Thursday, January 6, 2011

Old School Renaissance

Back in the summer, I was thinking quite a bit about running a WHFRP sandbox game, as mentioned in this post. During that time, I was reading the Bat in the Attic blog quite a bit, and came across the term "Old School Renaissance" (OSR).

As I see it, the OSR is a movement mostly amongst older gamers to eschew the new and shiny heavily detailed rules of today, and return to the simpler times of their youth, when Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) was new, and rules were simple. This is facilitated by the "Open Gaming Licence" created by Wizards during the third edition of D&D, which allowed for basic D&D rules and concepts to be used freely by other publishing companies, originally to allow for additional source books. With careful work, this has allowed for "retro clones" of various early editions of D&D, (some from before I was born!), and ultimately new rule systems as well. [a primary example of this would be Labyrinth Lord]

The OSR and D&D has become my obsession de'jour after I had a flash of inspiration on the way home from work one day. I was thinking about something else entirely, and suddenly, I started thinking about a dark age pseudo-European setting suitable for dungeon delving. (decaying empires, howling barbarians, and all the usual accouterments) Now I think about it obsessively, and read tons of blog posts about games, rules variations, items, metagame concerns, and so on. Some material has even be cribbed for future use. (Google docs is very helpful in that regard) Not helping matters is that I got Baldur's Gate for Christmas (only 12 years behind the times), and now D&D subsumes most other hobby thought.

Figurewise (every game must have figures), I have been looking at Perry First Crusade for the humans (such as these chaps for thieves), Hasslefree for dwarves (these fellows), and am a bit stumped for elves. I made a post on the Lead Adventure Forum seeking advice, and game away with a few options to try. The Thunderbolt Mountain elves may be perfect, although they tend to scale armor instead of mail, and like many Tom Meier sculpts, look a bit "dead" (the uncanny valley at work?).

So anyway, that is the OSR, and my D&D obsession. Sometime I hope to post more about the setting, and Lord forefend, something about playing a game or painting miniatures.

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