Monday, 15 March 2021

Oh Baby, Let Me Reminisce

Patrick put up a great post about the dimly-remembered origins of OSR blogging. I could of course have commented there - but why pass up the opportunity to get some of that sweet, sweet site traffic here? Let me instead ride on his coat-tails and provide some links to some of the dimmest, darkest corners of the deepest levels of the Old School Megadungeon. These are the blogs that inspired me when I was sitting in an office in suburban Yokohama thinking about D&D, just a kid with a crazy dream, and which eventually I decided to try to emulate in my own small way.

Trollsmyth's first post was in 2006, when the world was truly young - before our sanity was blasted by social media and YouTube, when One Direction were not even a twinkle in Simon Cowell's eye, and when 'Let It Go' was still 7 years from first being heard. It may not have been the very first 'OSR' blog, but it was certainly one of the great beasts of our early Triassic.

Sham is now only at best hazily remembered, a ghost of the ancient dead. But he lingers in the stories of old warriors as they gather around camp fires at night, whispering that he may yet one day return.

I would have said the same was true of chgowiz, who even nuked (most) of his old blog and left just a few dozen shattered fragments (you can find them by clicking through the 'older posts'), but it turns out he is still out there, presumably plotting his 'King Over the Water' style return.

Taichara had a great blog which has been through periods of immense melancholic silence, but never truly faded away; word is she is coming out with a book.

Rob Conley remains, still pursuing his controversial strategy of writing useful material people can actually put in their games, rather than the esoteric ranting the rest of us seem to specialise in.

Same goes for Kellri.

I wanted to find Melan's old therpgsite posts on the Tyranny of Fun and his childhood adventure gamebooks, and also Philotomy's Musings. But they all appear to be long gone now, washed away by the encroaching tides of time: look on our works, ye mighty, and despair! 


  1. I pulled the Tyranny of Fun posts in a moment of weakness after they got me into the crosshairs of an online hate campaign (that apparently originated from Something Awful's terrible RPG forum). This was a bad idea, because I lost bragging rights to a series that proved eerily accurate, and obviously didn't get the mob off my back - a decade later, they still seem angry about those posts. At least I learned that earlier than many.

    The Fighting Fantasy thread is still up:!/

    I liked the Megadungeon Mapping thread up on Dragonsfoot; much of the modern understanding of the genre comes from there:

    1. Wasn't Tyranny of Fun originally on EN World?

    2. I wanna hear what Tyranny of Fun was about! I’m all intrigued now...

    3. Yes it was! It was half serious, half ironic shitposting with the current ENWorld memes of the day.

    4. My initial contribution re Tyranny of Fun/Guards at the Gate

  2. Oh man I totally forgot about Philotomy. Got to find and read that one again. It will be so much more useful for my now than when I first came across it.

  3. Hm, I stumbled on a copy of Philotomy's Musings the other day at . I hadn't considered it as something that I should hold on to.

  4. I remember we had some fun on ENW ragging on the 'Guards At the Gate Aren't Fun' line from 4e DMG.

  5. I continously return to Philotomy's Musings. It's basically the standard at our gaming table...stripping it back to 1974. It's an excellent resource in "deprogramming" folks from later editions.