Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Old school gaming, what does it mean to me? (A-Z letter O)

Old school gaming, this is what is widely talked about all around gaming communities. But what is old school for me? This post is not about what old school is, it is how I find it to be...

  1. Older game, published before 90's.
  2. Still, you could play newer games old school style.
  3. Hit points what determine how many blows your character can take instead of how seriously character can be wounded.
  4. Challenges for characters what usually are combat encounters.
  5. Challenges what Game Master creates for players.
  6. Simple plot or adventure where you know usually exactly what you are supposed to do. Different thing is how you get there.
  7. Items play important part here. You write them down carefully, use them, collect them to trade for money and better equipment.
  8. Equipment is important. Equipment can turn your character a few knobs better.
  9. Advancement of characters is more or less straightforward.
  10. Player's are in classes and every class has quite clear function in the party.
  11. You usually only talk to important NPC's. You don't have time to chit-chat with people who aren't important for what you are doing.
  12. Taverns are down time fun. Your characters (and players) turn their adventuring brains off and get drunk and fool around until next quest.
  13. Adventure modules are appreciated and used.
  14. One player's task is to draw the map what DM describes to them.
  15. There usually is a main villain.
  16. Fantasy preferred (but could be other genres too).
  17. You have 10 rack meters of gaming material.
  18. Minis are used not only to represent your character, but also to track combats.
  19. System uses different kinds of dice.
  20. In game accomplishments are also cheered out-of-character with loud noise.
  21. You can win the adventure module (rescue NPC, get exp. Kill main villain of the module, get exp).
  22. Your character can die, roll new to replace dead one.
  23. OSR players might have had break in gaming for several years because of starting adulthood, but when kids are older they want to start gaming again and they go back to games they played when they were in highschool.
This is not necessarily the truth about OSR, but it's how I see it. And I find it really positive, as OSR gamers are really active in rpg community.


Sami Koponen said...

What are these ideas based on? Have you read some OSR adventures or session descriptions? Any old-timers' blogs? Or are you just following your prejudices? Or maybe mixing things accidentally: which games you consider to represent OSR?

Unknown said...

@Sami: Maybe the "pilke silmäkulmassa"/the humor part wasn't visible enough. It's maybe prejudices of mine. But I do read and follow OSR blogs (thanks to RPG Blogger) and find them interesting, warm hearted and great fun.
Maybe not my type of game, but I enjoy reading them.

Maybe I should have put one or three :) in this post to show, that this is not dead serious list.