Monday, December 3, 2018

OSR Survey

Brendan S and Ben Milton are two hobbyists with a long history of participating in discussion related to the OSR and classic DnD. They have constructed a detailed survey that looks to be comprehensive.

The link to the survey.

Ben Milton (G-Plus)
Brendan S (G-Plus)

At the conclusion of the survey one can leave additional comments unfortunately I forgot to copy and paste my answer. But the following is the gist of what I wrote.


Irregardless of how people used the label OSR, think of the label OSR, or want the label OSR to represent there are several salient points.

1) There is a group of hobbyists who are interested in playing, promoting, and publishing for classic editions of DnD.

2) To ensure that no one vision or ideal stifles a hobbyist's creative vision the promotion and spread of legal open content is vital.

3) #2 pertains not just to classic DnD but to any system that hobbyists are interested in provided there is legal open content to use as a foundation for sharing.

4) Hobbyists interested in #1 are interested in other things as well. So hobbyists sharing or selling will often have a variety of works in addition to classic DnD including hybrids.


Open Content coupled with the low barriers of distribution enabled by the internet and digital technology ensures that anybody with the desire will be able to get their vision out there either commercially or just to share.

Keep in in mind that the consequences of creative freedom will be messy. Resulting in a confusing kaleidoscope of works along with conflicting visions of the source material. The key to remember irregardless of the results of the survey, that you are free to do what you think is best with the material in the form you think will work for your project. That thanks to the internet and other forms of digital technology you can't be stopped from sharing what you created.

3 comments:

Dragonsdoom said...

Thanks for linking to the survey!

Scott Anderson said...

I already took this test. I flunked.

Phil Dutré said...

Oops, the link to the survey produced a phishing warning in my Firefox browser.

But anyway, as a consumer (not a designer) of OSR-labeled products, I find these 'wars' over the correct use of OSR a bit silly. I realize it might be important to some to know what is truly OSR and what isn't, but it gives me the impression of a bunch of people in a bubble discussing who is more loyal to the cause. A label is simply a label - it's the content that counts.

Perhaps I am reading these OSR-turf wars wrong (and in that case, I apologize). But in the end, it's the creativity and inspiration of gaming materials that matter, whether OSR or not.