I wasn't sure whether or not you wanted to self-identify as a "grognardling," but that [asking to be added to his blogroll]'s good enough for me.The notion that I had to 'self-identify" struck me as a curious thing. I've never bought into the whole old-school vs. new-school kerfuffle, because I've never really seen the point in chaining myself to one particular style. And that's when it struck me that I was bi.
Bi-school, that is. I take the best of both sides and I ignore what doesn't work. For example:
I understand, and approve of, the old-school notion that dice should never be a substitution for role-playing. You should have a character, not a collection of stats from which to roll dice; i.e. You are not your dice rolls.
On the other hand...
RPGs allow us to be what we are not, because escapism is fun. So what happens if I am an engineer with social anxiety who wants to play a bard? Or what if I want to play a wizard, but I'm not very bright? It's one thing to suppress your abilities for a more challenging role, but it's impossible to play someone who is better than you without some kind of intervention, whether it is GM fiat or a probability of success based upon a die roll.
So in my games, I fuse the two. If you are playing a glib character, I want you to roll the dice and role-play what your character is saying, and I have the one modify the result of the other. That way, a crappy roll can be saved with a good line, or a good roll can save a foot-in-mouth maneuver -- although neither are as successful as what you'd get if you have a good line AND a good roll.
I like both aspects, and I fuse the two. I try to find a happy medium of role-playing and roll-playing.
I understand the frustration that people feel when they say "Elves are a race, not a class!" and I really like having oodles of options when I am making a character because they allow my to fine-tune my alter-ego just so. But at the same time, I understand that splat-bloat can be a real problem, especially when you're the GM trying to run a game, so it's perfectly reasonable to say "These books and no others."
I think this is a reasonable position, and yet, it's one of the rarest I've seen online. You're either old-school, new-school (or in the case of some weirdos, plaid), but never bi-school.
Aren't there any other bi gamers out there? Surely I'm not the only one who swings both ways like this.
Wait... I think Zak is bi-school, too. So that's two of us. Any others?