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Showing posts from August, 2020

Wandering Monsters for the First Time

I’m a veteran gamemaster. I recently started using wandering monster rules for the first time . This entry is about why I never used wandering monsters before and what I learned using them several times in the last month or so. Yes, it may scandalize card-carrying OSR gamers: I never rolled for wandering monsters in 1981, or in ’82, ’83, ’84… I never rolled for wandering monsters ever . I never saw anybody else do so, either. This is one of those “old-school” myths; practices widely varied in the old days and there was no single “old-school” way to play. It wasn’t just that nobody I knew used wandering monsters. It was mostly that I thought they would disrupt the game with superfluous encounters that distracted players from their goals and were incongruous with the setting in the moment. (More on that below.) Before I left D&D behind to take up other systems, I had used many D&D published scenarios. I simply ignored wandering monster tables in them (though not every module

The Many Deaths of the OSR

This is what I have pieced together about the death of the OSR, or "Old-School Renaissance" (of Dungeons & Dragons) based on statements of those involved. In 2001, Wizards of the Coast created its Open Games License. Now players could copy and publish old editions of Dungeons & Dragons with impunity. They did. OSRIC (2006) replicated AD&D and Swords & Wizardry (2008) revised and replicated OD&D. Other clones appeared thereafter in great number . In 2008, Gary Gygax died and the Fourth Edition of D&D appeared. Both were lamented by players of older editions of D&D. Calls to "take back our hobby!" began and talk of an "Old-School movement" grew into assertions. The blog race was on to identify the genetic code of early D&D rules and practices that would resuscitate the Original Way of gaming. For a couple of years, there was a lot of energy and debate about what that would mean. In 2010, the first OSR blog devoted to slanderin