Monday, August 25, 2014

Has 5e killed the OSR?

No, of course it hasn’t!

While 5e has certainly received a lot of praise (well deserved in my opinion) and attention from the OSR crowd, the OSR is not a thing that is so easily killed off. For one thing, the OSR isn’t just one thing or group. It’s a massively complicated venn diagram of overlapping interests: older editions of games, clones, retro-clones, neo-clones, and more all hacked, house ruled, and DIY’d together under the flailsnails conventions and constantcon.

The standout feature of the OSR? Creativity. Amazing, twisted, weird, inventive people writing, drawing, and mapping things that spark the imagination. Some of it is inflammatory. Some of it is insane. Much of it is not safe for work! It’s Punk and Metal. It rocks harder than your favorite band. It’s diverse and wild with jazz-like improve and cross-pollination.

The introduction of 5e into the mix does nothing to change that. All it does is add some new flavors for people to play with. Is it monopolizing the conversation? A bit, but given what it is, the new edition of the game that started the hobby, that’s to be expected. It's new and exciting, and people are talking about D&D all across the media landscape in a positive light!

Of course that doesn’t mean that the OSR has ground to a halt, even temporarily. New issues of The Mannor and The Metal Gods of Ur-Hadad are coming out, the Gor inspired RPG is on indigogo, Zak’s Red and Pleasant Land is due out soon, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Is it all going to be good? Of course not, but even the lot good might have something interesting, something that someone will take and make something else new that might be good...

I’m excited to be playing 5e. I’m excited to be running 5e. I’m excited about maybe running two games of 5e!

Do I wish i could get some people to play DCC? Yup. It’ll happen, and my interest in it isn’t going away. Not with the Chained Coffin and the Purple Planet yet to arrive in my greedy grubby hands! But until then, I’m going to enjoy this new edition and the excitement that it’s created not just in the OSR but in the RPG community in general.

Let's roll some dice.

Post edited to correct for the fact that the Gor RPG has not (yet?) hit its funding goal. My error.


  1. the bubble of the d20 glut did us all a favor, d20 revitilized a art form that all but a few said it had seen it's day, but in truth it was not dead just resting, the 80's wore it out, then d20 came with the OGL and wow we had game, now when the bubble pop-ed it pop-ed because gaming is a style it is a hobby of millions and it is individual and the new 5th edition is a new flavor in the mix that is gaming,. till some time in 2020's when gaming table and pad and console fuss permanently to form a interactive total cyber cerebral mission ! that my word how about you?

  2. Re: "The Gor inspired RPG hit its funding goal". I was mildly interested in the controversy from reading about it on Vengar's and Tenkar's blogs. So I checked the Indiegogo page and it says he's only raised $390 of $5,000. Am I being stupid or missing something?

    1. Hua... nope, that seems to be my mistake. I wasn't actually following the Gor developments, but I thought I'd read that it had funded... my bad for not checking myself.

    2. Thanks. Not to be overly snarky, but does one really want to say that one suffers from depression (and this is why one might be late on some things) in one's funding pitch? Also, if the fellow really does have a contract/permission from the Norman estate, I would think that would be worth a lot more than a portion of $5000. So his claim seems odd. Whatever one says about the morality (or lack thereof) of the Gor series, I would think it would still have a fair amount of potential market traction.

    3. Maybe... I think the timing is bad though. Trying to release a new system right on the heels of D&D? That's some stiff competition. And given the potential interest, the $390 so far is just... sad.

      I totally get the issues with the funding pitch. Not how I'd have handled it.

  3. I am using all my 1st Ed era material under 5e. Works great and I am having a blast. I imagine other OSR-themed works will end up in my game as well.