My name is Rich, and I will be writing about classic RPG gaming.
Old School Gaming has a fairly wide range of meanings on the net, so I had better clarify what I mean. I am going to be writing about pre-2000 gaming. That includes all the various D&D editions before 3.0, West End Star Wars, Cyberpunk, Traveller, Hero, GURPS, MERP and many other games. It also includes retroclones. Retroclones are modern remakes of classic games, they usually use the Open Gaming License to create a game that is compatible with a classic RPG. For the most part I will be sticking to RPGs, although I may wander off into related areas like Hero Quest from time to time.
Old School Gaming is more than just a subject area though, it is a gaming philosophy. What, exactly, that philosophy is varies from person to person. Everyone seems to agree that Old School Gamers play the games the way they did in days of yore, of course not everyone played the same way. My personal interpretation is that Old School Gaming is playing the games the way the rules lead you to believe they were intended to be played. This doesn’t mean being a rules lawyer, it means making a game in the style supported by the rules. For example, early versions of D&D gave large amounts of experience for making off with loot. This leads to a style of gaming where getting back to town with the gold is more important than killing the monster. In fact, due to the deadly nature of those early editions, avoiding combat was often a good idea!
For me Old School Gaming means different things when playing different games.
So this means I will not be writing articles about adding story mechanics to Frank Mentzer’s work, or using Jenga to determine cyber-induced insanity in Cyberpunk (although now that I mention it…). In the parlance of the realm, this is going to be trad, tragically trad. So trim up your rat tail, slip on your acid washed jeans, don your “Where’s the Beef?” t-shirt, lace up those Converse All-Stars, and crank up Def Leppard. Bargle has killed our cleric and trader Beowulf is in trouble, it’s time to go.