Thursday, February 4, 2010

When did the OSR Assimilate Me?

I'm really trying to figure out when the OSR became my style of gaming.  I cut my teeth on AD&D back in 80 or so... never really played the boxed D&D sets even though I owned most of them.  AD&D 2e was awesome... except the books fell apart way too quickly, splat books multiplied like rabbits on fertility drugs, game balance went further and further out the window...

Next thing I knew we were playing Rifts, Battlelords and other such unbalanced games... because AD&D 2e showed us that balance didn't matter.  Power mattered.  Munckin mattered.

3/3.5 was supposed to clean up 2e, but the explosion of splats and the power inflation was even worse.  I bought books and more books, but played little.  It was overwhelming and unsatisfying at the same time.

At some point I found Castles & Crusades.  It seemed damn close to AD&D of old, close enough that I didn't have to relearn all of my gaming instincts from years of AD&D gaming.  The editing was horrid tho'.  Sorry Trolls, it wasn't and (to a large extent) still isn't your strong point.

Then I heard word of something called OSRIC.  AD&D re-imagined.   Labyrinth Lord was fairly close behind.  Basic fantasy Roleplaying appeared.  Swords & Wizardry.  Holy crap, but there or some amazingly great reincarnations of the original D&D and AD&D rules out there.  Most of the rules in question were available free, or real cheap in PDF format.  And I was hooked.

4e had interested me before release, but couldn't compare to Old School gaming for me.  Pathfinder is a nice evolution of the 3.5 OGL, and Paizo's Adventure Paths are simply incredible, and I find myself reading and converting in my head to LL, and I never really was drawn to Basic D&D back in the day.

Ah well, I'm a convert.  I've been assimilated... and happy at that.


  1. My own trajectory was from Red Box, to 1e to a host of other RPGs, then back Red Box via LL, and now I play S&W and OSRIC. I never played OD&D as a kid, but now it seems to me that the most distilled and loose game that still stands up as D&D at all is what I'm interested in - I like that it encourages home brew.

  2. I may have avoided most of the unpleasantness of 2nd Edition and on. I am not a fan of splat books. It is hard enough to avoid scope creep in a game without additions. My love has always been of good adventures. Paizo does indeed have some of the best adventure writers in the business today. Entombed with the Pharoah's (http://paizo.com/store/downloads/pathfinder/pathfinderModules/35E/v5748btpy80ea&source=search) anyone?

  3. I downloaded the Labrynth Lord pdf. That brought back some old memories of 1st edition AD&D. In some ways modern rules systems are technically more advanced, but I don't think I have more fun than the old days.


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