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Is OSE now the Undisputed Champ of the OSR?

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Persimmon:
So I was recently notified by Necromancer Games (affiliated with Frog God) that they're running a new Kickstarter for conversions of the Zach Glazar adventure/setting "Whisper & Venom."  What surprised me was that the conversions are for 5e and Old School Essentials.  I knew that Matt Finch had broken from Frog God and decided to take Swords & Wizardry with him despite a fairly successful Swords & Wizardry KS last year that produced a digest sized boxed set along the lines of those produced by Necrotic Gnome for OSE (and inspired by the LBB of course).  Not sure what prompted Finch to leave but the decision by Necromancer/Frog God to start producing material for OSE seems to be an indication that OSE is fully established as the "Top Dog" in the OSR these days.  They've even indicated they're emulating OSE's module layout with the bullets points (which I don't care for myself), though the verdict is still out on digest-sizing.

As for OSE, Gavin Norman has done a great job of marketing it.  He's essentially been recycling the same material in different packages for three years now yet each KS has surpassed the previous one.  The most recent one surpassed $770K and all it does is re-package old material.  Amazing what presentation, layout and buzz can do for you.  Even my pretty mediocre FLGS carries OSE products.  I like it well enough, but that's because of my love of B/X D&D and now that I have my Rules Tomes I see no need to keep buying the same material.  But OSE has seemingly driven Labyrinth Lord, which used to be the game that seemed to get the most third party material, into the ground.  I suspect S&W will retain its smaller niche market as should games like Hyperborea, which just released a third edition.  But they just don't seem to have the mass appeal of OSE.

So what do you think?  Is OSE the new champ?  What OSR game has a reasonable chance of dethroning it?

Svenhelgrim:
I just bought the hardcover Advanced Player’s, and Referee’s Tomes, and I love them.  I am currently in the midst of convincing my 5e-playing group to switch over to OSE.

Mithgarthr:

--- Quote from: Persimmon on July 19, 2022, 10:50:09 PM ---But OSE has seemingly driven Labyrinth Lord, which used to be the game that seemed to get the most third party material, into the ground.  I suspect S&W will retain its smaller niche market as should games like Hyperborea, which just released a third edition.  But they just don't seem to have the mass appeal of OSE.

So what do you think?  Is OSE the new champ?  What OSR game has a reasonable chance of dethroning it?

--- End quote ---

I'd wager it's because OSE seems to be the first big retro clone that's stayed 100% true to the rules of BX. All of the others that I can think of, good as some of them are, are usually 95-99% TSR rules, with that final 1-5% being the author's tweaks/home-rules/etc.

Which, on the one hand is cool because it's getting new people into BX (whether they realize it or not) and it's causing some great new adventures/content which is 100% mechanically compatible with BX appear on the market. On the other hand, it's kinda lame, because all these new folks are learning BX without the aid of the original text to put it all into proper context.

As for dethroning, who could say? I think at this point though, it's poised to stay relevant for some time, unless of course the woke mobs find some reason to direct their ire at Gavin. Since it's faithful to the source, the only way a game could naturally dethrone it is to figure out a way to organize/package even better than OSE did. But, with as good as OSE is packaged, I can't imagine that happening.

Persimmon:

--- Quote from: Svenhelgrim on July 19, 2022, 11:22:07 PM ---I just bought the hardcover Advanced Player’s, and Referee’s Tomes, and I love them.  I am currently in the midst of convincing my 5e-playing group to switch over to OSE.

--- End quote ---

We finished a 2 year OSE campaign earlier this year and have been doing other games since.  Currently running Necropolis for Swords & Wizardry but it looks like we'll be switching back to OSE Advanced once that campaign ends.  My players just love the streamlined flexibility.  We have a few house rules and have ported a few things over from DCC and it runs great.  We briefly tried playing DCC straight, but after having played OSE the group found DCC too clunky at the table so we just pulled parts we liked to bolt onto OSE.  I think that flexibility has always been a hallmark of B/X.

Hackmaster:
I saw that Goblinoid Games is shutting down all social media presence, but continuing to sell products online for now, with more info to follow.

Not sure if Labyrinth Lord is getting squeezed out by OSE, if the author/owner wants to take a break for personal reasons, or if he's just getting off social media to avoid SJWs.

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