Saturday, August 18, 2012

An Introduction

Hello!  Somehow you have stumbled upon this blog and it is my duty to introduce myself as well as the purpose of this blog.

Though there are many tabletop RPG blogs out there, the most fascinating to me have always been the OSR blogs.  For those not in the know, OSR stands for Old School Renaissance or Old School Rules.  I could try to explain the OSR movement in depth but I think this post at Hack & Slash does a great job.  There is also a great definition of terms here.

Most of those who write those blogs are veterans of the hobby, having played over the course of many decades.  I, on the other hand, have only lived a little over two.  I'm one of the ever growing number of new-grognards.  Those who may not have been around for the Old School Rules but find that they work wonderfully to meet our gaming needs.

Many of my blog posts will be about the OSR and the products and projects associated with it.  I must admit though that I still have connections to modern rulesets and may include thoughts and opinions on various other things.  I have been a pretty loyal fan of Paizo Publishing the last few years and have been playing Pathfinder almost exclusively until the OSR movement came to my attention.

I think this sums things up, feel free to check out other posts on this blog.  For those a little more interested in me, read on as I describe my gaming history and why OSR is such an amazing thing.


My first interaction with D&D came when I somehow got one of my parents to purchase the 3rd Edition (3.0) starter set from the local book store in the mall when I was much younger.  I had no true knowledge of D&D at the time but the cover (adventurers busting through a door running from a red dragon) seemed pretty awesome and still has an impression on me.  I sort of understood the rules, but alas had no one to play with.  The set came with punch out tokens that I still have on my bookshelf today.

It wasn't until a few years later in high school that I approached a few people from school who I knew to have been playing the game.  By this time I had learned a lot about the hobby via the internet but had yet to play.  Those people became great friends and I still miss playing D&D with on Sundays.  Having moved to the West Coast from PA, I don't get to see them often.  The oddity was that though 3.0 (and soon to be 3.5) were the current editions of the biggest name in tabletop RPGs, my group played 2nd Edition.  This seemed to be because one particular friend had a big box of the books, gathered over years of play by his dad and uncle.  My starter box was left in my closest (though I still have the original dice) as I learned and played 2nd Edition for awhile.

I think this had an impact on my expectations from an RPG.  2E was an evolution of AD&D 1E, with only some slight differences.  The problem was that I did not have the books themselves, so it was hard to keep up with things or get a strong knowledge of different concepts with no book to refer back to.  With my paltry income as a youth I purchased the 3.5 core rulebooks, and from there spent years playing 3.5 in the rest of high school and college.  I even ran my own games for quite awhile.  Managed to get a number of my high school's football team into the hobby, much to my delight.  It helped that I played football and it was a small school.  The Lord of the Rings films were a nice incentive as well.

Eventually 4E was released and I, like many others, chose not to jump ship.  Though many people had spent many years with 1E and 2E before the change to 3.x, I had only spent a handful of years enjoying the system before it stopped being supported.  I didn't like the rule design of 4E either.  It was then that Paizo and Pathfinder hit my radar and for the past few years I've been supporting them and the system.  I've been to PaizoCon 3 years in a row and plan on continuing to do so.

The only thing was I always had an itch for something I couldn't quite describe until now.  Something I had missed since my first foray into gaming.  It was the free-form playing, the reliance on character action and not just character sheet.  It was the story being created by the players and characters.  Characters who are not invincible superheroes but slightly above average folks doing some amazing things.  I'll write more about this in my next post, but upon realizing OSR was the road to this feeling, I've acquired a print OSRIC book, the AD&D re-prints, Dark Dungeons, and soon Swords & Wizardry.

I plan on running S&W games soon, with Pathfinder and S&W being my main rulesets going forward.  Both games offer different experiences and I see value in both.

If you made it this far, I commend you.  Thanks for reading, I hope this post clears up who I am as a gamer.  If this blog interests you, be sure to check out the other OSR blogs and websites!

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