Friday, October 12, 2018

Where did the OSR come from?


There's been an OSR resurgence, it seems. 

Zak S. is talking about it on his blog.  Everyone is jumping ship from g+ to MeWe (that's a link to my own account... so friend me, please!)  Erik Tenkar is doing his thing, expanding in all ways, always.  And so many people are continually making so many great RPG things.  It's awesome.

The OSR has been defined many times by many gamers.  Even by me! 

But what made the OSR happen in the first place... where did the impetus for an old school renaissance come from? 

For me, it's one simple thing - realizing that my gaming present just wasn't as awesome as my gaming past. 

Now, some might point to nostalgia or role-colored glasses.  Perhaps I'm only seeing the good things in the past and putting them on a pedestal.  Sure, there may be some of that, but I can assure you, I wasn't thinking about quitting roleplaying altogether in the 80's and early 90's.  Yet, that's almost what I did back in 2011.

Having got that out of the way, the vast majority of OSR gamers probably wondered, is it me?  Did I change or was there something about the rules, system, approach to running games that changed? 

In 2012, after hearing about the OSR and invigorated by some new old school-ish RPG called Dungeon Crawl Classics, I hoped that it wasn't just me, that I was pretty much the same guy, but mainstream gaming had gone in a different direction and we were no longer sympatico. 

Sure enough, that was it.  I realized that the old ways were better (from my point of view), and stopped playing RPGs like D&D 4th edition in favor of a melting pot of B/X, DCC, S&W, and AD&D.  Then going back to other games from that time period like Call of Cthulhu, Paranoia, Vampire: the Masquerade, and others.

From there, I began developing my own old school D&D content and then my own RPGs with a decidedly old school feel.

When it came down to it, that's why the OSR became a thing.  Enough of us reached a point where decades old gaming was noticeably more awesome than gaming now.

VS

p.s.  Artwork by Glad27 over here.