The way it’s meant to be played

Recently a lot of bloggers all over the network started to write about old-school gaming and how it differs from newer gaming styles. And although I got the impression that the discussion that arose was friendly and quite enlightening, some people misunderstood it as another occurence of the “edition war”. But I believe we should have reached a point where we don’t argue about how the game is meant to be played.

In the end it’s all about personal preferences. If somebody loves the old-school way with rulings more important than rules and challenging the player not the character, that’s ok with me. And if someone prefers the more new-school approach, which favors clearly defined rules for all situations and a more character (not player) focussed gameplay that’s ok with me, too. And I don’t believe it makes much sense to argue about which mindset is more right.

If you ask me there is no inherently way roleplaying games are meant to be played. A lot of how you play it depends on the gamemaster’s and players preferences. In my gaming groups I tend to favor roleplaying over rolls. If someone roleplays a situation convincingly I let him succeed without the need for a roll. But that’s not necessarily the only way, it could be done. Other gaming groups do it by the rules and a roll (or even a skill challenge like in D&D) is needed. That’s not exactly my cup of tea but I will not tell them how to play their game.

So, when there are discussions about gaming styles remember that there is no right and wrong. Everything is allowed as long as it’s fun for the people participating in that particular game. If you don’t like the way the other guy plays the game, just try to find your own style. 

Just my two cents.

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team. In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games. Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

7 thoughts on “The way it’s meant to be played”

  1. I absolutely agree. For me, the struggle is to get people to recognize that there actually are different styles and different games are suitable for different styles. What style I like depends on my mood and who the GM and players are.

    <abbr><abbr>Joshuas last blog post..Announcing Rollon!</abbr></abbr>

  2. Amen to that.

    Old School, New School, any school – however you define them (or not), I love 'em all. It's all D&D, anyhow.

    <abbr><abbr>greywulfs last blog post..I am not…</abbr></abbr>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.