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Wednesday, 9 July 2014

OK, it's final! "Schools" are more misleading than useful.

I was just wondering what games I like, whether I prefer old school or new school, or something in-between.
After some deliberation, I was surprised at the number of OSR and old school games that are among my favourites.
Scarlet Heroes and DCC take the lead. Then we follow, probably, with Spears of the Dawn, ACKS, Epées et Sorcellerie, Spellcraft and Swordplay, Backswords and Bucklers, Stars Without Numbers, and arguably even Crimson Blades and Lamentations of the Flame Princess should be there.
If we include old-school games in general, we add Grunts (Fantasy Fucking Vietnam minus the fantasy part) and 43 AD/Warband/Zenobia right next to Scarlet Heroes. And arguably any edition of Traveller, BRP, Flashing Blades and Dogtown should be right there as well. And Dragon Warriors, which I happen to like, even if the system could be improved.

And then we go forFates Worse Than Death and Hoodoo Blues, which are old-school in a good way. And my wife is younger than Pendragon, so the game definitely counts as old-school to me, as far as games go!

Okay, maybe I'm an old-school guy, reading the above...
Except I love WotG and LotW, Sorcerer, Apocalypse World, Monsterhearts, Gods of Gondwane, TBZ, Houses of the Blooded, Enemy Gods, Fate and Shahida just as much, all of them being New School par excellence!
But I also like GURPS, RQ6, Savage Worlds, Artesia, Volant, TRoS, Seeker and Blue Planet, which are some kind of a middle-school. And Celestial Warriors, which is new-school in a different way. And post-GMC nWoD, which is also "middle school" in its own way...

In theory, I'm either the happy guy that can play everything (hah! Good luck getting me to play PF, just to name the example I turn down most often)...
...or we can conclude the distinction between "schools" to be absolute BS. In theory, my tastes should clash with at least some of these games, just on virtue of liking their polar opposites!
In practice, I like each of them for what they do well.
So, this is my conclusion for today. Find a game that does well whatever it does. Play it in a way that would make it shine. Laugh heartily at the idea that games come in "generations". Seriously, there is no difference, except in what was modern at the time!