Friday, January 24, 2014

Just How Big is the OSR Getting?

I've had my issues with ENWorld over the years, and some of the admins there (PirateCat is a cool dude though), due mostly to the fact that back when 4e hit I thought they became a bunch of kiss-ass pussy cheerleaders for the biggest name brand, and were trying to push out all dissenters.  So I left.  Fuck 'em.

Look where that got them, supporting the Edition of Suck. And they lost me.  Losers.

I pretty much stopped hitting the boards regularly after that, except for the occasional post at the Mos Eisley of RPG Boards,  It was easy, as I was never into many other boards, and always somehow managed to avoid the big one, Every time I went there it looked like a the topics were controlled by cabal of asshole admins jumping on whoever got out of line.  The tyranny of culture in full effect.

I started this blog I got involved with the then-new OSR blogger crowd, and found a place more to my taste. 

The OSR thing has had its ups and downs and all arounds, and has grown a lot since its humble beginnings.  It's had its TARGA riots, its porn interludes, and its own naval-gazing never-ending narrations on what the fuck it is in the first place.

What's grown from it though has been far more.  It's a great place to meet people who are going back home, getting back to their roots, their childhoods, their "happy places" again.  People who hop on a G+ game to play D&D  for the first time in decades to kick some goblin ass, fathers and sons bonding over mass slaughter in the Caves of Chaos through the joys of FLAILSNAILS.  Along the way we've dissected every motherfucking rule in every single edition, whether in print or not. 

People noticed!  Articles were written about it in obscure places!  WOTC re-printed old shit and said a lot of good stuff about the old editions as they are devloping their new edition.

One thing I noticed though--the old boards, when I popped in, still kept to themselves, discussing the same crap they always did.

Check 'em out now.

ENWORLD, a former 3e haven, then a 4e devotee playground of self-delusion and denial, decided to break out older editions of D&D on separate discussion boards.  They also added a sub-breakout for the OSR (though they call it the Old School Revival.  Must be a British thing.)

Tonight, as I do when I'm either bored, drunk, or under the influence of Longbottom Leaf (trifecta tonight!) I checked out  My bookmark always takes me to the board where they talk about all RPG's in general.  (In four years I haven't had the uuumph to change the where the link link goes to the D20 and D&D related board.)

To my surprise,  on the general board, I saw two threads on Harn and one on Runequest.  Curious, I went to the d20/D&D section.  I saw threads on:

Gygax Games
Microlite 20
Castles and Crusades three times
2e and Kara-Tur
Barrowmaze 2
1e and clones
Against the Giants 1-2-3

Out of 34 threads on my first page.

That's like a third of Big Purple.
I've always had nothing but disdain for Big Purple Disease Ridden Cock, but if their D&D boards have like 1/3 of the articles dealing with the OSR in some way, I may have to re-evaluate.

Also, how fucking cool are we? Look at where we've permeated?   We're influencing everything!

And spreading!

Kinda like this.


  1. DnDNext is a stone's throw from AD&D. It's not a twin but much more in the ball park compared to what 4E was. Totally expect new peeps to dig into older modules of past and plenty of tips to convert them to new stats (which seems pretty simple, if needed at all). Think the new edition rolling out from WotC will spark a lot of interest in older material.

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  3. The culture at those places will still suck, though. It's part of the DNA of that communicative channel, it seems.

    But, old school is in, no doubt about that!

  4. It's weird how consistent troll triggers are.

    Like they pretend they don't care and are above it all but it's always the same people whining when the same stuff comes up.

  5. Which begs the question, am I a troll or the the troll trigger? The distinction blurs sometimes...

  6. En****d are such a bunch of hypocrites and ass-wipes. In their blind enthusiasum for the worst edition of D&D they all but choked everything else. Now they realize their folly? To fucking late and it doesn't stop them from being delusional jerks either. Will likely happen all over again with 5e. They are just WotC fanboys.

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  8. Maybe this was naive of me, but where EN World was (is) concerned, I place the blame at the feet of a relatively small cabal of pro-4E posters.

    These colossal jerks show up in any and every thread about either 3E or 4E. If someone is talking down about 3E or praising 4E, they back it up. If someone praises 3E or is at all critical of 4E, they'll post about how that person clearly has no idea what they're talking about, must be an edition warrior (how ironic), or needs to be playing a different game.

    These guys travel in a group, are never trollish enough to bring the mods down on them, and post relentlessly, ensuring that they'll outlast almost any opposition, allowing them to dominate conversations. It's maddening.

    They finally seem to be winding down with as D&D 5E approaches, mostly because that edition isn't a clone of 4E. Of course, this has that cabal's feathers ruffled - just a taste of the hate they've showered on everyone else for five years.

  9. You're still wasting your time. Nothing that gets posted on Big Purple Dildo or RPGWhackoff is any more insightful than something posted on many other OSR friendly sites. And, as it's been mentioned, the same freakshows are still there posting so the culture of worthless meatheaded-ness is still intact...

  10. Badmike said it. Still, it's interesting that their even making the attempt to talk about Old School games.

    Are the Old School games becoming the "Third Rail" of gaming? LOL

  11. There's a corollary to what @alzirius mentioned happening on the WotC forums. There is a VERY vocal cadre of people who relentlessly push to make D&D Next more 4E-like. Every little mechanical question becomes an exercise in how 4E did it so well, on and on and on. Maddening indeed.

  12. Who do these assholes think they are over there, talking about and enjoying an edition different from what we like? They are having the wrong kind of fun, and if we need to beat them to understand that, we should.

  13. Seriously? People like an edition you don't like? How dare they. How VERY dare they. Let's relentlessly blog about how much we hate them and how THEY are ruining the hobby by daring to actually sit down and have fun.

  14. This is quite the circle jerk from some of the bigger names in the OSR, you people should be very proud.

  15. Joe, you are everything that is wrong with this hobby. The hobby as a whole would be better off if you were to just go away. Please do.

  16. +zak LOL. Like I said, the post was prompted 1/3 in part by boredom. :) I've been told to go away, but it's not complete until I've been told to fuck off and die.

  17. "Which begs the question, am I a troll or the the troll trigger? The distinction blurs sometimes... "
    I think you are your own trigger, Joe. A self-sustaining perpetual motion troll. :)

  18. That may be one of the nicest compliments I've ever received. :)

  19. Wow, thanks to this I think all OSR people are assholes. Thanks. Won't waste my time. Especially the comments where you are happy people think you're an asshole. I wanted to introduce my group to the games I played starting out but I fear they're assholes enough already.

  20. Does anybody know what that one means? I think he's saying his _own_ players are assholes.

    Or her own players. Maybe it's an anonymous woman blathering like a coked-up duck on an RPG blog.

    It's a complex world.

  21. Like it's like they're too stupid to just go...

    "Joe, calling 4e 'The Edition Of Suck'" is boring and dumb, do something more productive with your time." instead they just unleash these incoherent ravings that just confirm what people like you already think.

  22. It's weird for two reasons---first he does appear to be saying his players are assholes. Then he seems to imply that playing old school games makes one an asshole. Funny thing is, he also says he played old school games starting out. So i guess that makes him an OG asshole? Which would explain why assholes flock to his games. Birds of a feather and all that. So what we really are dealing with here is a case of self loathing where he is projecting his own issues onto the osr in general and me in particular. He really should be thanking us, and me in particular, for this post, which is giving him the opportunity to see and deal with his own issues, his own asshole-ness seemingly the biggest one.

  23. check my latest G+ post. guess i pissed some peeps off. :)

  24. You got banned for posting off-site? That is some bullshit.

  25. It does back up to an extent what I said about the place though, doesn't it? No matter. No skin off my ass.

  26. Thanks Mystic! Go forth and enjoy your short term of membership at ENWorld. :)

  27. ah ha! finally found where i was mentioned. :)

  28. "Look where that got them, supporting the Edition of Suck. And they lost me. Losers."
    pledged of £300 goal

    They seemed to have done well enough without you.

  29. They still would have been better off with me. Wherever I go, I bring sexy back.

  30. That's debatable, I doubt it would be much better with edition warring and name calling, but I guess in your own blog you can say what you like, ENWorld has always kept a lid on that sort of behaviour (rightly so).

  31. ENWorld has not kept a lid on that behavior.

    4e fans were allowed to troll other editions with impunity. I had the temerity to complain about this in the Meta section and I got banned.

    And that sort of 4e slobbering bit them in the ass when Pathfinder proved to be so popular

    Yes, Morrus can raise money by crying poor and holding a pledge drive or KS. But he probably wouldn't have to do that if ENWorld was a more open place.

  32. With all due respect to Dave and Jeremy, I think the truth about EN World is somewhere in the middle.

    The EN World mods do perform a credible job (that I've seen) of moderating posts that are unabashedly insulting or otherwise disruptive. The problem is that they have no idea what to do when someone makes things unpleasant for people without tripping that "blatantly insulting" tripwire. (Hence, from what I heard, the impetus behind those cross-forum attacks two or three years ago, when someone made a very calm and very awful post about rape that incensed a lot of people).

    The pro-4E crowd I mentioned above weren't openly insulting in their actions. Rather, they cultivated an atmosphere of passive-aggression as a means of creating intimidation.

    If you were critical at all of Fourth Edition, you'd suddenly find your post being responded to with a very long, very polite diatribe telling you 1) you're wrong, 2) how it is that you're wrong, and 3) what you can do about how wrong you are (though this one usually consisted implying that the person either needed to change their expectations, or go play another game that better fit their expectations).

    Worse, while you might have just one of these in the beginning, if you responded you'd quickly find several of these posts aimed at you for each post you made, simply because these people functioned as a group, so if you wanted to defend your original point, you'd quickly find yourself writing very long responses several times over.

    Worse, if you did respond you'd quickly realize that unless you ceded the point - or implicitly did so by ceding the thread and ceasing to post there - you'd be in this for the long haul, because this group never let up. Somehow they all had the time to make these long posts over and over, and the energy to do so (which is probably how that group self-selected down to its constituent members). They simply wouldn't stop until they'd talked you under the table with how 4E couldn't possibly have something bad about it.

    The end result is that people simply allowed them to fill up the (not so) metaphorical talking space. The mods didn't do anything, because they didn't see anything that needed moderation - passionate, insistent debating is part of the legitimate discourse, to them - this is true, but when you've got a clique that inserts itself into every discussion about their pet topic and verbally drowns the other person, the mods should have realized that there was an option for a deft touch, rather than vacillate between "nothing" and "I'm warning you now, next comes a ban."

  33. It’s not an easy thing to stop though, because you want people to say “this game is actually good, those bugs are features, its not for you”. Because posting long responses to people and trying to outlast them with your energy levels or things they find hard to argue against is a tactic. It works for the OSR just as much as it works against it.

    So. Those bastards ran out of steam, we didn’t?

    Rubbish story ending.

    You don’t say that people can’t defend games any more either.

    But you could say to stop being hostile and demanding loads of answers. Let people speak, even if they get on a roll of trashing or praising something you think is good or bad, or just to slowing down when arguing, so you don’t win because they have a full time job.

    And don’t dogpile if the guy you don’t agree with is already on the ropes.

    That should work for moderated forums through to twitter. Maybe.

    But anyhow the OSR kicked off through things like one page dungeons, and free good stuff I’m sure. And ways anyone can start online games.

    It’s free, it’s good, it’s easy. Anyone can try, and then talk about what they tried!

  34. Are the Old School games becoming the "Third Rail" of gaming
    Cool flash games


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