What's your OSR?


Hello, my favorite OSR related systems are now Macchiato Monsters, Black Hack and Troïka. But I am thinking leaving game systems behind for my upcoming zines to focus on random tables interactions.

I am preparing to run a Macchiato Monsters Americano Anomalies road trip campaign that I hope to eventually publish as a zine.

I am also trying to work on a cute dungeon project about village community life inspired by the work of studio Ghibli.

While it have been my strong source of inspiration for a while there is not much in the OSR that captivate my interest now, much of the time I will only notice new publications if someone I know are involved.

But to be fair there is a lot of things happening in my life so this is mostly me naturally being distracted by real life stuff.


I cut my RPG teeth back in 1981 with a group playing a hybrid game of blue-box OD&D and AD&D 1e. I quit playing with them after several months, then started DMing my own group using the Moldvay D&D Basic Set.

For me, OSR is an attempt to bring back that “anything could happen” feeling from early gaming. Not everything was codified, and the storyline (such as it was) came directly from the DM’s imagination and what they rolled on the random encounter tables. PCs weren’t expected to be able to defeat every encounter: Running away from deadly monsters was a regular occurrance!

One thing about early gaming that I’m not eager to revive is the lack of separation of character knowledge v. player knowledge that early adventures assumed. (E.g. AD&D module S2: White Plume Mountain (1979) has a puzzle that assumes PCs would know what a prime number is.)


I’m another person who has no real knowledge or fondness of pre-4th edition D&D, and the system that got me into role-playing was Savage Worlds, which is pretty distinct from either OSR or PBTA storygames.

The thing that I like about the OSR is the weirdness of it - I’m reading through Patrick Stuart’s Silent Titans right now and it’s just full of incredible ideas that I could’ve never thought of, with a system that is easy to understand and run.

I appreciate the OSR because I read a lot more RPG content than I run, so the adventure and setting books they put out are more interesting to me than a new PBTA system which is much more focused on gameplay and mechanics (though I like both).


…and I just realized that I’m now older than Gary Gygax was at the time I started playing D&D!