Sunday, 14 August 2011

Thoughts on Being a Prodigal Son; Or, an Excuse to Link to Lots of Blogs

On my long hiatus from blogging I became totally disconnected from the "old school" blogging scene (though I never considered myself to be part of the OSR, those were the blogs I read, and their readers were the ones who read Monsters and Manuals). When I "left" it still seemed small: the number of blogs with more than 200 public followers was comfortably less than a dozen, and it was possible to more-or-less read everything that was being put out into the blogosphere through my Google reader. No longer. There has been a serious OSR blogging boom in the last 6 months, it appears - so much so that it's impossible to keep up with it all. I like that, as it's a sign that these stupid and weird little games we enjoy have an audience that is growing at an impressive rate. But blimey if it isn't a little overwhelming.

It also makes me feel slightly outside of everything. I'm the most contrarian person I know - I can't bring myself to like anything that I deem to be popular - and if I'm perfectly honest a key ingredient of my interest in "old school" gaming was precisely its lack of popularity. Now that it is becoming more popular I find my enthusiasm correspondingly waning; I'll probably be playing 4e before the end of the year. But for now, I'm liking it still.

Particular discoveries of note include:
  • A Hamsterish Hoard of Dungeons and Dragons is no longer being updated. This saddens me, as it was not only brilliant but also BECMI-focused, and there aren't many of us out there. (BECMI isn't as much of a red-headed stepchild as AD&D 2nd Edition is, but it's close.)
  • There are a plethora of blogs that I'm now regularly reading, among them The Land of Nod, A Character for Every Game, Teleli, Hill Cantons, Appendix N, What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse, and Gorgonmilk.
  • Tekumel seems to have taken over the universe.
  • Zak S is all grown up. I can remember when he was knee-high to a grasshopper, asking me for a link to his blog to generate some readership when he first started out; now he's gargantuan. This is a good thing: he has a can-do attitude, (see here, here, and here, for proof) and there isn't enough of that in RPG geekdom.
  • I like this. And it shows that the OSR thing is actually 'a phenomenon', at least of a kind. It wouldn't be getting satirised otherwise.
  • Trollsmyth, who is by the way an excellent DM, is hexmapping like a crazed baboon.

Yes, fuck you, this post is just a glorified excuse to post up loads of links.


    1. Blixa, however--despite picking up some xp playing AD&D--is still first level.

    2. I built this just to keep up myself:

      and damned if it didn't catch on.

      I would say we are approaching the 1000 mark easily of of devoted blogs so I am working on side projects to break it down a bit by category and make it easier to track favorite things.

    3. Glad to have found you. Can we talk horses? I'm running a 2nd Edition campaign for my son and find the "normal load" downgrade from Wilderness Survival Guide to 2nd Ed., 3000gp/300lbs. to 170lbs. for a light horse, to be ridiculous. Including a standard weight saddle they can only carry a 145lb. character!
      Looking for some backup...

    4. Zak: Yeah, sorry about that...

      ADD Grognard: Nice!

      PsychDaddy: I'd go with whatever sounds right to you. 300lbs is probably more realistic so go for it.

    5. Oh don't apologize--I now have the opportunity to use him in all the 1st level games people are running on Google +. A much easier sell than if I went "oh he's a 2nd level guy converted from Warhammer".

    6. It's not that the OSR is growing, it's that it's full, terrifying size and power is only now being revealed!

    7. Soon the FLGS of the land will tremble beneath our feet, or something.