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The opposite of OSR


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CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Hmm...interesting question. I would say that the opposite would be a New School Renaissance... a revitalization and rediscovery of newer ways of thinking/playing. Things that might fit the bill:
  • playing B/X rules on a virtual tabletop.
  • A new version of Everquest, but it's Greyhawk.
  • Great British Gaming Show: Paul, Mary, Mel & Sue run through the Temple of Elemental Evil.
  • Stardew Realms: soothing farmcore game set in Faerun. Drizz't works for Joja.
In all cases, sign me up.
 


Dire Bare

Legend
Quoted from Disgruntled Hobbit.

So, what do YOU think is the opposite of OSR?
Heh.

OSR, as a genre, is vague and not everybody agrees on exactly what makes a game "OSR". So, the opposite of that is probably just as vague.

But I think in general, "old-school" D&D includes most of what TSR(1) published before going under. "New school" D&D starts with the 3rd Edition under WotC. AD&D 2nd Edition, at least towards the end, is a long transition between the two. Truly old-school seems closer to the wargaming roots of the hobby and has simpler rules, less focus on story and more focus on beating the scenario/dungeon, sometimes a more adversarial DM-style . . . but there are plenty of OSR games that don't have all of that.

Pathfinder, of course, "clones" D&D 3rd Edition. 3E and Pathfinder have more elegant designs than old-school D&D, but are more complicated, especially in character creation. Pathfinder 2E goes down the complicated character creation route even moreso. More modern games have a greater focus on story and collaborative storytelling (DM as guide rather than adversary).

Also, older games had a more "module-focused" approach compared to the more current trend of "adventure path" focus. Shorter, discrete scenarios versus longer storytelling arcs. You can knock out a module with your group in 1 to 4 sessions, you'll be playing a modern adventure path for months . . .

There seems to be a difference in settings also, although this just might be my perception or perhaps a specific trend within OSR games. OSR settings tend to be either very lightly defined generic fantasy (Greyhawk) or move into the "weird fantasy" genre (Goodman's DCC line). Modern settings tend to be sprawling, well-defined settings that incorporate a lot of anachronisms (if that's even possible in fantasy), like the Forgotten Realms and Golarion.
 



Retreater

Legend
From my experience the opposite of OSR feel would be PF2 as far as games still in print that are still a part of the D&D experience. Very tight rules, character is completely defined by what's on the sheet, limitless options for character customization, a few dozen conditions, combat as sport, limitless healing outside of combat, extreme tactical movement (grid required).
 

Reynard

Legend
Quoted from Disgruntled Hobbit.

So, what do YOU think is the opposite of OSR?
Without looking at the thread from which the quote came, I think I can agree with DH at least insofar as this: Pathfinder 2E is very much a traditional RPG, but it is a wholly modern one. It doesn't seem to have an "old school" bone in its body. Rather, it is a carefully crafted game intended to do what traditional RPGs do well, which is engender play in which the roles of the GM and players in play are distinct and well defined. This is true of OSR games as well but PF2 goes about it in a completely different way.
 


Aging Bard

Canaith
3e D&D. The OSR is typified by rulings over rules and is rules-lite as a result. So a rules complete version like 3e or Pathfinder fills the bill.
 

Hussar

Legend
I've never understood the claims about earlier D&D being "rules light". Good grief. You have to take how many steps to determine whether an attack hit or not in AD&D? Something about fifteen if you actually do the steps and don't ignore them. How in the world can a game which actually details the exact space you require to swing a sword possibly be considered "rules light"?
 

darjr

I crit!
What a question!

It definitely depends. I mean there are folks that say when a PC can define things in the world or setting, like some FATE games do.

Or like others, when there are rules for everything. Or rules for what your character CAN do but also if they don't have those features they CAN'T do them.

Or a hyper focused rule set on a particular style of play.

Or a combination of the above.

Wikipedia has this in it for what OSR is, in a nutshell.
So the opposite of that would be: A complete set of rules as possible, or a set of rules meant to cover every situation even if they are light and very abstract. A game where the DM doesn't have to decide or arbitrate things during the game, the results are plain from the play following the rules. Game balance between players would be enforced by the rules. Player skill or ingenuity would not be required and in fact may be against the rules. Skill with the rules of the GAME is most important.

But I don't think that makes much sense? Just an opposite stating of that previous OSR style?
 


Bardic Dave

Adventurer
What a question!

It definitely depends. I mean there are folks that say when a PC can define things in the world or setting, like some FATE games do.

Or like others, when there are rules for everything. Or rules for what your character CAN do but also if they don't have those features they CAN'T do them.

Or a hyper focused rule set on a particular style of play.

Or a combination of the above.

Wikipedia has this in it for what OSR is, in a nutshell.

So the opposite of that would be: A complete set of rules as possible, or a set of rules meant to cover every situation even if they are light and very abstract. A game where the DM doesn't have to decide or arbitrate things during the game, the results are plain from the play following the rules. Game balance between players would be enforced by the rules. Player skill or ingenuity would not be required and in fact may be against the rules. Skill with the rules of the GAME is most important.

But I don't think that makes much sense? Just an opposite stating of that previous OSR style?
It strikes me that PF2 hews somewhat closely to the hypothetical opposite OSR that you’ve described:

Comprehensive ruleset? PF2 really tries to flesh out the rules for all modes of play, not just combat.
Rules vs. Rulings? PF2’s got fewer gaps in the rules, which presumably minimizes the need for ad-hoc rulings, though obviously rulings are still a thing.
Game balance enforced by the rules? Definitely a major feature of PF2’s design.
Player skill/ingenuity discouraged or disallowed? Eh, not really. I guess you could argue the tighter the ruleset, the less room for player creativity.
System mastery prioritized over “skilled play”? Definitely. “Skilled play” in PF2 is all about knowing how to leverage the quirks of the system to your advantage (e.g. knowing that attacking with your third action is often a waste, whereas the feat assurance:athletics will allow you to make better use of your third action in combat).
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
4e (ducks)
I originally read this as "4th Edition, but only with ducks" and I'm kind of into it.

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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
OSR is light mechanics, light rules, and heavy DM rulings.
NSR would be heavy mechanics, heavy rules, and and light DM rulings. So 3.X

Newer school rennesaince would be streamlined mechanics, standardized rules, and and heavy player ruling. So 4e, Fate, PBTA, and stuff like that.
 

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