There’s been a lot of discussion regarding the resurgence in classical gaming, and whether or not we’re simply retreading every old product to come out in support of the rule sets.
I find no problem with covering familiar ground—but it’s also fun to see people explore other avenues, other inspirations, and other games from those eras. For every D&D, there’s also a 1st Edition Palladium Fantasy, a RuneQuest, a Chivalry & Sorcery, a Pendragon. There are people turned on by a resurgence of boxed sets, or characters more defined by their players and some loose stats references than hard-coded into the rules.
That’s why I’m excited to see a 2nd round of old school or neoclassic-influenced titles being kicked about. Games that aren’t strictly retro-clones, that pay attention more to the overall feel of those games, and how to accomplish that feel in presentation and system. Some quality folks have been kicking these things around. Already we have X-Plorers. Bill Corrie of HinterWelt has been discussing Chevalier, an RPG set within the Matter of France that has me very interested. Brett M. Bernstein of Precis Intermedia has been chewing over a simplified ruleset that is like a tighter Iron Gauntlets--a "Red Box" sort of game.
Pay attention. Yeah, maybe these games will offend the purists out there. Maybe there will be a good audience for them, maybe there won’t. But exploring these other avenues, while keeping that feeling going, is one of the best effects the Old School Revival may have in the long run.