Monday, June 2, 2014

Gamerstable RPG Podcast - OSR Episode - Corrections, Clarifications and Comments by The Grumpy Dwarf

Last week, Gamerstable RPG Podcast aired an "OSR" episode. It was... interesting. It was similar to watching folks discuss Star Wars and Star Trek as if they were the same franchise - and yet still have little knowledge of either.

This was the first episode of Gamerstable that I've listened to, and they hosts do seem to have a good chemistry between them. I'll need to give a listen to an episode where they have some actual knowledge of the topic they devote an entire episode to ;)

Anyway, on to the corrections, clarifications and comments, as relayed by The Grumpy Dwarf:

"we are totally not prepared to talk about this" - Truer words were never spoken

"anything we get wrong we can get corrected on it later" - ouch!

not quite sure what the SRD is apparently, but it ties into the OGL

"are we going to upset people because we get so much wrong and they are so into it?" - Grumpy is not upset. Grumpy has been handed a shit ton of entertainment value based on the show's near total lack of knowledge. I almost expect that this episode was recorded as a goof, because really, except on talk radio, who talks this much about a subject they have so little knowledge of it?

"OSR is not about playing 1st edition D&D... because old school games change the original game" - the differences between the original clones / simulacrums are minimal. The original clone (OSRIC) was written to enable publishers to write adventures for AD&D within the OGL. There ARE rulesets that step beyond just revisiting the original material and move beyond. OSR gaming is about the original rules, their clones, new interpretations and expansions and the like. The OSR is not, however, Dungeon World (a fine game in it's own right)

"It is as much about creating something new as it is about playing something old" - now that is a prefect definition right there - they may actually have a clue

Labyrinth Lord is NOT the ruleset with the art that makes "decent folk" cringe. That is LotFP Weird Fantasy. LL IS however, put out by Goblinoid Games, who also publishes GORE and Mutant Future, so that part is right.

Dungeon World is not OSR - yeah, I said it earlier, but it bears repeating.

Retroclones ARE OSR - so if C&C is a retroclone, it is OSR (now, whether folks feel C&C is a true retro-cone is another kettle of fish)

Troll Lord Games is NOT Gary Gygax's new company after TSR, although he did work with TLG on certain projects - and yes, Castle Zagyg was one of them.

"One of the old School tenets is Quick Character Generation, which is why I think Dungeon World probably applies". God, I think I just puked in my mouth just a little bit. Dungeon World doesn't emulate any of the Old School rulesets - it isn't OSR and it isn't Old School - it's New Wave Dungeon Crawling, which is fine, but it is not Old School.

Shit, not even 9 minutes int the 32 minute podcast and I need to take a break. I didn't catch all of this with my casual listen last night


  1. Overall, the Podcast is normally enjoyable. They usually opine on things closer to their knowledge base.
    Most times, the topics tend to be system agnostic, and more about the tropes and generalizations of RPG's sprinkled with comments and asides based on the games they DO play.
    I actually stopped listening to this episode BECAUSE of their obvious lack of knowledge on the subject. Rather than falling into a nerd-rage about what they were going to get wrong, I would rather skip it and move on to the next one.

    1. I could tell early on they had good chemistry between the hosts, but really, what was the point of this mostly pointless episode?

      I felt like I was listening to a bunch of "Tappies" from earlier seasons of Happy Jacks - a bunch of folks making stuff up to cover the fact that they just don't know - which is strange, as they fucking chose the topic.

  2. "One of the old School tenets is Quick Character Generation." That part is true. However, saying that a RPG is old school simply because it has quick character generation is false. I'm not familiar enough with Dungeon World to comment on its other possible OSR qualities.

  3. What? You didn't plug my OSR stuff? Just joking :-) Great PodCast Mort. See you at GenCon mort.

  4. First and foremost, thank you to those who listened (even if it was for a few minutes).

    As so eloquently stated above, most of us had little (or no) knowledge of OSR and the episode was intended as a way to express interest in the topic and hopefully spark interest in those of our listeners that also had no clue it existed.

    As for mistakes made, it happens... a lot. We are not game scholars, industry insiders or the like. We are a game group that puts mics in our faces before our weekly game sessions. We fully admitted, in the beginning of the episode, that the topic was larger than our 30 minute format could contain. That said, we've never let fear of "fact checkers" or "nerd rages" deter us from talking about something. That harkens back to the fact that we bill ourselves as an average game group chatting.

    That said, we are cognizant that the internet takes offense to misrepresentation of things, especially in our sub-culture. That is why we openly plugged this site, so that those who want to invest time in learning more can find out from the experts.

    Again, I thank you for listening and hope that our transgressions can be forgiven.


    1. And I hope you took it with some sense of humor - but yeah, the mistakes were fairly large and fairly often.

      I am far from a scholar on the topic. There are many much more learned than me on Old School Gaming and the OSR. I just think, perhaps, if you are going to discuss a topic you have little to no knowledge of, you would at least spend an hour on wikipedia, a forum or two and maybe a few blogs just to ground yourself a bit.

    2. No worries (re: the sense of humor), I appreciate your candor as well as the mode in which it was given.

      Personally, I understand rancor when something that is loved is belittled. It was not our intent to do any such thing. To a person, each member of the cast was intrigued by the prospect of digging deeper into OSR games and are actively looking into getting a game started.

      Believe me, we are on your side... especially Mort.

    3. Hey Eric, I just want you to know that I think you guys (usually) do a GREAT job! I listen to a lot of podcasts and Gamerstable is one of my very favorites. You guys do a lot of things right, but yeah... you did kind of lay an egg with this episode. Like Erik, I found some entertainment value in registering all the misconceptions and was happy to give you guys credit for acknowledging your lack of expertise upfront. Mostly, it just brought home to me how small of a niche the OSR really is.

  5. >>"One of the old School tenets is Quick Character Generation, which is why I think Dungeon World probably applies". God, I think I just puked in my mouth just a little bit. <<

    Whereas the stuff you see as a cop doesn't faze you at all, right? >:D
    Sorry, but that phrase is best kept to fragile personalities on rpgnet having the vapours over 'racism in Golarion' or whatever their cause de jour is.


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