I only just noticed this discussion from an automated OSR Pit message.
My last blog entry, “The Many Deaths of the OSR,” shows that OSR participants have been talking about the “death of the OSR” for nine years. There’s no reason to be indignant at non-OSR people putting down the OSR when OSR participants have been attacking each other for a decade. This is easily documented.
Some may take the long-term “death of the OSR” as an indication that it will survive through thick and thin. Others may take it as a sign of a moribund movement past its expiration date.
I wrote that entry without knowing anything about hostility toward the OSR on Twitter (which I don’t use) or anywhere else. The first I heard about anti-OSR mean tweets was from this.
Since I got back into table-top role-playing games, I have been fascinated with the OSR because it includes a lot of fun stuff mixed together false claims. There is a lot of B.S. mixed in with the creativity. Why can’t we just have the creativity without the posturing about the right way to have “original-style” fun? I’m sure a lot of you feel the same. But it’s become more complicated, because there is now a lot of “OSR” stuff I would not touch with a ten-foot pole, nor would I steer my kids towards it. It’s a hazard for my play-group, not a benefit. The skeezy side of the OSR drives me and young players away from the OSR.
My conclusion is that nobody needs “the OSR” to play in ways identified as “OSR.” And nobody needs the political spats. We can just play our games and drop the labels. You don’t need “OSR” to roll for wandering monsters, to laugh about TPK, or to invent new tweaks to old D&D rules. You just don’t need the label. Play the game the way you like, the way people always have. If anything is “old-school,” it is playing as you want. We did not have OSR in the old days. Nobody is going to stop you from using old D&D rules, and new rules masquerading as old D&D rules, and weird adventures written for those rules–and that is basically what the OSR produced.
In short, what Oni said (first paragraph) makes perfect sense to me.
You don’t need to buy WotC products and you don’t need to buy “OSR” products. I thought this was supposed to be DIY.
We had rules-light systems and open-ended campaigns and “DIY” gamemasters in the '70s, the '80s, the '90s… These existed side-by-side with rules-heavy systems, linear adventures, and purchased TSR modules. They coexisted in the same hobby.
My unsolicited advice for committed OSR players is to try games that are not D&D. The whole OSR discussion orbits tastes about D&D editions. There is so much more to TTRPGs than this or that edition of D&D.
The main thing I want to say, though, is this, addressing SunkenPlanets’ original post and the question in it. Those who want a better name already have it. The name of the hobby has been Fantasy Role-Playing Games. That’s the only name you need. Somehow “OSR” hijacked a division of gamers in the last twelve years, and this is where it has led.
Fantasy Role-Playing Games.