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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

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    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    What is your personal cutoff for 'older'? We've got almost 40 years to pick from.
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    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    What is your personal cutoff for 'older'? We've got almost 40 years to pick from.
    It's quite simple. "Older" RPGs are the ones that were around when you first started playing, while "newer" RPGs are the ones that have come out since you got too busy with adult stuff to keep learning new rulesets.
    Last edited by Grod_The_Giant; 2019-05-05 at 01:11 PM.

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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    What is your personal cutoff for 'older'? We've got almost 40 years to pick from.
    No, we get several centuries to pick from. Though most of them are long lost because they are not commercially made. Centuries ago, many historians (history professors) made multiple RPGs throughout time, but they do not make them commercial. D&D is the first commercial RPG.
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Not really. While I like some of the style of older games, I find newer games have better thought out mechanics, which emphasize ease of play, even when it's not the sole purpose.

    For example, compare Palladium Fantasy to Hackmaster. Both use active defenses, percentile skills, and points-based magic. In a lot of ways, they're very comparable... but Hackmaster is 30 years younger, and has integrated social skills, skill contests, and difficulty modifiers. Both have the option to fight with two weapons, but Hackmaster makes your different options real trade-offs, makes shields a viable choice, and has a better-considered armor system. It's a system that shows clear evolution in mechanics.
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    Not really. While I like some of the style of older games, I find newer games have better thought out mechanics, which emphasize ease of play, even when it's not the sole purpose.

    For example, compare Palladium Fantasy to Hackmaster. Both use active defenses, percentile skills, and points-based magic. In a lot of ways, they're very comparable... but Hackmaster is 30 years younger, and has integrated social skills, skill contests, and difficulty modifiers. Both have the option to fight with two weapons, but Hackmaster makes your different options real trade-offs, makes shields a viable choice, and has a better-considered armor system. It's a system that shows clear evolution in mechanics.
    Basically, this.

    We're benefiting from the accumulated experience of generations of players and designers. I feel like designers are trying to pay attention to statistics and numbers, as well as playstyle, and building to suit those.

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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Like people before me said, heck no. Of course bad games will always be made, but on the whole systems are getting better because we have a greater understanding on what actually makes them work.
    Last edited by Morty; 2019-05-05 at 07:12 PM.
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    I wouldn't say so. I prefer TSR D&D to WotC D&D, but if I ranked my preferences it would zig-zag back and forth across the timeline. My favorite, best-ever roleplaying games were published in 1994 and 2012.
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    It depends on many different things, as a DM/GM I have a decided preference for 1977 Holmes "bluebook" rules Dungeons & Dragons, and 1981 rules Call of Cthullu, as I know those rules best, as I player if it's a "one-shot" game at first lever 2014 rules "5e" D&D is a fave, for longer "campaigns" I like TSR D&D (any rules from 1975 to 1999), the recent Lamentations of the Flame Princess "retro-clone" looks good, and a big fave is King Arthur Pendragon (the 2016 rules of which aren't greatly different than the 1985 rules), and I like the new 5e D&D, usually better than TSR D&D at first level, but less than TSR D&D as the levels go up.

    I haven't noticed much innovations in RPG rules mechanics after about 1981or so, but for settings 1994's Castle Falkenstein setting was cool, as is the more recent 7th Sea.

    So basically if I have to GM I like to have to as little study as possible which usually means old rules that I already know, while as a player I'm more open to new rules, but if the GM asks me "What do you roll?" instead of "What do you do?" they can go pound sand whatever the rules.
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    I much prefer older rulesets (pre 2000). In fact, I went BACK to playing AD&D 2nd Edition after playing Pathfinder/3.5... But I am without a doubt a card carrying "You kids get off my lawn!" grognard!
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    I prefer 3.5 to DND 5e by a large margin
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    I like the RPG system that the DM is familiar with and uses because they think it's the best system as the basis of the kind of game they're trying to run and doesn't much care if it's old or new. It ain't what you play, it's how you play it; no RPG has an expiration date; 90% of everything is still crap.

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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leafar View Post
    Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?
    Yes. Count me in the Grognard category.

    My current system of choice is AD&D 1st Ed... even 2nd Ed which has been my bread and butter for almost 30 yrs has lost its appeal to me and I'm almost done with it.

    I don't really play any other RPGs anymore, so it's all D&D for me... though in the 80s-90s I used to love Palladium stuff - Heroes Unlimited, TMNT, Beyond the Supernatural and RIFTS were big for my group.
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Generally no - were I to track my like with time and do a line fit, it generally skews upwards. That said the data set is deeply, deeply messy. There are games I adore and games I despise from every decade of RPGs, with the possible exception of the 1970's (though I'd need to check release dates on a few), and it's notable that there's significantly less than a full decade of data there. I don't have a single favorite game anymore, but possible contenders for that spot depending on what mood I'm in date to 1985 (Pendragon), 1994 (Fudge), 2006 (Hollow Earth Expedition), 2011 (Microscope), and 2018 (Save the Universe) - and that's just the five I'm thinking of at this moment.
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    It's quite simple. "Older" RPGs are the ones that were around when you first started playing, while "newer" RPGs are the ones that have come out since you got too busy with adult stuff to keep learning new rulesets.
    Lol. Too true!
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    I guess my answer is I mostly prefer newer ones, but not exclusively.

    I played Legend of the Five Rings from the beginning of its 3rd edition, through that and to the end of 4th edition. 5th edition doesn't interest me at all and it's so far removed from the game I liked, even the setting has changed (though you could probably just say "screw that" and play with the old setting).
    I started with 4th edition Ars Magica, and we went over to 5th edition after only a few sessions, and I've never had a reason to look back.
    My D&D experience started with 3.5, and from there went to Pathfinder. 4th looked like an absolutely trainwreck to me, and 5th edition is... ok, I guess? But I've had an interest in trying older editions just for the fun of it (and wooboi, was caster-martial disparity an even bigger thing back then xD).
    Star Wars I've played through WEG, d20, only looked at Saga, and finally FFG's version, and I like the newest version (FFG's) the best.
    I've played Vampire: the Masquerade, Scion, and World of Darkness, and from what I could see the mechanics of the newer versions seemed much better than they were when I was playing (though I like the setting of Masquerade the best).


    So it's a mixed bag for me.
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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    I'm of the view that 2e was the best version of D&D. 3e was badly broken, 4e was an admirable attempt at fixing some of the issues but went about it the wrong way. Never looked at 5e.

    Most of my gaming was back in the old days so I guess I am biased towards it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Faily View Post
    My D&D experience started with 3.5, and from there went to Pathfinder. 4th looked like an absolutely trainwreck to me, and 5th edition is... ok, I guess? But I've had an interest in trying older editions just for the fun of it (and wooboi, was caster-martial disparity an even bigger thing back then xD).
    Caster-martial disparity was bigger in 2e? 3e i widely seen as the worst in terms of balance between casters and martial. It took all the breaks and limitations off of casters and then made martial even worse. At lest back in 2e high level martial characters could still contribute.

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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Akisa View Post
    I prefer 3.5 to DND 5e by a large margin
    Yuuup.

    If I had to answer, my favorite modern D&D would be 3.PF with Houserules by a long shot.

    Followed by 4e.

    Followed by either 3.5 or PF taken alone.

    5e is dead last, largely for taking all of the problems 3.5 spent its lifetime fixing... and reimplementing them without the fixes.

    As for TSR D&D... my preferences are either Rules Cyclopedia or Player's Option, but if I could get the latter without all of the ridiculous AD&D baggage, it would be hands-down the best D&D ever.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corvus View Post
    Caster-martial disparity was bigger in 2e? 3e i widely seen as the worst in terms of balance between casters and martial. It took all the breaks and limitations off of casters and then made martial even worse. At lest back in 2e high level martial characters could still contribute.
    I too used to think that. I mean, saves against spells got really good eventually, and there was no "casting defensively" or "concentration checks", and recovering spells took a while.

    But look at what martials can actually do in later edition? Apart from kits, there wasn't really much diversity to martials.

    And then you look at some of the spells. Some absolutely ridunculous spells that makes you wonder what sort of weed the writer was smoking (because you want some of that too). Look at the Mantle spell (Forgotten Realms: Secrets of the Magister) - it is absolutely insane how much you can do with that spell. And it lasts "until the caster dies or wills the spell to collapse", it doesn't even need Permanency, and you can boost it if you have time to waste.

    There's also spells that make you immune to mundane or magic weapons. Not damage reduction. Just complete flat-out immunity.
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Despite only getting into the hobby in 2012 or 2013, I can safely say I prefer games from the 00's. Most stuff before that is clunky or very specific, most of the stuff from the 10's is too streamlined or isn't really an improvement over previous games. So my bet for the best Shadowrun edition would be 4th, the best D&D is 3.PF by a large margin, etc. Those things still need houseruling, but...less?
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by D+1 View Post
    I like the RPG system that the DM is familiar with and uses because they think it's the best system as the basis of the kind of game they're trying to run and doesn't much care if it's old or new. It ain't what you play, it's how you play it; no RPG has an expiration date; 90% of everything is still crap.
    This. The set of RPGs I own stretches from AD&D2e to games that were released last year, with a tendency towards more modern games because they're easier to buy. But there are cases where I specifically own older editions because I find they're better for what I want to run, or games I only raid for lore and ideas because I don't really like the rules. Plus games I like and will never run because the group won't like them, and so on and so forth.

    I'm general I find that earlier RPGs are better for setting (sure to a greater chance to have lots of information), while newer games tend to be better for rules, bit that isn't universal. I'll pay whatever is best suited to the game.
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Yes.

    Original Runequest remains my favourite closely followed by Traveller, little black book version pre mercenary.

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    Last edited by Oaknott; 2019-05-07 at 06:50 AM.

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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leafar View Post
    Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?
    If you look at TTRPGs as a whole, rather than specific ones, with some specific caveats, there just aren't that many grand differences between old and new. There were incredibly crunchy games and very play-it-by-ear games back in the day and in modern times. There are games from the new millennium on with a whole bunch of character creation time (3e D&D as an example), but no more than Aftermath, and certainly the GURPS/Hero System/ Shadowrun 1 of the chronological messy middle fit that bill. Likewise, oD&D and T&T are very much 'can be playing within 5 minutes.' Skill based systems are old and new equally. There really aren't a lot of distinct common threads amongst old games or new games, such that you would know that one was one, and the other the other.

    Edit: Oh yes, I forgot to mention the specific caveats! Storygaming mechanisms! Say what you will about Forge theory (and there's a lot not to like), but it was fruitful for the TTRPG culture to put some thought into 'does the game I have support the playstyle I want?' That's a development that I can point to that happened since I had adult distractions from gaming (and thus my personal new-old divide).

    However, that leads into a further point. There are a lot of things that have been tried with TTRPGs, be it generic universal (multi-genre) rule systems, character creation minigame (Max, if you find this thread, do not flip your lid), narrative metacurrencies, universal resolution mechanics, etc. etc. etc. Plenty of them are very useful and I like plenty of them... some of the time, but none of them have invalidated something that I liked that came before. There are occasionally an old school game that absolutely did not work for what it was trying to do (Ralph Bakshi's Wizards needed to be a narrative game, not a D&D-alike, for example). However, in general, I've already passed those games by. Old games that do work usually still do work... for their intended purposes... as well as or better than supposed new innovations.

    D&D is a great example. OD&D (the version that was intended to exist and shared from person to person, we can all agree that the published product has issues) is honestly a very different game from later incarnations (or even late-edition expressions of OD&D. I always say that the biggest change in D&D was not between TSR and WotC or anything like that, but between OD&D and OD&D plus the supplements). It is perfectly well adapted to the intended type of gaming, in a way that later versions don't necessarily enhance. It isn't AD&D or 3e or 5e, and they do what they are intended to do better, but they don't do what oD&D was intending to do better than it does.
    Last edited by Willie the Duck; 2019-05-07 at 10:07 AM.

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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leafar View Post
    Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?
    I have no experience with newer RPGs in general, so yes I prefer older ones.

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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    ...I haven't noticed much innovations in RPG rules mechanics after about 1981or so, but for settings...

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    If you look at TTRPGs as a whole, rather than specific ones, with some specific caveats, there just aren't that many grand differences between old and new....

    Let's see:

    1974 - The initial publication of Dungeons & Dragons (wit

    1977 - "Backgrounds" and "Skills" with Traveller

    1978 - "Critical Hits" and "Fumbles" with RuneQuest

    1981 - "Point buy" custom character creation and "Disadvatages" to earn "Power Pounts" with Champions

    1983 - "Hero Points" with James Bond 007 (similar to mechanics in Apocalypse World, 7th Sea, and FATE

    1985 - "Passions and Traits" to influence role-playing

    So what's new?
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    I like games that work pretty smoothly and the DM/players don't have to fight the system to have fun. I'm also more forgiving of the warts of older systems (and low/no budget systems), but then I unrealistically expect people to learn from mistakes too. I also have a weird dislike about buying essentially the same/similar system that I already have. Especially if it doesn't offer any real improvements over the old stuff.

    So I'm cool with OD&D, AD&D 1e, D&D 3.p, original Traveller, Hero 3e, Call of Cthulhu 3e, Shadowrun 2e, Pendragon, Dungeons the Dragoning, Paranoia, etc., etc. But I often dislike or just have no use for the 5th, 6th, 7th, editions of anything I already have because they usually end up being minor tweaks/errata or a completely different game that I don't care for.

    I particularly dislike new versions where you can't take an old version character/adventure and update them effectively. Especially having an interesting and fun character in an old edition and finding that the new edition just kicks the whole concept in the teeth and mocks it.
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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Let's see:

    1974 - The initial publication of Dungeons & Dragons (wit

    1977 - "Backgrounds" and "Skills" with Traveller

    1978 - "Critical Hits" and "Fumbles" with RuneQuest

    1981 - "Point buy" custom character creation and "Disadvatages" to earn "Power Pounts" with Champions

    1983 - "Hero Points" with James Bond 007 (similar to mechanics in Apocalypse World, 7th Sea, and FATE

    1985 - "Passions and Traits" to influence role-playing

    So what's new?
    There's at least GURPS for "generic systems" instead of "focused systems: and VtM for "morality-focused game that's supposed to be not about adventures". First is somewhere in the 80s, second is 1991. I'd say D&D 3e in 2000 was also a step forward since it basically standardized all the mechanics around one d20 roll, while other systems used dicepools or had varied dice rolls for various tasks.
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    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    2D8HP's Avatar

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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ignimortis View Post
    There's at least GURPS for "generic systems" instead of "focused systems:

    GURPS was first published in '86, but it greatly resembled the
    HERO
    rules system that started with Champions in 1981, and expanded to Fantasy Her, Espionage, Danger International, and others before GURPS' release (though GURPS rules may also be traced to the 1977-1980
    Melee/Wizard/The Fantasy Trip/In the Labyrinth
    but an even early "generic system" was based on the 1978 rules for RuneQuest, Chaosium's Basic Role-playing "BRP" which was released separately in
    1980
    ,
    and later came in a box set with multiple settings as
    Worlds of Wonder
    in 1982, after the rules systen was already used in other games such as [I]Call of Cthullu and Stormbringer (and would go on to be used in other games such as Elf Quest, Other Suns, and Ringworld).

    and VtM for "morality-focused game that's supposed to be not about adventures"
    Chaosium's King Arthur Pendragon had more extensive rules for morality tests in 1985, than Vampire's from 1991 (and yes I bought both the year they were released as well as every other game I list in this post).

    ....I'd say D&D 3e in 2000 was also a step forward since it basically standardized all the mechanics around one d20 roll, while other systems used dicepools or had varied dice rolls for various tasks.

    Again, Chaosium's BRP "d100" system did that earlier.

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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    What about roleplay-driven games like Apocalypse World, Cortex, and (to a lesser extent) Fate-- what's the first system to focus itself around "we do this because it mimics narrative tropes" rather than "we do this because it mimics reality?" (Amber Diceless, maybe?)

    I might also list the development of deliberately rules-light games as an important milestone. Not the primordial sparseness of oD&D, but the conscious pushback against the bloated mass things like D&D and Rifts had evolved into. (Fudge?)
    Last edited by Grod_The_Giant; 2019-05-07 at 04:52 PM.

    STaRS (and STaRS Lite)
    A non-narrativeist, generic rules-light system, by me. Now officially released!

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    A big book of player options for 5e, by me

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Grod's Law: You cannot and should not balance bad mechanics by making them annoying to use
    Giants and Graveyards: My collected 3.5 class fixes and more.

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    Default Re: Do you like the older RPG systems better than the newer ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    What about roleplay-driven games like Apocalypse World, Cortex, and (to a lesser extent) Fate-- what's the first system to focus itself around "we do this because it mimics narrative tropes" rather than "we do this because it mimics reality?"

    I'd say that the "Hero points" in 1983's James Bond 007 did that as well, but yeah Apocalypse World, and FATE are much more explicit about that being the goal (I'm completely unfamiliar with Codex).

    Not mentioned before in this thread is 1987's Ars Magica, and it's "Troupe system", which was an innovation (but not a much repeated one).

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