Anyway, I'm still reading the commentary on the blog (thanks for reading) and I had one reader call me to task for dismissing out-of-hand the Old School Hack role-playing game (which can be downloaded here, by the way...at least the beta version)...so I spent some time this evening to actually read it.
Can I dismiss it out of hand now?
That's a joke, that's a joke...look, I'll stand by what I wrote in my earlier blog post (including, as I wrote, that it was a stupid post, which was my final assessment). OSH does not look very much at all like B/X D&D mechanic-wise, but I think it operates from the same stance and with the same sensibilities (fight monsters, find treasure)...if not, then what exactly is it supposed to be about? Yes, there are a number of random adventuring goals to "fill out" your character. Yes, "leveling up" is accomplished through being "awesome" rather than through acquiring treasure or kills. But it's still:
"...a world where fantastic dangers exist in a multitude of old ruins and underground lairs."
Listen, I think the basic OSH game is neat. I like that the characters simply earn new "talents" through leveling while everything else remains the same. I think the "awesome point" mechanic, as written, is just fine for the freewheeling objective of the game designer. Interestingly enough (at least, interesting to me), I've included a very similar mechanic with similar objectives in the game I've been working on the last couple days (I call mine "freebie points," for what it's worth)...though mine are a little more rigid in their mechanics. And the inspiration for mine come from a combo of Deadlands' poker chips and HEX's "style points" (just in case anyone cares).
However, the game my "freebies" are appearing in are NOT my version of D&D Mine but a more freewheeling, cinematic game where (I think) they feel appropriate. I've already said I'm a lot less inclined to "freewheel" in my fantasy games (where gritty death is more the order).
But that doesn't mean such a mechanic doesn't work for OSH...it works just fine for OSH. But as I said, it doesn't particularly excite me. Which isn't saying a whole lot, by the way...it just means it doesn't have the "juice" to get me cranked. I will say this for Old School Hack: it has fairly elegant game design and some very pretty graphics for the rules, and if given a choice between playing OSH and DCC I would choose the OSH beta, hands down. It has the same irreverence but the "fun" is amped up a bit higher. And it has a lot fewer random tables and fiddly rules (less "search & handling" time).
But, hey, that's just my subjective opinion.
Still haven't picked up a copy of ACKS yet, so I'll have to blog an apologetic post for that game later. Right now, I'm off to the 74th Street Ale House to do some writing. Later, gators!