I keep reading the tag lines that DW harkens back to old-school dungeon gaming.

I keep reading the tag lines that DW harkens back to old-school dungeon gaming.

I keep reading the tag lines that DW harkens back to old-school dungeon gaming. Am I the only one that thinks that’s a load of $#*!?

I love DW cause it’s totally the opposite. Old school never cared about behind the scenes/off camera machinations. Old school seemed to only care about crunch.

I feel there is nothing old school about DW and that is a HUGE compliment. Please tell me what I how I am wrong about that.

7 thoughts on “I keep reading the tag lines that DW harkens back to old-school dungeon gaming.”

  1. Andrew Huffaker I think there are a number of very different perspectives on this. While I’m completely with you on the glorious character of DW, you might be surprised to find that many old school gamers are as concerned with storytelling as you are.

    If you consider that the wave of games coming out in the late eighties and early nineties tried to make everything more “realistic” by creating rules for everything, a lot of people looked back on the earlier rule sets as freedom lost. Many people look at all the class options and builds from modern games and ask why can’t we just be a thief and SAY all that other stuff when we care?

    It might seem like Old School/Story Game positions line up with Simulationist/Narrativist ideals but don’t jump to conclusions. A lot of players weigh in without realizing they are on the same side.

    When it comes to this subject, I think it’s almost better to have two discussions. One to define positions and another to hash out the details. “Oh! your into old school role playing? What does that mean to you?”

  2. DW tries to capture the SPIRIT of old school adventures, to recreate a system whereby the stories, narratives and structures of those old school adventures within the context of modern narrative/player-agency focused design.

    The dichotomy you’re describing is basically the entire point of the system, DW attempts to take the resultant games that existed as an extension of the crunch focused systems and remake them within a narrative focused one.

  3. I’m being tongue-and-cheek if not hyperbolic in asking this questions. haha. Though, I will say that it bothers me to see review of this game state something about how it brings old school gaming back; almost as though the review just went onto kick starter and didn’t read past the first few lines of description.

    I know that there is just as much of an operationalized definition for ‘old-school’ as there is for what ‘RPG’ truly constitutes, so I won’t expect more than to just discuss philosophy there.

    But I would like to know what you guys think about the new wave of games that turn away from typical conventions like a D20 system or try to accomplish something different than what typical RPG’ers are used to (Fate, Numenera, DW, PBtA vs Path, DnD, etc.). Is there room to try to reinvent the gaming infrastructures into someone new?

  4. The statement is nonsense but not for the reason you seem to think, Andrew Huffaker.

    DW fronts and steadings are rules for creating an old school sandbox campaign. That’s a lot of crunch for some concepts a lot of gamers take for granted. Those hundred pages or so could be replaced by a handful of random tables.

    Logan Howard makes a good point when he mentions the addition of rules to D&D changing play. It’s sometimes expressed as no one ever failed to ride a horse until there was a skill system.

    The thing is, DW is over 400 pages long! Most old school fantasy games could fit in a book 1/4 to even 1/6 that size and cover all the same bases. If I hadn’t read the 60-page fan-made player’s guide on someone’s recommendation, I don’t think I ever would have pushed through the rulebook.

    There are so many rules in DW! It’s definitely NOT old school!

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