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Any love for the OSR?

Hey team,

Was wondering if there was any OSR (Old-School Renaissance, or whatever we call it these days, Adventure/DIY D&D/DREAM) fans or whatever you want to call RPG’s in the wide umbrella of the OSR?

I always dismissed it as a nostalgia-fest of archaic, wargamey rules, but oh, boy I was so wrong. Over the last few months, I’ve fallen so far down the rabbit hole that has completely turned how I see RPG’s upside down, after thinking I had it all figured out with PbtA and its ilk games.

If you’re not sure what it’s about, here are the best links to learn more:

TL;DR: Anyone here into the OSR space?


I’ve passed this onto my friend who likes running 2nd edition AD&D (which may be a bit past the OD&D your link discusses) in case these are his kindred spirits. Thanks!

I still have the original AD&D and Basic Set (the Red Box), I’m only missing 1 die.

NOPE. I used to be able to do THAC0 in my head, but I don’t want to do that anymore. I still have GURPS books on my shelf. Nope, nope, nope. Issues of Dragon Magazine, nooop…actually, they’re still pretty cool, and handy to have around if you’re flexible with stats and like the creativity.

But I have abandoned Old School in favor of Fun and Story Telling, and also some of the stranger things people have been doing with RPGs, from Fiasco to Monster Hearts. Even the AGE system and Burning Wheel.

Maybe I’m just a grognard looking for something new, but I’m more than willing to leave the past behind, with the min/maxers and munchkins. I love numbers and stats, but I like making a story more.

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Personally, I also want the same things from RPG’s, and I found the OSR brought them.

Because the systems are so minimalist, I find I don’t have to worry about numbers and stats at all - and therefore I can focus on telling a story with my friends.

Plus, the strong emphasis on player agency and emergent story leads to much stronger storytelling, driven by the players.

Because combat is so lethal, it is de-centivized, and thus leads to exciting, creative, out of the box problem solving, which in turn leads to some amazing stories, because those things either tend to go wonderfully, or farcically.

Because there is such a strong emphasis on randomness, min-maxing and munckins just can’t do their thang - the systems actively fight against them.

Have you checked out the ‘new-wave’ OSR stuff, like Maze Rats, Knave, Into the Odd, The GLOG, The Black Hack, Stars Without Number, etc?

Note - I love Fiasco and Monster Hearts too!


I need to check those out.

You do make some very good points, and that was all part of what got me into RPGs to begin with: agency, emergent story, and, of course, perma-death (which leads to desperation, which then leads to creative, and often hilarious, solutions. Or equally hilarious failures!)

I like where your head’s at, even if I may not go back to the OSR (though I do want to check out what you mentioned).

Public Service Anouncement and also Plugging Our Forums out of a misguided sense of duty:
Check out all the PBF RPGs we’re doing here. Pendragon and Gloomhaven are pretty big topics, a smaller game of The Quiet Year-The Deep Forest is starting to kick off, we had a great Fiasco and an earlier The Quiet Year (original), and if you want to PBF a more OSR game in the forums (especially one of the newer old-school games you mentioned) I’m sure you’ll find some takers, possibly me.

Even if I can’t join, I for one will be anxious to spectate (I have a lot of plates spinning here, but when I can’t play I’ll often lurk, with the occasional inserted heckle).

There are a few systems in place here with @discobot and @system where they can RNG for you and other players, as well as other functions.

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Hi! To find out what I can do, say @discobot display help.

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Dammit, I said its name and it just popped up. I forgot about that, sorry!

Hope you enjoy some of the stuff I mentioned!

Thanks for the plug - I’ll definitely have a look into play-by-post.

This really is a lovely forum.

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