Recently a lot of bloggers all over the network started to write about old-school gaming and how it differs from newer gaming styles. And although I got the impression that the discussion that arose was friendly and quite enlightening, some people misunderstood it as another occurence of the “edition war”. But I believe we should have reached a point where we don’t argue about how the game is meant to be played.
In the end it’s all about personal preferences. If somebody loves the old-school way with rulings more important than rules and challenging the player not the character, that’s ok with me. And if someone prefers the more new-school approach, which favors clearly defined rules for all situations and a more character (not player) focussed gameplay that’s ok with me, too. And I don’t believe it makes much sense to argue about which mindset is more right.
If you ask me there is no inherently way roleplaying games are meant to be played. A lot of how you play it depends on the gamemaster’s and players preferences. In my gaming groups I tend to favor roleplaying over rolls. If someone roleplays a situation convincingly I let him succeed without the need for a roll. But that’s not necessarily the only way, it could be done. Other gaming groups do it by the rules and a roll (or even a skill challenge like in D&D) is needed. That’s not exactly my cup of tea but I will not tell them how to play their game.
So, when there are discussions about gaming styles remember that there is no right and wrong. Everything is allowed as long as it’s fun for the people participating in that particular game. If you don’t like the way the other guy plays the game, just try to find your own style.
Just my two cents.