The way it’s meant to be played

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.

D&D 4th Edition without miniatures

No Minis!When D&D 4th Edition was new, one of the first complaints was that it turned D&D into a miniature game. I disagreed and I remember that the post I wrote about 4E myths provoked quite a few unfriendly comments. I have to agree that some classes like the warlord work better when you can visualize where the opponents and the allies are located , but it’s not impossible to play the game without using miniatures or even a simple map drawn on scratch paper.
This morning I discovered an excellent post by Mediocre Tales about this subject:

Mearls scores big with this post, which suggests how to play 4ed without minis.  While this almost exactly maps to how pre-3ed D&D would handle this situation, I feel like there is room to new-school the old-school.  (If the following idea sounds terrible to you, just blame all those indie rpgs I’ve been reading lately.)

You should also read the post by Mike Mearls who came up with that idea. I haven’t run D&D 4th Edition as a DM yet, but this is something I will probably try out.

Dungeonslayers: The Thieves of Lyrkenfenn

Dungeon2GoToday one of the new members of the english Dungeonslayers community called ur_hekau has posted an translation of the first Dungeon2Go adventure. You still need the german PDF to run the adventure and but he has translated all texts down to the NPC stat blocks using intuition and online translators. And he has done an awesome job! That’s why I love working on that game.

UPDATE: That’s really impressive! He has done it again! Just minutes ago he posted the complete translation of the second Dungeon2Go adventure on the forums. English Dungeonslayers GMs can now run “Tomb of the Wizard King”.

A Roleplaying Games blog

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