05 August 2014

#RPGaDay: Day Five - Most Old School RPG Owned

This is a tough question, since I have trouble defining what an "old school" RPG really is. Even then, if I narrow my library down to those RPGs commonly considered as old school, I'd have a short list of titles. It's hard to pick which one is more old school than the others, because the definition of "old school" is so variable. I can pick one, sure, but I think I'll have to list a few others. Honorable mentions, if you will.

I'm not really an old school guy. I understand the appeal, and I've played such games and enjoyed them. I prefer a little mechanical definition to my characters, though, and eight attribute scores written on a piece of lined paper isn't enough. I like systems with skills, I like systems with merits and flaws, I like systems that provide rules for various common circumstances. That's not to say I can't wing things, or make rulings on the fly, since I do that all the time. I just like a little more framework than systems like original D&D provide.

I have to say that The Morrow Project is pretty old school, IMO, and of the old school games I have, I consider it the best one. The system focuses on stats and not skills (up until they borrowed the BRPG skill system for it) with heavy combat mechanics that can be somewhat complicated at times. The black and white line art, layout, and organization certainly give it an old school feeling, too. It's one of my favorite games of all time, mostly because the setting--a post-nuclear apocalypse where the world has devolved into whatever the GM decides to make it--is so damn compelling.

Is Morrow Project the most old school RPG in my library? Oh, I don't know. It's a matter of opinion. I've got the original Twilight: 2000Star Frontiers, Gamma World, AD&D, 2nd edition AD&D, Reich Star, 1st edition WFRP, StormbringerMERP, and a number of Palladium's old titles, to name a few. Which of them is "old schoolier" than the others? I suppose I can leave that up to you, dear reader.

So, yeah. There you go. As always, commentary is welcome.

No comments: