Wednesday, 29 September 2010

My personal OSR (and music)

I've been quite on the Old School Reneissance bend lately, as evidenced by several of my recent posts. Now, frankly, I'm far too young (and from a country that's far too backwater) to have been playing way back then, but I've been reading a lot of blog posts (mainly Grognardia, Planet Algol and LotFP) about the old days, looking at old adventure modules, etc. I've taken a real liking to Lamentations of the Flame Princess (a "retro-clone"), and I'm liking a lot of what I see in the good old Rules Cyclopedia.

So my own take on OSR is not how it really was back then, because I wasn't there, but rather a more hipsterish image-mongering, an attempt to recreate the atmosphere and the vibe of the old times. I think Ron Edwards' game s/lay w/me -while by no means a real "OSR" game- evokes a lot of what I perceive to be the fantasy fiction that was happening in the 70's, much closer to the original Weird Tales, phantasmagoric, psychadelic, colourful, mournful, sexy, humorous, unconcerned about genre boundaries and conventions etc etc. (look at a few of these actual play reports and the phantasmagoric fantasy that's so vibrantly present in them: 1, 2, 3, 4). Also, see my ongoing History of Gaming Art posts. I've also grown fond of the old school adventure module Expedition to the Barrier Peaks in which characters explore a crashed spaceship from another world. Also worth mentioning is the quote from a conversation with Dave Arneson:

"I asked Arneson whether this pipe organ implies a previous high-tech fantasy civilization or whether Blackmoor is a post-apocalyptic Earth. He said 'Yes.'"

Which also brings to mind the often overlooked fact that the magic system in D&D is Vancian, drawing inspiration from Jack Vance's Dying Earth novels. All this paints a picture in my mind that's very different from what I've been introduced to as D&D in the 90's and continued to play throughout the 00's. And I love it, for better or worse.

As a reaction to all these thoughts I have put together this playlist on youtube. It's a collection of 70's-80's rock, metal and prog songs full of psychadelia, space, and lyrics about wizards. They are a big part of my idealised, filtered and hip-ed up vision of old school D&D gaming.

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