Did 5E neuter the OSR movement.

Trireme

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#51
What the OSR was about, in terms of play practices and philosophy, has filtered out into the wider gaming world. So I think the talk about it has cooled off a bit, since OSR "won" in that regard and there's no need to convince people or educate people in those ways like there was before.
Speaking as someone who’s only played TSR versions of D&D for the majority of the time I’ve spent playing the game, including over the last few years, I don’t really see a “need” to “convince” or “educate” people about the ways we used to walk uphill to school in the snow. I’d wager that adopting that “philosophy” has probably done more damage to the trade of hawking OSR products than it’s done anything else for it. To most of us elderly coots, it’s still just a game. It’s not that big of a deal.
 

Trireme

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#52
Here’s what I mean by that: when I read the latest of a dozen pitches for OSR products that adopts an infomercial-style tone to try to appeal to my hoary nostalgia for PC death, even coming from a writer whose work I had on my bookshelf back when I was twelve years old, I mainly think about how easy it is to murder everyone’s PC in the games I run now, using... the exact same books I had on my shelf when I was twelve years old.

Marketing and advertising that tries to spin my usual approach into a crusade for the soul of the hobby is straight-up cringe comedy in my eyes. If it’s failing across the board after a few short years of natural life, it’s no great shock to me. Keeping up that level of self-imposed stress over something like D&D must be exhausting.
 

Trireme

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#53
There’s also this... thing, and I don’t know what to call it, really, but there’s this failed attempt by a lot of OSR products to be “adult” or “self-aware” in different ways, and it ends up as this half-joking, half-not copy of stuff that became tedious to me back as a teenager in the 1990s when we had it in surplus, a lot of the time in official products from relatively big-time companies.

Like... penis-shaped monsters attempting tongue-in-cheek shock value became boring to me at around the same time as I got sick of Professor Cheesepants Wigglebottom’s Barbershop of “Random” Irony, and it happened at a point in my life before I could legally buy cigarettes. And it seems like every time I look at an OSR product that isn’t selling itself as a way to “return” to the way I already run my games, it’s zooming away from it in one of those two other directions.
 

Jlandry

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#54
There’s also this... thing, and I don’t know what to call it, really, but there’s this failed attempt by a lot of OSR products to be “adult” or “self-aware” in different ways, and it ends up as this half-joking, half-not copy of stuff that became tedious to me back as a teenager in the 1990s when we had it in surplus, a lot of the time in official products from relatively big-time companies.
Exactly. There's a strange desperation and intensity in some OSR products that pushes "edginess" and "daring" in exactly the same way teenage boys have been pushing it since the 1970s. It's boring and off-putting. I mean, putting redheaded female warriors in an rpg book? Whoah, that's so original!
 

Leonaru

Taxidermic Owlbear
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#55
Exactly. There's a strange desperation and intensity in some OSR products that pushes "edginess" and "daring" in exactly the same way teenage boys have been pushing it since the 1970s. It's boring and off-putting. I mean, putting redheaded female warriors in an rpg book? Whoah, that's so original!
I think that's an amalgamation of several factors:

1. Authors who haven't read/played many recent TTRPGs, and instead stuck with their childhood favourites and aren't aware what and what isn't pushing soft boundaries.
2. Authors who remember 90s edge and, now that they are writing their own products, want that edge.
3. Authors who are simply immature, and who don't have the editor of a large-ish corporation to tell them so, or deliberatly try to out-edge the big fish.
4. More general: edginess can get you attention. Many small video game developers used (use?) to do that to grab attention.

Note that this isn't a general statement about the OSR (of which I'm part of), just an explanation for the style of one author or another.
 

kvltjam

Async
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#56
Exactly. There's a strange desperation and intensity in some OSR products that pushes "edginess" and "daring" in exactly the same way teenage boys have been pushing it since the 1970s. It's boring and off-putting. I mean, putting redheaded female warriors in an rpg book? Whoah, that's so original!
I got this too, and it’s really put me off of investigating the broader OSR community. Between the desperate edginess and streaks of, uh, horrifying political thought, I bounced off hard.

That’s of course not to say that either is the norm and, as Leonaru Leonaru pointed out as I was typing this, this edginess gets attention, while the less shock-jock approaches recede into the background. There are undoubtedly a wealth of diverse and interesting games that should hold interest for folks like myself who are coming in via Indie Gaming’s brushes with OSR. I think what Sine Nomine is putting out is awesome, and Goodman Games should be commended for pushing a lighter, goofier sort of self-awareness with their bell-bottoms-and-wizard-vans aesthetic in DCC (even though that game isn’t really my cup of tea). But it’s the initial impressions that killed my cusiosity.
 

Weisenheim

Baroque Space Orc Mage
Validated User
#57
Speaking as someone who’s only played TSR versions of D&D for the majority of the time I’ve spent playing the game, including over the last few years, I don’t really see a “need” to “convince” or “educate” people about the ways we used to walk uphill to school in the snow. I’d wager that adopting that “philosophy” has probably done more damage to the trade of hawking OSR products than it’s done anything else for it. To most of us elderly coots, it’s still just a game. It’s not that big of a deal.
What I alluded to in my original comment is the fact that a lot of how old D&D was played, especially in the earliest days, is based on assumptions that were left out of texts. So people who came to the game later are ignorant of such things, or were, and needed to be informed about what those assumptions were and persuaded that they could be a viable path for roleplaying that's different than what they might have encountered.

It's not about trying to tell people that any particular way of playing the game is better than another - unless one play style doesn't suit you/your group. It's about telling people what the other options out there are and why you might want to partake of them.

I actually played AD&D before anything else. But then I ventured away from D&D and into another system with old school mechanics and sensibilities: Palladium, or more specifically RIFTS at first. And as the discussions about that system elsewhere on this site have recently highlighted, that is another old school system that's written with some assumptions in mind that aren't contained in the text, at least based on how I'm told KS runs his games vs. what's actually in the books.
 

Trireme

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Validated User
#58
I think that's an amalgamation of several factors:

1. Authors who haven't read/played many recent TTRPGs, and instead stuck with their childhood favourites and aren't aware what and what isn't pushing soft boundaries.
2. Authors who remember 90s edge and, now that they are writing their own products, want that edge.
3. Authors who are simply immature, and who don't have the editor of a large-ish corporation to tell them so, or deliberatly try to out-edge the big fish.
4. More general: edginess can get you attention. Many small video game developers used (use?) to do that to grab attention.

Note that this isn't a general statement about the OSR (of which I'm part of), just an explanation for the style of one author or another.
I feel like a lot of it is just social tone-deafness separate from games as a hobby or industry, which I guess would be a mix of (3) in designers and (4) as applies to exploiting it in players.

As in, what passes for shock value in a lot of those products is yawn value for me for the same reason that a lot of ostensibly self-aware B-horror movies nowadays fit the same description, that is, it’s made by and for people who think it will shock other people around them and take some sort of solipsistic glee from that, but most of the rest of the world just sort of shrugs at it. They’ve seen it all before. The symbiotic relationship between the performatively fake-shocked and the performatively fake-shocking is a closed system, with the latter seemingly out-numbering the former many times over at this point. There’s no reason for most people to opt in.

To me, though, giggle-fest irony-heavy OSR products are exactly the same thing, coming from exactly the same place. They don’t come across to me as light-hearted, but as a mix of desperate and boring, built for a type of person I don’t want at my table in the first place.
 

Von Ether

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Validated User
#59
Speaking of nostalgia, I wonder how much of it is "That's the way we played" vs. "How dare they 'force' me to buy new books after 40 years."

Side story: I had a GM who wanted to do something different and he put it up to a vote, hoping to get buy in on Savage Worlds or something else as just a break from D&D. I warned the guy that putting it to a vote would get him not only more D&D, but Forgotten Realms specifically.

One guy's suggestion for three"different"games was Dragonlance, FR, and Greyhawk. He got miffed when I said they were all the same game, D&D. The vote went for FR and the three-game guy showed up with three milkcrates of FR stuff I hadn't seen in 15 years.
 

Allandaros

Validated Parking
Validated User
#60
I got this too, and it’s really put me off of investigating the broader OSR community. Between the desperate edginess and streaks of, uh, horrifying political thought, I bounced off hard.

That’s of course not to say that either is the norm and, as Leonaru Leonaru pointed out as I was typing this, this edginess gets attention, while the less shock-jock approaches recede into the background. There are undoubtedly a wealth of diverse and interesting games that should hold interest for folks like myself who are coming in via Indie Gaming’s brushes with OSR. I think what Sine Nomine is putting out is awesome, and Goodman Games should be commended for pushing a lighter, goofier sort of self-awareness with their bell-bottoms-and-wizard-vans aesthetic in DCC (even though that game isn’t really my cup of tea). But it’s the initial impressions that killed my cusiosity.
Sine Nomine and Goodman do some good stuff for sure.

Folks who are trying to trying to avoid both the nostalgia and edgelord routes might be interested in this list by Infinite Machine Games from a few years ago - "Ten OSR Books That are Not Nostalgia Trips or Metal/Shock Horror". Obviously it's from a little while back and caps at ten, but I think that it might serve as a good starting point.
 
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