OSR This tells me OSR is alive and well.

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
Is it really so baffling that the all-time simplest, easiest-to-learn, and easiest-to-DM edition of D&D that could still reasonably be called "complete" thanks to the level range it covers has remained the OSR's darling? After all, what are the alternatives? It won't be the white box, that's too rough around the edges. It won't be AD&D, that version's too complex. It won't be some mini hack like Knave or Maze Rats or Whitehack or the Black Hack or Into the Odd, because they're not D&D (by which I mean, they're not widely perceived as complete, D&D-equivalent systems in the same way that retro-clones are), and plenty of gamers will never even spare a glance in their direction for that reason alone.
Yes. Shadowdark is better in every way. Even Five Torches Deep solves a bunch of the inherent play problems of B/X, of which there are many. The fact that folks are pretending that B/X doesn't suffer from the same litany of TSR era D&D problems is itself baffling.
 

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Jack Daniel

dice-universe.blogspot.com
Yes. Shadowdark is better in every way. Even Five Torches Deep solves a bunch of the inherent play problems of B/X, of which there are many. The fact that folks are pretending that B/X doesn't suffer from the same litany of TSR era D&D problems is itself baffling.

Care to offer any examples? I haven't looked at any of these 5e-lite-based games that purport to be old-school, because there's literally no impetus for it. Nothing is driving me away from TSR D&D.
 



Reynard

Legend
Supporter
Tail end. Interesting. Generally, TSR is faulted for a few things, including being fiddly (especially around resource management and equipment) and being unintuitive with lots of different, seemingly unconnected subsystems (as opposed to consistent core mechanics). Most modern old school games have solutions for those problems while maintaining the danger, freedom and immersion of OSR play.
 

Jack Daniel

dice-universe.blogspot.com
Tail end. Interesting. Generally, TSR is faulted for a few things, including being fiddly (especially around resource management and equipment) and being unintuitive with lots of different, seemingly unconnected subsystems (as opposed to consistent core mechanics). Most modern old school games have solutions for those problems while maintaining the danger, freedom and immersion of OSR play.

I'm aware of the broad criticisms. Everyone who was hyped to jump on the 3e bandwagon back when this site was Eric Noah's is aware of them. But by now, you'd think more people would be aware that they're not to be taken seriously anymore, especially when things like "fiddly" equipment/resource management and disconnected subsystems are regarded by OSR enthusiasts as features, not bugs. Ditto for such primitive game-design elements as random stat generation and lack of feats/customization. As it turns out, there are pros and cons to different ways of doing things — different goals that the older designs are aiming for, even — and newer isn't just objectively better.

If there's one lesson I've taken to heart — a lesson that I learned all too well from playing 3.0/3.5 (and a bit of Castles & Crusades) throughout the early 2000s — it's that "streamlined on paper" doesn't automatically translate to "functional in play."
 
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Reynard

Legend
Supporter
I'm aware of the broad criticisms. Everyone who was hyped to jump on the 3e bandwagon back when this site was Eric Noah's is aware of them. But by now, you'd think more people would be aware that they're not to be taken seriously anymore, especially when things like "fiddly" equipment/resource management and disconnected subsystems are regarded by OSR enthusiasts as features, not bugs. Ditto for such primitive game-design elements as random stat generation and lack of feats/customization. As it turns out, there are pros and cons to different ways of doing things — different goals that the older designs are aiming for, even — and newer isn't just objectively better.

If there's one lesson I've taken to heart, it's that "streamlined on paper" doesn't automatically translate to "functional in play."
I'm not arguing with you about stats or feats or any of that. But all that book keeping has always been and remains a fun killer for a lot of folks. People that liked that stuff then? Whatever, nostalgia is a hell of a drug. But I find it hard to believe that people that discovered the game with 5e are like,"No, I absolutely want to count every tenth of a pound!"
 

Jack Daniel

dice-universe.blogspot.com
People that liked that stuff then? Whatever, nostalgia is a hell of a drug.

I don't care whether anyone liked it in the past. I'm telling you, most OSR gamers like it now. It's not nostalgia, it's a recognition that tracking equipment and encumbrance is an important element of the play-style. Logistics is part of the fun, both deciding what to bring on delves/expeditions and figuring out how to move large quantities of treasure on the way back. The tension between dropping useful gear and carrying more loot is ever-present. Using mundane equipment to solve problems in creative ways is a huge part of the fun, and it only matters if you can't retcon what you brought or pull "miscellaneous adventuring gear" out of hammerspace. These things contribute to verisimilitude, to immersion, and most importantly to feeling clever when you made a good decision about how to equip yourself (a feeling otherwise only allowed to spellcasters who thought to memorize the right spell that day).

"I don't track arrows, that's boring" is what you say when your priority is telling a cool story about a heroic archer. "Every last arrow counts, I hope I don't run out" is what you say when your priority is playing through a tense, thrilling simulation of an adventure with an uncertain outcome.
 
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overgeeked

B/X Known World
I don't care whether anyone liked it in the past. I'm telling you, most OSR gamers like it now. It's not nostalgia, it's a recognition that tracking equipment and encumbrance is an important element of the play-style. Logistics is part of the fun, both deciding what to bring on delves/expeditions and figuring out how to move large quantities of treasure on the way back. The tension between dropping useful gear and carrying more loot is ever-present. Using mundane equipment to solve problems in creative ways is a huge part of the fun, and it only matters if you can't retcon what you brought or pull "miscellaneous adventuring gear" out of hammerspace. These things contribute to both the verisimilitude of the game-world and to feeling clever when you made a good decision about how to equip yourself (a feeling otherwise only allowed to spellcasters who thought to memorize the right spell that day).

"I don't track arrows, that's boring" is what you say when your priority is telling a cool story about a heroic archer. "Every last arrow counts, I hope I don't run out" is what you say when your priority is playing through a tense, thrilling simulation of an adventure with an uncertain outcome.
Exactly. It’s not nostalgia for a lot of people in the OSR.
I'm not arguing with you about stats or feats or any of that. But all that book keeping has always been and remains a fun killer for a lot of folks.
No, tracking ammo and other “fiddly” things like encumbrance are not fun in and of themselves. Which is probably why there are dozens of alternative methods for dealing with carrying capacity. But they allow for emergent story in the form of having to make hard choices like keeping or dropping water, rations, torches, etc to carry more treasure out of the dungeon. And that is amazingly fun.
People that liked that stuff then? Whatever, nostalgia is a hell of a drug. But I find it hard to believe that people that discovered the game with 5e are like,"No, I absolutely want to count every tenth of a pound!"
It’s really weird how you can’t seem to accept that there are more than just old people in the OSR. Yes, people really did arrive to the hobby with 5E and have since moved to the OSR with weight tracking and everything. Bob World Builder and Ben Milton of Questing Beast are two easy examples. They’ve both talked about it several times over the years. Younger people can find older games fun.
 

DarkCrisis

Reeks of Jedi
Yes. Shadowdark is better in every way. Even Five Torches Deep solves a bunch of the inherent play problems of B/X, of which there are many. The fact that folks are pretending that B/X doesn't suffer from the same litany of TSR era D&D problems is itself baffling.

B/X is automatically playable with old modules. Shadowdark while great is not as it’s money and xp systems are different.
 

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