What Aspects of Older Games Have Aged Well? (+)

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
If I recall correctly, back in the 90s White Wolf's Vampire had Willpower that you could spend & lose, and each character had a outer and inner aspect. The outer was what others saw about you, the inner was your true self. Playing to either of those aspects would restore lost Willpower. 25 years before D&D's Inspiration, and with Willpower being important even back then much more a foundational part of the mechanics than the bolt-on of occasional Advantage.
 

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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
The bidding rules for car chases from the old James Bond 007 game. Each side would bid back and forth, with it getting riskier and riskier depending on the bid. You could get to the point were you were virtually guaranteeing a crash if you weren't careful, but that's why you would voluntarily stop upping the bid.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Unfortunately for White Wolf, in most of their games it was trivial to start with a lot of Willpower. And people who really grokked the game immediately gravitated towards doing just that.

I have had Storyteller gripe about how high Willpower prevents characters from being Dominated and similar powers, and how being able to add automatic successes on rolls was too good. And that he failed to see why it was so cheap at creation, but expensive to purchase with xp.

"Well you can always change it, but if you think about what you just said from a player's perspective, you'll understand why they do it."
 

MGibster

Legend
And yet, I know so many old school players who will scoff at d20+bonus to hit target number and say "there was nothing wrong with it before, people just need to learn to do math!"
In defense of THAC0, it did work. While it's overly complicated, I was able to grasp it when I was 12. What I'd really like to know is how they came up with THAC0 and AC levels between -10 and 10 instead of what they started using in 3rd edition.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
No idea. And weirdly, Thac0 could rise above 10, though you rarely saw it do so. Even the "hard -10 limit" was broken by a few creatures.

Sure, Thac0 stops progressing at a certain point as well, which would seem to make sense given the -10 limit, but it fails to take into account high ability scores, weapon specialization, and magic items.

And most characters won't have -10 AC without using a Shield anyways.

What always bothered me is how some gamers reject a unified system vs. their bespoke subsystems that had no relation to one another.

1e would have you roll every die under the sun for different things- roll d20 and get high on this, roll d20 and get low on that, roll percentile, roll a d6 and add a modifier, and so on.

The idea of "take this d20, add a number, and that's 90% of resolution" just flabbergasts them, and they can't conceive of why someone would want to do that!
 


James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
I don't know if it was the intent or not, but I've heard some 1e DM's wax nostalgic about the pre-Thac0 days, where classes had attack matrices and players didn't necessarily know how good they were at fighting or how they got better.

They would say "that was for the DM to know". If so, it sure does seem to fit with Gary's love of "secret rules" out of the reach of players- the most well-known example being Assassins and poison use.
 


Thomas Shey

Legend
I don't know if it was the intent or not, but I've heard some 1e DM's wax nostalgic about the pre-Thac0 days, where classes had attack matrices and players didn't necessarily know how good they were at fighting or how they got better.

They would say "that was for the DM to know". If so, it sure does seem to fit with Gary's love of "secret rules" out of the reach of players- the most well-known example being Assassins and poison use.

A pretty stupid premise in a period when players could own the books, too...
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Oh have no fear, Gary has it covered!
 

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