Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Real Differences Between Old School Dungeons & Dragons & The OSR


I stick to a core group of players for my gaming, these are men and women whom I've known for years and years. There are perhaps maybe fifteen to twenty players between Connecticut and Massachusetts  that I know in real life. These are people I actually know and trust, folks that have over the years helped me to be a better player, dungeon master, and gamer over all. 

I've basically have gotten to the point where I don't go onto forums or talk about Dungeons & Dragons or Advanced Dungeons and Dragons anymore. I suffered from 'gamer burner out' years back when I was shopping at various hobby shops and what not. No, I'm not talking about burning out as a dungeon master or gamer but burning out talking with other gamers. The problem with the social aspect of the hobby is that we end up talking about the hobby and not playing the games enough or at all. This phenomena happened so frequently that I started sticking with my local crew of players more and more. This was a policy that has steadfast allowed me to continue in the hobby and avoid the various fights, dust ups, and what not that have plagued the hobby of table top gaming over the years. Table top rpging and wargaming seems to attract very strong personality types which is fine if your ready for it. This by the way includes men and women gamers none of whom which are excluded here. The above is coloured by my experiences over the years. 

 What Is Old School D&D

Old school D&D begins in 1974 with the release of the wood grained Dungeons and Dragons box set  and ends with the release of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Unearthed Arcana in Nineteen Eighty Five. That's it. Everything else is pretty much second edition after that and beyond. There's even a handy chart for the various editions of Dungeons & Dragons   on Wiki
That's it no hidden agenda to sell you more stuff you don't need or look at the latest rant or whatever. Play however the hell that makes you and your players happy.

 The OSR isn't Old School Gaming

The Old School Gaming Revival begins with the release of Troll Lords Castles and Crusade or if your in the other camp its begins with the release of OSRIC in 2006. According to wiki the OSR as we know is;"The OSR was made possible by the OGL and the relaxed issues with copyright that it allowed.[4] Either Castles & Crusades,[2] or the Old School Index and Resource Compilation (better known as OSRIC),[2][4][5] is considered to be the earliest OSR games and it includes most Dungeons & Dragons retro-clones. Other games considered part of the OSR include Monsters & Magic, Red Box Fantasy, Lamentations of the Flame Princess Weird Fantasy Role-Playing, and sometimes Dungeon World" 
Techically none of the OSR games are old school at all, they hearken back to the ideals and what not  of the older editions of the games but they're not old games. They're an emulation or simulation of older editions of Dungeons and Dragons or outright reactions to the copyrights of certain older TSR edition games such as Gamma World ala Goblinoid Games Mutant Future.
Does this mean that retroclones are bad things umm no not at all in point of fact  I started in with the OSR back in 08 because I had a gut level financial reaction to fourth edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons  on my pocket book. Since that time there have been tons and tons of releases of retroclones and their add ons on the market.

The bottom line of this is play what you want I personally straddle the gaming world mixing and matching Retroclone and old school as I want and need them. Don't let anyone tell you what to use at your own table. I'm not an expert or an authority, I'm a DM with a bunch of friends here in New England. As always keep those dice rolling.

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