Friday, January 8, 2010

Evolution of the Old School Revival

There was an interesting post over at the Swords & Wizardry Forums talking about the past, current and future trends of the OSR. I've actually been thinking about this for a while. I think it's a good discussion to have. I mean, we (by we I mean the community as a whole) can't be putting out revisions of the same game over and over again.

The way I see it is that the past few years have been a process of defining what we all enjoyed about the 'classic' style of gaming that has been missing or has been 'forgotten knowledge' for decades now. Things like sandbox, megadungeons and free-form play have sort of fallen into the forgotten corners of gaming. That's not to say that it wasn't out there, it just was forgotten.

So during these past couple of years we got the 'OSR' and all the retro-clones and all the products and blogs and things out there that support these rediscoveries so to speak. It seems to me that we've recreated the atmosphere of the origins of the game, the excitement and explosion of creativity of those times. The trend that I feel it can move into now is evolution. Evolution to what the game (in our vision (and by our I mean the community as a whole)) should/could have evolved into. Moving it into different realms without falling into the traps of complicated and over structured rules yet expanding the original intentions, the freedom and pulp aspects, of the game. I think we are starting to see that with the new 'supplements' that have come out, Carcosa and Majestic Wilderlands as well as Planet Algol and Savage Swords of Athanor and many others. Enhancing the (other) worlds in which the game is played without complicating the (rules of) the game as a whole and keeping the rediscovered elements. I think that's the underlying trend.

There's really no 'bottom-line' or 'investors' that will define the direction. It will be defined by an 'open-source' community whose love and care for the game will direct it's evolution.

We all know where one path leads but I think now is an opportunity to forge a new path. One that could have been taken 30 years ago.

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