Welcome to oldschoolgamers.net! I am going to kick things off with this first official post, though the site is still under heavy construction and with much missing content.
As a recent returnee to gaming after a multi-decade long break from gaming for that real-life thing, I finally have the time to devote to gaming once again. So spent some time looking over the state of the hobby. In many ways, gaming has improved since the late 80’s – early 90’s when I got out of the hobby…but in others it has (IMO) retrogressed. So, after getting back with my old gaming friends and finding THEY too had free time and a desire to see if the hobby still held the magic it once did (and it does), we decided on sticking with our older game versions.
Why? Again IMO, the gaming industry has been somewhat dumbed down to cater to the short attention-span MMO / XBox/PS4 crowd.
- Players of the newer versions are generally younger and there to socialize and act silly more than play. I went to different game stores and watched many groups of gamers play. My players and I laugh and have fun when we play, but EVERY group I watched playing the newer games spent more time laughing like hyenas and screwing around than playing the game of their choice. The rare folks playing the classic games seemed more focused on the game itself, yet still having fun.
- A trend towards minimizing combat and exploration in favor of talkee-talkee gaming. Now I love RPing my characters as much as the next player, but damn…I do not want a game that plays more like a geopolitical diplomacy novel or an angst-ridden comic book than a game. I want combat and exploration in with my RPing and that seems to be minimized in modern gaming.
- Changing for the sake of change…and to sell new books. The changes to the AD&D Greyhawk campaign world (Greyhawk wars) and pretty much all the myriad of versions of D&D put out by Wizards of the Cashgrab.
- EVERY game I picked up to look at seemed homogenized and dumbed down to play quick and to minimize effects on players (It is hard to die in modern games compared to AD&D, Traveller, etc.). All felt like variations of the same basic generic game system with minor modifications and a different thematic paint job. The ONLY game I found that retained even the slightest hint of complexity and detail was Pathfinder….and it succumbed to the next reason I stuck to older games.
- Pricing well above inflation rate, justified by a ton of unnecessary color pictures (worst offenders being Lizards of the Coast books and FFE’s Traveller….$75 for a rulebook that is 1/4 color pictures, really?). I can afford them, but there are other things I want MORE than a rulebook where 1/4 the pages are just illustrations to run up the price. If you are going to ask that price, give me some MEAT in there, not fluff.
Sooo, we stuck to AD&D 1e. There are a ton of modules we haven’t played, 2e stuff with minimal changes works as well, not to mention after 28 years of not playing we can play the old ones over since no one recalls the details or maps! And we’re having a blast! So far we have replayed B2 – Keep on the Borderlands and moved into T1-4 The Temple of Elemental Evil. And there is a lot more fun to look forward to!