It is an "old school" game. It's fairly tough, gritty and leans towards the "game" aspect of D&D (vs shared story time). We roleplay but that is not the point of playing. We play to "win" that is to survive to 9th level and retire healthy, wealthy and wise. The obvious (but not only) path to that is to form a gang of like minded individuals, go kill things and take their stuff.I like it. It is a good description of the kind of campaign I think of as OD&D "old school". The emphasis on game vs storytime. You can "win", you can "lose". But, win/lose doesn't matter much. In either case you roll up and new character in 5min or less.
It's more of a personal challenge. Can I make it as a fighter. Ok, did that now let's try a mage. Oh, what about this fighter with 6 strength? How awesome would it be to get him to name level! And not just class level, there's can we find and survive the 4th dungeon level. Find this, do that, etc. etc.
This challenge / reward cycle is the root of many old-schoolisms; random abilities, permanent death, no dice fudging.