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Author Topic: Core principles of the OSR  (Read 1436 times)

ChristopherKubasik

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Re: Core principles of the OSR
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2020, 06:58:34 PM »
Likewise the minimalist nature of some of the classic editions creates an illusion of minimalism...
What is the illusion of minimalism (in contrast to the minimalist nature of some of the rules editions)?
Thanks!

Spinachcat

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Re: Core principles of the OSR
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2020, 11:57:04 PM »
If anyone's interested in my collected wisdom (FREE PDF), you can download OSR Like A Fucking Boss here: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/298385/Old-School-Renaissance-Like-A-Fucking-Boss

Your boss must get into a LOT of trouble with human resources!

bat

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Re: Core principles of the OSR
« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2020, 11:11:01 AM »
As I said in another post, TARGA was a group created right before the OSR really kicked in and the driving goal was simply: get people playing older games (not just D&D) instead of talking about them. This was at the Dawn of the Simulacrums and before people like Dan Proctor and Brett Bernstein rejuvenated many older game lines.

This statement only makes sense if you can state a definitive origin point of what you call OSR. Pro Tip: you can't.

I said, before the OSR really kicked in. Not an exact point of origin. Pro tip: READING COMPREHENSION IS GOOD.
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Eric Diaz

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Re: Core principles of the OSR
« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2020, 06:29:01 PM »
I tried my own OSR principles a looooong while ago... Took a slightly critical look at some of the Primer's ideas.

There are tagged "Old School Ramblings" i my blog.

I think I got:

- Play Now, Story Later
- Your character isn't special
- Stop looking at the character sheet

If anyone is interested, here is part I. But some of my opinions have changed since then, I'd say.

http://methodsetmadness.blogspot.com/2015/11/old-school-ramblings-1-play-now-story.html
Methods & Madness - my new D&D 5e / Old School / Game design blog
Including:
* 5e:Fortitude/Reflex/Will. Bringing balance to the Forge (you read that right).
* OSR: One page hacks is my answer to retroclones. Would love to take ONE PAGE from YOUR book!
* 3e vs. 4e vs. 5e - Can you trip an ooze? Does it require miniatures?

Nerzenjäger

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Re: Core principles of the OSR
« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2020, 01:37:59 AM »
I tried my own OSR principles a looooong while ago... Took a slightly critical look at some of the Primer's ideas.

There are tagged "Old School Ramblings" i my blog.

I think I got:

- Play Now, Story Later
- Your character isn't special
- Stop looking at the character sheet

If anyone is interested, here is part I. But some of my opinions have changed since then, I'd say.

http://methodsetmadness.blogspot.com/2015/11/old-school-ramblings-1-play-now-story.html

I hate to say it, but those three are actually quite good. You don't need more than these.

As influental as Finch's Primer was, it is much more useful as a conversion tool for new school players, to change your look at RPGs ever so slightly to being receptive for old school play.
"You play Conan, I play Gandalf.  We team up to fight Dracula." - jrients

estar

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Re: Core principles of the OSR
« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2020, 01:20:24 PM »
This statement only makes sense if you can state a definitive origin point of what you call OSR. Pro Tip: you can't.
Having been there and was involved at the time, 2006 marks the beginning of the OSR. The release of OSRIC and Basic Fantasy were the final pieces of the elements that make up the OSR afterwards. Sure people were doing things with the classic editions but due the uncertainty over using the IP most never reached it full potential. The best were zines and magazines like OD&Dities, followed by adventure modules, after that it fell off quickly until after 2006.

We don't have to guess about it, it was comprehensively documented in the Hoards and Hordes spreadsheet from 2000 to April of 2012 after which it became more selective.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1LUFmadXbg67pp9dEu_KsLc2-2Gf-0t5mVOvzetAqdFw/edit#gid=0



Eric Diaz

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Re: Core principles of the OSR
« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2020, 03:25:36 PM »
I hate to say it, but those three are actually quite good. You don't need more than these.

As influental as Finch's Primer was, it is much more useful as a conversion tool for new school players, to change your look at RPGs ever so slightly to being receptive for old school play.

Thanks man! I'm glad to hear that.
Methods & Madness - my new D&D 5e / Old School / Game design blog
Including:
* 5e:Fortitude/Reflex/Will. Bringing balance to the Forge (you read that right).
* OSR: One page hacks is my answer to retroclones. Would love to take ONE PAGE from YOUR book!
* 3e vs. 4e vs. 5e - Can you trip an ooze? Does it require miniatures?

Aglondir

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Re: Core principles of the OSR
« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2020, 12:25:11 AM »
The Microlite series of PDFs, by Randall Stukey, has a great section on old school roleplaying. It's long, so here's a chopped down version from Microlite 81.

Quote
Heroic, not Superheroic: Old school play, especially at low to middle character levels, is about fairly normal people put in situations where they can be heroes, not about extraordinary people doing things that would make a four-color comic book superhero proud.

Achievement, not Advancement: ...a character’s abilities are generally predetermined by his character class, so old school
games focus on the things that the characters wish to accomplish in the game world rather than on what game mechanics hey want to acquire.

No Skills: ...Instead, you just tell the GM what your character is trying to do. Note that you are assumed to be
competent with all common activities associated with your class and background.

Limited Magic Items: ...magic items are relatively rare and hard to create. Only potions and scrolls are generally relatively easy to create or purchase. Other magic items are seldom found for sale... Therefore characters are usually limited to the magic items they find in treasures or take from defeated enemies on adventures.

No Assumption of “Game Balance”: Old style game sessions aren’t about carefully balanced characters (who are all able to
shine equally at all times) who only run into situations carefully designed by the GM to be beatable by the characters presently in the party and to provide treasure that fits their current level.

It’s Not All About Combat: ...The game is as much about exploration and treasuring finding as it is about combat...monsters don’t have to be killed to be defeated (and get XP for them).

Reality/Common Sense Trumps Rules: Old-school games use loose and simple rules that cover average cases and the GM and players are supposed to apply common sense and their knowledge of how reality works to cover the unusual and edge cases.

Forget “Rules Mastery”: ...player skill in “old school” style games isn’t about mastering the game rules so you can solve any problem by knowing the right combination of rules from 20 different rule books. ...Players need to remember that these rules are merely a tool for the GM. They are just guidelines for the GM, not something written in stone that the GM must obey. If something herein does not work right in your campaign (or the GM just does not like a rule), the GM is well within his right to change it.

Not Mentioned does not mean Prohibited: ...the millions of possible activities not mentioned in the rules are not prohibited, they are up to the GM to allow or disallow based on his knowledge of how reality works and how his specific campaign world differs from reality.
                     
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Omega

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Re: Core principles of the OSR
« Reply #23 on: October 15, 2020, 12:39:51 PM »
The principles of the OSR are...

Steal other peoples works and slap your name on it with sometimes only superficial tweaks while using the d20 SRD/OGL as an excuse.

Claim that no one ever plays games like they used to anymore. Which is a lie on multiple levels because people were and are still playing the old ways. AND. People were playing the "new" ways way back at the start.


estar

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Re: Core principles of the OSR
« Reply #24 on: October 15, 2020, 02:02:37 PM »
Steal other peoples works and slap your name on it with sometimes only superficial tweaks while using the d20 SRD/OGL as an excuse.
Let me see it OK for me to republish the D20 SRD because Wizard explicitly gave permission to do so. But it is not OK for me to omit the newer mechanics, tweak a few numbers, and publish the result.

Got it.

Claim that no one ever plays games like they used to anymore. Which is a lie on multiple levels because people were and are still playing the old ways. AND. People were playing the "new" ways way back at the start.
Well, since I stated the above numerous times myself, and known other whom I know publish OSR material saying the same thing. Not sure who is the "they" you are talking about.

Rhedyn

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Re: Core principles of the OSR
« Reply #25 on: October 15, 2020, 03:11:54 PM »
Blessedly short combats and combat rounds while still playing a traditional RPG.

Cause honestly, fuck waiting 30 minutes or more between turns. I think modern RPGs just assumed you had less friends.

Spinachcat

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Re: Core principles of the OSR
« Reply #26 on: October 17, 2020, 11:12:21 PM »
The principles of the OSR are...

Steal other peoples works and slap your name on it with sometimes only superficial tweaks while using the d20 SRD/OGL as an excuse.

Back at the origin of the OSR, I had problems with the retro-clone craze too, basically for the same reason. I got the value of C&C doing AD&D 3e, but OSRIC seemed to be exactly that idea of "stealing" Gary & Dave's work.

I wasn't a fan of the idea, especially because AD&D books were easy to find on eBay, but I didn't grasp the yearning of many people to write (and read) "TSR compatible" stuff until I joined up with Knockspell and Fight On! magazines.

Also, I saw that the OSR world was swiftly moving beyond retroclones to include very original works using the old mechanics. Of course, we still see new clones like Old School Essentials (OSE) and others, but I think that's because there is an audience for New Books + New Art + Old Rules that's willing to spend.

Plus, there's the old chestnut of "Amateurs borrow. Professionals steal."



Null42

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Re: Core principles of the OSR
« Reply #27 on: October 19, 2020, 04:35:45 PM »
Plus, there's the old chestnut of "Amateurs borrow. Professionals steal."

"If you copy from one book, that’s plagiarism; if you copy from many books, that’s research."

--Prof. Wallace Notestein (later used by Walter Winchell and Tom Lehrer)

EOTB

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Re: Core principles of the OSR
« Reply #28 on: October 19, 2020, 06:56:05 PM »
Of course, we still see new clones like Old School Essentials (OSE) and others, but I think that's because there is an audience for New Books + New Art + Old Rules that's willing to spend.

Yeah, OSRIC was never conceived as a replacement game, or intended to be sold as a stand-alone game at all.  It was expected to be used more akin to the 3E SRD by publishers while everyone else continued to use their AD&D books at the table.

And then the immediate ask was to include the essay-text, art, etc, necessary for full, typical rpg game books

The people who wrote/edited OSRIC didn’t make money off their effort.  I believe that’s the one and only retroclone that can make that claim.  BFRPG also might qualify, I think they’re also not-for-profit on the rules, but they’re not a clone per se. 
« Last Edit: October 19, 2020, 07:15:52 PM by EOTB »
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Armchair Gamer

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Re: Core principles of the OSR
« Reply #29 on: October 19, 2020, 07:01:05 PM »
The people who wrote/edited OSRIC didn’t make money off their effort.  I believe that’s the one and only retroclone that can make that claim.  BFRPG also might qualify, I think they’re also not-for-profit on the rules, but they’re not a clone per se.
   

  I think For Gold and Glory is also sold at cost.