OSR Are There Any OSR (or OSR-adjacent) Games With Modern Sensibilities?


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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It was how it felt to me when I first read the book. Granted, I've come to appreciate some of its strengths later, such as treasure parcels and player-directed quests. I really don't want the thread to devolve into yet another discussion about how 4E is misunderstood, though...
Easy to just…not misrepresent facts about it while editorializing on it when it isn’t even relevant to the thread, then. 🤷‍♂️

But hey, you do you.
 

Ondath

Hero
Easy to just…not misrepresent facts about it while editorializing on it when it isn’t even relevant to the thread, then. 🤷‍♂️

But hey, you do you.
So, you absolutely did not contribute to the main point of the thread (i.e. suggestions of OSR systems that also include bits of modern design that I like), cherry-picked a side comment I made about what I perceived about 4E that I disliked, and are now pressing the point to say I'm misrepresenting the game and that I'm editorialising?

Just what was your intent when you opened this thread? Isn't what you're doing basically threadcrapping?

I would do me, if you didn't butt into the thread and attempt to derail it.

Please stop.
 

darjr

I crit!
Chromatic Dungeons sounds great!

Some advice however.

If your group is coming from 5e or a more modern game (PF2 or 3.5 etc.) there are two things to consider.

Players enjoy character arc even if its just a consistency thing. Consider nudging things so they can. Deadly games can support this but they can absolutely ruin it too.

Second, and maybe tied into the above, the solo game of character advancement or "leveling up". I've found it is more important than most people realize. When I run old school type games I consider giving the players things that they can play with as "options" to consider as their characters grow. This can come in a variety of flavors, not just pre designed and pre presented class options earned at higher levels, in fact I'd rather not do it that way.
 

Ondath

Hero
Thanks for the advice @darjr!
Second, and maybe tied into the above, the solo game of character advancement or "leveling up". I've found it is more important than most people realize. When I run old school type games I consider giving the players things that they can play with as "options" to consider as their characters grow. This can come in a variety of flavors, not just pre designed and pre presented class options earned at higher levels, in fact I'd rather not do it that way.
Could you elaborate on this bit? Do you mean things like training montages to add flavour to your abilities? Or is it more like adding custom boons to what the system already says you gain (e.g. the Thief not only gets their percentile skill increase, but you throw in a special ability of their choosing like learning how to lock things extremely quickly)?
 

As others have said, Worlds Without Number is probably the go-to when it comes to an OSR game with more “modern” sensibilities (feats, etc).

You might also look at Into the Odd and related games (Cairn, which is free, or my favorite Mausritter, where the characters are mice). These games are part of what is called the “new school revolution,” which takes the ideas of OSR play but uses them to create games that are quite different than retroclones.

The only thing that is difficult about your initial requirements is high level play. Here the game Godbound, by the same author as Worlds Without Number, might fit. But I would consider what is appealing about gaining levels. In older editions, gaining levels doesn’t get you very much, mostly just better saves and higher hp. Most of one’s abilities comes from finding magic items, which are not balanced by level. A fighter might find a sentient sword at low levels—that’s an item that dramatically increases the potency of that character while also introducing an emergent element.

In my OSE game, even though the PCs are only 2nd level, they’ve discovered magic items and situations that have raised and lowered ability scores or provided bonuses or penalties (cursed items) to their basic stats that they would otherwise have to advance several levels to get.
 

darjr

I crit!
Thanks for the advice @darjr!

Could you elaborate on this bit? Do you mean things like training montages to add flavour to your abilities? Or is it more like adding custom boons to what the system already says you gain (e.g. the Thief not only gets their percentile skill increase, but you throw in a special ability of their choosing like learning how to lock things extremely quickly)?
If the system has things you gain go with what the system says, unless you enjoy adding twists based on their adventuring, I do.

I love that montage and flavor idea, yes that works.

But in a game with little actual crunch in advancement think of advancement things like Magic Items. That kind of enhancement mechanics trapped in physical objects in the fiction can be unlocked from physical items.

Say in an adventure they encounter a smithy who if they save their life or have some other significant effect on their life could offer to show them how to get the effect of say a +1 sword against a type of armor. A variety of things like that, from experiences in the adventure, give a menu of options to choose from. That's probably the most powerful kind of example. It can be super tricky and you become a game designer but that's part of the fun.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
So, you absolutely did not contribute to the main point of the thread (i.e. suggestions of OSR systems that also include bits of modern design that I like), cherry-picked a side comment I made about what I perceived about 4E that I disliked, and are now pressing the point to say I'm misrepresenting the game and that I'm editorialising?
Well no, I didn’t press the point at all.
Just what was your intent when you opened this thread?
Curiosity, on the same topic as the title.
Isn't what you're doing basically threadcrapping?
Nah.
I would do me, if you didn't butt into the thread and attempt to derail it.
I didn’t. I pointed out that your perception of a game you didn’t play is very inaccurate. 🤷‍♂️
Please stop.
I mean sure. I’m not going to ignore a reply that further misrepresents my comments, but I’ll happily avoid interacting further otherwise.
 


darjr

I crit!
If the system has things you gain go with what the system says, unless you enjoy adding twists based on their adventuring, I do.

I love that montage and flavor idea, yes that works.

But in a game with little actual crunch in advancement think of advancement things like Magic Items. That kind of enhancement mechanics trapped in physical objects in the fiction can be unlocked from physical items.

Say in an adventure they encounter a smithy who if they save their life or have some other significant effect on their life could offer to show them how to get the effect of say a +1 sword against a type of armor. A variety of things like that, from experiences in the adventure, give a menu of options to choose from. That's probably the most powerful kind of example. It can be super tricky and you become a game designer but that's part of the fun.
Here's another angle.

In classic Traveller there isn't an advancement system, not really. So advancement is in found wealth, generated wealth, equipment found or increasingly available, in growing power either politically or socially.

It's important that some of the choices in those areas become the game of the player away from the table. Just like character advancement is.

Now throw in a bit of Call of Cthulhu where you get the opportunity to grow in skills or acquire new ones by using them or attempting them during the game.

My trouble is I've never thought too deeply about it nor tried to codify it in any way, just winged it.
 

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