Where's the new in the OSR? Well, it's right under your nose.

Chicago Wiz asks in is blog where the next step in the OSR is. Where is the OSR Blackmoor or Tekumel? I think it's out there. I think there are several folks coming up with all kinds of stuff like Trey over at From the Sorcerer's Skull or John Stater over at The Land of NOD or Shane at Swords Against the Outer Dark or Al at Beyond the Black Gate. Heck, that's not even mentioning some of the more talked about alternative rule sets that are out there in the OSR like Geoffrey McKinney's Carcosa or James Raggi's Lamentations of the Flame Princess.

One thing that I've kind of noticed about folks in the OSR is that we tend to be clickish and hang on to our familiar little groups and not venture out too to check out new stuff. We may say that we want new stuff, but often it seems that if it diverges too far, then we get scared. I speak with some experience as I've been an active part of the OSR starting with OSRIC and the Knights and Knaves Alehouse gang since 2006. As an artist, I haven't really been vocal or really contributed much to the actual written rule sets. Well, actually I have been doing quite a bit of tinkering for the past five years, it's just that I've been doing it on another blog (which I don't use anymore).

At any rate, I'm seeing exactly what I'd hoped would happen when I signed on to the Old School Renaissance and did the art for OSRIC. There are quite a few people doing some incredibly cool stuff and taking the rules beyond a mere aping of the stuff put out in the 1970s/80s. I think the best times for the OSR are still to come. As one of the guys hacking away at my kitchen table, I hope you'll follow along. I encourage comments/suggestions/etc. I also very much hope that you will check out some of the other incredibly cool stuff going on. If you've got something in the works, I'd like to know about it. I thing one of the greatest strengths and indeed the coolest thing about the Old School Renaissance is all of the folks out there passionately creating things for this hobby. It is a rich and vibrant community. I know I'm coming across as a cheerleader, but damn it, I think that's exactly what is needed. So, break out of your comfort zone, participate in a project by either starting your own, collaborating with someone else, providing feedback by way of playtesting or even just proofreading to someone else, or writing reviews on stuff that's out there. In the end, we'll all benefit by having a vibrant hobby with some incredibly cool stuff to fuel our imaginations and fill our Satuday nights.


  1. This is one of the better response posts on the subject that I've seen over the past day or two. There is a great deal of material out there that does not get enough acknowledgement or bandwidth compared to, say, dozens OSR blogs all posting about the release of S&W Core over the period of a week. You posted some great examples up there. (How, for example, did I not know about NOD until issue #5???) There is stuff up on Lulu that no one talks about. I myself was cheerleading Engines & Empires when it came out, but few seemed to be listening. I was surprised to see someone say that they hadn't heard of Kyrinn's upcoming Urutsk: World of Mystery, an EPT successor if ever I saw one.

    Worse, when something new and innovative comes out, some often trash it in their OSR-oriented blogs and say "When *my* OSR ___ comes out, it will be better."

    The issue, as I see it, is that we spend too much time _talking_ about the same things, which may be more of a problem than releasing the same things. More cheerleading about the overlooked is exactly what is needed, so kudos to you. And to those who are making these underdogs, you're probably going to have to work a little harder to get the word out and above the noise.

  2. Thanks for the post Robert. I think you hit the nail on the head. I often see news spread like wildfire on the blogs and message boards for things like Swords and Wizardry Complete, but scant mention of something like Swords of Athanor (which I'll be postin a review of in the next day or so). I'd like to challenge folks to do some more reviews of stuff like say Jim Pacek's Wilderness Alphabet. Doing reviews goes a long way to supporting the community or furthering the hobby (I know some folks don't like to be considered part of the OSR community).


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