Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Old School

Much is made of the whole "Old School Renaissance", and I am greatful for its existence.  I think that there is value in looking back on what came before, and not forgetting where you come from, so to speak.  I think it's important to look at things as they are, though. 

Near as I can tell, the "Old School" is representative more of a mindset than a system in particular, which makes the abundance of retroclones bewildering, to say the least.  Rules-light is attractive, but let's face it - some of the stuff that our forefathers abandoned was jettisoned for a reason - it didn't work the first time around. 

I play a Labyrinth Lord campaign, and I love it.  I enjoy the back to basics approach that forces me to rely on my wits rather than powers.  But there are things in it that just stick in my craw - the Charisma modifier doesn't change whether you've got a 13 or an 18, for instance.  The insane area of effect for the Entagle spell (80 ft in diameter!).  Using a chart to determine hits instead of THAC0.  That sort of stuff.

Yes, there were great things about the original games, and lord knows we wouldn't be here without them.  I'm all for us keeping that flame alive, and not marching blindly into the future of collectible cards and paid downloadable content.  But let's not forget why we left some of that stuff behind to begin with, huh?

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