Sunday, June 14, 2009

Neoclassical Gaming

While I'm of the mind it doesn't matter much what you call 'em so long as you play 'em, some terms of reference can be nice. Stuart over at Robertson Games has coined the term "Neoclassical Games" to encompass a lot of what we now refer to as the firestarter terms "retro" and "old school" RPG products.

I'm fine with this. They aren't the original, classic RPGs we played, but they're a direct attempt to return to that style. I'm not so sure about it being classified as a reaction against the Baroque style of 4e alone, as I think 3e was pretty ornate in a lot of ways.

(However, does this mean now the usual flamewar suspects can refer to 4e as "Baroque-en"?)


Helmsman said...

I don't know if I qualify as one of "the usual flamewar suspects" but I never asked for permission to call 4e anything. Though if you want to give me permission to call it "baroque-en" then I'll be happy to take it. Won't make a difference. But I wouldn't be ungrateful.

Stuart said...

Nice to see people digging that idea. :)

To be clear though, I don't think 4e or 3e are "Baroque-en" -- I think they succeed at exactly what they set out to do.

However if "Baroque" is “Emphasizes power and authority” and also “extravagantly ornate, florid, and convoluted”, that happens to be things I'd say about those systems when compared to "Classic" or "Neoclassic" RPGs. (Which might just an elaborate way of saying "Rules Heavy" vs "Rules Light")

Zachary The First said...

Just a bad pun with "baroque-en", I'm afraid. :)