Does the term "OSR" just mean "D&D? Can the OSR grow to encompass other games and play styles? Should it?

Black Leaf

Whey Faced Poltroon
Joined
Aug 20, 2017
Messages
1,511
Reaction score
3,519
I've had a living armour PC although that was in Advanced Fighting Fantasy.
 

Bunch

Prince of Insufficient Light.
Joined
Aug 16, 2017
Messages
6,861
Reaction score
9,862
That is absolutely not how trademarks work. If it were, you couldn't put on your generic acetaminophen "compare to Tylenol" or on your brick-like toys" compatible with Lego," but you certainly can do that. Cf.
That's certainly been my experience at Target.
 

Nobby-W

Far more clumsy and random than a blaster
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
2,392
Reaction score
3,660
That's a mighty tall order - Tribe 8 is easily one of the top 5 RPG game systems that I've ever encountered. What is the Cepheus Engine? I know I heard the name, but no idea what it's from.
It's Mongoose 1e with the serial numbers filed off and released under the OGL. Basically a Traveller variant. If you like Traveller you'll probably like it.
 

AsenRG

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2018
Messages
5,528
Reaction score
5,059
I would! The living armour seems like a cool class.
Oh, and by the way, my first thought was "this one looks like the most interesting option".
The second thought was "too bad it's coupled with those particular mechanics":shade:.
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
12,804
Reaction score
29,275
But I didn't say it would be a better fit than the original system. If you check the post I was replying to, you'll find out that I meant "better than an OSR variant":thumbsup:.

ah, that makes sense
 

Simlasa

Legendary Member
Joined
May 4, 2017
Messages
1,494
Reaction score
2,594
I think the main thing I value about the OSR is that it is/was solidly in the hobbyist end of the pool... the whole DIY thing together with the cross-pollination on the blogs and such. Less overtly concerned with locking down IP and staking out territory, it was about the enjoyment of creating stuff and playing games with it.
That it was mostly about D&D is secondary (for me) to that energy and mindset, which I think has spread outward... such as with all the game 'zines' for DCC and such. Some companies seem to invite it and others shun it.
Even if that's not really totally accurately true... it's the part that I cling to. Hoping for more 'garage games' stuff for BRP and Traveller and whatever...
 

Vargold

Barbaric Yawper
Joined
Aug 16, 2017
Messages
205
Reaction score
412
I think the main thing I value about the OSR is that it is/was solidly in the hobbyist end of the pool... the whole DIY thing together with the cross-pollination on the blogs and such. Less overtly concerned with locking down IP and staking out territory, it was about the enjoyment of creating stuff and playing games with it.
D&DIY is indeed the best aspect of the OSR.
 

KrakaJak

Legendary Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2019
Messages
215
Reaction score
404
Wow, You can really tell who the rules lawyers on this board are.... :wink:

There are no rules for the OSR.


OSR is a social movement. OSR is about feelings.

It's a bunch of different people and groups Reviving Old School RPGs, RPG playstyles, RPG aesthetics in a bunch of different ways, to evoke the feelings it gives them. It's art.

It's not a product line, it's not a set of laws.

Another thing that's really gonna get rules lawyers panties in a bunch: the feelings the OSR evokes are different for every single person. Same with how those feelings are evoked.

For some that manifests as busting out their old rulebooks for a campaign, for others it's being able to talk about these old games they've never stopped playing. For some it's making rules inspired by or interpreted of old school original products, for others it making brand new games trying to evoke the same feeling. For a few, all that matters is if it's got Errol Otus artwork. etc. etc. etc. Shit, for some people it's how they feel reading old rulebooks for games that were released 20 years before they were born.

Because the moment, the very moment, you try to define anything about the OSR movement, the definition breaks down. That includes everything I just wrote.
 

robertsconley

Legendary Member
Joined
May 3, 2018
Messages
1,798
Reaction score
3,234
Well there is a rather large group of hobbyists playing, publishing, and promoting classic editions of Dungeons & Dragons mostly but not always through the use of open content and digital technology.
 

CRKrueger

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
3,084
Reaction score
5,322
Leave OSR to be “something related to TSR D&D, or the playstyle assumptions present in that era, or the artistic styles prevalent in that era”.

It would be cool if we had an overarching word for the playing of Maelstrom, Dragon Warriors, AFF, Fantasy Trip, WFRP1, DragonQuest, T&T, Arcanum, anything FGU, like maybe “Retro RPG Revival” (R3) or something to allow people to come together under a banner like the OSR peeps did. It wouldn’t have the same effect, because in the OSR, every author contributes to a whole that all can Riff off of, which wouldn’t be the same for disparate systems.

Still, recognising that the OSR itself is just one system-specific iteration of a much larger movement that digital publishing has made possible - namely the revival of older game systems that still have a lot of worth today and a lot of RPGers have never heard of, let alone experienced, would be beneficial to the hobby at large.
 

robertsconley

Legendary Member
Joined
May 3, 2018
Messages
1,798
Reaction score
3,234
The best I been able to say that the OSR is part of a larger osr that been going on because of digital technology and the ease of communication as a result of the internet.
 

Nobby-W

Far more clumsy and random than a blaster
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
2,392
Reaction score
3,660
I think it is a question of whether they have press ready files that still work on modern computers.
I feel that. Somewhere I have a whole lot of stuff in Pagemaker 5 format. It may have been inadvertently deleted, though.
 

AsenRG

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2018
Messages
5,528
Reaction score
5,059
Leave OSR to be “something related to TSR D&D, or the playstyle assumptions present in that era, or the artistic styles prevalent in that era”.

It would be cool if we had an overarching word for the playing of Maelstrom, Dragon Warriors, AFF, Fantasy Trip, WFRP1, DragonQuest, T&T, Arcanum, anything FGU, like maybe “Retro RPG Revival” (R3) or something to allow people to come together under a banner like the OSR peeps did. It wouldn’t have the same effect, because in the OSR, every author contributes to a whole that all can Riff off of, which wouldn’t be the same for disparate systems.

Still, recognising that the OSR itself is just one system-specific iteration of a much larger movement that digital publishing has made possible - namely the revival of older game systems that still have a lot of worth today and a lot of RPGers have never heard of, let alone experienced, would be beneficial to the hobby at large.
Long Live the R2PGR:grin:!
 

CRKrueger

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
3,084
Reaction score
5,322
The best I been able to say that the OSR is part of a larger osr that been going on because of digital technology and the ease of communication as a result of the internet.
”The larger OSR” isn’t exactly a killer marketing brand. :grin:
 

robertsconley

Legendary Member
Joined
May 3, 2018
Messages
1,798
Reaction score
3,234
”The larger OSR” isn’t exactly a killer marketing brand. :grin:
Sure but given the diversity of older RPGs and editions any term is a non-starter in the first place. Traveller is not D&D which is not Runequest which is not Fantasy Trip which is not Thieves Guild which is not Dragonquest which is not Chill and so on and so on.
 

CRKrueger

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
3,084
Reaction score
5,322
Sure but given the diversity of older RPGs and editions any term is a non-starter in the first place. Traveller is not D&D which is not Runequest which is not Fantasy Trip which is not Thieves Guild which is not Dragonquest which is not Chill and so on and so on.
Right, but they’re all part of an Old School Renaissance and that could have been used as a tag for social media discussion the same way the OSR did. Unfortunately, the OSR name was used for the TSR Revival. :devil:

You don’t get much more Old School than Melee, Wizard and Fantasy Trip but unless someone Googles “old tabletop RPGs recently published” or something and gets lucky, they probably won’t find it if they’re looking for old games to try.

It’s as if Ben and Jerry’s has been branded “Ice Cream” and Mozart has been branded “Classical Music”. It’s a category error that fucks everyone else in the category.

It’s impossible to unring the bell, but it really is unfortunate.
 

AsenRG

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2018
Messages
5,528
Reaction score
5,059
Right, but they’re all part of an Old School Renaissance and that could have been used as a tag for social media discussion the same way the OSR did. Unfortunately, the OSR name was used for the TSR Revival. :devil:

You don’t get much more Old School than Melee, Wizard and Fantasy Trip but unless someone Googles “old tabletop RPGs recently published” or something and gets lucky, they probably won’t find it if they’re looking for old games to try.

It’s as if Ben and Jerry’s has been branded “Ice Cream” and Mozart has been branded “Classical Music”. It’s a category error that fucks everyone else in the category.

It’s impossible to unring the bell, but it really is unfortunate.
It is unfortunate, yes.
I kinda like the R2PGR though (pronounced "artwopager":grin:)!
 

robertsconley

Legendary Member
Joined
May 3, 2018
Messages
1,798
Reaction score
3,234
Right, but they’re all part of an Old School Renaissance and that could have been used as a tag for social media discussion the same way the OSR did. Unfortunately, the OSR name was used for the TSR Revival. :devil:

You don’t get much more Old School than Melee, Wizard and Fantasy Trip but unless someone Googles “old tabletop RPGs recently published” or something and gets lucky, they probably won’t find it if they’re looking for old games to try.

It’s as if Ben and Jerry’s has been branded “Ice Cream” and Mozart has been branded “Classical Music”. It’s a category error that fucks everyone else in the category.

It’s impossible to unring the bell, but it really is unfortunate.
It is what it is but as James Mal and I pointed out back in 2011 the OSR benefited a lot of other older RPGs with all the major areas publishing, promotion, and most important playing.

Additional Reflection on the OSR and older edition D&D
 

Black Leaf

Whey Faced Poltroon
Joined
Aug 20, 2017
Messages
1,511
Reaction score
3,519
Leave OSR to be “something related to TSR D&D, or the playstyle assumptions present in that era, or the artistic styles prevalent in that era”.

It would be cool if we had an overarching word for the playing of Maelstrom, Dragon Warriors, AFF, Fantasy Trip, WFRP1, DragonQuest, T&T, Arcanum, anything FGU, like maybe “Retro RPG Revival” (R3) or something to allow people to come together under a banner like the OSR peeps did. It wouldn’t have the same effect, because in the OSR, every author contributes to a whole that all can Riff off of, which wouldn’t be the same for disparate systems.

Still, recognising that the OSR itself is just one system-specific iteration of a much larger movement that digital publishing has made possible - namely the revival of older game systems that still have a lot of worth today and a lot of RPGers have never heard of, let alone experienced, would be beneficial to the hobby at large.
Yeah, it's a similar issue to when the Forge decided that they'd use "indie" to mean "storygames made by people from the forge".

It's possible to get round that with a prefix; the BOSR (British old school revival) is gradually gaining traction as a term.

The easiest way is to just avoid using OSR as an acronym at all though. It was chosen because it sounds like TSR so leave it as that.

OSR = D&D related stuff.

Old school revival - Old school games.

And don't use the latter if you're specifically talking about the former.
 

Black Leaf

Whey Faced Poltroon
Joined
Aug 20, 2017
Messages
1,511
Reaction score
3,519
It is what it is but as James Mal and I pointed out back in 2011 the OSR benefited a lot of other older RPGs with all the major areas publishing, promotion, and most important playing.

Additional Reflection on the OSR and older edition D&D
I only really am involved in the En Garde! scene, but honestly OSR had absolutely no effect on us either negative or positive.

Especially as we'd been doing all of this at least since the early nineties:

All of this is driven by the low barriers of entry created by the following

  • sharing of intellectual property
  • ease of distribution via the internet and print on demand.
  • the low cost of digital tools to create content
  • ease of communication via the internet.
We really didn't need the new kids on the block to teach us how to do our thing.

If anything, the main concern some of us are having now is that several full rulesets have disappeared into the ether and more are likely to follow unless some kind of preservation project happens.
 

silva

Legendary Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2018
Messages
986
Reaction score
1,586
These days, my brain associates OSR to "light and DIY" D&D-inspired game. Or, a pretty specific style and format of game. I would prefer the label stayed that way, for practical reasons, instead of changing to emcompass a whole umbrella of old gaming styles and formats from the 70s/80s.
 

3rik

(ᵕ̣̣̣̣̣̣﹏ᵕ̣̣̣̣̣̣) R.I.P. Hana Kimura (1997 - 2020)
Joined
May 13, 2017
Messages
1,724
Reaction score
2,168
when the Forge decided that they'd use "indie" to mean "storygames made by people from the forge".
That still bothers me and it's still an inconvenience when discussing indie games.
 

robertsconley

Legendary Member
Joined
May 3, 2018
Messages
1,798
Reaction score
3,234
Yeah, it's a similar issue to when the Forge decided that they'd use "indie" to mean "storygames made by people from the forge".
An important difference between the Forge and the OSR is that former was first centralized on a single website and the OSR never had any form of centralization. Also the OSR took advantage of digital technologies like PDFs and print on demand far more quickly than the Forge which focused more on traditional print. Finally the OSR was largely (but not always) centered on the use of open content.

As a result which mean that new entrants could make things their own way rather than asking permission from existing IP holders.
 
Top