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D&D General On Grognardism...

I'm in one remaining OSR group, that has a Pride flag as part of its logo. I figure that keeps away the worst of them. But so many others, I tried to stick it out so as to not cede the space, but that just wore me down and I ended up leaving eventually anyway.

I'm in a secret OSR Facebook group with zero toxicity. Tres cool. :D
Edit: But the D&D UK Facebook group is very low toxicity too. Most of the posters are laid back; you get a few snide comments but the mods don't take sides or let things get out of hand.
 

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Sacrosanct

Legend
I'm in one remaining OSR group, that has a Pride flag as part of its logo. I figure that keeps away the worst of them. But so many others, I tried to stick it out so as to not cede the space, but that just wore me down and I ended up leaving eventually anyway.
I feel ya. Same here. On both parts. Time is too short to keep subjecting yourself to some of those people.

For the record, I very much do NOT think the OSR is bigoted or overall toxic, and I do not think fans of the OSR or TSR era D&D are bigoted or sexist. However, what I've seen, and I totally admit this is anecdotal, is that the more "woke" WotC has become (the word they use), with the changes to be more inclusive and diverse, gamers who are apparently offended by inclusivity seem to have moved to the OSR groups because AD&D was a product of its time and the art reflected the current target demographic of that time (young straight white males, mostly). So these OSR groups have had an increasingly amount of gamers who feel a move to diversity and inclusivity is bad for the game, join the group and bring their toxicity to it.

And as you said, it just wore me down and I ended up leaving most of them anyway. Phrases like "woke", "SJW", and "virtual signaling" are big red flags to me when someone uses them. And when you start seeing them used more often by more people, it's just wearing.

I also have a big problem with people who were there from the beginning, like Pauli Kidd, and Janelle Jacquays, feeling like they aren't welcome in the OSR because of these toxic people. And others like Tim Kask being criticized by "fans" of the OSR because of his outspoken beliefs on pro-diversity. I can't see how anyone can say with a straight face that they are fans of the OSR and old D&D while driving away the people who helped create it in the first place. Then again, cognitive dissonance is a pretty powerful thing. But I digress.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
I also have a big problem with people who were there from the beginning, like Pauli Kidd, and Janelle Jacquays, feeling like they aren't welcome in the OSR because of these toxic people. And others like Tim Kask being criticized by "fans" of the OSR because of his outspoken beliefs on pro-diversity. I can't see how anyone can say with a straight face that they are fans of the OSR and old D&D while driving away the people who helped create it in the first place. Then again, cognitive dissonance is a pretty powerful thing. But I digress.
I'm particularly disappointed by those who are intentionally mis-gendering Janelle Jacquays...
 

On a basic level, this is a product of it being a compromise game intended to be played in such dramatically different ways
This harkens back to EGG's open stance in 1974, "If you don't like the rules then bloody change them." (paraphrase). It also exposes that "compromise" actually proceeds/is a reaction to the "median design meant for median use." But people are individuals and do not, in whole, gravitate to median stances , so... back to the Open stance extolled at the advent of the game. The more things change the more they remain the same. ;)
 

The-Magic-Sword

Small Ball Archmage
This harkens back to EGG's open stance in 1974, "If you don't like the rules then bloody change them." (paraphrase). It also exposes that "compromise" actually proceeds/is a reaction to the "median design meant for median use." But people are individuals and do not, in whole, gravitate to median stances , so... back to the Open stance extolled at the advent of the game. The more things change the more they remain the same. ;)
Yeah, although to my understanding, this kind of open stance engenders a lot of conflict, because the table becomes a discursive space in which game design has to be litigated and negotiated between the players and GM. Maybe different gaming space have different cultures, but my players tend to view restriction from the GM as transgression, and my own stance is somewhat in the vein, albeit from a GM's point of view-- that restriction should be something of a last resort, and somewhat softer from reading a greater diversity of opinions on the subject. This makes the 'openness' of the ruleset, a tacit invitation to a social pressure which can be burdensome.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
Yeah, although to my understanding, this kind of open stance engenders a lot of conflict, because the table becomes a discursive space in which game design has to be litigated and negotiated between the players and GM. Maybe different gaming space have different cultures, but my players tend to view restriction from the GM as transgression, and my own stance is somewhat in the vein, albeit from a GM's point of view-- that restriction should be something of a last resort, and somewhat softer from reading a greater diversity of opinions on the subject. This makes the 'openness' of the ruleset, a tacit invitation to a social pressure which can be burdensome.
It was a different environment back in past editions & that was because of system differences rather than just player/culture/whatever. If you start looking at 5e it's almost impossible to change anything that makes the players more awesome & nearly any meaningful change needs to start with nerf the stew out of these things then hamstrng these others just to make room for the changes you want to make. Houserules that modified the game back then were very commonly things that allowed players to be awesome & be more awesome because the system was tuned towards higher lethality & less certainty of success at something resulting in houserules that were often a matter of which dials the gm cranks up down and/or ignores and how far they crank them.
 

I agree, the OSR can be quite inclusive - there are lots of diverse creators within it. You can still be progressive socially and old-school mechanically. But there are some that try to use the OSR as a refuge from the modern inclusion efforts that scare them.

I feel ya. Same here. On both parts. Time is too short to keep subjecting yourself to some of those people.

For the record, I very much do NOT think the OSR is bigoted or overall toxic, and I do not think fans of the OSR or TSR era D&D are bigoted or sexist. However, what I've seen, and I totally admit this is anecdotal, is that the more "woke" WotC has become (the word they use), with the changes to be more inclusive and diverse, gamers who are apparently offended by inclusivity seem to have moved to the OSR groups because AD&D was a product of its time and the art reflected the current target demographic of that time (young straight white males, mostly). So these OSR groups have had an increasingly amount of gamers who feel a move to diversity and inclusivity is bad for the game, join the group and bring their toxicity to it.

And as you said, it just wore me down and I ended up leaving most of them anyway. Phrases like "woke", "SJW", and "virtual signaling" are big red flags to me when someone uses them. And when you start seeing them used more often by more people, it's just wearing.

I also have a big problem with people who were there from the beginning, like Pauli Kidd, and Janelle Jacquays, feeling like they aren't welcome in the OSR because of these toxic people. And others like Tim Kask being criticized by "fans" of the OSR because of his outspoken beliefs on pro-diversity. I can't see how anyone can say with a straight face that they are fans of the OSR and old D&D while driving away the people who helped create it in the first place. Then again, cognitive dissonance is a pretty powerful thing. But I digress.
 

Democratus

Adventurer
Yeah, although to my understanding, this kind of open stance engenders a lot of conflict, because the table becomes a discursive space in which game design has to be litigated and negotiated between the players and GM.
This is a feature and not a bug.

Conflict is not a negative thing in and of itself. It is very helpful when handled responsibly.

Hashing out the kind of game everyone wants to play is exactly what you should do before committing to a campaign. If the table has reasonable adults then you can find a game that is acceptable to everyone.

If the table doesn't have reasonable adults, then it probably was headed for trouble anyway.
 

Compromise is more readily (in games) brought about by differences rather than conflict, though in some cases they could be viewed as the same. The Classic style, which I myself refer to it as, results from informed need, and the latter will differ greatly depending on DM or player inquiry. That the system is open to change does not predispose it to a chaotic wish fest. It assumes reasoned design principals in its inquiry and execution phases.
 

The-Magic-Sword

Small Ball Archmage
This is a feature and not a bug.

Conflict is not a negative thing in and of itself. It is very helpful when handled responsibly.

Hashing out the kind of game everyone wants to play is exactly what you should do before committing to a campaign. If the table has reasonable adults then you can find a game that is acceptable to everyone.

If the table doesn't have reasonable adults, then it probably was headed for trouble anyway.
In practice, this means going back to that 'default' in every game because 'reasonable adults' usually adjust for the four to twenty other people who might be a part of their game, or regularly leaving playgroups/players to try and find one that doesn't take issue with the game you want to run, except that takes even longer because its emotional labor to figure out exactly where the differences lay and what will and won't be ok, and who is responsible for giving or leaving when you reach an impasse can be draining in and of itself.

Well, that or engaging in some exhausting gamesmanship to leverage the paucity of GMs into tolerance of a compromise in which you get some of what you want out of the negotiation, which seems to be the popular method.

This is all IN ADDITION, to the very important work of setting boundaries to make sure everyone is emotionally and psychological secure in the game thematically, scheduling, prepping actual game content, curating a homebrew collection, managing spotlight and personalities during the session, and so forth.
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Pretty much all of this, just kind of went away when we switched to Pathfinder 2e, because it provided a common framework that requires way less negotiation and litigation for everyone to be satisfied with. Its not the presence of conflict that bothers me, its the amount-- we still quibble over what things should be what rarity, whether anathema is going to mean anything, and whether to use the baked in alignment system, what character personalities can mesh with the group. But, its pulling so much more of the weight for me by making these decisions in a curated way, giving my players the toys they want to use, giving me systems that I don't have to negotiate to add because they're already there, and not asking me to balance it all.
 
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