No, the OSR is not done - the lesson still needs to be learned

 This was the content of the first tweet I saw this morning... 

"Now that the OSR renaissance or revival is done we discuss how to better label these games. "

Over on the twitter, I had two responses...

"Now that the OSR renaissance or revival is done... "

"... we discuss how to better label these games."

Now I don't expect that my shitty little blog has survived "dead blog" cullings and with good reason. It's not like I'm a content fountain or focused on my brand that I have to keep churning out posts - in reality, I said pretty much everything that I needed to say by about 2011 and moved on with life and gaming.

Yet it feels like the simple lesson that felt like it was so blindingly obvious back then  seems to have been forgotten, or lost, or perhaps cloned by a clone of a clone to the point where it was lost? I don't know...

It's getting close to twenty years since the first roughly OSR-ish flag was raised, with the publishing of Castles & Crusades in 2004. I said "getting close"... when you start counting in decades, precision doesn't have to be there, 'k?  Nearly twenty years of going back and forth on the same things, and now with the yet-another-edition coming out of the D&D factory, I guess this was inevitable? 

The lesson... though... and the reason why the OSR isn't done, nor will it ever be done, is because of the very last paragraph in the last book of the 1974 edition of Dungeons & Dragons - the first one, yannow. 

That paragraph explains why DIY, OSR, retroclones, forums, blogs, podcasts, streams, old editions, new editions... nothing is "done" and doesn't need "labeling". 

As I said in my twitter thread, and repeating here, I now understand why some of my punk friends get a certain twitch in their eyes and an almost spasmodic clutching of hands, as if around necks, about every fifteen years or so, when the Internets start talking about "punk is dead" or "punk is back" ...

... here we are. *sigh*

And, I'm sure, this is really what this blog post is... 

but I just wish that last paragraph from OD&D would STICK a bit more, yannow... just a little more? 


  1. Well said! I just stopped complaining about people's imaginations or lack there of a long time ago. OSR will survive as there lots of us lovers of older editions still, and there will always be those who are curious about "the old days".

    1. Agreed. There seems to be a compulsion in subcultures to affix labels and definitions. Folks don't enjoy the vague outlines of what was vague to begin with. (both in 1974, 2004 and I guess coming up to 2024...)

  2. Agreed well said! It's not anywhere close to being dead in my world. I keep playing it and creating for it.

  3. It needed to be stated aloud, perhaps. But the idiot blowhards who trumpet this "OSR is dead", "OSR is evil", etc., etc. never understood what it was in the first place. They just either don't like it for *reasons* or they want to stake a claim to reforming something -- in this case they want to reform a thing that was already a reclaiming of something valuable that had been buried by questionable reforms. It's an amphisbaena of idiocy.

    1. Folks have been trying to define/redefine OSR for a long time. Cyclic even, and it's both comforting AND annoying in its regularity. What surprised me was the folks doing the "bring out your dead" call.

      I guess I shouldn't be surprised. The whole publishing side of hobby RPGers trying to become TSR-like always seems to be in conflict with the DIY side.

  4. As I have commented on every YouTube video about Wizards of the Coast since all of the OGL/SRD drama began: "D&D is dead, Long Live D&D." It's always funny to me how the people who complain the most about "gatekeeping" are always the ones that want to label and define everything the way THEY like it, so that they can own the things that they say no one should really own. Stones and glass houses etc etc. We'll just be here having fun doing the things we like to do without worrying about what other people think.


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