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Default Rampant Games - What Does "Old School RPG" Mean To You?

July 14th, 2011, 19:21
I disagree.

My experiences from the few pen & paper sessions show me that stories *are* needed.

Maybe you are used to a different kind of gameplay - but to me, a role-playing game that merely exists of fighting simpl is not "playing a role" to me, but rathr "playing a combat".

I think this is one of the differences between European and American players (just a guess) : Europeans regard he story as more important than the combat.

Everything I know about (A)D&D had always led me to the impression that story-based role-playing just wasn't really possible with (A)D&D - it was never intended as a story-based role-playing game, not even for pen & paper playing - but rather it was a kind of war game enriched with some flavours.

Which was its original intention, indeed.

And now, I fear, people are just so much use to THAT kind of playing style, that they just cannot believe other kinds of gameplay to … well, be the norm.

Games without fighting ? Boooooooooring …

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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July 14th, 2011, 22:00
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
A RPG does not require a story (no matter the quality) as what matters is the RP situations the player is provided with. A game world can generate RP situations without having any story.
Etc…
I think that depends on the your definition of "story". At its most basic, a story simply recounting an event or series of events. It doesn't have to be a Homeric epic, you just have to describe something, anything, that happened. By this definition, even the most bare bones scenarios is a story. Before the player can react and play his or her role, the situation needs to be described; basically, a simple story needs to be told.
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July 14th, 2011, 23:48
@ChienAboyeur: you bring up an interesting point, but I do not really agree. Edit: I guess I would agree if the game would be flexible enough to make up it's own story in an environment I like to explore, but then again it would not be completely without story.

If I wanted combat without story, I would play either a strategy game or a first person shooter / some other arcadei game. In my opinion, RPGs are not the best games for combat, although they do provide a great medium for telling a story.

Of course, adventure games are made to tell a story also, and it might well be that I am a born adventure game aficionado that, due to unfortunate circumstances, never came into contact with good adventure games and therefore supplemented this by playing RPGs as the next best thing ;-)

That said, adventure games are usually very (too much so) linear. I guess you could say that not all RPGs are non-linear, but as I said in the beginning, the list includes the things I like about old school RPGs. It's a matter of personal preference and relates to the games I played. There are plenty of good first person shooters out there, so there is no need to reinvent the wheel and transform the RPG genre into the first person shooter genre completely, although I guess game designers could learn some lessons from first person shooters if they lean in that direction, instead of reinventing the wheel altogether.

P.S.: Nicely put, Motoki! And as Alrik said, stories are usually needed to motivate player advancement in an RPG. Is there actually a successful computer RPG without story? Sorry for the rant and thanks to all who still read it ;-)
Last edited by coyote; July 15th, 2011 at 00:04.
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July 15th, 2011, 09:55
For me "old-school" means turn-based for the most part. Almost every RPG I enjoyed when I first started playing them was turn-based. Almost every RPG I play now is not turn-based. That's a pretty clear distinction and the biggest difference.

Secondary to that would be dialogue. When game dialogue was not voiced the writing was more verbose, more detailed and frankly more interesting. The switch to VO has killed real RPG dialog in a lot of ways and moved games to more cinematic style storytelling. So "old-school" would also mean more novel-style while modern is more movie-style.
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