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Voros

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I prefer content and reviews of new OSR material to internet drama, repetitive OSR 'think pieces' and similar pontificating. My tastes definitely run towards the stranger end of OSR material as well. Please add more!

Save vs. Total Party Kill - Not a lot of updates these days but good quality posts (mostly reviews and minis these days) when he does do it.

I'll See it When I Believe It - Michael Prescott's awesome blog of mini-adventure sites with neat maps and art, his mecha game hack and more. Easily my favourite for gameable material.

Monsters and Manuals - The blog of the creator of Yoon-Suin. 'nuff said.

Beyond Fomalhaut - Melan's blog of excellent reviews and even better free adventures for download. Been heavy on the actual play reports but whenever he posts some gameable content or review it is always worth a read.

Elfmaids and Octopi - Loads of gameable content. Definitely wacky (note his hack's accronym is EMO) and far out as the kids these days tend to like their D&D.

Questing Beast - The only watchable reviewer of OSR material on Youtube, he also designed the neat little OSR ruleset Maze Rats and interviews a 5th grade DM.

Tenfootpole - Bryce Lynch is crazy enough to do the tiresome but important work of sorting through the mountains of OSR material on OBS and finding the gems. He also goes through every issue of Dungeon. I find him a bit too OSR dogmatic at times, although we share a love of folk-tale toned adventures, but as usual with any good reviewer it is best to get a sense of their tastes and biases and read with them in mind. Introduced me to the fascinating outsider adventure design of Unbalanced Dice Games.

On Wings of Ink - So many good art blogs out there, I'm picking Gennifer Bone's as her stuff appeals to both the D&D and CoC sides of me.

Thomas Novell has been quietly but consistently doing fine work including the unique John Silence 'zine/mini-supplement.

Playing with Electrons to Make Stories - Definitely on the wildly imaginative, very strange/Ashton Smith side of OSR fantasy, if he ever releases a book of this stuff he should be as recognized as Jacob Hurst of Hot Springs Island.

Age of Dusk - Sometimes drawn into internet drama due to his loose association with the infamous but derelict YDIS blog (they posted his extensive review of Pundit's Arrows of Indra, including an accusation of plagiarism of Barker's Tekumel magic system) and his tendency to curse, but the Prince of Nothing's reviews are actually pretty thoughtful and thorough.

Basic Red - Very loose (perhaps sloppy?) and crazy ideas for OSR games. I thought he had quit the blog due to internet drama and life but it looks like he may have returned to posting regularly again.

False Machine - Patrick Stuart's (Veins of the Earth, Deep Carbon Observatory) eccentric blog which has loads of great and bizarre material about his take on a world of faerie. Due to internet drama he took a break and only posted for a while about his reading and thoughts of each canto of Spenser's The Fairie Queen (lol) but seems to be back to posting content once again.
 
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Ulairi

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How to I make the links like yours? I really want to do that for my links.
 

Voros

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How to I make the links like yours? I really want to do that for my links.

You select the text and click on the hypertext icon that kinda looks like a paperclip. Doesn't always work smoothly on a tablet though so often is just html it with (url=websiteaddress) Text (/url) except use square brackets [ ]
 

Dumarest

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I read that Arrows of Indra review and there are certainly some interesting "coincidences" vis-a-vis Empire of the Petal Throne and Arrows of Indra, to put it nicely...
 

Baulderstone

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Let's see what I have that hasn't been touched on yet.

Bat in the Attic is Rob Conley's (Estar) blog. He is a Judge's Guild fan with an extremely long running campaign and talent for clean, professional cartography.

Hack & Slash is Courtney Campbell's blog. His Trick and Trap Index is very useful for anyone looking to take a serious old school approach to dungeon design.

From the Sorcerer's Skull
is by Trey Causey, the author of Strange Stars and Weird Adventures.

Gathox Vertical Slum is the blog that produced the excellent supplement of the same title.

Necrotic Gnome Productions is the new company-based blog of Gavin Norman, who created the wonderful zine Wormskin among other useful supplements. He'll often provide useful material for his Dolmenwood setting that hasn't made it into the zine such as this Fairy Elf class for B/X or this guide to where to find goods and services. The City of Iron is his older blog before he swapped to one with his company name.

Save vs. Dragon is the source of the excellent D30 Sandbox Companion. It's been quiet lately, but it contains a lot of great D30 based tables.

Wampus County is OSR gaming in a weird 19th Century America. The hat rules give a good sense of this setting.
 

Voros

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Casting a resurrection spell on this thread as I realized I forgot to mention Sophia Brandt's cool Die Heart blog.

She does a great job of digging up all kinds of gameable resources for OSR play and she is diverse and eclectic in her tastes, including lots of minimalist, trad, DW and even straight up storygame sources.
 
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Baulderstone

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Refreshing to see one that isn't just Talmudic interpretations or Protestant Reformations of D&D and its derivatives!
That isn't the only one here covering other games. Akrasia's blog has good Mythras stuff as well, for example. It's just that this is a thread on OSR blogs, so that is what people are focusing on.

I'd be happy to link to blogs that are Talmudic interpretations and Protestant Reformations of Traveller or BRP if you like!
 

Dumarest

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That isn't the only one here covering other games. Akrasia's blog has good Mythras stuff as well, for example. It's just that this is a thread on OSR blogs, so that is what people are focusing on.

I'd be happy to link to blogs that are Talmudic interpretations and Protestant Reformations of Traveller or BRP if you like!

Yes, please give us the links. For me, OSR = any "old school" games, not just D&D.
 

Baulderstone

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Yes, please give us the links. For me, OSR = any "old school" games, not just D&D.
Okay, getting some actual paid work done before heading out for the afternoon, but I'll put a list together by tomorrow.
 

Dumarest

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I remember reading somewhere that “OSR” stood for old school D&D while “osr” stood for the other 99% of old school games. I thought it was a bit much.

Not to mention rather insulting with the lower-case nonsense. I get that most gamers are all-D&D all-day, but nah. I refrain from squirting piss all over D&D; they can do the same for the games they've likely never even tried.
 

Ronin

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Yes, please give us the links. For me, OSR = any "old school" games, not just D&D.
I was thinking about this the other day. An "Old School" game that I don't think gets enough credit, especially as an "Old School" game is Palladium Fantasy. Its was an OSR/heartbreaker game, way the hell before these terms meant anything at all.
 

Endless Flight

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I tend to think of old-school as anything before 1991, which was when I graduated high school. It's kind of an arbitrary cut off, I know, but it seems things changed after that.
 

Doc Sammy

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Odd, because I consider Vampire: The Masquerade 1E to be an Old-School RPG, albeit one of the very last ones and that came out in 1991. Granted, I was born in 1993 and started playing RPG's with D&D 3.5 back in early 2007, so I missed the boat on the heyday of Old-School games no matter how you define the word.

Revised Edition is definitely New-School in my book, as are most of the later WoD games (though Werewolf: The Apocalypse 1E and Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game would both qualify as late Old-School to me, while Mage: The Ascension 1E and Vampire 2E are in a gray area)

If I had to make a final cut-off date for "Old-School" games, it would be 2000, roughly coinciding with the release of D&D 3E and the D20 Boom and the heyday of Revised Edition WoD.

My personal pick for the "Very Last Old-School RPG" would be the Sailor Moon Role-Playing Game and Resource Book, released in 1999 and based on Big Eyes Small Mouth 1E, which was released in early 1998 to the general public (though BESM did have a prior limited release at GenCon 1997).

I'd love to one day run a Vampire: The Masquerade game in the OSR style, using Old-School gaming tropes combined with the setting, themes, and style of First Edition VTM, either using the original 1E rules or as a freeform role-play.
 

Dumarest

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My personal definition of old school games would probably be anything prior to whenever 2nd edition AD&D came out. But I haven't given it any real thought because I don't actually care. :clown:
 

Doc Sammy

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Yeah, the definition of what constitutes "Old-School" is a vague and nebulous concept at best and it always varies from person to person.
 

Baulderstone

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I tend to think of old-school as anything before 1991, which was when I graduated high school. It's kind of an arbitrary cut off, I know, but it seems things changed after that.
I graduated in 1990, so practically the same time, but I felt Old School was definitely over long before then. Maybe its because my parents played D&D before I did. They played pure, old school D&D where every move they made was mapped on graph paper. My friends and I hadn't played that way in years.

Well, saying the era was over isn't the best way to put it. No RPG era really ends as long as some groups are still out there doing it. But other styles had bloomed alongside it.

Me of 1990 saw the past of the hobby as consisting of three movements. There was Old School D&D. There were the skill-based games that descended from Traveller and RuneQuest. Those were pretty light, but they formed a foundation that people used to build the really crunchy simulation games of the '80s. And the third movement was the cinematic games that felt like a reaction to heavy simulations. WEG Star Wars wasn't the first of those, but it was the first one that really got traction.

But the answer to the question of Old School really is a personal one, which is why I am answering it from my own 18-year-old perspective rather than arguing the absolute definition. I think when people get too serious about trying to model the history of RPGs, they almost need to obscure what a crazy assorment of RPGs are available and being played at almost any time in the hobby. Traveller: 2300 and Ghostbusters came out the same year, and I owned and played both.
 

Endless Flight

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I agree. It’s very arbitrary to assign dates for the Golden Age, Silver Age and other ages of RPG gaming. In many ways, we are in the golden age now with so many games in print and easy to acquire. I think electronic files like PDFs are a godsend for gamers.
 

Doc Sammy

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If anything, the proliferation of digital publishing and self-published RPG games in this day and age combined with renewed interest in RPG's among young people via Pathfinder and D&D 5E means that we're not just in a Golden Age, but we're instead in a Platinum Age.

When I was in high school (2007-2011), only one or two people I knew played D&D (this was during the 4E days, and Pathfinder didn't start getting super-popular in Roanoke until close to my graduation) but by the time my younger brother entered high school (2012-2016), more and more people at the school were playing RPG's and other tabletop games. My youngest brother even ran a Tabletop Gaming club at the high school during his Junior and Senior years.

By the time I got to community college, nearly all the geeks were into tabletop gaming and so were a fair amount of the casuals and normies, whether it be RPG's or card games and board games.

Magic: The Gathering was by far the most popular (you'd go into the cafeteria room or student lounge at Virginia Western Community College back in 2013-2015 and there would always be a minimum of two or three Magic games going on), but D&D and Pathfinder were in a very close second. It's a shame nobody was willing to play Vampire: The Masquerade with me because of Twilight.
 

Dumarest

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Ah, Traveller: 2300, the game that has France as a space power and wasn't being satirical! Gotta love it. I vaguely recall having it and going right back to original Traveller. Didn't 2300 use the Twilight: 2000 rules and have the conceit that it was set 300 years in the future of the Twilight: 2000 timeline?

So...is it just me or does the cover art seem like it's trying to channel Aliens?
413xXaioS9L._SY400_.jpg
 

Baulderstone

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Ah, Traveller: 2300, the game that has France as a space power and wasn't being satirical! Gotta love it. I vaguely recall having it and going right back to original Traveller. Didn't 2300 use the Twilight: 2000 rules and have the conceit that it was set 300 years in the future of the Twilight: 2000 timeline?

So...is it just me or does the cover art seem like it's trying to channel Aliens?
View attachment 824
It was set 300 years after T:2000, but it had its own rules. I don't remember much about the system other than tracking the blunt trauma effects when people got shot while wearing a flak jacket. I can't fault you for going right back to Traveller.

And, yeah, there was a lot of Aliens channeling in that game. It also tried to retcon cyberpunk elements into the setting near the end of its run.
422-thumb140.jpg


There were a lot of cool ideas in the setting, but I don't think I would every touch the rules again.
 

Dumarest

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I agree. It’s very arbitrary to assign dates for the Golden Age, Silver Age and other ages of RPG gaming. In many ways, we are in the golden age now with so many games in print and easy to acquire. I think electronic files like PDFs are a godsend for gamers.

I'm much more interested in the Golden Age of Spain (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Golden_Age), the Golden Age of Piracy (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Age_of_Piracy), and the Golden Age of Greece (https://www.ahistoryofgreece.com/goldenage.htm)!
 

Doc Sammy

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What are some settings and concepts you'd like to see represented more in the OSR?

I'd like an anime-themed OSR game in the vein of BESM D20, but more "Old-School" (either AD&D or preferably Basic) and not based on 3E/D20 System. If I were to make an anime OSR game using the Anime SRD as a framework, I'd get rid of the shoehorned-in point buy system for character creation. It just does not jive well with the D&D framework of any edition.

I'd also like to see historical fantasy OSR games based on Roman and Celtic settings.
 

Dumarest

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Way before that. Hackers was 1995. The Earth/Cybertech Sourcebook was 1989. It seemed like a reaction to the success of R. Talsorian's game.
Ah, I see, I never played any of those "cyberpunk" games, way outside my area of interest. Was Shadowrun the one with elf cyberpunks?
 

Baulderstone

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Ah, I see, I never played any of those "cyberpunk" games, way outside my area of interest. Was Shadowrun the one with elf cyberpunks?
It was. That also came out in 1989. R. Talsorian put out the original Cyberpunk boxed set in 1988, and everyone was rushing to get in on that action the following year. Iron Crown Enterprises also put out Cyberspace, which used the Spacemaster rules, in 1989 as well.

GURPS Cyberpunk didn't get out the door until 1990, as they got delayed by their raid by Secret Service.
 

Baulderstone

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BUt that made it extra cool, and gave it real cyberpunk cred.
Oh, yeah, What they lost on the release date, they more than made up for in infamy. And they proudly paraded it on the cover.
cover_lg.jpg


It was probably the most realistic of those early game, and it had a good grasp of the genre, but it was a toolkit, so it was the least easy just to pick up and play.
 
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