2018-05-28 What makes an OSR Game

Beautiful summary of what it means for a game to “be OSR”, i.e. to be part of the Old School Renaissance, found on a blog:

One of the most persistent myths about the old-school style is that it’s a numbers-first, tactical combat based, hack-and-slash style of gameplay. It’s not. The game is lethal, and if you wish to avoid the many varieties of grisly demise on offer, you need to think creatively, avoiding and subverting combat scenarios rather than engaging in them. […]

So, then, […] why do OSR systems have so many combat rules? As opposed to, say, rules for feeling things, or exploration? If the game is about things other than combat, why isn’t that reflected in its ruleset? […] because the way OSR play engages with the rules is fundamentally different from most other schools of RPG design. Your character sheet is a list of the few limitations imposed on you, not a list of your awesome powers and skill trees. […] OSR play is what’s not written - what’s written is there to ground the situation and make things difficult.

This is from the blog post Does An OSR Game Need Dedicated Combat Rules? from the recommended blog The Graverobber's Guide by D. G. Chapman.

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