Normally, OSR blog posts lack any real divisiveness. I mean, we all kind of agree on certain things, and where we disagree, we're mostly fine accepting those differences.
Well, I've stumbled onto something I'm really passionate about - a subject that my friend is equally passionate about. Yay, an argument!
The following is a copy/paste from the comment section beneath his review of Old School Renaissance Like A Fucking Boss. It might make more sense if I included Endzeitgeist's review of Crimson Dragon Slayer D20 for context, as well as, my own blog post response to it.
While it may seem obvious, let me mention it here - I like old school for the most part, I play old school for the most part, and I create old school content for the most part, but that doesn't mean I slavishly adhere to it at all costs. If this renaissance doesn't grant us a modicum of freedom, then what the fuck are we doing here?
Your contention that "I don't understand" or my game "flaunts the very central pillar" smacks of badwrongfun. Rather than what I'd call macro-tension that might be better suited to the long haul of a extensive campaign, my focus is micro-tension; certainly better suited to one-shots and shorter campaigns. You sacrifice one for the other. That means in order to fulfill the one, you neglect the other. Sure, some try to have it both ways, but we both know that's not easy to find, let alone maintain.
Essentially, you're treating combat like some kind of gritty and desperate sport, but still a sport. All things must be in alignment or balanced, uphill and against the current, so combat turns into a long-game of pick-your-poison suffering and resource management masturbation.
Crimson Dragon Slayer D20 treats combat as war, but a potentially winnable war focused on the immediate, the here and now. I have no interest in incentivizing the 5-minute workday or making certain classes suck because the rules treat them as one-hit wonders... but awesome after level 5.
I've allowed everyone to have a valuable role, a seat at the proverbial table, regarding combat. That's one of my favorite things about the OSR. It's not so rooted in old school play-styles from decades past that it can't innovate depending on the creator's design goals.
There are some things that just don't work for me regarding early D&D, that's why I came up with my own thing. If I merely wanted to play the game as it was played back in 1980, I would just play B/X and call it a day. Your acting like my personal revelation is nothing aside from the madness of delusion.
Falling into the same tired mistakes, the design dead-ends and cul-de-sacs of our predecessors doesn't help us pursue those strange new avenues necessary to birth RPGs catering to those looking for something different. Not inherently better or worse... just different.
My "ultimate RPG" is going to be subjective, it has to be, or else RPG designers are chasing the "standard gamer audience" dragon of mainstream utilitarianism. Other designers are welcome to it, but I don't want that.
Feel free to post your thoughts below...