Getting Old and Taking Stock

Posted by Labyrinthian in , , , , , ,

I'm getting old.  Today is my birthday and now I find myself firmly entrenched in my late 20s.  As is typical for someone celebrating a milestone, I've started to take stalk of things.  Among those things is where I fit in the Gaming Community.  

I guess if I had to put myself into a category I'd say I fit into the Gaming Moderates... Alright fine that isn't really a widely recognized subgroup, but maybe it should be.  Hear me out... 

You have the new school, those who have migrated on to 4th edition D&D.  They play video games, and MMOs and don't mind when they spill into their table top gaming.  Well I don't fit in here.  I love video games as much as anyone but my WoW days are far behind me, and even when I was playing it I had no interest in a table top version.  Nah, 4th edition isn't for me and neither is a membership card in the "New School"

Then you have the "Old School."  These are guys who love their old D&D, especially first edition AD&D and retro-clones like Labyrinth Lord and Castles & Crusades.  These guys are likely to be in their 30s and 40s, and have been playing for a long time.  Well I don't fit in this group either.  It's a closer fit, but I still don't think I get in.  The biggest reason is that, though I've played AD&D and I think it's a great game, most of my play has come at conventions and one shots.  I haven't played any retroclones unless you count Hackmaster 4th edition (which people should, but often don't).  Nope I guess I don't have the Old School Cred to apply for my Grognard membership card.  

So where then does that leave me?  I don't fit into either of the two extreme ends of the spectrum I'm somewhere in the middle.  I've played (and enjoyed) far too much 3rd edition gaming to be old school, but I won't touch 4th so I can't be new school.  I like Pathfinder, but I don't like many of their changes especially the unnecessary power boost.  I really like the new Hackmaster, but Kenzerco has made so many changes and innovations that I'm not sure it counts as old school anymore, and I certainly wouldn't classify it as a retroclone.  I also love Kenzer's Western Aces & Eights, and I have no idea where that falls on the scale.  I'm really enjoying Chaosiums Call of Cthulhu (6th edition) that we are playing now.  CoC seems to be a game that appeals more to the old school crowd.  It is very rules light which is something that probably appeals to that audience.  

So as you can see, I just don't fall neatly into either camp, but somewhere in between.  I'm sure I'm not alone, I'm sure there are many other Gamers out there who find themselves caught between the two more easily identifiable Gamer subgroups.  Maybe it would help to have a scale laid out that people can place themselves on, I might just make one.  Until take just take my word for it, I'm a Gaming Moderate.  We might not have a cool name (yet) but I'll think of one.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 02, 2011 at Wednesday, March 02, 2011 and is filed under , , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


Actually you do fit very nicely into a categorized niche. I like to call it a "tabletop role-player".

March 2, 2011 at 10:39 AM

Happy Birthday! I definitely find myself in a similar boat. Late 20s. Very little experience with old-school D&D, though definitely inspired by a lot of what I read from the old-school stuff I have. I never got into WoW. While I am heavily invested in 4e DnD, it's because I didn't really like 3rd and when I got back into gaming and wanted to play DnD again, 4e was there at the FLGS. I really like 4e though. I do think the whole old-school/new-school thing is pretty much relegated to a certain very vocal part of a much larger gaming community, and the majority of which are just like you: tabletop role players. All good!

March 2, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Happy b-day! BUT, if you are already feeling "old" I feel sorry for you, my friend! ;-) If you are in your 20s and are old, then the rest of us (I'm 35) must be practically Methuselah! You taking stock makes me want to do the same, however. I think I've been so tied up in just getting back into gaming that I really just plowed headlong back into the hobby again. But now that I'm sitting back a bit, I think I really need to nail down just want I want from my return to the hobby. I will probably post on this soon on my own blog...

March 2, 2011 at 1:47 PM

Happy birthday (my wife and son share the same day :), and as of 5 days ago I too became a year older, but I almost have a decade on ya.

Which is interesting, because while I started gaming very young 8ish, the three times I played regularly were in HS (ADnD), early in college (ADnD and 2E) post college (3.0/5). So I was exposed to the end of old school DnD, the formative years were spent playing ADnD. And with 3E, it *felt* the same to me, and I quickly saw 3E as a version I liked (especially with the streamlined d20 mechanics). 4E was to different, and didn't feel the same.

March 2, 2011 at 3:46 PM

It's funny as a relatively new convert to OSR (currently running an OSR campaign using C&C), I have never classed myself as anything other than a roleplayer. I cut my teeth as a player on T&T and AD&D, and as a DM on 2E and all manner of other systems Paranoia, CoC, Golden Heroes, Judge Dredd. I've never really had a break from playing regularly for over 20 years (since my late teens) having never disappeared off to university.

What turned me on to OSR is that I have this large stock of source material that i've read but never played or DMd and it seemed like a waste. I also wanted something that was rules lite which reminded me of my old AD&D days.

I've played 4E briefly at a convention and although it was slightly familiar it seemed like it had turned into more of a boardgame than a TTRPG. I was never a fan of D20 even though I bought the system as it felt too rules heavy to me.

March 2, 2011 at 4:39 PM

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