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The opposite of OSR


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Lidgar

Hero
I originally read this as "4th Edition, but only with ducks" and I'm kind of into it.

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Given how completely gonzo that would be, I'd totally view that as OSR. Just need to add this guy:

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What is opposite of OSR? Any game in which it's probable that you will survive past 3rd level.
I am about to try it out. We are going to make a few characters each and see who makes it.

I never really played basic (maybe a few times as a kid) so am looking forward to something leaner. Maybe. Will see how it goes in practice…
 


Well, Old School is 1970s D&D. Limited rules, sort of ad hoc systems rather than a common integrated resolution mechanic, lots of rulings instead of rules, and a vague 'old school vibe' where stakes tend to be low, characters aren't expected to live for a whole 'plot,' and there's not much or any influence from eastern culture like anime or samurai.

New School is 2000s D&D. More granularity, an effort to create a 'physics engine' to run reality accurately, rather than just stuff that is easy for gameplay, and a willingness to have more diverse character options, genres, styles, and so on.

At least that's what the basics mean to me.

So you can do a renaissance of each, which mostly would just mean capturing the best parts of that 'school,' but making it work better. In my mind, 5e is a renaissance of the Old School.
 

"It won't last. Brothers and sisters are natural enemies. Like 5e and the OSR! Or Vampire the Masquerade and the OSR! Or FATE and the OSR! Or the OSR and the OSR! Damn OSR! They ruined the OSR!"

Flip response aside, the OSR's opposite is going to be somewhat nebulous. Because getting consensus on old-school gaming isn't easy. For some its high-lethality, for others its ridiculous monty haul gaming. Some told epic narratives of the rise and fall of kingdoms and others scrubbed around gritty dungeons.
 

J.Quondam

90% grunts. 10% thews.
In my experience, plot armor provides no AC bonus for PCs in OSR (at least in principle, to hear grognards speak of it). For that reason I think players bring to such a game a PC (or multiple PCs!) that are little more than character sheets with stats, an equipment list, and maybe an occupation or two-word "personality" description (aka, "alignment" ;)). Almost the entire development of character happens at the gaming table, solely through surviving/engaging the encounters of the campaign.

Today, I think it's much more likely for new PCs to show up very fleshed-out with a pretty extensive background-- and with that, some expectation of a destiny a bit more meaningful than "Choked to death on yellow mold spores* on level 1, room 27"

* Yes, I'm still bitter about that, Red Box!
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
5e is the opposite of OSR.

5e is a nostalgia edition. Yet it seeks to find the meaningful essence of old school, and move it forward into the present gaming sensibilities for a wider audience.

OSR is a nostalgia edition. Unavoidably, it minimally streamlines old school, yet seeks to preserve the various original experiences of the narrower audience.



The editions correspond roughly to ages with transitional phases before each new age.

1e Golden Age
2e Silver Age
3e Bronze Age
4e Iron Age
5e Classical Age
 

Not specifically a system comparison, but general elements make it old school. So to not be old school, there has to be no murder-hobos, no dungeon crawls or hex crawls, no "that entire race/species is always good/evil", combat-lite instead of combat-heavy, real stories and plots.
 

Reynard

Legend
Ah, but FATE breaks the “DM is the arbitrator” tenet. Often players in FATE games decide and arbitrate.
I don't think that is true. FATE is a pretty traditional RPG system, Aspects notwithstanding. Just because the rules allow the players to define Aspects based on die results doesn't mean that they are arbiters of the rules. Players in FATE don't perform any adjudication, and that's the line between traditional RPG and other sorts.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I don't think that is true. FATE is a pretty traditional RPG system, Aspects notwithstanding. Just because the rules allow the players to define Aspects based on die results doesn't mean that they are arbiters of the rules. Players in FATE don't perform any adjudication, and that's the line between traditional RPG and other sorts.
That's a very unique take, I think.
 

That's a very unique take, I think.
I kind of agree with @Reynard about FATE. I've run it, and players did not shift anything. They defined Aspects of a Scene, for example, but didn't have the currency to change the stakes -- that was up to me. It's similar to AD&D players deciding to smoke out a group of raiders hiding in a cave, instead of attacking them head-on. Is that letting the players be the arbitrator of the encounter?
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I kind of agree with @Reynard about FATE. I've run it, and players did not shift anything. They defined Aspects of a Scene, for example, but didn't have the currency to change the stakes -- that was up to me. It's similar to AD&D players deciding to smoke out a group of raiders hiding in a cave, instead of attacking them head-on. Is that letting the players be the arbitrator of the encounter?
Not sure you entirely embraced the ruleset, then. Players should absolutely be changing the fiction in FATE -- create an advantage, for instance, is a clear invitation for the player to introduce new fiction that changes the situation. If this isn't happening, you're not engaged with the full ruleset. Which is entirely possible -- I've heard of people playing FATE that refused to ever compel an aspect and who fully prepped a FATE game like a D&D AP adventure. I mean, I guess you can do that if you're ignoring the ruleset and it's assumptions, but that doesn't actually mean FATE is like D&D because that's what you did.
 

mhd

Explorer
Well, on the allegedly other side of things, there are also D&D groups where the "ruling" is often a table consensus, not DM fiat.
 

Marc_C

Solo Role Playing
Well, on the allegedly other side of things, there are also D&D groups where the "ruling" is often a table consensus, not DM fiat.
That is exactly how I've been doing it since 1981. We discuss and come to an interpretation that satisfies the table.
 

Reynard

Legend
Not sure you entirely embraced the ruleset, then. Players should absolutely be changing the fiction in FATE -- create an advantage, for instance, is a clear invitation for the player to introduce new fiction that changes the situation. If this isn't happening, you're not engaged with the full ruleset. Which is entirely possible -- I've heard of people playing FATE that refused to ever compel an aspect and who fully prepped a FATE game like a D&D AP adventure. I mean, I guess you can do that if you're ignoring the ruleset and it's assumptions, but that doesn't actually mean FATE is like D&D because that's what you did.
I don't think we are defining things quite the same way. The rules of fate provide clear guidance how players can use and create Aspects. That they do so within the framework of those rules does not mean they have adjudication power. In FATE adjudication is still solely within the auspices of the GM.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
In FATE adjudication is still solely within the auspices of the GM.

Yes and no. There is a strong advice of negotiation in the adjudication in Fate. What the created advantage aspects are, what consequences are appropriate to take, whether an Aspect can be tagged in a given situation is all supposed to be open to negotiation, not just standard autocratic adjudication.
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
the players just have a lot more control over the description of the outcomes of the actions and the list of possible outcomes.
And there's a philosophical question as to whether this amounts to "changing the stakes."

In a purely mechanical view, the only stakes you really see in Fate Conflicts is Stress. And your character can only take so much Stress before being Taken Out. And that the players cannot change. The caveat to this being the ability to Concede a Conflict, which allows the players to opt out. What's at stake is who gets to narrate the finish of the conflict, really.

Of course, if we view the ability to set the narrative to be the ability to change stakes, then in this Fate violates the precept that players should know the stakes before roiling dice - the GM does not generally determine what they'll narrate about taking out a PC before it happens.
 

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