and "new-school" than the complexity level of the system, I do think it's one of the components.

Of course, the irony is that, outside of Paizo, the pendulum has been swinging back towards simpler systems for about 10 years or so. I think the swing back towards simplicity was probably started by OSRIC and the OSR, but lots of systems not related to D&D have veered towards being less complex over the past decade.

So...."old-school" is simpler.
"New-school" is also simpler.
"Middle-school" is where the complicated systems live.


houstonderek wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Not to mention that tract is pretty well drawn... Her smirk when she told her friend that she had used the mind bondage spell on her father to get her more D&D stuff has NEVER been matched.
I always wanted to meet the DM mom lady. Yum. ;-)

I don't think the mom and the DM were supposed to be the same woman.


DMILF?

Liberty's Edge

Norman Osborne wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Not to mention that tract is pretty well drawn... Her smirk when she told her friend that she had used the mind bondage spell on her father to get her more D&D stuff has NEVER been matched.
I always wanted to meet the DM mom lady. Yum. ;-)
I don't think the mom and the DM were supposed to be the same woman.

The DM lady was one of the player's mom. Just not Blackleaf's player.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
houstonderek wrote:
Norman Osborne wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Not to mention that tract is pretty well drawn... Her smirk when she told her friend that she had used the mind bondage spell on her father to get her more D&D stuff has NEVER been matched.
I always wanted to meet the DM mom lady. Yum. ;-)
I don't think the mom and the DM were supposed to be the same woman.
The DM lady was one of the player's mom. Just not Blackleaf's player.

When I was in my college D&D club, one of our members actually ordered a case of the Dark Dungeons tract to hand out to people as a joke.

Official Dark Dungeons tract from Chick publications.

No, I don't think that Miss Frost is supposed to be anyone's mother. She's an archetype that regularly appears in Chick tracts, representing the evils of feminism: Attractive, successful, single, sexually provocative... and therefore a Satanist.


Yeah, Chick feminists don't have children. They steal the breath from sleeping babes.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
houstonderek wrote:
For the record, I consider myself "middle school", since I started with AD&D in '79, but was never a war gamer.

I used to be a wargamer...I suppose I still am. Or, I play wargames (they didn't go extinct you know). :)

Does that mean I'm a High School? (I guess that's a different take on Old School if we are going to use middle school). :P

Also, it's never too late to try the wargaming hobby. Personally if you took page 42 (and the implications that players could do anything they wished to do), 4e in some ways is far closer to chainmail and OD&D than 3e or PF.

Not that many would see it from that perspective. Of course, in that light, 5e is farther away from it than most other things (ironic as 4e is considered mostly new school and 5e is now considered old school).

Of course, there are other RPGs that are closer than either (like OD&D itself for example...nothing prevents anyone from playing it these days...though if you play I prefer using the Greyhawk supplement at the very least...not a huge fan of just playing the core three).


Perhaps more emphasis on storytelling and less worry about stats and number crunching. Characters were characters first that lived and breathed, not just a collection of advantagous feats. I have players now that are multiclassing rogues with magus and warpriest and it is just a big mess with no cohesive theme.

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Brother Fen wrote:
Perhaps more emphasis on storytelling and less worry about stats and number crunching. Characters were characters first that lived and breathed, not just a collection of advantagous feats. I have players now that are multiclassing rogues with magus and warpriest and it is just a big mess with no cohesive theme.

You mean memorable characters like Bob the Fighter XXXII or Harry the Thief XCV?


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Crappy roleplaying is a player problem, not edition, system, or even age. I've met 16 year old's who put more into their characters than 50 year olds who have been playing since before seatbelts were standard in cars.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, there's this idea that AD&D and related systems were more roleplaying-friendly. People are confusing imagination with story.

Imagination: Not to be confused with creativity (which has slightly more "new-school" connotations), imagination was heavily encouraged by older editions. Instead of tasks being outlined by your stats, you had to handle them "manually". Examples are diplomacy or trap disabling. The downside to an imagination-focused game is it tends to go against roleplaying the character you want to play (if I can't talk my way out of a fight, neither can my "silver-tongued" rogue). Imagination is a fun feature, though, and one of the key strengths of old-school games.

Story: Story is heavily encouraged by newer editions. It is easier to play the exact type of character you want, and thanks to lower mortality, it is easier to play out that character's arc without worrying about a fatality in the first encounter they're in. This also frees you up to make riskier choices and not play the most optimal build possible (though some degree of usefulness is necessary).

People who find that their groups don't roleplay as much under newer systems are likely just running into groups less interested in roleplaying.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Yeah, there's this idea that AD&D and related systems were more roleplaying-friendly. People are confusing imagination with story.

Imagination: Not to be confused with creativity (which has slightly more "new-school" connotations), imagination was heavily encouraged by older editions. Instead of tasks being outlined by your stats, you had to handle them "manually". Examples are diplomacy or trap disabling. The downside to an imagination-focused game is it tends to go against roleplaying the character you want to play (if I can't talk my way out of a fight, neither can my "silver-tongued" rogue). Imagination is a fun feature, though, and one of the key strengths of old-school games.

Story: Story is heavily encouraged by newer editions. It is easier to play the exact type of character you want, and thanks to lower mortality, it is easier to play out that character's arc without worrying about a fatality in the first encounter they're in. This also frees you up to make riskier choices and not play the most optimal build possible (though some degree of usefulness is necessary).

People who find that their groups don't roleplay as much under newer systems are likely just running into groups less interested in roleplaying.

I love everything you're saying here KC Barbeque. It also occurs to me that one of the things that always vexed me in older editions is that I was always a story-driven guy. I had lots of characters I wanted to see go to the end and lots of villains I wanted to develop in front of my players. My friends however were always more imaginative in that they just wanted to keep making up more and more stuff. Dirigibles with machine guns; plane-hopping rods; a magically awakened shark army.

None of their imagination ever seemed to go with my story. Since there was always more of them than there was of me, those were the games we played. Since imagination has a lot less rules and structure than story a lot of my games were just my players arguing with me about how their characters SHOULD have all this cool stuff.


Mark Hoover wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Yeah, there's this idea that AD&D and related systems were more roleplaying-friendly. People are confusing imagination with story.

Imagination: Not to be confused with creativity (which has slightly more "new-school" connotations), imagination was heavily encouraged by older editions. Instead of tasks being outlined by your stats, you had to handle them "manually". Examples are diplomacy or trap disabling. The downside to an imagination-focused game is it tends to go against roleplaying the character you want to play (if I can't talk my way out of a fight, neither can my "silver-tongued" rogue). Imagination is a fun feature, though, and one of the key strengths of old-school games.

Story: Story is heavily encouraged by newer editions. It is easier to play the exact type of character you want, and thanks to lower mortality, it is easier to play out that character's arc without worrying about a fatality in the first encounter they're in. This also frees you up to make riskier choices and not play the most optimal build possible (though some degree of usefulness is necessary).

People who find that their groups don't roleplay as much under newer systems are likely just running into groups less interested in roleplaying.

I love everything you're saying here KC Barbeque. It also occurs to me that one of the things that always vexed me in older editions is that I was always a story-driven guy. I had lots of characters I wanted to see go to the end and lots of villains I wanted to develop in front of my players. My friends however were always more imaginative in that they just wanted to keep making up more and more stuff. Dirigibles with machine guns; plane-hopping rods; a magically awakened shark army.

None of their imagination ever seemed to go with my story. Since there was always more of them than there was of me, those were the games we played. Since imagination has a lot less rules and structure than story a lot of my games were just my players arguing with me about how their characters SHOULD have all this cool stuff.

I played in some of those games back in the day and heard about more. I suspect it had more to do with us being in middle school & high school than anything about the edition of the game or even "old school" styles. The games we played in college (still in 1E) were much more serious and story driven.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Redbeard the Scruffy wrote:
Crappy roleplaying is a player problem, not edition, system, or even age. I've met 16 year old's who put more into their characters than 50 year olds who have been playing since before seatbelts were standard in cars.

I think it's a generational problem. Kids are raised on MMOs first and foremost with little to no roleplaying it seems and this often translates to how they approach all RPGs.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Brother Fen wrote:
Redbeard the Scruffy wrote:
Crappy roleplaying is a player problem, not edition, system, or even age. I've met 16 year old's who put more into their characters than 50 year olds who have been playing since before seatbelts were standard in cars.

I think it's a generational problem. Kids are raised on MMOs first and foremost with little to no roleplaying it seems and this often translates to how they approach all RPGs.

Did you quote what I said and ignore it entirely? Let me try bolding it to see if that helps.

Redbeard the Scruffy wrote:
Crappy roleplaying is a player problem, not edition, system, or even age. I've met 16 year old's who put more into their characters than 50 year olds who have been playing since before seatbelts were standard in cars.

I didn't say who put more into their stats. I was referring to RP. I have met old men who can't RP and don't care to, and teens who love it and don't care about stats. I have also seen the inverse.

It. Is. Not. Generational. Or. Edition. It is person by person and has NOTHING to do with either of those things.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Feh. Kids today, with their music and their pants...

Grand Lodge

Krensky wrote:
You mean memorable characters like Bob the Fighter XXXII or Harry the Thief XCV?

The only time we ever did that, was back in grade-school... It stopped once we hit Jr. High (where we were still playing 1st edition AD&D).

Not that there were any fewer character deaths when we got to Jr. High, we just accepted that it was just a part of the game, and rolled with it.

Made quite memorable characters too!

YMMV...


Redbeard the Scruffy wrote:
Brother Fen wrote:
Redbeard the Scruffy wrote:
Crappy roleplaying is a player problem, not edition, system, or even age. I've met 16 year old's who put more into their characters than 50 year olds who have been playing since before seatbelts were standard in cars.

I think it's a generational problem. Kids are raised on MMOs first and foremost with little to no roleplaying it seems and this often translates to how they approach all RPGs.

Did you quote what I said and ignore it entirely? Let me try bolding it to see if that helps.

Redbeard the Scruffy wrote:
Crappy roleplaying is a player problem, not edition, system, or even age. I've met 16 year old's who put more into their characters than 50 year olds who have been playing since before seatbelts were standard in cars.

I didn't say who put more into their stats. I was referring to RP. I have met old men who can't RP and don't care to, and teens who love it and don't care about stats. I have also seen the inverse.

It. Is. Not. Generational. Or. Edition. It is person by person and has NOTHING to do with either of those things.

I wouldn't say "nothing". System does influence roleplaying. I've played a lot of different systems with different groups (or with the same ones) and there have been definite differences. From the "Don't bother naming characters until they hit 3rd level" approach of some deadly old school games (either early AD&D or some revivals like DCC) to narrative mechanics games like Dogs in Vineyard to immersive Diceless stuff like Amber. None of them prevent roleplay, but they can encourage it in different ways and to different extents.


9 people marked this as a favorite.

I started in wargames (miniatures and board) and picked up playing D&D in 1974. I've said this before, as have others here, we didn't have backstories. The characters story was written in game. Partly it was a lack of information about the character. You had a vague idea about your fighter, he was a knight or a barbarian or a Viking or a hardened mercenary. You filled in the blanks while playing. Role playing came with knowledge of your character and his fellow adventurers. That took survival. Low level characters often had little detail to them. The character who made it to 4th or 6th level (or higher) became more "real". You had deeper story driven games with those higher level characters. My game, then and now, has a sandbox adventure area (dungeon, caverns, dark forest, etc.) where characters gain their first few levels. Players develop their characters ... character (as it were) on adventures and in town between them. As they go up in level (and have spent more time in the setting) they get more involved with the local NPCs, make friends and enemies, and do things beyond simple adventures. They wind up hip deep in a story driven game at that point. That's always worked for me (and my players).

This has always seemed fairly reasonable to me. I developed background generation systems DMing to give players a bit more information about their characters. They didn't do it, so I made up tables based on class and race. I still use them (players are free to roll or choose, always were. Nationality was also a table (or choose your own). You rolled characteristics, chose race, chose class, rolled / picked nationality and social background (tables based on class). I had to push this onto players who wouldn't have worried about how they fit into the setting. Not exactly a problem anymore :)

Personally I don't think it needs to get deeper than that for a new PC (although players are free to develop more). Fresh off the farm / manor house / squalid shanty / magical collegium characters probably don't have huge complex stories attached to them. Mostly anyway. They're beginners. Competent (hopefully), promising (maybe), inexperienced (definitely). They build that big story in game.

To me, that's old school. Ymmv, and I suspect does for pretty much everybody.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Brother Fen wrote:
Redbeard the Scruffy wrote:
Crappy roleplaying is a player problem, not edition, system, or even age. I've met 16 year old's who put more into their characters than 50 year olds who have been playing since before seatbelts were standard in cars.

I think it's a generational problem. Kids are raised on MMOs first and foremost with little to no roleplaying it seems and this often translates to how they approach all RPGs.

Aside from calling problems that are literally as old as the hobby "generational problems" (seriously, the "crappy roleplayer" archetypes have been sources of parody for decades), this is especially silly because many MMOs are actually full of story—both in the game and the roleplaying communities that tend to form within. People do story if story interests them. That was true back when Nodwick and Knights of the Dinner Table were parodying murderhobo tropes and it's true now.


R_Chance wrote:

I started in wargames (miniatures and board) and picked up playing D&D in 1974. I've said this before, as have others here, we didn't have backstories. The characters story was written in game. Partly it was a lack of information about the character. You had a vague idea about your fighter, he was a knight or a barbarian or a Viking or a hardened mercenary. You filled in the blanks while playing. Role playing came with knowledge of your character and his fellow adventurers. That took survival. Low level characters often had little detail to them. The character who made it to 4th or 6th level (or higher) became more "real". You had deeper story driven games with those higher level characters. My game, then and now, has a sandbox adventure area (dungeon, caverns, dark forest, etc.) where characters gain their first few levels. Players develop their characters ... character (as it were) on adventures and in town between them. As they go up in level (and have spent more time in the setting) they get more involved with the local NPCs, make friends and enemies, and do things beyond simple adventures. They wind up hip deep in a story driven game at that point. That's always worked for me (and my players).

This has always seemed fairly reasonable to me. I developed background generation systems DMing to give players a bit more information about their characters. They didn't do it, so I made up tables based on class and race. I still use them (players are free to roll or choose, always were. Nationality was also a table (or choose your own). You rolled characteristics, chose race, chose class, rolled / picked nationality and social background (tables based on class). I had to push this onto players who wouldn't have worried about how they fit into the setting. Not exactly a problem anymore :)

Personally I don't think it needs to get deeper than that for a new PC (although players are free to develop more). Fresh off the farm / manor house / squalid shanty / magical collegium characters probably don't have huge...

This sounds right to me. So basically, oldschool roleplaying is a tabletop enactment of Cerberus Syndrome.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
quibblemuch wrote:
Feh. Kids today, with their music and their pants...

I know right? And their new-fangled desire to build to the numbers and kill everything in the dungeon.

...

Oh wait, that was my friends back in HS. And College. And after college. And right now.

Stinkin kids...

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Brother Fen wrote:
Perhaps more emphasis on storytelling and less worry about stats and number crunching. Characters were characters first that lived and breathed, not just a collection of advantagous feats. I have players now that are multiclassing rogues with magus and warpriest and it is just a big mess with no cohesive theme.

First off, *FACEPALM*. The other replies handle this better.

Secondly... WTF? There are still people that believe multiclassing in Pathfinder is POWERGAMING?

Multiclassing got smacked with the nerfbat until it was comatose in the 3.5>PF conversion and has only continued to be bludgeoned further into unconsciousness as PF has continued to expand. A core part of the PF design process was making single-classed characters immensely more preferable, perhaps an overreaction to the ubiquity of multiclassing and prestige-classing in 3.5 that swung the pendulum violently in the complete opposite direction.

Your multiclassed Magi and Warpriests would be significantly more powerful without those rogue levels to drag them down.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Backstories. R_Chance touches on them up thread. And character death too. Yes, some folks are of the opinion that old school = PC fatalities and a lack of backstory.

This is why I think "old school" is completely subjective.

I have roughly as many deaths in PF as I did back in AD&D when we were in HS. That is to say; not that many. Also I still remember the elaborate backgrounds my players used to make, like the half-elven prince of a fallen empire cursed to wander and losing all his skills reducing him to a level 1 druid/fighter/magic-user and others.

People always say "YMMV" and I wholeheartedly agree. Inevitably my experience is NEVER the same as my current buddies. I have one guy that produced a binder with 2 pocket folders from back in the day. One side was full of pre-rolled AD&D characters, the other side was stuffed with six different dead characters from ONE campaign. Said campaign only made it to sixth level.

REALLY? 1 dead guy per level? I fudged dice as my group's DM so PCs would live time and again because my players had put so much into crafting them. A couple of my campaigns got so high in level I had whole lineages of famed adventurers, from grandfather to grandson. Not because the characters died and the same stats were used for Bergen Frothmeyer the Second, but because the character would make to about 11th level, retire, and the player would want to keep playing in a reboot to level 1.

So yeah, my MMV. A lot.

I think "old school" just means however you played as a kid. Whatever thoughts, feelings, experiences and ideas you had back in the day when you first started. It's really nothing more than that to me. That makes the term entirely personal. One player's "old school" is another's "killer GM" or whatever.

And as for new players and kids being raised on MMO's: my kids at 11 and 13 were raised on video games. I'm not ashamed to say that they have logged more hours on some of the kinder, gentler online or PS3 RPGs than I have.

They also routinely come up with cool plans, engage in silly roleplay and generally are more cinematic than any other players I game with, with one exception. There's a group of thirty-somethings I play with who never played RPGs having only done board gaming and MMOs. I have played two sessions with them so far and am blown away by the weird, cool crap they try every game without any thought to HOW they will succeed at said crap.

So I don't think youth, saturation in video games or a generation has anything to do with how much folks do or don't do in the game or with their roleplaying. My suspicion is that it's about their newness to the game.

Players I game with seem to have more enthusiasm to assume a role and try crazy stuff with the less system mastery they have. They don't know HOW to, say, grab a vine, swing over a bog, and chop a bullywug's head off with their axe just as the foe comes shooting up out of the water in a Charge, but they know they want to so they just say that they do that and leave it to me to figure the how.

Other players though with extreme system mastery dictate a litany of skill checks, feats and powers they'll use to inevitably land at learning everything about, say, a witch's plan to infiltrate a village by slowly poisoning patrons of the feast hall with an addictive substance in the food. Said plans are meticulous, suggest possible DCs and are well reasoned. They also involve certain Gather Information scenes which the player handwaves with skill checks that their character has been specifically built to succeed at.

These are 2 different ways of playing. Neither is bad. Neither came from a kid raised on video games. Both are grown adults my age (forties); the bullywug-chopper has only RPG'd a few times and rarely in PF while the diplomancer has been at this for years and has a lot of 3.5 and PF experience.

I just want to play so both are welcome at my table. I picture both differently in my head, even though neither has ever given me a proper description of their character. The female barbarian with her axe, a half-orc; for some reason I picture her with red hair, wild eyes and a blood-smear on her smirking cheek dressed all in crazy hide armor. The other one is an elf wizard with a thrush; I picture him like some stuffy British TV interviewer from the 60's and 70's with pale hair and complexion, really well polished clothing and gear, and very properly de-briefing the folks he diplomacizes.

Whatever. TL/DR; my point is that all of this is subjective. Old school gamers; good versus bad roleplaying; how we enjoy our hobby. All of my experiences above are all anecdotal so of course YMMV and I expect, as R_Chance does that yours does vary. Wildly.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Old School gamers whine about modern day kids:

Anything Goes wrote:

In olden days a glimpse of stocking

Was looked on as something shocking,
But now, God knows,
Anything Goes.

Good authors too who once knew better words,
Now only use four letter words
Writing prose, Anything Goes.

The world has gone mad today
And good's bad today,
And black's white today,
And day's night today,
When most guys today
That women prize today
Are just silly gigolos

New School gamers whine about modern day kids:

Bye Bye Birdie wrote:

Kids!

I don't know what's wrong with these kids today!
Kids!
Who can understand anything they say?
Kids!
They a disobedient, disrespectful oafs!
Noisy, crazy, dirty, lazy, loafers!

And yet, even the "kids" from Bye Bye Birdie are older than OD&D by a significant margin.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:


This sounds right to me. So basically, oldschool roleplaying is a tabletop enactment of Cerberus Syndrome.

Pretty much :)

Complexity and danger build as the character became more complex and more powerful. Gritty day to day survival stories can happen in a dungeon or city for low level PCs. It builds character. And a lot of the stuff that happens to low level PCs can be funny. If occasionally fatal. More complex character driven stories take time to develop and epic stories do as well. Many APs try to do this (level 1-15+), but the epic intent is there from the start and I don't really see low level PCs as being epic material. They need to level up a bit and find their feet before they're eligible for the big time or could survive being involved with it. I see PCs percolating around the sandbox through the first 3-5 levels before they get into important stuff. Then it becomes reasonable for others (friends or enemies) to involve them. In the old days "modules" were rated by level (1-4, 5-8, 9-12 etc.) and there may, or may not, have been any connections between them (although some are famous for having that). The modules could be plugged into existing games, and many of my friends did this. I'm a bit weird -- I always did my own stuff. I always found it "fit" the setting better and often the amount of time necessary to adopt an adventure wasn't much less than doing your own.

As for content I think comedy, drama, romance and horror are all necessary for good character development :D


R_Chance wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:


This sounds right to me. So basically, oldschool roleplaying is a tabletop enactment of Cerberus Syndrome.

Pretty much :)

Complexity and danger build as the character became more complex and more powerful. Gritty day to day survival stories can happen in a dungeon or city for low level PCs. It builds character. And a lot of the stuff that happens to low level PCs can be funny. If occasionally fatal. More complex character driven stories take time to develop and epic stories do as well. Many APs try to do this (level 1-15+), but the epic intent is there from the start and I don't really see low level PCs as being epic material. They need to level up a bit and find their feet before they're eligible for the big time or could survive being involved with it. I see PCs percolating around the sandbox through the first 3-5 levels before they get into important stuff. Then it becomes reasonable for others (friends or enemies) to involve them. In the old days "modules" were rated by level (1-4, 5-8, 9-12 etc.) and there may, or may not, have been any connections between them (although some are famous for having that). The modules could be plugged into existing games, and many of my friends did this. I'm a bit weird -- I always did my own stuff. I always found it "fit" the setting better and often the amount of time necessary to adopt an adventure wasn't much less than doing your own.

As for content I think comedy, drama, romance and horror are all necessary for good character development :D

I dunno, we've always played with the characters being drawn into the main campaign arc from the beginning - often around the edges of the plot, but enough to set the hooks. It's worked for us.

Lots of classic fantasy stories work that way too.

The nice thing, from my point of view, is that you can have your characters initial motivations tied to the actual plot. You can use "Reluctant Heroes" and similar tropes. Rather than having to have characters who decide to start "adventuring" for different reasons and then need another hook to draw into the actual plot.


thejeff wrote:


I dunno, we've always played with the characters being drawn into the main campaign arc from the beginning - often around the edges of the plot, but enough to set the hooks. It's worked for us.
Lots of classic fantasy stories work that way too.

The nice thing, from my point of view, is that you can have your characters initial motivations tied to the actual plot. You can use "Reluctant Heroes" and similar tropes. Rather than having to have characters who decide to start "adventuring" for different reasons and then need another hook to draw into the actual plot.

Oh, I agree, it can be done but I find it easier to set the hook in a developed character. It also allows the players more choice in the direction their characters are going to go. My PCs have walked away from epic plots. And wandered straight into others. Or just poked around and hung out with friends. A lot of players like choice in their character creation and advancement options, but don't worry too much about choices in what they do in the world (at least once the campaign starts). I've always found that odd. The most reliable way to draw players into an adventure is through their long term contacts within the setting. Players will "help a friend" or defend a place they like more readily than dive into an adventure without reason. They will dig into the mysteries of a place they are familiar with more readily than someplace they don't know. The more setting knowledge and context they have (the more buy in as it were) the better the adventure. I've run the same setting for over 40 years and it has worked for me with multiple generations of players.

Scarab Sages

Mark Hoover wrote:

So I don't think youth, saturation in video games or a generation has anything to do with how much folks do or don't do in the game or with their roleplaying. My suspicion is that it's about their newness to the game.

Players I game with seem to have more enthusiasm to assume a role and try crazy stuff with the less system mastery they have. They don't know HOW to, say, grab a vine, swing over a bog, and chop a bullywug's head off with their axe just as the foe comes shooting up out of the water in a Charge, but they know they want to so they just say that they do that and leave it to me to figure the how.

Other players though with extreme system mastery dictate a litany of skill checks, feats and powers they'll use to inevitably land at learning everything about, say, a witch's plan to infiltrate a village by slowly poisoning patrons of the feast hall with an addictive substance in the food. Said plans are meticulous, suggest possible DCs and are well reasoned. They also involve certain Gather Information scenes which the player handwaves with skill checks that their character has been specifically built to succeed at.

These are 2 different ways of playing. Neither is bad. Neither came from a kid raised on video games. Both are grown adults my age (forties); the bullywug-chopper has only RPG'd a few times and rarely in PF while the diplomancer has been at this for years and has a lot of 3.5 and PF experience.

Interesting perspective. I play with a group that has been RPGing together for over 20 years, and most of the other players have been playing D&D for 25-30 years. None of us play MMOs, but most of us do play console RPGs, and we all love action movies. But we're all really into trying to do cinematic things. One player seems to have eidetic memory when it comes to rules, and can quote what skill check and penalties will be involved in swinging from a chandelier or sliding across a ship's deck, but that doesn't stop him from trying to do those things. Occasionally we find that when we discover how hard it is to do something cinematic in d20 rules we give up on that idea, but generally we're not deterred by knowledge of the rules. If it sounds fun to try something and we're willing to accept the consequences if it doesn't work out the way we imagine, we go for it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Last time I looked "Dark Dungeons" can be one of four things....

1. The Chick track....if you look it was around the same time as the RSA (ritualistic Satanic Abuse) hysteria in preschools was going on.

2. A website devoted to 50 shades type stuff.

3. A D&D retro clone and a sequel called "Darker Dungeons"

4. The film inspired by #1

Grand Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Which leads to the philosophical question "Are you playing a game at that point?"

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Which, as it has a million times before, begs the question of why have the skills be an in-game thing at all if all the results are based on the PLAYER'S personal ability rather than the CHARACTER'S.

Or, in shorter terms, why do Charisma-based/social tests have to be successfully performed by the PLAYER, but Strength/Dexterity-based tests and challenges can be answered without complaint by a simple roll? Why does the Bard's player have to come up with a song, but the Fighter's player can just sit there and roll his attacks/strength checks to move boulders/shove doors/etc.?

EDIT: Huh. That's... not shorter at all, actually.

401 to 450 of 528 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Gamer Life / General Discussion / Old School Gaming ? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.