On 2009-04-17, Jim Henley wrote:
Vincent, isn't the vast majority of old-school renaissance practice party-play? I'm old enough to have been in at the very tail end of the old-school naissance (white-box D&D plus Greyhawk chapbook, the One True Way!) and about the only PvP involved thieves filching from the party, and that only after AD&D came out and Gygax identified thieves stealing from the party as "good roleplaying." I suppose occasionally we had players whose PCs had been Charmed by Nixies preferring that their Charmed PC nevertheless live, rather than his uncharmed targets. But party-play was the dominant ethos.
The predominant mode of old-school play as I understand it is not Rob, Bob and the GM, with Robnar versus Bobnar and the GM between them (that was the minis play that gave birth to D&D), but Robnar and Bobnar versus the GMnithid. In that case the GM is both operating the GMnithid AND deciding whether Robnar, Bobnar or both get the +2 versus the GMnithid.
How does that impact the case you present in this specific post? I think the case to make is for that dual role: operator of the opposition and arbitrator of the fiction's impact on the contest. That's a case that can be made, but I don't think your specific case in this post really touches the role of the GM in party-based (including old-school) play. Unless I'm missing something?