Friday, November 15, 2013

Appreciating How Good the OSR Has It

So I've been thinking about some things.

First, the term "Renaissance" is based on the French word for "rebirth." And from my P.O.V., there's no question that what we've been experiencing is a rebirth in the roots of the hobby. And I'm not just talking about going back to the original rules. I'm talking about going back to the original spirit.

Never before have so many people had at their disposal the tools to take their own ideas and bring them to the "global gaming table." No longer are our ideas (and their "by-products") limited to the local copy shop or our local gaming groups.

I know this has been the case for a while, but it's time we just took a step back and reflected on this for a moment.

The fact that we connect on a daily basis and share ideas with folks around the globe (like David Macauley in Tasmania, Catacomb Librarian in Italy, and Brendan in the UK) never ceases to amaze me, especially considering that 30 years ago, I hardly knew any gamers beyond the handful of people in my high school gaming group. Even the game I originally wrote in 1985 has landed on gaming tables in Brazil. (BTW, you'll have to hit the "translate" button on your browser to read the page at that link, unless you speak Portuguese.) Which brings me to my next point...

We also all have the ability to publish on a level heretofore reserved for those with pocketbooks as deep as their interests in gaming. I was lucky; in the early 80s, my dad had a "word processor" and a copier, and I was able to put together the first version of The System (something I'm still considering releasing in its original "low-tech" all-copy form, rather than the retro-inspired modern version I published). And in 1984, I had a friend with an early generation Mac. Sure, technology progressed pretty quickly past that, but there was a time not so long ago when RPGs were being shared through ASCII text files. But consider this... what would Christopher Brandon or John Stater have done 30 years ago? Possibly the same thing that Tim Shorts or Dylan Hartwell are choosing to do now. But the latter two are choosing to publish in the more "hand-made" formats. Regardless, from PDF to POD, there is just so much wonderful out there!!!

I really just wanted us all to take a moment before the first dice roll for this weekend's games... and give ourselves a moment to appreciate the age in which we live, the virtual connections it's allowed us to make, and the access its given us to the wonderful creativity of this fellowship of role-playing.

My personal thanks to all who follow this blog, as well as to all those whose blogs I follow!


  1. Fantastic post, one fitting for the "Thanksgiving" holiday. Not to mention that, with Roll20, G+ Hangouts, and other online services, face-to-face gaming worldwide is not only possible, but it's fairly commonplace now.

  2. Thanks for the mention Richard and I couldn't agree more. So much good stuff out there that the only problem at time is keeping up with it all.

  3. Thanks Richard, it is an embarrassment of riches! The vast array of material produced and the ability to access it seems unlimited. This is well and truly an amazing amount of freedom where a person with an idea can make it available globally for consumption without need of a distributor or retailer is unprecedented!