2019-06-03 Elements of the Old School Renaissance

Over on Lasagna Social, Roger GS described it as:

… environment-focused, with exploration and social interaction the focus of creative expression, and combat not absent or abstracted but encapsuled in a simple system with a few nods to realism. We are creating interesting places to be dealt with discursively, rather than intriguing plot lines that are scaffolded by mechanics, or stages to play out a combat game in between cut scenes.

I love it. Much better than taking the old D&D rules and seeing where they can take us (although that is exactly what I am doing) – but what Roger is saying is what attracts me to products that don’t use variants of classic D&D. It’s where my love for the OSR intersects my love for other games.

I don’t think we need a new name for this kind of gaming, though. Adventure games is fine. (See Adventure Game is the name of the game.) Sword Dream? I don’t know. (See A Sword Dream.) For the moment, I’ll keep tagging these posts “Old School” and I will leave it up to you to decide whether it needs “Renaissance” or “Role-playing game” (or just “role-playing”) added to it. 🙂



On his blog, Roger writes:

At its best the DIY movement has given us: Borgesian monsters posing problems that go beyond combat; weird magic systems with flavor and creative effects; adventures that map out strange societies and oddball challenges. Can we really still call it “Old School” or is it more like a “Never-Was” school?

Certainly if anyone back in the 80’s was playing or writing like this, I never heard about them.

An excellent point!

– Alex Schroeder 2019-06-06 20:47 UTC

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