G+ is dead, long live G+. As always, Google is shutting down a sort of subpar service which still serviced millions of people (see Google Reader). G+ overall wasn’t that great a social network, but it was largely where the OSR community lived. There’s a lot of energy in the OSR community right now as its the end of an era, and its exciting to see all the solutions people are coming up to keep the community afloat as we all flee the sinking wreckage of the ship. A lot of different rafts are being floated: Discord, MeWe, Twitter, Reddit, more blogging, more this, less of that. Water metaphor over.
Forest fires are often a good thing for the longterm life of the forest. If you thought the OSR was too esoteric or circular or difficult to connect with before, now is the perfect time to jump in and see what’s going on, because nobody knows.
Zak as usual is pointing out a way that the community can better explain itself to newcomers during this period of upheaval and it’s great. If you’ve observed or been a part of the OSR in any way over the past few years (or more), copy and paste the questions below and post them anywhere that people can see it. The world is getting bigger and there’s a lot of great content out there. Here’s my quick sketch of the new world:
My favorite piece of OSR wisdom/advice/snark: Arnold K’s Goblin Punch: Dungeon Checklist helped move me from “Moldvay Dungeon Stocking” to the next level and I now use some form of this in basically any game I run.
Best OSR module/supplement: Vornheim and Carcosa are always on my list. Yoon Suin as well, though I haven’t actually gotten to run it. The Grindhouse Edition of Lamentations of the Flame Princess was one of the best products to ever come out in my opinion. Sailors on the Starless Sea by Goodman Games was one of the first and still best modules I ran when I started running games.
How I found out about the OSR: At Origins four or so years ago my friend Donn Stroud told me about Dungeon Crawl Classics. I hadn’t been playing RPGs in awhile after getting burnt out on D&D 3e and then later the indie/storygame scene. DCC felt like all the things I loved about playing without all the crap I hated. DCC’s publisher, Goodman Games, wasn’t running a booth at Origins yet, and there was only one table (that we saw) running DCC. I stopped by and asked a bunch of questions which they patiently answered even though it meant taking a break from their game. The next day a few of those players searched the exhibit hall and found me at the Tuesday Knight Games booth. They gave me a ragged, hand stapled version of the DCC Reference Sheets and told me to start running games. From there, Donn told me to check at G+ and recommended a handful of blogs, and my experience by and large has been the same as when I interrupted those grognards at Origins. Everyone has been welcoming and helpful and encouraged me to keep learning.
My favorite OSR online resource/toy:Save vs. Total Party Kill - D&D Web Apps by Ramanan S. Also Gridmapper by Alex Schroeder is great at quickly making decent looking maps. With Google Drive and Gridmapper you could be publishing your own content right now. Do it.
Best place to talk to other OSR gamers: I love the Mothership Discord and MeWe is looking pretty decent so far. I also have a list of OSR people on Twitter you can follow - @seanmccoy/Total Party Killers on Twitter.
My favorite non-OSR RPG: The Mountain Witch. Or maybe Deadlands.
Why I like OSR stuff: By and large its because OSR stuff focuses on making things useable at the table. There’s a ton of good content, and even the bad content is easy to steal from. The community genuinely seems to be interested in innovating and making things more fun.
If I could read but one other RPG blog but my own it would be:Jeffs Gameblog is the gold standard here. Fun, useful and helpful, and with that same spirit of imagination and exploration that makes the hobby fun to begin with.
A game thing I made that I like quite a lot is:Mothership. Donn Stroud, Fiona Geist, Jarrett Crader, and Stephen Wilson did phenomenal work on our first module, Dead Planet. I can’t say enough good things about them.
I’m currently running/playing: I run Mothership roughly once a week for my local group. I run a pick up version of Heist every so often and I’m building a 5e campaign right now for my niece and nephew.
I don’t care whether you use ascending or descending AC because: if I invited you to my house I’d have something for you to eat whether you were vegan or had a dietary restriction or whatever. I’ll work around you.