Thursday, June 6, 2019

The OSR Is A Dead Horse

The OSR as a single, coherent community died around 2013. It was never a coherent philosophy or genre. "OSR" is now a meaningless brand identity, like "green" or whatever. Any communities that exist now are not OSR, but post-OSR, and if the members of any such post-OSR communities participated in the OSR before it died they, generally speaking, hate large swathes of the rest of the former OSR community. If they don't, they weren't there, like the reverse of Woodstock except in this metaphor there was no Woodstock, just Altamont.

Any attempts to "rename" the "OSR" is missing the point. Either it's trying to find a new brand identity to grind into the dust of meaninglessness, or just trying to ride a dead horse.


  1. I'm curious, as I wasn't around back then- what happened in 2013 that makes you consider that about the time that the OSR died?

    I showed up in 2017, so most of that early time is ancient history to me.

    1. I wouldn't stress it people predicting/lamenting the death of various RP communities occurs about as regularly as arguments about railroading and narrative vs simulationist games ;)

    2. I’m neither predicting, since it already happened, nor lamenting, because lol.

  2. I can get down on that label Post Old School Renaissance - POSR Sounded out it is even funnier.

  3. The OSR was NEVER a single coherent community. It has always been a rag tag disparate group of similarly minded gamers, those of us who appreciate what came before. And there are more of us now then there were then. If that's "dead" then dead we are and I embrace it. I've been involved in the OSR since 2010, playing games written in 2005 and I have FAR more choices to do so than I did in 2013. If that's dead, then dead it is. I have been buying and backing OSR products on kickstarter for 10 years and have backed more in the past 18 months than I did in the previous 3 years. If that's dead, then dead it is. I have played NEW OSR versions in the past 2 years that didn't exist 10 years ago, new takes on old rules. If that's dead, then dead it is. I'm a member of facebook communities for half a dozen OSR publishers and fansites and every one of them has more member activity than they did 5 years ago. If that's dead then.......well you get the point. The OSR may be dead, but it's growing and not going anywhere.


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