Wednesday, November 25, 2015

OSR Problems; on finding a way to run OSR games, and settling on a system...

...and one day I looked up and realized three sections of my shelf were entirely OSR. The biggest chunk by far was for Swords & Wizardry Complete, which is of course supported by the Frog Gods with gigantic tomes of various and sundry....but there's a lot more:

Swords & Wizardry Complete
Dungeon Crawl Classics
Labyrinth Lord
For Gold & Glory
Beyond the wall and Other Tales (my new favorite darling of the moment)
Spears of the Dawn
Castles & Crusades
Iron Falcon
...other stuff I have no doubt forgotten about. Let's not even bother mentioning the actual original B/X D&D, 1E AD&D or 2E AD&D tomes.

And for each of those I have a big fat mess of modules and support, and some of the support is ephemeral and easily transits from one system to the next, such as Yoon-Suin, Deep Carbon Observatory and the D30 Sandbox Companion which are all easily utilized with any of the above titles.

I have a real desire to actually run one of these, not merely convert content over to D&D 5E like I've been doing lately. My thought is that my local gang of players might put up with a couple nights of one, but it's not going to have legs for the long haul....and I do love D&D 5E, so not interested in forcing that system into competition, anyway.

My Saturday group is pretty much dedicated to Pathfinder and I know them well enough to know that that boat must not be rocked any longer; delving into 13th Age and D&D 5E was enough for them. My Wednsesday group is more flexible, but I have some players who, when I break from established D&D, will simply vanish in a puff of smoke and I'd rather not make that happen just because I happen to want to play some OSR stuff.

My thought then is to delve into online gaming again...Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds. I ran Fantasy Grounds for my old players in Seattle a lllloooong time ago when I first moved to Albuquerque....surely it's gotten even easier to work with since those hallowed days of yore. Plus, Roll20 seems pretty cool. Maybe what I need to do is find some games to get in to as a player first, see how it works....I'm thinking Mondays and Sunday nights are good for me. Hmmmm.

But when I's definitely going to be one of the above titles. Probably DCC or S&WC but For Gold & Glory is damned tempting. Labyrinth Lord would be more tempting, but to try it out only begs the question of why I don't just run the original.....and ironically, I know I will find the race-as-class element distasteful once I'm actually dealing with it. This doesn't bother me with DCC strangely, because my sense is that the Tolkienesque races have no real place in DCC anyway and can be ignored.

But then there's Beyond the Wall....have you seen this book? It's pretty amazing. I'll have to talk more about it and its supplement later.

There's other stuff, too: Perils of the Purple Planet. The Chained Coffin. The Haunted Highlands. Tranzar's Redoubt. A Red and Pleasant Land. Razor Coast.....these are all begging me to run them. And yet I'll probably ignore them all and do my own thing anyway. I always do.


  1. online gaming is just not the same sadly. I know I've tried to tempt you before and it was difficult. You also run into a lot of odd balls. I did join a one shot the other night and all the guys seemed fairly normal actually!

  2. If you like Labyrinth Lord (and the original game it's based on) but don't like race-as-class, why not use Basic Fantasy RPG? Mechanically and statistically, it's very close to the same game but separates race and class.

    1. Basic Fantasy is a good system as of those I failed to mention (but should have). I remain very tempted to try out a campaign with Iron Falcon, too.