The many questions of The Pit 'zine

Moving back from the google doc as per thekernelinyellow’s suggestion.

And setting wise is there any reason not to go with a giant pit connected to a thousand different things, as Bluiss’s wisely suggested?

Contributors (you can only tag 10 people per post.)

  • Knightowl: writing/layout

  • @Lizardman: writing/illustrations

  • @SunkenPlanets: writing/drawing a bit of art, proofreading, 3d maps in Sketchup

  • @Spwack: Writing, drawing, editing.

  • @Nroman: Writing/copyediting

  • @Maderschramm: writing/copyediting

  • @LF_OSR: artwork

  • @Kingroy23: layout / art/ writing

  • @Civman: writing/some art/interested in learning layout & editing

  • @Max : editing and writing (and simple drawings)

  • @spittingimage: writing/layout

  • jasonabdin: open to writing and art

  • KidGokart: I can draw, try my hand at layout in Google Docs, or write

  • allsnop: proofreading and textual analysis, audio is a possibility

  • meekless: writing/tables and art.

  • YnasMidgard: could do proofing

  • Thekernelinyellow: Could do writing

  • Shane_Ward: d30 table


  • Name: What should we call this?
    Options for names
    The Pit
    Defence as Leather” (the sequels being Chain and Plate, ofc (spwak)
    The Dig / The Dirt (jasonabdin)
    Hole Wide World (spittingimage)
    Different Pit Names: Hel, Tartarus, etc
    The Pit - an OSR Zine OSR (maderschramm)

  • System: Generic OSR. It seems most of agree on keeping it universal.

  • Setting: Fantasy?

  • Themes: rebuilding after a catastrophe might be appropriate. (@spittingimage)

  • Length: Probably best to aim for something attainable like 42 pages. If it works, then we can think about additional issues, etc.


It seems there are two ways to do this. Either we all make up whatever we want and then try to link it together. Or we pick something that we all can focus on and build up and outwards from there. The latter is probably where I’d vote, but both approaches can be good.

My initial thought is that centering this zine upon a central setting. I’m inclined to do badlands or tundra or any such slightly underrepresented locale. We can build up lore in a gameable way.

Bluiss * Agree with the latter option, my vote goes there too. I’m not so sure about restricting ourselves in one setting though, maybe a hub-style setting concept, kinda like planescape? I was kinda mulling this idea around of an insanely large network of tunnels, or catacombs, entered through a giant pit of course, that has many unexplored exits that could pop you out into practically any setting. This could give us a lot of freedom for in-and-out setting ideas, or we can approach it as if the zine is the explorers, delving down these unexplored paths and documenting what they find. Existing OSR settings could simply add the Pit to their world to start incorporating our zine. Just ideas!


Thank you for transferring the doc over!

As for the actual name of the zine, The Pit is so sexy simple but the marketing side of my personal life isn’t agreeing. It’s intentionally generic, might be hard to convey with tacking on OSR or something to the name, SEO would be tough to tackle with just The Pit for example, but it certainly can be done. I think it should also be important to have a clear name difference from The Pit as in this website, and the zine.


I would suggest The Pit - an OSR Zine

I see no reason why we wouldn’t select “Generic OSR” here - why would we limit ourselves to only one system when we’re all running different systems at our own tables?

On that note, we should come up with a standardized way to write statblocks. I would recommend notation such as “attacks as a level 1 fighter” and “AC as Chainmail” - this makes it easy to move between systems.

As a zine made up of many contributors providing different articles based on different topics, I wouldn’t set any limits here. If you wanted to write a supplement for Mothership and include it in the zine you should be able to do so. Same if you wanted to create a town based on the world in MÖRK BORG.

I guess I disagree with the direction of the Zine as laid out above. I would think we’d want to highlight the diversity of the community by having it be a Zine containing snapshots of all the things the community is passionate about and not necessarily focused on building a cohesive “world.” I think building a whole world is great when you have a few contributors to a project that all sign on based on that, but if you want to include as many of the different ideas and personalities that reside on this board you’ll want to allow them to write whatever they want about whatever they’re passionate about.

Just my $0.02

Oh, also put me down for writing, not just copyediting. This project sounds really fun.


We could go with something Pit adjacent, like “Chasm” or “Ravine.”

Using an R word means we can try to do something clever with the OSR as well.


The Pit - an OSR Zine

OSR = Old School Renaissance Supplements and Resources

Gives it that funny WINE (WINE is not an Emulator) recursive infinite looping feel.


There were two discussions here about standards, one for monsters and one for wealth, we could start working from there.

As for the content, I think that having a zine describing “our” setting (which is, a pit full of weird people) might be more fun, even if it’s restricting.

For the name, I like both @maderschramm’s recursive idea and @KnightOwl’s silly pun so I’m not ready to cast my vote for that.


Just to Kick my Two Cents in on this here since I am interested;


I think the ruleset should be kept wide open since I know each one of us as DMs likely use our own variation of something to what is already out there. Also, Monster/NPC stat blocks within the OSR are fairly similar to one another.


Personally, this falls into a layout question since if it is decided to allow any setting/theme, the Zine could be laid out to allow certain settings and themes to be bunched together. If a couple of writers creates Sci-Fi content and a couple of others make Grimdark and someone else makes Wild West content; the Zine should be broken up to it can be easy to follow and people know what they are reading but still have it as a melting pot of creative thought since the OSR is built off of that.


Thanks for porting this over! I think we ought to keep as much discussion as possible within these forums for the sake of easy collaboration.

Now, your idea for a zine has a really got my brain engine firing on all cylinders. Take anything from this point on with a grain of salt, they’re all just suggestions that came to my mind while brainstorming.

Hah, naming things is not my forte.

I think we should definitely go with Generic OSR, and I think our first zine ought to revolve around fantasy since it’s a staple of the genre.

Aha, this is exactly what I want to see. I think any project like this needs some rigid goals/structure to succeed in being a cohesive product that gets finished in a timely fashion. 42 pages sounds like a good ballpark number but I think we need to discuss what our zine composition is going to look like in more depth later.

Now to the Content
Personally, I’m envisioning the members of the Pit coming together to make a cohesive product that’s readily usable.

I really like this idea of coming on a common theme/setting and then filling it up with usable encounters, discoveries, towns, and monsters that a Referee can use at their own table. Basically, we agree on a common theme and then we each do our part to flesh out this adventuring locale.

Ya know this sounds really cool, but I just don’t envision this when I think of a collaborative zine. However your idea has definitely inspired me, and I think we should do an End-of-year Codex where we compile the best posts and what-not to recap the previous year’s activity in the Pit.

Back to the idea of a collaborative adventuring locale, I think we need to have a big brainstorming session where we come up with things that will make up the meat-and-potatoes of our locale and then we each pick things to work on. Having a tentative deadline seems like a good idea to me, and I think we need to be as transparent as possible while working on our parts. Getting immediate feedback or inspiring someone else to riff of your creation are both two immediate benefits I see from posting about your progress here on the forum.

I really like both of these ideas, and it would give us a lot of flexibility.

Now for some potential ideas for our Adventuring Locale:

What about some sort of Norse-inspired setting. Freezing tundras, all manner of huge beast coupled with mythic monsters. Viking raiders. Small villages. Explorations to find new sources of food. Savage cultures. A Norse-inspired setting with some sort of twist would be my vote for the theme of a potential adventuring locale.

Again, just some hare-brained ideas.
Good discussion folks.


This makes the most sense to me as well, for two reasons. First it will give us some focus, which is not something to be underrated. And secondly, it will give the zine some utility for others. I like the suggestion of going in all directions but I think that is better reached by creating, over time, several different kinds of things. A series of focused issues that are separate from each other.

You don’t have to sell me on Vikings. If we are going with the Pit, they could certainly be a component of it. Or we could even have each issue be a different “pit”: this first one being Hel. Later pits/issues could be space pits for SF, demonpits for horror, etc etc.


I genuinely hate puns but I also can’t stop thinking of them. My title suggestion is ‘Hole Wide World’. For system, my vote would be for generic OSR. It’s not much effort to translate ‘AC as leather’ into your personal system of choice.

Weird west doesn’t get much love.

Since one of’s purposes is to fill the gap left by Google Plus, rebuilding after a catastrophe might be appropriate.


This +1 ! I would also prefer a very varied Zine! Happy to write something short and punchy/practical for it.


Indeed, that way if you are an expert Mothership warden you could contribute Mothership content or if you’ve been running Troika! you could write up a module based on that world - we should showcase the best this board has to offer and I think that’s the way to do it.


I kind of like the idea of being told what to write. An editor or project lead could think of a topic for an issue and then either get everyone to brainstorm ideas on that topic, or allocate specific topics for people to write, and then of course the art, maps etc.


I love weird west. I actually wrote a Weird West intro adventure for OSE that’s free now. Invasion of the Tuber Dudes

That’s a fantastic idea. I, for one, really like that.


Colliding two questions into one, I think an interesting title would be “Defence as Leather” (the sequels being Chain and Plate, ofc). Or something of that sort, letting people know the kind of thing it would be focused on (usability, system neutrality). Also is the google doc being used or not, I couldn’t quite tell


I love that name. Definitely my favorite so far.

We’re not using the google doc anymore. Sorry. I’ve taken the link out of that thread to make it less confusing.


I like the idea of thematically-linked content, but also like seeing whatever eclectic ideas the community can throw together. Are they mutually exclusive?

It puts me in mind of the time when Games Workshop’s White Dwarf used to be a reversible magazine - you could read it one way and see all the Warhammer and 40k articles, or flip it round to have a Lord of the Rings cover and content. It meant that the articles on the other subject were always upside down, but I liked the distinction it gave the different settings in the physical magazine. I appreciate that wouldn’t come across so well in an online zine, but if it were ever available in print…


I can’t find the right post, but at some point @Kingroy23 mentioned the idea of having an End of the Year Codex with the best content from the community. We could do both: a thematically-linked content for regular numbers and a less frequent edition with the best content we could make.



I’d like us to focus on a big thing and fill that thing with tons of detail and inspiration.

But what is that thing?
-A small-ish adventure location

Stuff to round it out:
-Adventure hooks/rumours (ways to add this to your campaign)
-Encounter tables
-Cool New Spells
-Cool New Items

I think “The Pit” is pretty cool. “The Pit: An OSR Zine From the Depths of the Earth” or something like that as the subtitle would help it stand out.

Generic OSR gets my vote. Attacks as a two-handed sword, defense as chainmail. Maybe use the B/X Gold Piece standard for currency.

Fantasy, sword & planet, weird fantasy, horror fantasy, that sort of thing.

-I’m down with a Norse setting
-I also like a DarkSoulsian grimscape
-I like the worldbuilding ideas in this thread only applied in a smaller scale.
-Sword & Planet He-Man silliness?
-Cheap 70s barbarian fantasy? (oh yeah, that’s just DnD)

-Rebuilding, sure.
-Community-building? Helping a torn community get back on its feet. This would be an alternative to wealth-accumulation driven gameplay. Or a parallel system where PCs make choices between helping the community or getting paid well. Paid by whom? The interdimensional mining company that operates around The Pit?
-Colonialism or capitalism (as the modern force causing some of the same problems as colonialism)

Brainstorming ideas
Yeah, what about a big fantasy mining corp that’s delving into The Pit, robbing its riches while the native population/workers get used? So the PCs could fill a role either helping the big corp or helping the people. (I do recognise the White Saviour theme emerging here, but we could work on that…)

Maybe The Pit is mining something weird, like the brains of an elder god, triggering psychic visions, or it’s a big pit of living meat, being mined for food. Sorry, got stuck on the mining aspect, but that’s what a lot of pits result from, right?

How about we make a random table with a bunch of community produced ideas/phrases (multiple columns), and have people roll some prompts from that? Just as a brainstorming method…


I think it would be a bit of a missed opportunity if the theme of the first issue wasn’t quarantine, plague, etc…

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