Monday, March 8, 2010

The OSR (or whatever you choose to call it) Has Been RockingOut

Do people really not realize how much the OSR has accomplished? And not theoretical bull shit "pointers" on What is Old-School or How to Play retro. Concrete, real, practical stuff. Stuff that has gotten more people sitting down at tables (virtual or real) playing games. That, (more) people playing games, is the only goal worthy of effort and praise. I've been following things online and off for a couple years, bad recession years even, and I've witnessed an incredible amount of action, releases and growth. Below are the OSR's accomplishments that I can remember at the moment.

Multitudes of retro-clones. Hobbyist, semi-commercial, and commercial. Several are now available at your FLGS. For expanding our hobby, that is huge!

Several lines of printed support materials. Some published by "big" names such as Goodman Games. Adventure Games Publishing, Black Blade, Carcosa, The Majestic Wilderlands, Stonehell, Green Devil Face, and more; Lulu's OSR, Noble Knight's OSR.

Shedloads of electronic material. From very "professional", to very DIY (still creative and interesting, just not polished and pretty). Classic Dungeon Designer's Netbooks.

The North Texas RPG Convention, going on it's 2nd year. This is one of two game conventions primarily focused on old-school RPGs. At least I believe GaryCon leans towards the older ways.

Two print periodicals Fight On! and Knock Spell. SEVEN issues of Fight On! Couldn't be arsed to add up the pages but it's 1 and 7/8 inches on my shelf. Knock Spell has produced only three issues. But issues with all the production values and slickness of any Dragon or Dungeon which ya know aren't actually printed anymore.

A Red Virus is spreading, already infecting Red Box NY, Calgary Red Box, and Vancouver Red Box. Your city could be next on the list. [I was gearing up to infect Austin with the Red Menace but WoTC's redbox announcement has me paused]

Traditional Adventure Roleplaying Games Association. It's auctions, it's successful efforts to get people playing games. This and the The Escapist are how you spread awareness of and grow a hobby.

It's not all fantasy either. Thirteen issues of The Star Frontiersman, one the best looking DIY products I've ever seen. Content is killer too. In the retro-clone spirit they slicked up all the Star Frontiers and Knight Hawk Rules in the same style. And some modules for you to game with as well.

One Page Dungeon Format would have been enough by itself but the community organized a contest (two of them actually) and encouraged more people to bust out a dungeon.

I don't read forums. But, I have read many of the fine modules and supplements produced by the folks of Dragon's Foot. Similarly, I'm guessing more than a few of the finished products I see were birthed and raised at Knights & Knaves or the OD&D Boards.

Endless blogs (see blogroll to right for sampling) with new magic items, monsters, maps, character variants, house rules, reviews, commentary and, yes, pointless ranting/punditry/whining/whatever. If it's not useful to you, stop reading. It's not any harder than that.

Numerous new campaigns started. Dozens, hundreds? of gamers having fun, playing a game in whatever way they like. (as evidenced by play reports posted online. I'm sure there's many more unreported. I know of six gamers personally.)

If you want to keep abreast of all that the OSR is producing there's no better resource than TARGA's "This week in the OSR" posts by James Smith.

Finally, on How to Play Old-school (actually one particular old-school). The Old-School Primer works for me. It's not condescending bullshit, it's not telling you your game is wrong. It's all about getting people to play. It acknowledges the very real fact that the style of play it describes is likely not what most non-grognards are accustomed to. It introduces them to this different style so that they're more likely have fun when they sit down and play. In fact, after reading it they are more likely make whatever game their own, playing it with their own specific style.

All Time Most Popular Posts

Follow by Email