B/X Known World
And just to be clear, I’m good with power fantasy escapism and the like. It seems things have shifted and it’s all taken on a different character in the last decade or so. Wild novel-length backstories for fresh-faced characters with zero XP, wanting to start with more and more power, and character death being rarer and rarer…or somehow the possibility of character death ever happening at all as a topic that’s open for discussion. Like what’s the draw of that? You’re just awesome. That’s it. No challenges. No setbacks. No risks.I really like @overgeeked's summary. I think it is pretty spot on!
One thing I would like to add, which might or might not have already been expressed, and is related to this point:
IME, old-school games were about THE ADVENTURE, not the PCs. Now, 5E seems (IMO) to revolve too much around the characters, what stuff they can get, etc., in other words, "how cool they are." Because advancement was (generally) slower in than in 5E, when you finally did level it was great, but often you might have just gotten more hit points and little, if anything, else. In 5E, PCs are virtually guaranteed to get something cool each and every level. It seems to shift the focus to leveling up the PC instead of enjoying the adventure.
That's just my take on it.