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Old School vs Modern (continued)

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This is just a list of the differences.

6.Ability scores. In Old School you rolled up a character and played matter the ability scores. A character could have ability scores from 3 to 18. It was common for a character to NOT have a single score over 15, and several below 10. In fact, in an old school game...a character could even have a low score in their primary ability. My group fondly remembers 'BlunderFoot' the thief with a dexterity of six. And 'Driftwood' the fighter who did not have a single ability score over ten.

The modern gamer, however, must play a superhero character. They would never play a character that had less then double digits in every ability(except for one dump stat that they won't use). And no modern player would ever dream of playing a character with a low primary ability. Play a fighter with a strength of nine? No way...every fighter must have a strength of 16+.

In old school, Driftwood hacked at the dragon even with his six strength. Yes, it took a couple rounds longer..but Drifwood and his group still killed the dragon.

And a group of low ability score characters all had to work together. The whole group of eight characters had to fight the dragon. Not just one Tank and one Striker.

And not to say that Old School games did Not have high ability scores. After all, people did sometimes roll 17's or 18's. And increasing ability scores was a main component of quests.

The point is that a Old School gamer felt that they were simply part of an shared group, while a modern gamer thinks of themselves as the superstar.

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  1. Malachi57's Avatar
    In some ways I agree with everything you said. In others, not so much.

    I agree completely that today it is much easier to min/max your character at the start to make them the best little level 1 whatever possible. I think in some ways this does make a brand new character more spectacular than Joe the Plumber. Of course, D&D creators will tell you that at first level, your character is still more proficient at things than most folks, hence the reason they got into adventuring and didn't stay on the farm tending the moo-cows.

    I still say that no matter how powerful your character gets thoguh, there's always a bigger something out there to put them in their place. Sure, it makes for a more "super-fantastic" experience, because you have to bring in the heavy deity guns, but the sad fact is that these days a lot of gamers need it at that level to be interesting. So I guess in that sense, if you can make it more "old-school" in your game, good on you. I'd love to get involved in a game like that some time. But for the most part it comes down to the DM/GM's ability to make the experience feel like a struggle rather than a cake walk. Or just play Dark Sun.