llamaenterhear
Username: Password:

Author Topic: Old School Quest  (Read 445 times)

0 Members and 1 Lonely Barbarian are spying on this topic.

Offline Chaosmark

  • Harbringer of Segfaults
  • Strolenati
  • Emperor
  • *
  • Posts: 1285
  • Awards Master Questor Item Guild Hall of Heroes 10
    • The Sleepless Hacker
    • Awards
Old School Quest
« on: October 29, 2014, 05:14:26 PM »
Something that has come up more than once with the latest quest is that it feels uninspiring (at least, according to the individuals I've spoken to).

I think it's worth discussing a bit what we're looking for, since the complaints I've gotten about it were along the lines of, "It's just not interesting. Who wants a random table of nonsense?" That isn't what I got from the quest at all, but I can see it, since the description explicitly throws out some staples of Ye Olde Style Gaming as examples.

In my mind, the quest is much more about an old school vibe, feel, and style. We're less concerned with conforming to old-school mechanics as we are about recapturing some of the elements that made it fun. When I think of old school gaming, I think of the adventures that didn't take themselves too seriously, that weren't concerned with always being moody and thrilling, but instead could include a ridiculous situation, that could make a joke and be funny. Sure, random tables were a part of a lot of adventures (just look at the 1st edition DMG), but those were intended to help guide the adventure and provide content when a GM couldn't come up with anything else, not be the end-all solution to generating encounters.

Can we get some other thoughts about what old school means, so that we have a better baseline for people to be inspired from? As-is, I'm not sure the description provides enough to go off of; it suffers from the lack of specificity generalities often do.
P(A|B) = P(B|A)*P(A)/P(B)

By the power of Bayes!

Acolyte Lithil Darkheart – Level 1 Necromancer
STR: 1 | END: 2 | CON: 3 | DEX: 3 | CHA: 3 | INT: 3

Current guild quest: --

Offline Strolen

  • Ignorance Incarnate
  • Guild Leader
  • Emperor
  • *
  • Posts: 8072
  • All your base are belong to us.
  • Awards Questor Locations Guild Locations Guild Elite Item Guild Plot Guild Hall of Heroes 10
    • Strolen's Citadel
    • Awards
Re: Old School Quest
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2014, 06:22:56 PM »
To me it was less about the rules and more about what the players wanted to do. I didn't need 108 different skills to do something, I just said I wanted to do it. Basic skills, basic ideas. It was more raw and unscripted, more about the story and interaction with friends than reality and ensuring rules were followed. Puzzles were huge for us because we got to work together and meet a challenge. Seems like now-a-days you would roll intelligence, ensure you have the "puzzle solving" skill and if you made the roll the GM would tell your character the answer. It isn't like that really, but sometimes the crutch of all the rules makes it seem that way. There are kits and add-ons and 8 levels of skills. A thief just can't look for oddities in the floor, throw rocks on it or look for ridges in a wall based on the fact he is a "thief", now there are stats and skills you need to pick in order to do something my 9 year old could figure out.

So take out all the baggage and get it back to the fun and carefree moments of your first roleplaying games. Back when you were young and didn't judge things so deeply. Dark Elves carrying two scimitars were badass and bandits were a random roll away for every night watch. It really is hard to put it into words, more of a time and feeling when the most cliche thing was new and exciting to you....and fun, above all else.

And I said charts because they were a big part of our games. We loved crit and fumble charts. http://strolen.com/guild/index.php/topic,38.msg78.html#msg78

LOVE IT. I would have fun seeing another. But sword +1 were as common and as part of the old school style as any other. In the vein of old school, I think it would be a hoot to see some VERY MINOR stats like that to remind us of how it was. As asides to the submission and not primary to the description. Some spells might be hard to do that way, but I think you could use descriptions to get your point across.

Doubt that helped that much. It is something hard to quantify now that you ask.


Flying Squirrel – Strolenati Guild
Grothar Rockfury - Dwarvish Guild
Minor Minion - Cartographer's Guild
Level 3
STR: 5 | END: 2 | CON: 3 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 2 | INT: 6
Authentic Strolenite™©® | Llama is as Llama does.


Offline Murometz

  • Last of the Bogatyrs
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3902
  • mathom loves me
  • Awards Locations Guild 2013 Most Upvoted Comment Lifeforms Guild Item Guild 2012 Lifeform of the Year Golden Creator 5
    • Murometz.com
    • Awards
Re: Old School Quest
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2014, 06:23:41 PM »
Well said, that was my take as well, Cmark. The vibe baby, the vibe!

First rule of Old School is that there are no limitations on what Old School is. It is a feeling, that feeling of pure, utter, genuine joy when you first sat down to dice, during your formative years. You didn't have to worry if a Drow was cliche, because they were cool looking, and d**n it, you crafted a pretty cool adventure using them as villains. And whats wrong with an occasional random table of nonsense? Have you seen Coley's table?

Don your chainmail bikinis, grab your 11' poles, and just write anything you like!
Authentic Strolenite™©®

Triumph of the Dungeon Master!

Ah, how I have come to love that sense of accomplishment and victory that I get when I pull the wool over the eyes of a clever player character. What DM Triumphs have you had?

Some of mine:
1. Finally killing an incredibly powerful, lucky, annoying player's character.
2. Finally achieving a TPK (Total Party Kill)
3. Finally achieving a TPK using only traps
4. Finally working out how to make it so that d**n wizard doesn't steal the spotlight all the d**n time.

-Captain Penguin

Online valadaar

  • Lord Ascendant of Typos
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3356
  • Awards Elite NPC Guild Master Questor Hall of Heroes 10 Lifeforms Guild Elite Locations Guild Elite Golden Creator
    • Awards
Re: Old School Quest
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2014, 06:40:02 PM »
Old school for me includes not applying too much logic to things.  Giant whole-room traps that would cost a fortune to build. Magic items without counterbalancing flaws.

   
         Human Strolenati
         Strolenati Guild
         DwarvenGuild - Dorak Stonehammer
         Weavers Guild
         Level 3
         STR: 4| END: 4| CON: 4| DEX: 4 | CHA: 3 | INT: 7
         Authentic Strolenite™©®
      
   
            
         
                
         

Offline Longspeak

  • Ubiquitous Obliquity
  • Strolenati
  • Journeyman
  • *
  • Posts: 76
  • Illegal to Remove this Tag
  • Awards Hall of Heroes Golden Creator 2013 NPC of the Year
    • Awards
Re: Old School Quest
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2014, 06:45:05 PM »
It is a feeling, that feeling of pure, utter, genuine joy when you first sat down to dice, during your formative years.

Okay, this. I don't dig on old school. I dig on moving forward. But I can get behind this statement. I don't D&D anymore, but I still remember the wonder of that first D&D game, y'know? My best friend and I. "I guess we should try this," he said. Working out the rules, describing the scene, describing my character. My actions. So yeah. This.

I'll see what I can do.

((It was funny, the tattoo quest came, but I'd already written my tattoo pieces. :P ))

Offline MysticMoon

  • Malsaĝulo de Reĝoj
  • Strolenati
  • King
  • *
  • Posts: 847
  • Mi serĉas vortojn
  • Awards Questor Hall of Heroes 10 Golden Creator 2011 Society of the Year
    • Campfire Stories
    • Awards
Re: Old School Quest
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2014, 06:18:11 PM »
To me it was less about the rules and more about what the players wanted to do. I didn't need 108 different skills to do something, I just said I wanted to do it. Basic skills, basic ideas. It was more raw and unscripted, more about the story and interaction with friends than reality and ensuring rules were followed. Puzzles were huge for us because we got to work together and meet a challenge. Seems like now-a-days you would roll intelligence, ensure you have the "puzzle solving" skill and if you made the roll the GM would tell your character the answer. It isn't like that really, but sometimes the crutch of all the rules makes it seem that way. There are kits and add-ons and 8 levels of skills. A thief just can't look for oddities in the floor, throw rocks on it or look for ridges in a wall based on the fact he is a "thief", now there are stats and skills you need to pick in order to do something my 9 year old could figure out.

So take out all the baggage and get it back to the fun and carefree moments of your first roleplaying games. Back when you were young and didn't judge things so deeply. Dark Elves carrying two scimitars were badass and bandits were a random roll away for every night watch. It really is hard to put it into words, more of a time and feeling when the most cliche thing was new and exciting to you....and fun, above all else.

This really sums up why I wandered onto other paths when the d20 world arrived (not that d20 is the only offender, it's just the one I normally would've gone to based on my experience with D&D). All these great things you're talking about still exist, in a million different systems. One of the things I most value about Mini Six (which is a new spin on the old system used by WEG for the original Star Wars) is that the system itself is pretty uninspired. There's nothing about it that does anything better or more creatively than any other system out there. What it *does* do is get the hell out of my way and let me cut loose with my imagination, which is basically what we're talking about here. Statting things takes almost no thought whatsoever and the basic mechanic can be used for just about anything (or I handwave, because why not?).

By the way, I've been looking over Mongoose's OGL Ancients book, which is about as d20 as it gets, and I see every example of your diatribe writ large there. I'm skipping over as much of the crunch as I can (since my whole purpose is just to steal the juicy bits of the setting so I can mangle them and create a new space opera setting), but much of the rest of it kind of gets the ideas sucked dry by all the rules references.
Chosen of Aktagarti – Divine Synod Guild – Level 1
Might: 2 | Agility: 3 | Wits: 4 | Charm: 3 | Spirit: 4 | Power: 2

The old man, grey-haired, braid hanging down.
He is clothed in faded brown robes.
His craggy face is turned up, bathed in moonlight;
He looks for his goddess to smile upon him.