D&D General On Grognardism...

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Mod Note:
@Sacrosanct and @Ifurita'sFan

Your engagement does not seem constructive. It seems to be getting more and more personal, confrontational and repetitive. It is probably time for the two of you to back off, before someone does something that calls for more than a warning.
 

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Thomas Shey

Legend
I'm likely a grognard. I wanted to say that I don't think RPG design peaked in the late 70s, and I wonder if it has even yet peaked now?

In each era I have seen games with novel and ofttimes influential ideas. There were such games in the 70s. There are such games now.

This is why I tend to roll my eyes about some of the statements I see from older gamers. I've been gaming since '75. There are games from the start of the hobby I think are sound, and there are ones where I honestly think later games do everything they did better. People aren't required to agree with either set of buckets, but when you're automatically going with "older was better" or "newer is better" as a basic approach, I can't help but think it says more about you than the games involved.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
It did in the past when goldfsrner type players could abuse the system as I described earlier. Now it doesn't even have one and just removes thst whole step with your levels so can get one of these
Sorry, this doesn't parse - did you maybe hit "post" before you finished typing?

Please elaborate.
 

GuyBoy

Hero
Just my tuppence worth:
I’ve played since 1976 and still revere OD&D, though I suspect it’s as much the memories of the adventures and fun that I revere than the system per se. So I’m a “grognard” in the sense of the thrill of entering my first dungeon, sword in hand as Aelric the Warrior, and designing and stocking the Dungeon of Shadows for my first campaign.
What I’m trying to say is that our gaming preferences, grognard or whatever, are as much determined by where we were in our lives at the time as it is by where the game was at the time.
For me, I played a lot of Original and 1E between 76 and 84, whilst I was at school and university, with only rugby and partying as competition for gaming. Career and family kept me away from 2E, so I like that ruleset and culture less; not due to any actual intrinsic criteria, just because it spoke less to me.
I started playing again, with a great group, with 3e, so I’m keen on that gaming zeitgeist. For a number of reasons, 4e didn’t do it for me, but that’s just me (and my group). Maybe we were right, maybe wrong. Does it matter?
I love 5e and feel just as “grognard-y” about that ruleset and gaming culture.

I respect Gygax, Arneson, Jaquays, Kuntz etc for giving me the game I love and don’t go too deeply into fall-outs about systems, “skilled play” or similar debates, though I do feel strongly about inclusivity and disliked the Ernie stuff a couple months back.

The group I game with are all different, from a combat-oriented, skilled character designer, to a romantic role player, to a grimdark roleplayer, to an actor, to a tactician. All different, all friends and a very cohesive group.

It’s a great game, however you play. Enjoy.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
Sorry, this doesn't parse - did you maybe hit "post" before you finished typing?

Please elaborate.
Gold farmers ate an mmorpg thing where people do everything they can to snag anything of value in order to sell it for gold do they can sell the hold for real word currency. Often this is done with a group of antisocial gold farmers who ignore the social norms h niceties of the game. I'm on my phone now but I mentioned a few ways that certain players abised the old AL rules to act like gold farmers earlier in this post
 

Warpiglet-7

Cry havoc! And let slip the pigs of war!
Just my tuppence worth:
I’ve played since 1976 and still revere OD&D, though I suspect it’s as much the memories of the adventures and fun that I revere than the system per se. So I’m a “grognard” in the sense of the thrill of entering my first dungeon, sword in hand as Aelric the Warrior, and designing and stocking the Dungeon of Shadows for my first campaign.
What I’m trying to say is that our gaming preferences, grognard or whatever, are as much determined by where we were in our lives at the time as it is by where the game was at the time.
For me, I played a lot of Original and 1E between 76 and 84, whilst I was at school and university, with only rugby and partying as competition for gaming. Career and family kept me away from 2E, so I like that ruleset and culture less; not due to any actual intrinsic criteria, just because it spoke less to me.
I started playing again, with a great group, with 3e, so I’m keen on that gaming zeitgeist. For a number of reasons, 4e didn’t do it for me, but that’s just me (and my group). Maybe we were right, maybe wrong. Does it matter?
I love 5e and feel just as “grognard-y” about that ruleset and gaming culture.

I respect Gygax, Arneson, Jaquays, Kuntz etc for giving me the game I love and don’t go too deeply into fall-outs about systems, “skilled play” or similar debates, though I do feel strongly about inclusivity and disliked the Ernie stuff a couple months back.

The group I game with are all different, from a combat-oriented, skilled character designer, to a romantic role player, to a grimdark roleplayer, to an actor, to a tactician. All different, all friends and a very cohesive group.

It’s a great game, however you play. Enjoy.
Preach!

i have come to the same conclusion. What hit me was the fact I loved the game how WE played (1e AD&D) it at the time—-but surely we had our own brand.

I suspect a lot of what we did was not uncommon since a lot made it to 5e “officially.” All editions have some good in them. One I liked and played very little but it was an outlier.

follow your bliss! And remember what “pure” game you played before (I.e. older editions) was probably houseruled and fiddled with.

We play 5e with some 1e sensibilities and have a damn blast
 
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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
To get this thread back on track (so it doesn’t become yet another discussion on 5e, a future 6e, why 4e wasn’t wow /oh yes it was/oh no it wasn’t/he’s behind you...)

Another thing i like about the older games (along with their lighter rules sets) is how they empower the GM and players with the lack of prescriptiveness.

A player doesn’t need a feat, or power or skill to do something (aside from thieves picking locks and treasure traps). They want to do something, they can negotiate with the GM.

Less charitable viewpoints will label this as constantly playing “mother may I?” But that misses the point. It’s part of the game structure and an older form of “yes and or yes but”.

“I want to swing my sword in a wild arc to try to hit all of these goblins around me..”
”you can, but theres a fair few and it may leave you exposed to some counter attacks?”
”sure, I’ll take that risk”

It’s the purest form of player/GM collaboration in story telling without constantly referencing rulebooks or worrying about invalidating other player’s abilities. If you codify a skill and feat allowing somebody to do something, you are implicitly saying those that do not take that option cannot do it.

Those that decry it as “mother may I?” amuse me as arbitrarily set DCs are pretty much the same thing. If you choose to do something that doesn’t have an explicit dc attached, it’s still down to GM Fiat as to what the DC is...
The core element that put more rules in and moved away from old school play was...

Class Favoritism?

Can anyone cleave through enemies or just the fighter?

If the wizard rolls a 18 STR compared to the fighter's 16, how is better with a dagger? Or at jumping?

Part of the reason why the design team didn't give fighters skill bonuses from class was that it copied old school. And in old school the assumption was that you "cheated for" fighters.
 

The core element that put more rules in and moved away from old school play was...

Class Favoritism?

Can anyone cleave through enemies or just the fighter?

If the wizard rolls a 18 STR compared to the fighter's 16, how is better with a dagger? Or at jumping?

Part of the reason why the design team didn't give fighters skill bonuses from class was that it copied old school. And in old school the assumption was that you "cheated for" fighters.
I’m not sure I’d refer to expressions of fantasy archetypes (and staying in those lanes so everyone was useful) as class favouritism.

A strong wizard would do more with a dagger than a weak wizard but any wizard reliant on a dagger is a foolish one.

Far better to rely on the party muscle and your henchman to do that for you than soil your hands. You have arcane mysteries to explore…
 

If you think RPG design peaked in the late 70s, what about that design speaks to you so strongly?
For adventures, I run mostly AD&D (1e) and 3x adventures. Sometimes adventures from 2e, Harn, or PF1 get the call. I’m a huge fan of Original Adventures Reincarnated, and happy to convert both their Old School (AD&D or Basic) and 5e ideas - I love that they do both in one book.

For rules, I use 3.5e Core Books only. I consult AD&D, PF1, and rarely 2e, 5e, Harn, Starfinder, or MERP for ideas and rarely add a homebrew rule sometimes influenced by these other systems.

For setting, I use “an instance” of Greyhawk that’s been running across 4 campaigns I’ve DM’d since 1996, so 26 years. Things from players AD&D games get written in too.

So, I say adventure design “peaked” between 1978-1986, the era of most top adventures on most lists.

Setting design peaked a little later with the Greyhawk gold boxed set (1982?) and Forgotten Realms gray boxed set (1987?). Greyhawk had a serious resurgence with Living Greyhawk Gazetteer (2000?) and the first Adventure Paths in Dungeon, as Paizo was figuring out that kind of product (part setting, part adventure).

Imho, by what I like to play and run, RPG design peaked in 2003 (with a rapid decline with bloat beyond Core) and hit nadir around 2008. Though I am not a 5e fan, I cannot argue with its success, so maybe it really peaked in 2015. Unsurprisingly, many of my players agree 3.5e Core is the best variant of D&D - “we know you have many choices of RPG, and we thank you for flying the one made in Renton in 2003“.
 

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