One Man’s Definition of the OSR

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Wargamer and RPG'er since the 1970's, author of Adventures Dark and Deep, Castle of the Mad Archmage, and other things, and proprietor of the Greyhawk Grognard blog.

6 thoughts on “One Man’s Definition of the OSR

  1. It is sad that we are quibbling over semantics and dropping the 'F' bomb on a video. I wrote this on my blog FOUR weeks ago . . .

    One of the goals of the OSR is to GROW this hobby.
    That will require appealing to the youth (not just our own children).

    There are few things more repugnant to a teenager
    (I know, I game with them)
    then to see ‘old’ gamers
    (anybody over 30 in their eyes)
    maligning each other.

    It is one thing to critique another’s gaming philosophy or opinion, but it is destructive to our hobby to insult or name-call from the safety
    (distance and anonymity) of the internet.

    “They fight so hard, because the rewards are so small.”

    There is a big emotional disconnect in humans between being told

    ‘I don’t agree with you’ versus
    ‘You are a XXXX’

    The previous tact is especially acceptable if you site facts or examples.
    The latter approach is either an act of cowardice or an involuntary outburst of self-revulsion, although some might call it slander.

    The recruitment potential of ten good posts can be cancelled out by a single childish or petty rant.
    If we lose the youth, it will not be because of lack of intellect, insight or quality products,
    but incivility.

    “I have seen the enemy, it is us.”

  2. A clarification; this post wasn't intended as any sort of reaction or statement about the recent imbroglio that hit the blogs last week.

    It's just something neat that I came up with a month or so ago, wrote down, and only last night rediscovered.

    Nobody should read anything into it other than that.

  3. I like it. @Evan's too.

    But not as much as the title "One Man's Definition…"

    That's the most important bit. There are many definitions. We all get to decide what the definition is for us, not for anyone else. There is not and can not be a single definition. And it's pointless power politics to attempt to do so.

    And personally I'd replace "old" with classic or original.

  4. I'd not recommend original. There's a *lot* of original games, more all the time. Or if you take it strictly, it means only one RPG, D&D, and even more strictly, OD&D.

    Unless that's what you mean by OSR. Fair enough if you do, but not my cuppa.

    As for the ain't broke don't fix it bit, yeah I get the phrase, but really fixing D&D is very much part and parcel of RPGs from day one, and D&D was fixing Chainmail.

    (hands canes all around)

  5. Me, personally, I'd stop with just "We play the old games."

    As long as "old games" was understood to mean as-faithful-as-is-legal clones like OSRIC and Labyrinth Lord.

    That being said, as roleplayers and not just classic D&D fanatics we all also have a bigger mission: "We play the games." 🙂

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