OSR Is there room in modern gaming for the OSR to bring in new gamers?

Sacrosanct

Legend
I absolutely understand and agree with a lot of what you’re saying here. I know exactly the clown and forum you are referring to. I think some 5e groups and fora have an equally high level of toxicity but it is expressed differently. In those ones, if you do not share in the same opinion on certain lines or issues, you are labelled as exactly on the same level as the clown who we shall not name. This in itself has led me to withdraw from a lot of the 5e online community and hastened my declining interest in it as a system.

The problem is, as the OSR community is a lot smaller, some loud shouting from a few yobs carries further. I do my best to self select what groups to be in (osr and 5e), and seem to have avoided some of the cess pits you’ve unfortunately visited. I will say, the OSE fb and discord group is fab and if you like osr, should definitely check it out. We’re super nice and have cookies (maybe).
This is absolutely fair.
 

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Forgot to keep this part of the quote in my above reply. I get how you feel that way. You're not alone. But in general, within the greater population, there have been many studies where representation matters to an awful lot of people. So while you might not care all that much, it seems most people do, and is an important thing to do if you really do want to bring in new people.

Edit* But I do agree that the rule system isn't what's adding to the toxicity (unless the rules are something like strength caps for women), but instead how the game is presented. I absolutely believe you can take an OSR clone of TSR era D&D, apply only minor mechanical changes, and present it in a way that is incredibly diverse and representative of all gamers. If I didn't believe that I would be a giant hypocrite, because that's literally what I'm working on now lol.
Then, in the nicest possible way, you misunderstand me. Representation matters a great deal to me. You’re damn right I’m going to be in the front lines fighting for it.

For a ttrpg, representation , in my opinion should not be the driving factor. The world and adventures therein are. If a world has been constructed to be coherent and certain people are not represented within that narrative (for a specific reason, not just because the creator is being an exclusionist clown), I’m not and I don’t think people should be fussed. The verisimilitude of the world has been established. You’re there to Role-play In it, not play yourself. The inclusion and diversity should be natural within the setting, not forced as it were. Just my two pence. I appreciate I don’t and can’t speak for all
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
I gave my 5e books to my best friends son, 19, since him and some friends were wanting to play D&D. We were talking about it and he was going on about how he was going to be a level 50-something character, and all that. Well apparently they looked at those three books, and were just not sure where to begin. I will probably have to run a game for them. Would the single OSE rulebook or B/X which its based on have gone better? Not sure to be honest.
I suspect it is more about not being willing to RTFM than the system itself.

If you had presented them with a youtube video on character generation, I assume they'd have figured it out.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Then, in the nicest possible way, you misunderstand me. Representation matters a great deal to me. You’re damn right I’m going to be in the front lines fighting for it.

For a ttrpg, representation , in my opinion should not be the driving factor. The world and adventures therein are. If a world has been constructed to be coherent and certain people are not represented within that narrative (for a specific reason, not just because the creator is being an exclusionist clown), I’m not and I don’t think people should be fussed. The verisimilitude of the world has been established. You’re there to Role-play In it, not play yourself. The inclusion and diversity should be natural within the setting, not forced as it were. Just my two pence. I appreciate I don’t and can’t speak for all
Ah, OK. I better understand where you're coming from now. I apologize if I misunderstood.
 

Ah, OK. I better understand where you're coming from now. I apologize if I misunderstood.
Not at all, there’s no need to apologise. To further expand, I love the diversity and inclusion in Golarian by Paizo. It’s great to see strong, black women fully armoured up, an array of sexualities and a diverse set of ethnicities. Anyone can see themselves represented on that. But that’s because it’s a very gamist kitchen sink world by design. The system supporting that power fantasy approach.

I wouldn’t expect to see anything like that in say, pendragon or a system that lets you Role-play the wars of the roses or something to that effect. My concern for mainstream d&d is with the generic approach of the core rules, it leads to potential conflict and a reticence from wotc to produce anything slightly niche or restrictive, lest the cries of “where am I?” in that fill the air followed by accusations despite it making no sense in that world.

I guess I’m becoming increasingly out of touch with what is in as I just don’t understand the seeming desire to play ones self in an rpg, but there you go, what works for you.
 
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Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
It's hard to conceive of a more semantically vacuous concept than "play agendas."
Well, you certainly have proven that, I guess, with this pithy and well reasoned argument. If you don't know what play agendas are, you could just ask. They're pretty well understood things -- the reasons we play games. The point of a grouping of games is that they support a similar set of play agendas -- OSR supports a number of play agendas, and that grouping is different from other groups of play. 5e is not OSR because it has a large divergence in play agendas.

But, yeah, okay, I guess that's just semantically vacuous. Can you show us on the doll where you imagine the Forge touched you? Not that play agendas are Forge-speak, they started back with Blacow in the 80's and Robin Laws did a nice turn on them before Edwards started his own thinking on them. You don't have to use Edward's ideas, I wouldn't, but the idea that play agendas are vacuous is more a reflection on the lack of effort by one saying so to understand players want specific things from games than the term.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
A recent thread that I've been participating in, On Skilled Play, had me thinking about this thread again, and my own experiences with the OSR.

My initial impressions of persons who consider themselves OSR was frequently one of arrogance and derision towards other playstyles. Please don't take that as anything other than a personal opinion intended as the basis for constructive criticism. I've met quite a number of OSR players who are anything but arrogant or derisive. I'm just speaking in general terms of my own initial impressions based upon interactions with some who espoused this style.

Admittedly, I reacted emotionally, causing me to reject the OSR play style out of hand. It wasn't until some more even tempered OSR folks explained things in a way that wasn't condescending that I realized that this play style actually had a lot going for it.

Some of this has to do with terminology. There are quite a number of terms floating around in OSR-related theory that can come across as more than a little pretentious. Such as "skilled play". Now, there is NOTHING wrong with the concept itself. It's a fun way to play for many people. The name seems a bit loaded though, right? By calling it "skilled play", there is an implication that other ways of playing aren't skilled. That's obviously false, as there are plenty of other ways of playing that utilize different skills.

Another one is Combat as Sport vs Combat as War. I've often seen a strong implication from some CaW advocates that CaW is for "real men", and that CaS is for babies. Which is patently absurd! Everyone know that TTRPGs are for babies; "real men" LARP! ;)

The point of this, again, is not to attack the OSR or the people who consider themselves a part of the OSR. I've conversed with plenty of nice OSR players who didn't come across that way the least bit. This is not meant as a blanket statement of how the OSR IS, but rather how I initially perceived it. (I doubt I was the only one.)

Oftentimes what I saw, when the OSR was criticized along these lines, were responses that were something like, "Too bad your feelings got hurt. Sux to be you". This too left a bad impression on me.

What I'm trying to say is that I think that this kind of behavior is not good for the OSR, and it won't really help to attract new blood. Certainly not a everyone in the OSR behaves this way. It may very well just be a loud handful of people. However, I initially rejected the OSR out of hand because of it, and I wouldn't be surprised if others have as well.
 

Retreater

Legend
@Fanaelialae I think the "hardcore mode" feel of many OSR games is a turnoff for many players. My wife didn't like the idea of it until we played a high level one shot with lots of great magic items to give survivability and options in combat. She had a good time in that game.
I think for her, and some of my other players, a stripped down, fast playing D&D/OSR would be fine as long as you didn't feel super weak. For example, she loved HeroQuest when I introduced her. Something like that in a D&D form would be a hit with her.
 

kenada

Legend
Supporter
@Fanaelialae I would add one wrinkle. When the dominate gaming culture dismisses certain games as “newer editions fixed the problems with (the game you want to play)” or opines with “why not just play 5e?”, having a strongly held position helps you push back on that and identify why you need different. People can be obnoxious about it (and that’s not helpful for getting people into OSR-style play), but that goes both ways.
 

Retreater

Legend
@Fanaelialae I would add one wrinkle. When the dominate gaming culture dismisses certain games as “newer editions fixed the problems with (the game you want to play)” or opines with “why not just play 5e?”, having a strongly held position helps you push back on that and identify why you need different. People can be obnoxious about it (and that’s not helpful for getting people into OSR-style play), but that goes both ways.
I love the OSR and TSR era of D&D, but I can see some improvements for my style in the modern games. For example, I like ascending AC and BAB instead of THAC0 (which is a change a few OSR titles have incorporated).
The "why not just play 5e" (even though I do play a lot of it) comes down to me to a few issues: HP bloat, bonus actions, passive Perception (and generally, how Perception is handled), a plethora of NPC/PC options, weakening and creative limitation of magic, death and dying mechanics (see the Impossible to Die thread on this site).
 

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