Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Old-School Thoughts

A thread popped up at Dragonsfoot concerning the idea of the clones fracturing the gaming community. I'm going to include my response below, as I think its integral to my creation of Sorcery & Super Science as well as our Advanced Adventures line. Bluntly, once the creation is out of my hand and into your game - you are the only authority on what exists or happens. The game is yours, not mine.

My honest response is because the clones do not fracture the gaming community a bit. Most of them can easily be seen as "codified house-rules" that appeal to those who play them. If someone tells me they're playing OSRIC, I hear "I'm playing 1E with X specific alterations." If someone tells me they're playing Labyrinth Lord, I hear "I'm playing Basic with X specific alterations." If someone tells me they're playing Swords & Wizardry, I hear "I'm playing Oe with X specific alterations." A clone does not fracture the community any more than any other set of house-rules and I expect every single house to have their own set of house-rules already.

To me, if it seems as if the clones are fracturing the community, I'd postulate that the community is instead choosing to fracture itself using the clones as an excuse. I believe the real issue of much of the "fracturing of the community because of the clones" is actually based upon concerns of gaming authority as opposed to actual game-related issues. Since we all believe that each of us has the right, or perhaps even the responsibility, to alter his home game as dictated by the GM's and player's wishes, a 1e game played as OSRIC plays has no difference at the table, or in the community, than a game of by-the-book OSRIC. The only difference is in authority - who's name is on the book and which company published it. The play at the table is the same.

Personally, when it comes to rpg gaming, I don't care about authority. Authority gets thrown away the minute the game gets played. All the authority rests in the GM and the players of that individual game, so I don't care what the book title says - I care about how the game plays.

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