Thursday, May 30, 2013

A short OSR Second Wave "Manifesto"

I was cruising around the blogosphere, and came across this post again by the inestimable Matt Finch. I read this post a while back and meant to comment on it, but never got around to it. So, here goes:

I like what Matt is saying: we now have plenty of "tools" (gaming products, especially the retroclones and supporting materials). The next step is spreading the good word, or what we might call "edition thumping" (just because I want to come up with a "clever" term).

Yes, us "old schoolers" need to be out there playing. We need to be in the game stores, libraries, etc. with our old school-style gaming materials showing loud and proud. That's why I created a GM screen using three-ring binders with the cover of the Mentzer Red Box in all the front slip covers. I've gotten a lot of curious looks when I'm gaming in my FLGS, since every other game in the store is (for the most part) D&D 4E. And some people came up to ask what we were playing, and expressed interest in joining. Now, at the moment I'm running Labyrinth Lord and I'm using the "official" Goblinoid Games screen. That also attracts some curiosity.
The point is that we need to be recruiting. Plain and simple. We can't just be grognards and sit around complaining about "kids these days." We need to be nice people, open to new gamers and their many questions. We can't be stuck in our little niches grumbling anymore.

There are those who continually prognosticate the death of the hobby, but what are they doing to stave off that demise, besides being doomsayers? You want to find more players for the OSR? Create them. Nurture them. Show them the true TAO of D&D (Tao meaning "the way," right?)
If you want roleplaying to survive, do something to keep it alive! Don't just sit back as some silent, inscrutable "master" of an OOP game. Be a truly enlightened gamer and get out and recruit! Be the solution, be part of a movement that strives to save the hobby from extinction! Otherwise, shut up with the "RPG apocalypse" crap!


  1. I play with my 10-year-old son so in a way I did create a player! I agree with your premise that we need to recruit or the hobby will die with us and that notion grieves me (honestly!). My son's friends currently game with us and I hope that each may go on to be the DM of their own group. There are few if any adult players round my way (and in response to Joe D, I did try TARGA but it seems predominantly US-based - I'm in England - so that was a non-starter for me).

  2. I have run plenty of demos in my time.
    The thing about running a demo game is if you are good then the players will want to go out buy that game. If I do it in a game store (my prefered place to run demos) then I like to take them to the product.

    The problem with the OSR is that often the product is not there. I have taken books before and sold them at cost, but I am not a retailer so it's an as-needed/as-I-think of it thing.

    I suppose what would be nice is if had permission to redistribute the free OSR books on a CD. Maybe build some nice interface and have the PDFs.

    Pop in the CD-ROM and it runs on any machine.

    Hmm. That sounds like an idea.

    BTW, TARGA for intents and purposes is dead.