03 January 2009

Whither the old school RPG renaissance goeth?

James Maliszewski says “By my lights, at least one of two things must happen in 2009 for the old school renaissance to have legs outside the thousand or so people who read [Grognardia]”

  1. New Product
  2. Big Name Adoption

I’m uncomfortable with the idea that the old school renaissance needs products or companies. That’s not to say that products or companies are bad for the OSR. Just that I don’t feel they are essential.

Perhaps it has something to do with what James says in another post: “One of the fascinating things about the Silver Age -- indeed of many Silver Ages -- is that it was heavily focused on commenting upon and embellishing the works of the Golden Age.” Isn’t the OSR is about rediscovering the Golden Age rather commenting or embellishing it. Aren’t new products almost...almost...guaranteed to do the latter?


Maybe that more fundamental question needs an answer first. What is the OSR about?


Jeff Rients said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff Rients said...

What is the OSR about?

My very simple (perhaps simple-minded) answer is first and foremost we're about playing the games. I don't dig old school gaming out of some sense of nostalgia for 197x or 198x, but because I believe these games have value here and now. Can we reach beyond the precepts established in those days, remain true to the spirit of the endeavor, and avoid the decadence of gilding the lily? I've got to take it as an article of faith that we can.

Barking Alien said...

I believe to some extent, and of course this is merely my observation of local gamers, a part of the OSR has to do with a frustration over the new. Now this is very different from just being a Grognard and saying that a certain game is no good because its new and didn't come out 30 years ago. Its more like, "So this is the new version? Man, I'm really not crazy about this. I want to play something different or that I haven't played in a while, something familiar that I know is fun. Ah! There's always going Old School!"

To me this is part of the Renaissance as it were. Those who've always been playing Red Box are continuing to play Red Box but all of a sudden, those who haven't been or never have are getting into it.


Anonymous said...

To me, it's about playing the games I enjoy (and I'd include reading about and discussing those games, too). Thus, I love things like old school gaming blogs and forums, and publications like Fight On! magazine, with its decidedly hobbyist bent (it reminds me of The Dungeoneer or early Dragon).