Recently, I have had the chance to play with people are are familiar with systems that promote role playing more than D&D. At least that is what they believe. In my opinion, even the old Metzer and Moldvay OD&D promoted role playing. It was just of a different type.
It is not a problem that these new players, in the sense that they haven't had much exposure to old school gaming, don't like the old style. That is their choice. But, I think that it can cause a problem with the what is being played. Currently, I am in three games. One is the old school 1st ed./Hackmaster mash-up of Temple of Elemental Evil. There is a excess of role playing in that game. We role play with each other, with the NPCs that we meet--that aren't trying to kill us--and even with some of the monsterous NPCs as well. That is Sunday's game. (Tonight, I think we are facing off against a dragon. Oh goodie. More on that later.)
Monday, we play a 3.5 Faerun game. I have my own issues with 3.5 D&D. Mechanically, the numbers get stupid far to quickly. Yet, there is a great deal of role playing in that game as well.
The game that is sort of floating is a Wheel of Time game. It is a 3.5 game, that I am running. One reason is I am the only one, until recently, that read the books and now anything about the setting. However, I am not above crushing down canon in order for the the story of the game to work.
We tried to run a Lamentation of the Flame Princess game. It lasted one session. Then, I ran a Raveloft 2nd ed. game. It lasted one session. If you are a fan of the podcast, you heard someone spewing hate and vitriol all over James Raggi IV. I don't share his opinion. Nor, do I think he is some new god come down from on high and is the greatest thing since Gygax. There are several reasons why I think the new school gamers dislike the old school games. This will be a topic for the podcast, I know. But, I'm getting out some of my thoughts now.
The reason so many of the newer gamers dislike the older editions is the sparseness of the sheet. At least this is my opinion. "Where are my other skills? All that is there are weapon slots?" Granted I might not have stated it, yet there is a unwritten rule about old school stuff. You don't need those numbers. Within reason, you can make things up. I know I have several creative people in these games, the new players have shied away from anything old school. And, I think that isn't good. I might have done them a disservice, yet I am going to try and win them back to playing something with dungeons, with low level characters that suck and with things that you need to run away from.
Stay tuned for more.