Home » Ancient Posts » A Really New School Definition of Old School?    
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Personally, I think this usage actually makes a lot sense. I might not be big on the Robin Laws or indie directions, but they certainly seem closer to innovative than D&D 3e and closer to a role-playing game than D&D 4e. To me.

Well, I guess I still wouldn’t call D&D 3e or 4e “old school”. Just that I wouldn’t call them “new school” either.

Although—from another point-of-view—it is kind of ironic because 4e did the “pick one of GNS and do mainly that” thing. (Which I think explains a big part of why I haven’t been too keen on it.)


Thanks everyone! I'm glad to hear that this post's use of the term "old school" isn't common usage among Forge/Indie gamers. The term can be confusing enough as it is. Thinking about this today gave me another question, but I think I'll save it for another post.


I lurk on the Forge forums, and I've never heard *anybody* call those games old-school. It's hard to think of a game as old school when it came out in the past handful of years. It'd be like saying that "Avatar" is an old-school movie. Really? Is it now?


I have not been a Forge regular in a long time, but this doesn't sound like anything at all in tune with the thinking that goes on there these days.

It sounds like somebody all high on last year's fad. Heck, GNS isn't even talked about at the Forge any more!

Zak Sabbath

@Rob L

Ah, but as soon as you say:

"I'm a Gemini Wooden Rabbit, which basically means I'm hard to pin down on most things and a lot of people find that frustrating…"

I wake up and laugh my ass off.

Rob L

As soon as you say 'design principles' you've lost my interest in the game or the discussion.

Rick Marshall

Half the work done in the world is to make things appear other than they are. This definition of "old school" is designed to do violence to the conversation. It is a widespread ad hominem attack disguised as a semantic clarification, like proving the inferiority of another religion.

And, as spiritsofeden wrote, that makes it frickin' hilarious. It's always extra special when the monkeys throw poo at each other while pretending to be sophisticated adults.


That is pretty frickin' hilarious to read. I just love FORGEy deconstructionism. "It's like these people don't WANT to open their eyes to the glorious indie master race and prostrate themselves before their true overlords!"


There are just so many assumptions here concerning the nature and purpose of rpgs that are so far removed from my own definitions that the pieces you've quoted here are completely unconnected with what I think of as a role playing game.

This is like saying a horse is an inferior surfboard.

Ed H

I don't think it is, no. Most forge folks I'm aware of are familiar with the Old School Renaissance (hell, many have contributed to Fight On! magazine) and wouldn't use "Old School" in any other sense.

Ironically, by that standard — a GM who leads characters through a pre-made story without really accepting their input — Old School Renaissance gaming wouldn't actually qualify as Old School!