By today's standards? Yeah, it kind of isn't. But that has to be said, thats oDND. Later editions, even those immediately adjacent to it, are a different story. ODND is a premiere example of a game that didn't survive contact with players.without those later things, D&D’s still not an RPG? That doesn’t seem right.
Plus, one can go read oDND. Its pretty short all things considered. You know what struck me as rather fascinating?
Nowhere does it say you can do anything. In fact, Im fairly certain it doesn't even imply you can do anything, anywhere in the text.
Instead its pretty explicit about what you can do and gives you nothing to do anything but those things.
But it makes sense why people dragged it into that direction, resulting in the overall genre we know and love today. When you're in a dungeon slaying monsters and getting loot, eventually someone's going to run up against a wacky encounter, and they're going to be inclined to try something out of the rules.
Thats how the implicit improv game ends up being a part of the game, and its arguably because this was never properly addressed and integrated that we end up with a tradition of DND being hella difficult to get into if you don't basically apprentice to a GM.
First person shooters. A shotgun plays very differently from a sniper rifle, and combining the two makes for a wholly new style distinct from either one alone. I related in the other topic that this is why I think so many FPS games end up becoming rpg-esque sooner or later.The first is it where it cites RPGs as a quintessential example of playing-style reinforcement, which suggests that there are other (non-RPG) games using playing-style reinforcement.
Only strict difference is that FPS games are explicitly player skill oriented, whereas RPGs can be either one, but were traditionally character skill oriented.
It even refers to OD&D as a role-playing game.
ODND doesn't call itself that, however, which is a distinction I think matters and one that, if I could speak to the authors, they'd probably agree on. Given how old the game is (and how quickly it stopped being what the vast majority of people refer to as DND), I'm not inclined to read into their commentary all that deeply.
The text isn't an exhaustive study of RPGs specifically, after all, and it'd be beyond the scope of what it sets out to do to go that far on one specific type of game.
It seems that having playing-style reinforcement is neither necessary nor sufficient for a game to be an RPG (particularly for tabletop RPG).
Hence my comments that most RPGs are a hybrid of that and an improv game. And id add to that that some games just aren't actually RPGs and its fine to recognize that they should be called something else. A game isn't lesser just because it isn't actually an RPG, nor are they lesser if we recognize that a given game thats called an RPG may actually be 2 or 3 different games in one.