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Why I fell in love with the OSR?

Yeah, I like OSR games. I like the simple mechanics, the randomness, the lethality it implies, the possibility to use classic material in my games, the “challenge the players, not the characters” mentality, and all the jazz we know and care for. The illustrations are a plus, of course, as I really prefer the more personal stylo of art that is prevalent in OSR publications. But you know what really made me fall in love with the OSR movement?

It showed me that I don’t need a company telling me what I should be playing. For some foolish reason, before the OSR, I had the impression that once a new edition of a game was released, it was obvious that I needed to move to that edition. If the older one was abandoned and a new one released, the new one has to be better. Staying with the older one was stupid, since nothing new would come out of it. I sold all by 2nd edition AD&D books to buy 3rd edition stuff. What a fool I was.

The Old School Renaissance made me see the wrongness of my acts, and made me realize the game is REALLY ours, and we do with it whatever the heck we want. We don’t need to wait for a company to sell us their new iteration of the rules we already use and serve us just fine. We don’t need to buy the same old setting again and again, with the same goblins in the woods, orcs in the mountains, and the same super NPCs that make your character feel completely unnecessary.

I love that the OSR made us look at fantasy gaming as something much larger than the genre fantasy D&D has portrayed for decades. And each player and referee in the OSR now has the possibility of sharing their vision, their settings with each other. I found out about this amazing Appendix N books (we did not have AD&D 1st Edition in Brazil), and discovered a lot of good fantasy fiction that, for me, is way more exciting than Tolkien!

I love the DIY aspect of it, where everyone can share their own view of the game, the rules, the settings, monsters and everything. No edition is really dead, and we can all keep the game alive by ourselves. The game isn’t dependent on a company, it’s dependent on the community that plays it. No game ever dies, as long as someone is still rolling dice with it out there and sharing with others.

It may seem silly for some, or even irrelevant, but this aspect of the OSR is what really got me hooked to it. It made me feel like we are self sustained, that the game is finally free, and we really can make whatever we want with it. I have tons of rulebooks. They all seem very similar, but I love seeing how each author interpret the rules, make small modifications, put their own spin on things. And that inspired me to do the same. To contribute. To show my own visions and exchange experiences to make our hobby more “ours”.

I don’t know. I think I said too much already and the post seems like a bundle of random thoughts. But I just wanted to say I love the OSR community, I love being able to be part of it, and I love that we can all contribute equally! Fight on, friends!

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