There’s No Storytelling in the OSR

WTF? OK, yeah. When I have time I wander around the Internet and see whatever crosses my path. Sometimes I’m bored, sometimes I find something really neat and then sometimes I just scratch my head. This is one of those scratch my head moments.
I see this pop up every now and then. But isn’t storytelling something that isn’t very “Old School”? Like I keep saying, “No”. Storytelling versus Hack & Slash have been one of those debates that have been around since the beginning. It boils down to the good old “You’re playing it wrong”, “I heard it…” and “My DM …” ideas. Story or no story isn’t about the rules. It boils down to the people sitting at the table. If the DM just runs hack & slash marathons and ignores story hooks from the players. If the players run their characters with less personality than an 8-bit video game character then it doesn’t matter what the DM has planned or tries to do. No story happens.
For storytelling to happen it takes both a DM and a group of players willing to tell a story. It’s just that simple. Personally, I find it easier to tell stories with OSR type games because you aren’t sitting around messing with a whole butt load of clunky mechanics or updating a spreadsheet just to figure out what your attack bonus is.
My rant is don.e

8 thoughts on “There’s No Storytelling in the OSR”

  1. Story telling games are very distinct from standard RPGs and have a strong set of mechanics to create that difference. The whole role-play vs. roll-play thing in old school games is a completely different thing.


  2. Hmm, seems to me that in ye olden days (late 70’s) our D&D games were just hack and slack and Monty Haul dungeons. I only came across roleplaying (as we know it today) much later, in the late 90’s. I find that newer games more likely to be designed with roleplay and storytelling baked right in from the start. To me, the OSR seems to be a weird attempt to re-invent the square wheel. But it’s your game so play what you enjoy and more power to ya.


  3. That was then. Been there done that when I was high school. I’ve grown up since then. It’s like when you were young you drank to get drunk and party down and not even think about quality or anything else.


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